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Curriculum Intent

The Psychology course offers a unique opportunity for both personal reflection and the scientific analyses of complex human behaviours.  This is an exciting A level subject that will develop a range of key skills including numeracy, literacy, empathy and critical thinking.  Our philosophy is to encourage students to gain ‘hands on’ experience of conducting their own scientific research, employing descriptive and inferential statistics to assess their results, and write up their findings in accordance with psychological conventions.  Beyond this, students are encouraged to take a critical stance of the claims made by psychologists and to consider the wider economic and ethical implications of psychological research. We also strive to encourage active debate about the causes of fascinating behaviours from why people tend to follow destructive orders to how we can explain criminal behaviours. This imbues a wider appreciation of the practical applications of Psychology to everyday life.  With a significant focus on Psychopathology including Schizophrenia on this course, students are able to challenge popular misconceptions about mental health issues and replace a stigmatised response with a more inclusive and tolerant approach stemming from real understanding.  Students will soon come to realise that Psychology is everywhere and can be utilised to understand all manner of human and animal behaviours.

Key Stage 5

AQA Psychology (7182)

Year 12 Year 13
  • Research Methods
  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Memory
  • Biopsychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Attachment
  • Social Influence
  • Research Methods
  • Issues and Debates
  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Forensic Psychology


Key Stage 5 assessment

  • Students are set flipped learning tasks involving note-taking and independent research each week
  • Short answer questions are set on a fortnightly basis and extended 16-mark essays are set every three weeks
  • At the end of a unit, an end of topic test is set in class in order for students to develop their written skills in timed conditions
  • In addition to this, regular low stakes quizzes and retrieval practice take place in the classroom


Curriculum enrichment outside of the classroom 

In Year 12, students start to have access to online textbooks and original journal articles/collections on Canvas.  We strongly recommend that every student downloads the BPS Research Digest app as this provides accessible snippets of the latest research in Psychology.  Every student has the opportunity to purchase their own copy of Psychology Review and documentary recommendations are given on a weekly basis.  In order to get a flavour of numerous exciting topic areas, the department recommends that students independently visit the Wellcome Institute, Freud’s House and The Old Bailey, as well as take out a student membership of the BPS in order to take advantage of lecture opportunities in London.  A research link has been established with Goldsmiths University and this has meant that students can participate in actual postgraduate research as participants.  This gives invaluable hands on experience of the research process.  In Year 13, a Forensic Brain Day is organised where a visiting professor, Guy Sutton, delivers lectures on Criminal Psychology, takes students through an offender profiling exercise and completes the day with a live brain dissection.  There are opportunities throughout the year to attend one day lecture conferences in London.