We believe in the importance of psychology as an optional subject within our curriculum. It can make a powerful impact on students' lives by giving them insight and understanding of their own and others' mind and behaviour.
As a social science, it is also rich with both theory and empirical evidence, and we are keen to teach students that psychology is underpinned by the scientific method and that developing research skills is key to them becoming good psychologists.
It is also an applied subject, and our aim is to enable students to understand and evaluate how psychological theory is turned into treatment and practice in the real world.
Our goal is to develop psychology students who are inquisitive, reflective and empathic in their approach to exploring two fundamental questions at the heart of psychology: what shapes human thought and behaviour? What are the real-world applications of this knowledge that can improve people’s lives?
While a number of our students choose to continue to study Psychology at degree level and pursue careers in psychology, this isn’t the only measure of our impact. Psychology should give students a set of tools and concepts, based on research, that allow all of our students who study the subject to think and reflect in new and different ways about their own behaviour and that of those around them.
The bigger goal is to encourage greater tolerance and acceptance of others, particularly those who are different to us. We also want to inspire students to apply their psychological insight in a wide range of occupations once they leave education; the skills and knowledge students develop in psychology have value across many work sectors including business, health care, education, law, social care and media.
At A Level, Year 12 students study Paper 1 and Paper 2 topics including: Approaches in psychology, biopsychology, memory, attachment, psychopathology, and social influence. These are introductory topics that help students to develop a deeper understanding of how people think and behave. Research methods will also be taught throughout the year to build an understanding of how psychological research should be carried out.
Year 13 students study Paper 3 topics which are more complicated, including: gender, schizophrenia, aggression, and issues and debates in psychology. The curriculum has been coherently planned and sequenced so that students build on prior knowledge. AQA exam board has been chosen at A Level as it provides a comprehensive range of support and resources including past papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports; all invaluable for both student and teacher within the subject.
Curriculum plan - further details of the curriculum can be found in the curriculum plan below.
A more detailed breakdown regarding subject content can be found on the exam board website using the following link: