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    Psychology

    “Our memories are reconstructive. It’s a little like a Wikipedia page – you can change it, but can

    so can other people” - Elizabeth Loftus (2013)

    Psychology is the study of the human mind and behaviour.  The aim is to systematically explore behaviour through the use of scientific methods.

    Staff

    Mr A. Walton (Subject Leader)

    Mr T. Purnell

    Vision

    The study of Psychology introduces students to the science of studying individuals in order to broaden their understanding of human behaviours and the reasons for them – including genetics, the environment, our cognitive processes and inner desires.

    Intent

    Key Stage 5: In Psychology, our intent is to allow students to establish a core understanding of Psychology which could support them at undergraduate level.  Our curriculum is based on the AQA specification following the content outlined in the specification. 

    In our curriculum, we ensure students develop a conceptual understanding of basic psychological theory by starting with the Approaches Unit. This includes topics such as Free Will and Determinism, Nature vs Nurture, Reductionism and Holism. The sequencing of the topics allows students to develop foundational knowledge and then build to more complex ideas.

    In Year 12 students begin with the topics of Memory, Psychopathology, Attachment and Social Influence which allow for synoptic links to be made between topics. After these units students will begin to look at research methodology which will encourage students to reflect on the scientific processes and methods used to research in Psychology. Throughout the initial units, research methods are embedded to allow for students to develop knowledge which will support their learning. Within the research methods module, students will be using mathematical skills which they have already gained lower down the school. There is a focus on scientific reasoning and methodology which allows for students to use skills gained in the natural sciences to support their understanding of research –  for example: the correct way to control an experiment and the logic behind this.

    To complete the year, students will complete half of the Biopsychology unit which focuses on areas which they might have encountered at GCSE. In this unit we focus on the types of neurons, nervous system structures, the endocrine system, neurotransmitters and hormones, fight or flight reaction and finally the endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zietgebers.

    We also have a co-curricular offer, a trip to London, which enriches their knowledge of forensics in order to prepare for this topic. Depending on availability, students will also be given the chance to go to the University of Kent to visit their laboratories and receive lectures about content which they are currently researching. This helps students to see if pursuing a Psychology degree or career is the best option for them.

    Students are encouraged to think synoptically in year 13 linking the optional topic areas of Relationships, Forensics and Eating Behaviours to issues and debates in Biopsychology and the Approaches Unit Students will then cover areas such as Localisation in the Brain, Hemispheric Lateralisation, Brain Plasticity (including split brain research) and ways of investigating the brain. Once finished we complete a workshop on compare and contrasting areas which are covered in the approaches topics. This area is completed at the end of the course at it allows for students to bring in all areas of the course to support their arguments in the essays about the core approaches to Psychology.

    Assessments in our Psychology curriculum are spaced out to allow students to revise thoroughly, create resources and also seek additional support in the consolidation of knowledge/understanding. Students are actively encouraged to complete essay plans for each topic to ensure they have a greater understanding of how to structure successful essays. The style of assessment will ensure assessment objectives are being addressed throughout. During the two years, students will use retrieval practice, walking talking mocks and modelling in lesson to support their revision and learning.

     

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