Psychology Key Stage 5
In A level Psychology, we want all students to engage in scientific debate, choosing topics that appeal to the diversity of our students – including the psychology of gender. We want our students to actively challenge research, theories and real-life applications of psychology to create their own views. We want students to make links with what we study and how this can benefit the lives of ourselves and others. Our students will develop skills of independent learning through flipped homework tasks, research activities and wider reading materials. We want our students to develop a scientific understanding of data analysis and the practical skills of psychological investigation. Our students will also advance their skills in academic writing and organisation to enable them to thrive in the far-reaching range of higher education and progression opportunities open to them.
Psychology A Level enables students to cover a wide range of psychological approaches to understanding behaviour. We analyse and evaluate theories and research studies. We consider the effectiveness and appropriateness of treatments for a selection of psychological disorders. We develop expertise in conducting psychological research and applying mathematics to scientific data.
Sequencing, Setting and Support
We start with an introduction to research methods as these form the backbone of the entire course. Students then cover year 1 AS content with the option of taking an internal AS exam at the end of year 12. Year 12 then explores a variety of topics – Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Approaches, Psychopathology and Biopsychology to introduce them to all the major approaches to explaining behaviour. In Year 13, this broader understanding is applied to the more in-depth study of Gender, Aggression and Schizophrenia. This culminates in the ‘Issues and Debates’ topic, where students consider major philosophical debates linking to all of their previous topics. Research methods are taught weekly throughout the two-year course as this forms 25% of the grade. We have a programme of ‘hour for an hour’ assessed tasks in year 13 to revisit and upskill students to answer more difficult A level questions on year 12 content alongside improving and revising their knowledge of these topics.
Students are taught in mixed ability classes. All lessons provide scaffolding, support and challenge to cater for a wide range of abilities.
We work closely with SEND and EAL support staff to adapt teaching to meet the needs of individual students and remove barriers to learning. Students can use personal laptops and modified resources as appropriate.
Alive Themes in Psychology
In Psychology, we focus on the Alive value of ‘We value justice and respect’ as our curriculum delves into key debates around fair treatment of others, social injustice, challenging inequality, research ethics, the legal system, biases in research and discrimination in applying research to the real world.
Assessment in Psychology
Students have regular opportunities for informal assessments through a variety of essays and exam questions. Formal internal assessments are conducted twice each year. Final external exams are at the end of year 13. There is no coursework.
Homework and how Parents/Carers Support Learning
All homework is set on Edulink which is an app and website available to students and parents/carers. Further information and a video about how to find homework on Edulink is available on our Homework page.
These are the principles which underpin our homework.
All homework tasks in Psychology align with the whole school homework strategy. Each topic begins with flipped learning to develop knowledge, note-taking and research skills. Students then apply their learning to assessed exam questions. Each topic end with improvements to marked work and guided revision for end of topic tests and/or formal assessments.
All homework is set fortnightly per teacher on Edulink. Students have two weeks to complete each task. This is plenty of time to seek help if they are stuck and to work together with others if required. Students will have a timetabled homework deadline day for each teacher. It is expected that students start homework tasks as soon as they are set to allow time to ask for support if needed. All students are expected to bring completed work at the expected standard on deadline day.
Parents can support the completion of homework by being aware of deadline days and using Edulink to see what has been set. Many parents find the psychology homework interesting!
Useful Psychology Resources
Psychology Year 1 and Year 2 handbooks (students have a paper copy, and they are also on Moodle).