Psychology is the fascinating science of the human mind and behaviour and draws upon a number of disciplines and approaches to explore why people think and behave the way they do. Based on the same scientific principles as the physical sciences, this subject offers many opportunities to understand and apply principles of good research design.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with a sound understanding of the psychological approaches and research methods that underpin Psychology in a way that covers the content for the examination but also relates to real-life applications and encourages critical thinking. The aim is to provide a rigorous, challenging, relevant and enjoyable course which will develop knowledge, skills and critical thinking as well as providing an effective skills bridge to Higher Education and signposting career next steps for the students.
Within the courses, options are chosen to provide the widest range of synoptic links both within each separate course, but also to provide some opportunities to crossover between them – for example, relationships and abnormality are chosen options for both A-Level and IB which allows teachers to cross-pollinate ideas, resources and studies from the two courses as well as managing teacher workload.
Psychology courses start by creating a ‘toolkit’ of the relevant approaches, their key concepts, ideas and applications to real life as well as a thorough grounding in research methodology. These concepts are then applied throughout the course through the content modules and options, finally culminating at A-Level with an ‘issues and debates’ module bringing all the big ideas together, and in IB with being able to apply these skills to wide-ranging examination questions.
Students studying psychology will be equipped to answer all examination questions to the best of their ability at the end of a two-year course which will provide them with a good understanding of the key issues and concepts as well as valuable learning skills such as note-taking, time management, and higher-order application and critical thinking. They will enjoy studying a challenging and interesting subject with relevance to their own lives and some may feel this is the right next step for them at University or that the course provides useful support for a pathway into a career or further training.