Thurston Community College

Psychology Curriculum

Intent of Psychology 

The mission of the Psychology within the Social Sciences Department is in preparation of students for their GCSE and A level.  To engage all students in a scientific journey as a psychologist, in order to acquire knowledge regarding the brain and human behaviour through the delivery of a challenging yet engaging relevant curriculum which is designed to contribute to the development of each student as a whole individual, with a keen awareness of human behaviour and its implications for society.

Opportunities will be given in KS4 and KS5 to explore career links with the subject matter. Students will understand the role of Psychology in the world of work and how they can apply their understanding to roles in the wider community beyond the classroom. 

Intent

In Year 10 students will study four key areas of Psychology; Cognitive, Criminal, Developmental and Social Influences as well as beginning to understand the scientific research methods used in Psychology. Through regular retrieval practice a core knowledge will be embedded and used to meet all three assessment objectives using regular GCSE exam practice. The Cognitive topic will inspire students to begin to understand their own minds and individual differences through scientific investigation. The Criminal topic will build on the range of psychological knowledge and allow students to be introduced to the idea that psychological knowledge has real world implications and applications which can benefit the individual and wider society. The students experience of the number of different research methods will be widened.  The Social Influence topic will be understood in the context of the first two topics and students will be encouraged to make links between how groups influence the individual and how this in turn can be applied to social and cultural issues in society. The Developmental topic will broaden the range of concepts previously introduced in how does your memory work, leading to a wider understanding of how an individual’s cognitive; moral and social development is influenced.  Students will gain confidence in psychological skills throughout via low stakes; formative testing. Students will respond to feedback and use this to become confident in the expectations for success at GCSE.

In Year 11 Students will continue their studies, exploring another three disciplines within psychology; Neuropsychology, Mental Health Issues, Sleep and Dreaming. The Neuroscience topic will inspire students to begin to understand their own brains; and individual differences through scientific investigation. The understanding of the final two topics will be underpinned by a detailed knowledge of how the brain works and by their knowledge from the previous topics. With a broader understanding of psychology students will approach synoptic evaluation questions, showing a secure knowledge of many areas of psychology. Students will deepen their knowledge of research methods by understanding how these have developed alongside technology over time, and during the Mental Health topic revisit the need for psychological research to be ethical, socially and culturally sensitive.  Students will build on their GCSE maths knowledge and skills to explore how/why psychologists interpret data. In the summer term students will build on, consolidate and secure the knowledge learned and skills developed in Years 10 in order to ensure that all pupils are adequately prepared for their Psychology GCSE examination.

The Mental Health topic will build on the range of psychological understanding and allow students to deepen their understanding that psychological knowledge has real world implications and applications which can benefit the individual and wider society. The Sleep and Dreaming  topic will broaden the range of concepts introduced in how your brain works leading to a wider understanding of how an individual’s cognitive, moral and social development is influenced.  The Sleep and Dreaming topic, will be understood in the context of the relative scientific merits of the research methods introduced in previous topics and students will be encouraged to make links between how biological influences the individual and how this in turn can be applied to social and cultural issues in society. Students will gain confidence in psychological skills throughout the course via regular low stakes (every lesson) and less regularly (termly) via higher stakes formative testing. Students will respond to feedback and use this to become confident in the expectations for success at GCSE.

At A level there is an opportunity to deepen and broaden the range of behaviours and key themes which have been introduced at GCSE or to begin the study of the subject at 16 using the language, scientific  and analytical skills gained from other subjects at GCSE.

Threads of powerful knowledge in Psychology

Psychology  involves a set of general themes that provide the basis for:

  1. Understanding of  how the brain impacts on human behaviour
  2. Understanding of how nurture influences human behaviour 
  3. Understanding that the brain and mind can be studied separately
  4. Understanding that psychologists use features of science to gather evidence for theories
  5. Understanding there are ethical implications for research in Psychology and its usefulness to society.

 Cultural reading and enrichment in Psychology

  • KS4 Key studies booklet produced by exam board 
  • KS5 Psychology review / BPS Research digest  https://digest.bps.org.uk/
  • KS5 students have access to a subject library located outside the classroom.

Links to further information