Curriculum – Psychology

Curriculum – Psychology

Psychology

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Studying psychology at Southend High School for Girls enables students to learn about a subject with real life applications to a range of social and psychological issues and  gain a deeper understanding of their own thoughts and behaviours. The curriculum aims to produce students who attain the highest of A level grades which enable them to access an increasingly competitive academic world at university either to begin a pathway into the psychological profession or another academic subject or the pathway of their choice. Throughout the A level course students will build academic and self-resilience becoming independent learners, who are unafraid of making mistakes and take risks with their learning. The course will develop academic literacy by encouraging wider reading beyond the curriculum into up-to-date research and contemporary issues.  By the end of Year 13 students will be effective writers who also have developed the oracy skills to talk with confidence and eloquence using the correct register. Students will have a sound knowledge and understanding of psychological concepts, theories, research methods and ethical issues in relation to a range of psychological topics and contexts and their everyday experiences. The study of psychology will develop students analytical and evaluative skills when dealing with theories, therapies, research methods and studies so that they can question the validity and reliability of research.  At the end of the course students will be able to effectively analyse, interpret data. Students have acquired a sound knowledge of research methods, practical skills, ethics, and mathematical skills which will facilitate their ability to design and conduct psychological research through practical activities.

What does it feel like to be a student in the Psychology Department?

Studying Psychology at Southend High School for Girls is challenging, surprising and interesting. You will be expected to be curious about human behaviour and the wider implications for society and the individual. You will be taught to analyse data and evidence and to evaluate these confidently in class discussion and on paper. You will be expected to work collaboratively and respectfully with your peers as well as independently. You will be unafraid of exploring questions which are posed by the subject and understand the importance of exploring an issue rather than reaching a definitive conclusion.

Journey

Psychology Curriculum

Year 12

At Southend High School for Girls, we teach a curriculum that is ambitious and takes students on a learning journey beyond the A level specification for Psychology. The SHSG Psychology curriculum is what we believe will expose and challenge students to engage in the wider issues within the discipline of Psychology

The Psychology curriculum is planned and delivered using the intellectual framework of the classical education model, the Trivium:

  • Grammar (Knowledge and skills) knowledge, learning by heart, subject terminology, cultural capital
  • Dialectic (Enquiry and exploration) debate, question, challenge, analyse, evaluate
  • Rhetoric (Communication) essays, speeches, performances, presentations

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 11 GCSE course

  • Level 6 mathematics Descriptive statistics GCSE maths
  • Graphical displays GCSE science
  • Level 6 English       

Adjustments from the Pandemic for years 12 if applicable?

  • Focus on literacy and essay writing in timed conditions.

The topics below are compulsory year one content, Paper 1 as specified by the A Level AQA specification for Year. They have been carefully sequenced in this order to build a student’s learning journey to achieve the aims of our Psychology intent. Methodology is taught throughout the year as it comprises 30% of the final marks and methodology and mathematical questions can be asked on all 3 papers. The final term introduces Paper 2 content in preparation for applied psychology options on Paper 3. Along the way students are assessed and topics will be revisited in assessments to keep each stage of this learning journey alive.

Term 1

Topics

  • Research Methods
  • Social Influence
  • Approaches
  • Attachment
  • Memory

Assessment

  • A series of MID and End of topic assessments for each unit. Consisting of 24 marks worth of questions including 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16 marks.

Term 2

Topics

  • Research Methods
  • Attachment
  • Memory

Assessment

  • PPE Paper (edited to included topics covered so far) Research Methods, Social Influence and Approaches  96 marks – 2 hour mock exam, including at least 1x 16 mark essay
  • A series of MID and End of topic assessments for each unit. Consisting of 24 marks worth of questions including 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16 marks.

Term 3

Topics

  • Psychopathology
  • Biopsychology

Assessment PPE

  • Paper 1 (96 marks) 2-hour mock exam
  • A series of MID and End of topic assessments for each unit. Consisting of 24 marks worth of questions including 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 16 marks.

Achieving mastery in Psychology

Students will be proficient and confident in discussing psychological research and methodology. They will be able to evaluate and critique research effectively. They will show they can show they can plan their own research effectively using what they have learnt at A Level.

Students will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding of key theories and research beyond the specification to their own experiences and apply their knowledge and understanding to novel situations.

They will be well read, and able to discuss their wider reading and will have demonstrated that they have explored areas of interest beyond the A Level.

Recommended reading in Psychology-Year 12

  • Recommended reading list
  • Broadsheet newspapers
  • New Scientist
  • Psychology Review

Useful websites, TED Talks and research for Year 12

  • Psychology Today
  • https://www.bps.org.uk/
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com

Psychology-specific language to master

  • See the A Level specification command words and terminology.

Year 13

Pre-requisite or helpful knowledge from Year 12 Psychology

All compulsory content, topics, and methodology from Year 1

Adjustments from the Pandemic for Year 13 if applicable?

  • Targeted intervention program to help develop examination skills and literacy
  • Finish incomplete Year 1 topics and assess students’ knowledge of Research Methods at the beginning of the year to address any gaps in knowledge

The topics below are compulsory the options have been chosen to reflect the knowledge expertise and interest of staff delivering those topics, relationships, schizophrenia and aggression. The other topics are non-optional.

Term 1

Topics

  • Biopsychology and Psychopathology (remaining from Yr1)
  • Issues and debates
  • Relationships
  • Aggression
  • PPE revision

Assessment

48 mark Research Methods assessment

24 mark Biopsychology and Psychopathology assessment – including 1x 16 mark essay

24 mark Issues and Debates assessment – including 1x 8 or 16 mark essay

24 mark Relationship assessment – including 1x 8 or 16 mark essay

Term 2

Topics

  • Schizophrenia
  • Relationships

Assessment

PPE Paper 1

Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology

96 marks including at least 1x 8 and 1x 16 mark essay

 

PPE Paper 2

Research Methods, Approaches and Biopsychology

96 marks including at least 1x 8 and 1x 16 mark essay

2 x 16-mark essay
2 x 8-mark essay

24 mark Aggression assessment – including 1x 8 or 16 mark essay

24 mark Schizophrenia assessment — including 1x 8 or 16 mark essay

Term 3

Topics

  • Revision for Paper 1
  • Revision for Paper 2

Assessment

Paper 3
Issues and Debates, Relationships, Schizophrenia and Aggression

96 marks full paper 2 hours over 2 lessons

including at least 1x 8 and 1x 16 mark essay

Achieving mastery in Psychology– knowing and remembering even more than what is expected in a grammar school A Level specification

Students will be highly proficient and confident in discussing psychological research and methodology. They will be able to effectively evaluate and critique research using scientific methodology and concepts. They will demonstrate that they can plan their own research using a range of methods and data analysis techniques, including inferential statistics.

Students will be able to apply their knowledge and understanding of key theories and research beyond the specification to novel situations with aplomb.

They will be well read, and able to discuss their wider reading. They will have explored areas of interest beyond that which is outlined in the curriculum and know how to find information which is reliable and trustworthy when conducting research.

They will be able to think about complex ideas and hypotheses in interesting ways, showing that they are flexible in their thinking.

Recommended reading by topic in Psychology Year 13

Social psychology

Social psychology is the study of behaviours such as conformity, obedience to authority and minority influence.  how human behaviour is affected by social interaction.

  • Perry, G.  (2018) The Lost Boys: inside Muzafer Sherif’s Robber’s Cave experiment
  • Zimbardo, P (2007) The Lucifer effect Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
  • Journal article Replicating Milgram: Researcher Finds Most Will Administer Shocks to Others When Prodded by ‘Authority Figure’ Burger https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-64-1-1.pdf

Cognitive psychology

  • Cognitive psychology studies through processes such as memory, attention and perception. One of the topics on paper one is memory.
  • Gladwell, M (2006) Blink: The Power of the Mind without Thinking
  • Damasio, A, (1999) The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness
  • Journal article- The Legacy of Patient H.M. for Neuroscience (nih.gov)

Biological psychology

This section includes books on animal behaviour and psychology as well as biological influences on behaviour such as genes and the brain

  • Pepperberg, I (2009) , M. Alex and Me
  • Raine, A. (1996) The anatomy of violence The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime.
  • R (1994) The Moral Animal.

Neuroscience and the brain

This section includes books and about how the brain affects behaviour and the science of the brain.

  • Ramachandran , V.S and Blakeslee, V. Phantoms in the Brain: Human Nature and the Architecture of the Mind.
  • Sachs, O (1985) The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
  • Sachs, O (1995) An Anthropologist on Mars
  • Blakemore, S, J. (1993) Dying to Live: Near Death Experience
  • Ropper, A.H & Burrell, B. D. (2016) Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole.

Psychopathology

This section includes books on OCD, Schizophrenia and other mental disorders which are studied by psychologists.

  • Adam, D. The Man who Couldn’t stop
  • Grandin, T. (2014) Animals in Translation; The Woman who Thinks like a Cow.
  • Laing, R, D. (1960) The Divided Self

Attachment and child development

  • Perry, B (2007) The Boy who was Raised as a Dog
  • Gerhardt, S. (2003) Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Babies Brain

Issues and debates in psychology

14 books Psychology Students should be reading:

https://oxfordsummercourses.com/articles/books-for-psychology-students/

Useful websites, TED Talks and research Psychology Year 13

  • Psychology Today
  • https://www.bps.org.uk/
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com

Psychology language to master in Year 13

  • See the A Level specification command words and terminology