A relatively new subject to Lawrence Sheriff, Psychology is the study of the brain and behaviour. It seeks to understand why people act the way they do, from researching the reasons behind criminal behaviour, to understanding dementia.
Psychology prepares students for a range of careers, whether that is specifically within the field of Psychology (for example, Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology or Sport Psychology) or related areas such as Management, Marketing, or even Law. Psychology teaches students to understand the wide range of factors that can influence people, while also helping them to grasp competing arguments and use evidence critically- skills that are useful in a wide range of careers.
Year 9 Psychology
Students begin Psychology as part of their Year 9 rotation. Here students are introduced to a variety of topics in Psychology, including the structure of the brain and models of memory. Students also begin to gain an appreciation of the importance of research methods in Psychology, and critically evaluating both studies and theories- skills that become essential in GCSE.
Year 10 Psychology
Year 10 students will now be covering the new 9-1 GCSE.
Exam Board: Edexcel
Assessment: Two exam papers worth 55% and 45% respectively.
Paper One is divided into five compulsory topic areas, which will be covered during the first year of the course (Year 10). These topic areas are:
- Development- how do you develop?
- Memory- how does your memory work?
- Psychological problems- how would psychological problems affect you?
- The brain and neuropsychology- how does your brain affect you?
- Social influence- how do others affect you?
Paper Two comprises of five optional topics, and students must cover two of these. The options we will cover are given below, and these will be covered during the second year of the course (Year 11).
- Criminal Psychology- why do people become criminals?
- Sleep and dreaming- why do you need to sleep and dream?
In addition to this, students must cover research methods, and this will be integrated throughout the course. The remainder of the time in Year 11 will he dedicated to issues and debates that relate to the course as a whole, revision, and exam technique.
While students do not need to complete set practicals, they must be able to describe/explain how they would test a certain idea, or set up a certain study. Therefore students will gain experience of running their own studies throughout the course, and particularly making design decisions.
Year 11 Psychology
Year 11 students are currently following the older style GCSE, so will be awarded a letter grade. Perception, dreaming, and aggression are all covered in the first year (Year 10), while phobias and criminal are covered in the second year (Year 11). Research methods are integrated throughout the course.
Exam board: Edexcel
Assessment: Two exam papers worth 40% and 60% respectively.
Paper 1: Perception and Dreaming
In this paper, students begin by looking at perception and how we see the world around us. This includes looking at both visual processing and the influence of schemas. This leads into looking at laboratory experiments as a method, as well as the issues surrounding eye witness testimony. In the second part of this module, students examine the topic of dreaming, exploring different theories, before moving on to look at case studies and the study of Little Hans. Students finish by looking at the role of Psychoanalysts and the treatment of sleep disorders.
Paper 2: Social and Biological Psychological Debates
The module is broken into three topics. The first topic area explores causes of aggression, and students examine what research studies tell us about the effects of television on aggression. They also look at the role of Educational Psychologists and discuss censorship as a more in-depth issue.
The second topic will look at phobias, and students will examine different explanations of phobias before looking at different approaches to treatment, the role of Clinical Psychologists and the cultural issues surrounding phobias. In the third and final topic, students will examine criminal behaviour looking at biological versus social causes. Students will then look at offender profiling, the role of Forensic Psychologists and finally jury decision making. General understanding of methodology and, particularly, ethics will be developed throughout these topics, and the nature-nurture debate is a common theme across all behaviours.
While students do not need to complete set practicals, they must be able to describe/explain how they would test a certain idea, or set up a certain study. Therefore students will gain experience of running their own studies throughout the course.
Please see the sixth form handbook for more information.