Psychology is taught only at A level at Owen’s, reflecting the academic and rigorous nature of the subject. Psychology is often defined as ‘the science of mind and behaviour’, that is, the scientific study of how people (and sometimes animals) behave, and how their minds work. The subject matter of psychology is extremely wide ranging and the A level course covers topics as diverse as the relationship between biological processes and psychological functions, the workings of mental processes and how people interact.
Psychology lessons are interactive and all students contribute to discussion and debate. Most lessons take place in classrooms with interactive whiteboards and laptops are available for student use. There is also an interactive subject area on the school’s VLE.
We follow the AQA examination board’s Psychology specification A course. At AS the topics are;
- Research Methods
- The Development of Attachments
- Social Influence
- Stress and Stress Management
These two units are examined in May of year 1.
At A2 the topics include;
3 topics from the following;
- Biological rhythms and sleep.
- Intelligence and Learning
- Cognition and Development
- Psychology in action – the psychology of addictive behaviour.
- Psychological Research and the Scientific Method
Students studying psychology will develop a range of transferable skills. Three types of advanced thinking are needed to learn psychology.
Critical thinking, looking for strengths and weaknesses, particularly in studies and theories.
Creative thinking, designing studies and coming up with your own explanations for psychological phenomena.
Practical thinking, applying psychological ideas to explain real-life phenomena.
Even if students never study psychology again they will benefit from advanced thinking and will probably never accept a ‘fact’ at face value again.
The psychology department is well resourced with journals and a large selection of texts for extended reading tasks. We also have annual ‘Neuroscience’ tutorials for all Year 12 and Year 13 psychology students with Dr Guy Sutton from Nottingham Medical School.
Ms K Smith (Head of Psychology)
Further information for current parents and students can be found on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). Log-in via the link above, click on Departments, then Psychology. Parents are reminded that they share log-in and password details with their child.
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