Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, brain and behaviour. Students who are naturally curious about their own and other people’s behaviour will find psychology fascinating. Through studying the wide diversity of human behaviour students will understand the need for tolerance and sensitivity in dealing with others, which ultimately will improve communication skills. Although students will not have studied psychology previously they will be able to relate to the topics we examine. For instance, we examine explanations for conformity and the influence a group can have on an individual’s behaviour.
Psychology is taught in a dedicated classroom within the Sixth Form and it delivered by two highly experienced and enthusiastic teachers. One teacher has been an examiner for the AQA board, which is the examination board we follow.
Psychology lessons are interactive and thought-provoking as the research we examine often stimulates discussions and debates. For example, students will question whether we should obey an authority figure without questioning their motives. Real world examples of obedience such as the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam will be used. Where possible experiments are re-enacted within the classroom to ensure a better understanding of the methodology used and to enable students to critically evaluate the research. At A level students will examine Forensic psychology and in particular offender profiling. The students will be given an opportunity to act as profiler by examining the details of a case.
Students will also explore the behavioural approach and in particular Operant and Classical conditioning. They will be given the opportunity to listen to a consultant Behavioural Analyst who lectures at Bangor University. She will discuss the behaviourist principles and how she utilises them with young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Each year several of our students go on to study Psychology, Criminology and Social Sciences. We fully support the students in their university applicants from the selection process to the writing of their personal statements.