Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and human 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. No prior knowledge of psychology is required for the IB course, as the necessary skills will be developed during the course.

Psychology is taught in a dedicated classroom within the Sixth Form and it delivered by two highly experienced and enthusiastic teachers. Both teachers have attended workshops in order to assist them in the delivery of the course.

The IB course is unique as it explores cross-cultural research which leads to the students gaining a better understanding of behaviour within and outside of their own culture. Their studies will lead to an appreciation that attitudes and beliefs vary significantly across societies which can only lead to more open-minded nature in the learner.  Students are encouraged to be independent learners and this is reflected in an element of the course where they are asked to plan, conduct and write up a simple experimental study on a topic of their choosing. Students will be fully supported when preparing their experiment and the report writing process.

Psychology lessons are interactive and thought-provoking as the research we examine has real-life applications. For example, we will examine the causes of discrimination and strategies which can be used to eliminate it. 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. For example, students will examine the influence of stereotypes on their behaviour.

Students are given the opportunity to attend Psychology Society where they can explore topics which are not in the specification. In previous sessions, we have examined Asperger’s syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the reliability of memory.

Each year several of our students go on to study Psychology, Criminology and Social Science. Some students choose to complete their extended essay in psychology and these students will be supervised by a member of the department. For those considering a degree in psychology the process of choosing a topic, researching and writing the essay can only stand them in good stead when they come to write their dissertation.

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