Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour and, as such, is concerned with how, when and why we think, feel and behave as we do. Psychology uses the methods of the sciences to make sense of human behaviour. Most people are interested in other people and would like to understand them better, as well as reaching a better understanding of themselves. Studying Psychology will enable students to investigate topics such as aggression, abnormality and dreams; psychology seeks answers to questions such as: What is the influence of childhood experience?

Key Staff

Mrs R Hume - Head of Department
Miss H Butler - Social Science Teacher
Mr G Croxon - Social Science Teacher

Curriculum Intent

Our students have the opportunity to understand the enormous range of human behaviour and its impact (good and bad). We teach Psychology to help learners develop insight into their behaviour as well as that of others.

Key Stage 4


Psychology uses the methods of the sciences to make sense of human behaviour. Studying Psychology will enable learners to investigate topics such as aggression, abnormality and dreams; psychology seeks answers to questions such as: how do childhood experiences influence us? Are the brains of killers different?

Unit One: Studies and Applications in Psychology:
This unit examines psychological research from the 5 main approaches in psychology and aims to answer questions such as:

  • How does our biology influence our gendered behaviour? Study of castrated twin boy raised as a girl
  • How does our memory work? Study of the memory of TV adverts

Unit Two: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2:
As with unit one different areas of psychology are applied to questions such as:

  • Why do people commit a crime? Study of criminal genes
  • How does perception operate? Study of depth perception

GCSE Psychology can lead to the study of any Social Science subjects in the Sixth Form - A-Level Psychology, A-Level Sociology, BTEC Health Care Studies and Diploma in Criminology. It is also an incredibly versatile subject and is beneficial for any career where you need to work with and influence people. Particularly good examples would be; advertising, marketing, human resources and management.

Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 10

Year 11

Key Stage 5

A-Level: OCR

The first year of the course examines the approaches in psychology and some classical psychology experiments as well as contemporary research. The second year of the course builds on this and examines the contribution psychology has made to understanding a range of issues including issues such as crime, our relationship to the environment and mental health issues.

What will the lessons be like? You will be involved in many different activities such as being asked to give your thoughts on the issues through discussions. In addition, to reading and note taking there will be opportunities to watch documentaries, work in groups and research different aspects of a topic that interests you.

The course will give you a greater understanding of human behaviour and a wide range of transferable skills including data collection, analysis and written and oral communication. Therefore, these skills and knowledge of psychology are relevant to any career involving contact with other people and particularly relevant to such careers in teaching, medicine, personnel management and social work, as well as, customer relations, the police, journalism, advertising, and the law. An A-Level in Psychology can help you to get into work but is also recognised as a sound preparation for University.

Summary Curriculum Plan

Year 12

Year 13


It is our intent that pupils with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) follow the same curriculum, learn alongside their peers and achieve similar outcomes.

In addition, they may benefit from additional opportunities in the lessons and in the co-curricular activities that are arranged especially for them.

SEND Implementation and Impact

Pupil Premium Intent


Reading Aims:
  • To ensure students are equipped to understand command words in questions.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent reading strategies to aid subject comprehension, exam technique and accessing the subject beyond the curriculum.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent reading strategies when applying source material (Sociology / Criminology / Health and Social Care).
  • To support students in understanding complex vocabulary that they encounter in their reading.
  • To encourage students to read for pleasure outside of the lessons (reading lists and classroom displays).
  • To encourage students to engage with topical subject related subject material.
Writing Aims:
  • To ensure students are equipped with strategies to construct their answers to meet the demands of the exam but also show flair and creativity.
  • To ensure students are equipped with a range of independent strategies to enable them to plan their answers carefully.
  • To equip students with strategies to reflect on their writing.
  • To enable students to manage the demands of writing in timed conditions.

Select for Literacy Strategies


The Social Sciences department undertakes a wide range of co-curricular activities, these include;

  • “Brain Day” and other Psychology conferences
  • “Behind Bars” conferences on the experiences of people in prison
  • Criminology conference with Prof. David Wilson
  • Zoo trip and Phobias workshop
  • Talks by guest speakers including Dr James Tapp from Broadmoor Hospital.
Brain Day2Brain Day
Psychology poster2

Royal Holloway Poster Competition


Phobias Workshop


Independent Study

Key Stage 4

Select to view current revision material.

Key Stage 5

Select to view current reading lists.


For further information regarding our Social Sciences Curriculum please contact:
Mrs Hume