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Why Study Psychology at The Purbeck School?  

Psychology is the ‘scientific study of the mind and behaviour’, and the A Level offers an introduction to the ‘core’ areas of the discipline such as approaches and methods related to cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences and research methods.  At The Purbeck School, we take pride in our ability to challenge students in these core areas in order to help them reach their potential through engaging lessons which stimulate thought and discussion.  We promote a culture in which curiosity is paramount and a desire to explain and to know ‘why’ is encouraged.  Acceptance of information at face value is discouraged and students become increasingly confident in their ability to evaluate concepts and research. 

Students are encouraged to take their learning into the real world and apply it to events going on around them both globally and personally.  Each year the curriculum is enriched by a seminar in which students meet reformed criminals which enable them to apply their knowledge of Forensic Psychology to ‘real’ people. 

How is Psychology taught? 

Psychology is only taught at Key Stage 5.  You will be in mixed ability class and have 9 hours of time tabled contact per fortnight.

A variety of teaching methods are used such as practicals, presentations, activities and independent research.

Key notes from all lessons are provided for you.

  • KS5 – Students are taught (normally shared across two members of staff) for nine hours each fortnight. 
Rationale and ambition for The Purbeck School Psychology curriculum: 
  • Our Psychology curriculum aims to transmit an enriching knowledge of behaviour across all cultures to students by drawing from global research that reflect wider behaviours in a diverse society, developing the cultural capital of students at the school. 
  • Our Psychology curriculum aims to develop empathetic and engaged citizens through careful topic choice, reflecting contemporary concerns and debates such as those about free will and determinism, gender bias, nature versus nurture and ethical issues. 
  • Our Psychology curriculum aims to support students in developing confidence in expressing their own considered views and opinions of behaviour using all approaches. 
  • Our Psychology curriculum aims to prepare students for work and life through the development of skills such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, public speaking, leadership, analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information. 
  • Our Psychology Curriculum aims to offer suitable challenge to students of all abilities. 
Key concepts: 

The concepts that The Purbeck School Psychology curriculum aims to support student progression in are:  

  1. Understanding and demonstrating knowledge of psychological concepts and theories.  AO1
    Applying knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures:
  2. In a theoretical context,
  3. In a practical context,
  4. When handling qualitative data,
  5. When handling quantitative data,
  6. Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence including in relation to issues, to: make judgements and reach conclusions.  AO3
  7. Developing the skills required for Psychology A Level
  8. Understanding of the use of technical language, spelling, punctuation and grammatical rules.

Long Term Overview