Walton High

Curriculum

Overview of Walton High’s curriculum

Psychology Department

Psychology is the study of human thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviour. The study of Psychology gives students an understanding of the major psychological approaches and their applications. Throughout, students learn about psychological research methods and ethics which they are expected to apply to their own work.

Psychology has close ties with a range of disciplines. Subjects that go well with Psychology include other Social Sciences, Biology, English, Maths and Philosophy. Students of Psychology may use their qualification to study the subject or related disciplines at a higher level. Professional psychologists work in a number of settings including education, health care, marketing and Human Resource Management.

The Team

Carlie Woodard – Subject Leader

Philippa Graham – Psychology Teacher 

Key Stage 4

Our chosen specification (Edexcel) ensures that students are given a broad range of topics within Psychology that each focus around a key question. Within each topic students learn about a range of studies, theories and research methods that they can use to help them investigate the key question and allows them to ask more in depth questions that they can further explore. Below are the seven topics that are covered over the three year course, each of which has integrated within it ‘Psychological Skills’ (a mixture of maths and research methods):

Year

Topics

9

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Criminal psychology – Why do people become criminals?
  • Social influence – How do others affect you?
10

  • Sleep and dreaming – Why do you need to sleep and dream?
  • The brain and neuropsychology – How does your brain affect you?
  • Memory – How does your memory work?
11

  • Development – How did you develop?
  • Psychological problems – How would psychological problems affect you?

The course encourages students to think critically about research carried out in Psychology as well as allowing for discussions and debates about a variety of issues that arise within each topic. Students will build on their existing communication skills to ensure that they are able to present balanced pieces of extended writing in the two examinations (there is no coursework element to the GCSE Psychology).
Year 10 students were challenged to investigate a phobia for each letter of the alphabet and then create a visual interpretation to show the irrational fear.  Here are some examples of the work that was produced:

image001  image003
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Key Stage 5

We have chosen to continue teaching the course with the same exam board as GCSE (Edexcel), which aims to give students an understanding of the major psychological approaches and their applications. Throughout, students learn about psychological research methods and ethics which they are expected to apply to their own work.  Students are not required to have studied Psychology at GCSE. 
Each of the exam papers has a mixture of content, method, studies, a key question and practical investigation.  The exams consist of structured questions of varying length that require knowledge, understanding and application of material covered.  The essays required range from 8 to 20 marks, with each exam paper lasting two hours.  Below is the outline of the examinations that are all sat at the end of year 13 (there is no coursework element):


Topic

Content

Foundations in Psychology

  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Theories of Learning


Applications in Psychology

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Child Psychology
Psychological Skills

  • A synoptic unit that focusses on the methodology and skills that psychologists use.

ALevel students will conduct practical investigations. Students will then be asked to apply this practical knowledge to novel situations in the examinations.

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