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Uxbridge High School

WHAT?

Wilhelm WundtThe aim to understand the most ‘complexed machinery’ on earth dates back to the Plato era, a Greek philosopher (c. 428 – 348 BC) who explored topic such as pleasure, pain, knowledge, motivation and mental illnesses. However, it was not till the late 1800s that such abstract concepts were of scientific interest, courtesy of Wilhelm Wundt, the founding father of experimental Psychology. Wundt, who had opened the first research laboratory in 1878 (Leipzig, Germany), revolutionised our understanding of how the mind, brain and behaviour are connected.

 

At Uxbridge High School (UHS), A-level Psychology has proven to be one of the most popular subjects in 2018, where approximately 25 students have enrolled into the course this academic year. Its popularity is further justified by the fact that 89% of year 12 students have successfully progressed onto their second year of the course by achieving a grade A – C in their summer mock exams.

WHO & WHERE?

Psychology currently nests within the humanities department in the Old Building. However, ironic to its name, Psychology lessons take place in one the building’s most spacious rooms, equipped with the latest teaching facilities and modern technology, such as interactive whiteboards. The subject is taught by two full-time Psychology teachers who adjacently, delve into various topics from the AQA specification.

HOW?

GCSE Psychology (KS4):

Assessment: 100% exam-based

Exam Board: AQA

GCSE psychology is a new addition to the key-stage 4 curriculum this year. By engaging in topics like memory, social influence & developments, year 10 students quickly master an explanation for behaviour and how it is investigated. For example, when focusing on the development topic, students will learn about the importance of forming childhood attachments and the impact it has during adulthood. Wilhelm Wundt 1832 - 1920 Students will sit two exam papers at the end of year 11, which would evenly cover 4 topics each.

 

A-Level Psychology (KS5):

Assessment: 100% exam-based

Exam Board: AQA

Emphasising on the scientific nature of Psychology, at A-level, students rapidly grasp the vital skill of critical analysis, which they apply when examining theories, investigations, explanations and research procedures. This is because the course requires pupils to apply the concepts of what makes psychology a science (objectivity, systematic & replicability) when learning about various mind-stimulating topics, such as, psychopathology, aggression and schizophrenia*.

In addition to this, students further revise and amalgamate their prior knowledge of mathematics and literature when studying psychology. For example, in year 13, it is compulsory for students to calculate and report statistical findings from several research scenarios. As per literature, it is a constant demand that students formulate well-structured writing pieces, which is heavily engraved within UHS’ teaching and learning policy.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR

Although psychology is a popular subject, we need to ensure that all pupils can access the lesson content and process at a similar cognitive level. Therefore, at UHS we employ a range of effective teaching strategies, such as Bloom’s taxonomy derived questions, which refine, stretches and challenges pupils’ metacognition abilities. In addition to this, there is a Psychology club on Mondays (week A) and Wednesdays (week B) after school for revision purposes.

Furthermore, a visit to the Freud museum (London) is arranged to enhance pupils’ understanding of the psychodynamic approach.

FURTHER STUDIES & CAREER OPTIONS

Studying psychology at GCSE and A-level does not only raise the likelihood of getting into one of the top Russell Group universities, but it also increases the number of career options open to you after graduation. Such career choices range from becoming a charted psychologist to working in human resources.