Psychology Curriculum Overview
Here at Southmoor Academy, we aim to securely equip all of our students for life beyond school as successful, confident, responsible and respectful citizens. We believe that education provides the key to social mobility and our curriculum is designed to build strong foundations in the knowledge, understanding and skills which lead to academic and personal success. We want our students to enjoy the challenges that learning offers.
Our aims are underpinned by a culture of high aspirations. Through developing positive relationships, we work towards every individual having a strong belief in their own abilities so that they work hard, build resilience and achieve their very best.
The curriculum includes formal teaching, in-class group/team activities, independent work, paired work, research projects and home learning opportunities. We regularly review content to ensure we continue to meet our curriculum aims. The Psychology curriculum allows student to develop an understanding of the discipline of Psychology and its wider application to the society in which they live. It helps them to develop critical thinking skills, oracy skills through discussion and debate as well as higher order thinking abilities such as evaluation and analysis.
Throughout the course, students study various psychological ideas, processes, techniques and procedures within various topics. The GCSE in Psychology follows a clear and straightforward structure. It contains exciting subject content, helping students explain everyday social phenomena. There is a balance of classic and modern psychological theory and research, emphasis on ‘doing psychology’, and a focus on mental health. The curriculum and Psychology course has been developed with cooperation and strong links with employers and Higher Education to provide learners with a qualification that’s relevant to them and meets their needs. The curriculum should be enjoyable to students and it should bring the subject to life and inspire students to achieve more. The aim is to encourage students to become responsible for their own learning, confident in discussing ideas, innovative and engaged.
Over the course of the curriculum students will develop an ability and confidence to use specialist vocabulary, psychological concepts, terminology and conventions to engage in the process of psychological enquiry. They will acquire knowledge and understanding of psychology, developing an understanding of self and others, and how psychological understanding can help to explain everyday social phenomena. They will understand how psychological research is conducted, including the role of scientific method and data analysis and be able to present information, develop arguments and draw conclusions through a critical approach to psychological evidence, developing as reflective thinkers. Students will develop an understanding of the relationship between psychology and personal, moral, social and cultural issues, and develop an understanding of ethical issues in psychology. Finally they will develop an understanding of psychological issues, the contribution of psychology to individual, social and cultural diversity, and how psychology contributes to society.
Throughout our programmes of study, every attempt is made to make explicit links to careers and the world of work. In addition to subject specific links, we aim to explicitly reinforce the skills and aptitudes which support employers say are important in the workplace;
- Resilience (Aiming High Staying Positive Learning from Mistakes)
- Collaboration (Teamwork Leadership Communication)
- Creativity (Originality, Problem Solving, Independent Study)
The British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught explicitly within the Psychology curriculum and reinforced in the way in which the school operates.
Sequence and structure
Our curriculum is split over Key Stage 4 (years 9, 10 and 11).
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
KS4 Areas of Study Year 9 Criminal Psychology- taught in Year 9
Social Influence- taught in Year 9
Memory- taught in Year 9
Research Methods- taught across the 3 years
Year 10 Psychological Problems- taught in Year 10
Development- taught in Year 10
Sleep and Dreaming- taught in Year 10
Research Methods- taught across the 3 years
Year 11 Year 11 is spent applying the knowledge acquired over the 2 years, revision, and examination practice.
We know that students who read well achieve well. As such all subject areas are committed to providing regular opportunities to read extensively ad enrich learning.
How does our Curriculum cater for students with SEND?
Southmoor Academy is an inclusive academy where every child is valued and respected. We are committed to the inclusion, progress and independence of all our students, including those with SEN. We work to support our students to make progress in their learning, their emotional and social development and their independence. We actively work to support the learning and needs of all members of our community.
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age. (CoP 2015, p16)
Teachers are responsible for the progress of ALL students in their class and high-quality teaching is carefully planned; this is the first step in supporting students who may have SEND. All students are challenged to do their very best and all students at the Academy are expected to make at least good progress.
In Psychology, SEND support is provided by class teachers through differentiated teaching methods. Additional support is provided by the SENDCO and trained teaching assistants. We also have resourced provision for those students with HI.
How does our curriculum cater for disadvantaged students and those from minority groups?
As a school serving an area with high levels of deprivation, we work tirelessly to raise the attainment for all students and to close any gaps that exist due to social contexts. The deliberate allocation of funding and resources has ensured that attainment gaps are closing in our drive to ensure that all pupils are equally successful when they leave the Academy.
In Psychology, each member of staff holds a teaching handbook that identifies disadvantaged pupils. Pupils are placed in the classrooms with careful consideration so that they receive high quality focus and support from staff and peers.
How do we make sure that our curriculum is implemented effectively?
Staff have regular access to professional development/training to ensure that curriculum requirements are met.
Curriculum resources are selected carefully and reviewed regularly.
How do we make sure our curriculum is having the desired impact?
- Lesson observations
- Learning walks
- Regular feedback from Teaching Staff during department meetings
- Regular feedback from Middle Leaders during curriculum meetings
- Pupil surveys
- Parental feedback