Psychology is the study of the human brain, the human mind and behaviour.
Psychologists study human behaviour by observing, measuring and testing, in order to arrive at conclusions that are rooted in sound scientific methodology.
Psychology is a science
ETHOS AND AIMS
As the scientific study of human behaviour, Psychology is connected to every aspect of life.
The complex nature of the human person makes psychological experimentation particularly challenging and our students will be encouraged to engage in depth with questions of ethics and methodology, applying the scientific method and adopting measures of statistical analysis.
All students of Psychology at Hurtwood become critical thinkers, who are able to apply what is learnt in the classroom to maximum effect both academically and practically. The skills acquired in A Level Psychology benefit students throughout their lives and many of our students go on to study Psychology at university.
At Hurtwood we follow the AQA(A) Specification.
In the A1 year students study a range of topics that include Attachment, Memory, Social Psychology and consider mental illnesses such as OCD, depression and phobias through the spectrum of the biological approach. Wherever possible students are given the opportunity to replicate or to develop and refine their own research projects and to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses.
These skills are developed further in the A2 year when they are applied to research into Forensic Psychology, Gender and Eating Behaviour. Key skills contributing to success in A Level Psychology include data analysis and interpretation, critical thinking and the application of scientific methodology and mathematical analysis to human behavioural research.
How we teach psychology
The nature of Psychology means that every day it is possible to link a news-item to an aspect of the subject, keeping the subject topical and relevant to daily life.
We also take students to an annual conference in Central London, which gives them the opportunity to meet major figures in Psychology. In recent years they have participated in discussions with Philip Zimbardo, David Buss and Elizabeth Loftus, exposing them to key areas of psychological research that lie beyond the A Level curriculum.
A select group of students participate each year in a mock trial with the Bar Counsel, to enable young lawyers to develop skills in interviewing young and vulnerable witnesses. We invite a number of guest speakers throughout the year to give lectures; in 2015, we had the pleasure of receiving the President of the British Psychological Society, Professor Kinderman, who gave an enlightening talk on ethics in psychology. In 2016, we had forensic psychologists and real life offenders visit Hurtwood to speak to the students about their experiences in prison.
A STUDENT VIEW
Everyone’s so interesting and so driven, which I really like.