Psychology

Nottingham High School

Psychology is the study of the minds and mental processes, especially in relation to behaviour.

It will engender an awareness of the variety and complexity of the human mind, human behaviour and human relationships. It promotes understanding of self, other people, moral behaviour and thought, as well as cultural differences/similarities.

Psychology is only available in the Sixth Form and therefore represents a fresh start in new academic disciplines. The course is currently taught by one teacher who displays an informal and interactive approach to teaching. We encourage independent learning by inviting students to read outside the curriculum and to recognise current social affairs and issues which may bring life and discussion to the subject.

In Psychology, students are expected to think for themselves, be creative, controversial and challenge scientific ideas in an attempt to better explain human behaviour.

In the first year, students will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of Psychology, including social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences. In the second year, there is a range of topic-based options which bring together explanations from different psychological approaches and engage you in issues and debates in Psychology.

They will develop an understanding of how to use theories and evidence from many areas of Psychology and of how to apply them to the issues we cover. We look in depth at gender, schizophrenia and aggression, as well as looking at the application of scientific method in Psychology, the design of psychological investigations and how to use data analysis.

The Department houses one classroom with an interactive whiteboard and speakers, and we have an area in the school library whereby a number of additional resources are held to encourage wider reading. We also subscribe to numerous journals and store copies of these in the sixth form centre and in the review archive online.

The study of Psychology can contribute to a students’ understanding of spiritual, moral, ethical, social and other issues.

Psychology is increasing in popularity at Nottingham High School, and all students currently studying the course enjoy learning a new subject, with some students now wanting to pursue their interest at university and beyond.

The department occasionally organises outside speakers and presently has links with Nottingham University whereby students have the opportunity to volunteer to be part of current research. We also run a Psychology Society led by some of our Year 12 students. The society aims to encourage awareness of the subject amongst younger pupils by encouraging them to take part in experiments to find out more information about human behaviour.

The department also organises trips to nationwide Psychology conferences that feature senior examiners in order to aid students’ understanding of the A-level course and to provide students with an insight into other areas of Psychology that may be of interest beyond school. For the past three years for example we have attended the Science and Pseudoscience Conference which has allowed students to experience the world of hypnosis, and the Psychology of Dance and Magic.