“The scientific study of mind and behaviour”

Psychology: Vision Statement

Psychology is the study of people’s behaviour, performance and mental operations. In its simplest form psychology is the study of people; what causes them to act how they do, what motivates them, why do they think in the way they do. Through studying the mind, we can examine the effect illness or addiction has on people, we can arrive at different conclusions as to what makes some people turn to crime or we can consider why some people have phobias. We can explore how our experiences, particularly, from an early age help to shape our sense of self and actions later on in life. Through psychology we can examine someone’s thought processes to see whether attempting to change those processes has an impact on someone’s world view.

As the field of psychology becomes increasingly relevant and pertinent in the modern world, it allows people to understand more about how the body and mind work together. This knowledge can help with decision-making and avoiding stressful situations. It can help with time management, setting and achieving goals, and living effectively. The science not only allows people to be more successful, but it can also impact their health. It helps many tackle their mental illnesses so that they can continue living their lives. Psychological studies have also aided in drug development and the ability to diagnose various diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). Increasingly, it is being used by employers as a way of finding out which personality types are most suited to roles within their companies.

Key goals of Psychology

The four key goals of psychology are:

To Describe
One of the first goals of psychology is simply to describe behaviour. Through describing the behaviour of humans and other animals, we are better able to understand it and gain a better perspective on what is considered normal and abnormal. Psychology researchers utilize a range of research methods to help describe behaviour including naturalistic observation, case studies, correlational studies, surveys, and self-report inventories.

To Explain
As you might imagine, psychologists are also interested in explaining behaviour in addition to merely describing it. Why do people do the things they do? What factors contribute to development, personality, social behaviour, and mental health problems? Throughout psychology’s history, many different theories have emerged to help explain various aspects of human behaviour. A few examples of such approaches including classical conditioning and attachment theories. Some theories focus on just a small aspect of human behaviour while others serve as all-encompassing theories designed to explain all of human psychology.

To Predict
Not surprisingly, another primary goal of psychology is to make predictions about how we think and act. Once we understand more about what happens and why it happens, we can use that information to make predictions about when, why, and how it might happen again in the future. Successfully predicting behaviour is also one of the best ways to know if we understand the underlying causes of our actions. Prediction can also allow psychologists to make guesses about human behaviour without necessarily understanding the mechanisms underlying the phenomena.

To Change
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, psychology strives to change, influence, or control behaviour to make constructive and lasting changes in people’s lives. From treating mental illness to enhancing human well-being, changing human behaviour is a huge focus of psychology. Psychologists and other social scientists ask many of the same types of questions. The big difference is that psychologists utilize the scientific method to test rigorously and systematically understand both human and animal behaviour.


Psychology is taught in a lecture theatre style room and also in rooms with computers. You will have access to a wide range of psychology books and the psychology area of the VLE will provide you with many extra resources.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

AS Level

During the first year of the course, students will study:

Memory – how memory works and the reliability of eyewitness testimony.
Social influence – understanding why we conform and obey in certain social situations
Attachment – how our early infant attachments to our parents affect our adult relationships
Psychopathology – understanding disorders such as phobias, OCD and depression
Research methods – understanding how to conduct scientific research
Approaches in psychology – understanding how different approaches to psychology can explain human behaviour.

Year 13

A Level

During the second year of the course, students will study:

Biopsychology – understanding the structure of the nervous system, brain scanning techniques and how the brain works
Issues and debates – this includes looking at how psychologists deal with ethical issues
Relationships – understanding the factors affecting attraction and online relationships
Stress – understanding the relationship between stress and illness and ways of managing stress in real life.
Addiction – understanding how addiction can be explained and who is at greatest risk in the development of addictions.

Extra curricular activities

We endeavour to provide at least one trip for each year group every year. Examples of past trips are visits to Psychology conferences, and also having guest speakers come into school including Dr Guy Sutton, an Honorary Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychiatry at Nottingham University Medical School, and a senior AQA Psychology Examiner.

Teaching staff

  • Ms L Ashton
  • Mr L Lomas
  • Miss J Wright
  • Mrs K Ellis
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