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Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, Holte School offers GCSE Psychology to year 9-11 pupils. Psychology is a popular subject which is attractive to pupils because it develops a range of valuable skills, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. These skills are particularly relevant to young people and are transferable to further study and the workplace.

 This qualification:

  • Provides a sound understanding of methods and approaches in Psychology at an introductory level
  • Illustrates these methods and approaches through various topic areas representing the core areas of social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences
  • Develops investigation and report writing skills
  • Develops analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Encourages an appreciation of how science works
  • Provides a strong basis for progression to our A-level Psychology specifications

AQA Psychology GCSE

This qualification will allow students to achieve level 9-1, with 9 being the best grade.

Pupils will complete two written exams (1hour 45mins) at the end of Yr11:

Unit 1: Cognition & Behaviour

Unit 2: Social Context & Behaviour  

Each paper will be worth 50% of the overall grade. (100% exam)


Key stage 5

AQA Psychology A Level

The new AQA specification is currently being delivered to our A- Level pupils. It is a two year course and pupils will undertake 3 exams at the end of the second year. This qualification will allow pupils to achieve a grade A*- E.

The new AQA A-level qualification offers an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Pupils will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. The emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding, thereby developing pupils' transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking. At A Level there is a range of topic based options which bring together explanations from different approaches and engage students in issues and debates in contemporary Psychology.

Pupils will complete:

  1. Social influence
  2. Memory
  3. Attachment
  4. Psychopathology
  5. Approaches in Psychology
  6. Biopsychology
  7. Research methods
  8. Issues and debates in Psychology
  9. Relationships
  10. Schizophrenia
  11. Aggression

Assessment (100% exam)

 Pupils will complete three papers at the end of year 2.

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology (Content 1-4), 2 hours (33.3%)

Paper 2: Psychology in context (Content 5-7), 2 hours (33.3%)

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology (Content 8-11), 2 hours (33.3%)


Each lesson pupils will receive homework that is designed to extend and consolidate their knowledge in relation to the unit that they are studying at the time. This will vary and will include researching studies relevant to the course, applying their knowledge to real life situations and practicing revision skills in order to prepare for the main assessments. 

Resources that will help pupils extend their knowledge – Additional reading, websites, activities

 Bailey, J, Willerton, J, Willson, J, Lund, N and Green, S (2008) Psychology A A2, Student Book, (Series Editor: Simon Green) ISBN 978-0-7487-9825-4

Gross, R (2005) Psychology of Mind, Science and Behaviour (5th edition) London:

Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-90098-9.

Simply Psychology – Sam McLeod’s A-Level Psychology Website


Tutor2u – Videos to support student learning




Extra-curricular links

Various trips to university lectures and related days out are available to support the content within the Psychology course.

Cross-curricular links

As psychology is a science it enhances student’s skills in subjects such as Biology, Mathematics and English.


Miss B Hussain

Mr R Soteriou

Miss C Sutcliffe

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