We provide a vibrant and stimulating environment for pupils to develop interest in the relationship between brain and behaviour, and explore the various methodologies for studying such relationship. The psychology department follows the AQA specification which covers topics such as human memory, abnormality, social influence, forensic psychology and schizophrenia. Critically, research methods and data handling techniques used by psychologists are also a core focus.
Pupils have the opportunity to attend psychology clinic and society, where tailored discussions take place and research is reviewed in pupil led seminar style sessions. Development of diagnosis and critical analysis skills are key and we ensure this subject is taught in a way that fosters such insight via applied case studies (e.g., amnesia case studies) and independent literature review tasks. Psychology book club and film workshop events are also very popular, encouraging pupils to really expand their theory to practice thinking. Some topics (e.g., Cognition and Development) are excitingly accompanied by lunchtime live research seminars where pupils get hands-on experience conducting controlled observations and experiments of behaviour.
Psychology is a multifaceted scientific subject. Not only does it lead to a variety of psychology specific degree options but studying psychology here at Caterham also serves as a valuable basis for other higher education options (e.g., neuroscience; law; nursing). Many of our pupils go on to study pure psychology and specific study options (e.g., clinical and forensic psychology) at university (including Oxbridge courses). To achieve chartered status as a psychologist, a highly standardised and regulated route of study and practice is required (http://beta.bps.org.uk/), but studying psychology at A Level can open doors to many different careers in the health sector, education and research. A Level psychology is not necessarily required to study psychology at degree level, but, it is certainly advised. Studying psychology strongly develops theory to practice thinking, ability to diagnose real-world behavioural issues and design evidence based interventions. Pupils studying A Level psychology will be equipped with a stronger awareness of how to describe, predict and evaluate human behaviour, and apply such psychological knowledge in ways that enhance human life.
Lower Sixth Psychologists entered the Royal Holloway National Psychology Competition responding to the prompt ‘How can psychology be used to promote equality and diversity?’ Teams undertook extensive research into the various explanations for inequality by considering the cognitive factors, for example, the development of gender schemas, as well as the environmental factors, for example, the arbitrary forming of ‘in-groups and ‘out-groups’ to film and edit a three-minute video to showcase to a panel of expert judges prior to the event. On the day, teams presented their scientific poster and tackled challenging questions from the judges to compete against 20 other teams for the prize. A wonderfully enriching experience for all pupils.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Psychology Book Club
Psychology Film Workshops
Theory-to-Practice Experimental Workshops
Biennial Trip to Krakow, Poland
Rachel Avery BSc MSc PhD CPsychol. Head of Psychology
Rachel studied Psychology at the University of Kent before achieving chartered status as a research psychologist in 2012. Formerly a Lecturer at the University of Surrey, Rachel’s PhD thesis explored the strategic use of memory resources during learning, which has fuelled continued research and practice in the area of applied problem solving and design of authentic assessments in education. Rachel has published research examining working memory, personality and learning, adolescent mental health, and, pupil employability. Away from the classroom Rachel is a keen horticulturist.
Latest Publication: Winstone, N. E., & Avery, R. E. (2018). Enhancing pupils’ employability through ‘Practice to theory’ learning following a Professional Training Year. In D. Morley (Ed.), Enhancing employability in higher education through work based learning. Palgrave Macmillan.
Siobhan Henry BA. Teacher of Psychology
Siobhan graduated from The University of Melbourne, Australia in 2010 with majors in Psychology and Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. Her thesis was in the field of cognitive psychology, specifically the phenomenon pseudoneglect, stemming from her interest in patients suffering from hemispatial neglect, a neuropsychological condition where individuals fail to process and attend to information from one half of their body or the environment. She then completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching from The University of Melbourne in 2011. While studying she was selected to participate in a volunteering program in New Delhi, India, which aimed to establish an education and healthcare program for young girls living in the city’s largest slum. In her spare time, Siobhan enjoys hiking, surfing and scuba-diving and hopes to achieve her divemaster certification in the near future.Back to Academic Departments