Psychology Key Stage 4

Psychology recovery statement 

During the lockdown, Year 10 (now Year 11) students were able to continue their GCSE course through a combination of booklet work and live remote lessons. Attendance was very good and almost 50% of the third and final topic of the paper 1 content was taught and tested using a variety of online assessment techniques. Students were able to develop their knowledge during the live lessons and practise their skills in the home learning tasks which included a variety of exam questions. Year 9 students who picked GCSE Psychology as their option enjoyed a booster course which served as an introduction to the key requirements of the course.  Students focused on key concepts, examined a psychological theory and applied the findings to real life situations. 

What are the gaps? 

Year 11

Knowledge: The GCSE course was paused at the midpoint of their year 10 and coincidentally the midpoint of the year 10 content. Students had not completed the development topic in its entirety. Many had also lost touch with the required research methods which underpin all psychological theories. 

Skills: Students had a limited opportunity to develop their Psychology skill set, relying upon online assessment techniques which lacked depth. Students’ high order thinking skills need to be reestablished in order to access the more abstract and hypothetical theories in the Year 11 content. Finally, students lacked opportunities to practice key skills such as explanation and evaluation of key theories and experiments.

How will they be addressed?

On returning to school, students have been given an opportunity to develop, with the aim of mastering, the following in Psychology:

Year 11

Knowledge: The GCSE course has been resumed and students have finished the third and final topic of the paper 1 content, principally  all of the Year 10 work. We want our students to develop an in-depth understanding of how research is conducted in the laboratory and in a natural setting, therefore all students will study research methods in detail after they complete the Year 11 content which includes three key topics; sleep & dreaming, social psychology and memory. 

Skills: Students will continue to develop their abilities to explain psychological theories by referencing key terms and learn to evaluate theories and studies using a variety of criticisms including the major psychological debates. Students will have numerous opportunities to develop their high order thinking skills and apply their knowledge to real life situations.

What are students expected to do?

Students will be required to work hard in a high expectations classroom. Prior knowledge is revised  through the use of weekly knowledge tests and exam literacy is being improved via self and peer assessment. Students are encouraged through reflective tasks to confidently assess their own strengths and areas for development to empower them to take control of their learning. We are marking work and adapting our teaching in response to the student’s efforts to plug the gaps we identify. Home learning will be issued every week and students are expected to submit this via Google classroom.

All students have been issued with a revision pack which includes knowledge organisers for all six key topics and a revision guide. Students are expected to read one page a day for the rest of the academic year, which means students will have read and tested their knowledge almost three times before they sit their final GCSE exams in May/June 2021.

How can I support my child?

  • > Talk to them about what they have learnt in Psychology every week
  • > Ensure they complete all home learning tasks
  • > Ask them to reflect on their revision techniques
  • > Ensure they begin to research their future goals and the skills they need in order to achieve these goals
  • > Encourage them to complete the essential reading found in Google classroom
  • > Useful link: Simply Psychology and GCSE OCR Psychology 9-1


If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Ahmed via the following email address:



Year 10

Year 10 Curriculum Overview Topic Unit content
Term 1/2 Criminology Defining crime/Why criminal behaviour occurs/social learning theory/Eysenck’s criminal personality theory/Changing nature of punishment
Psychological problems Defining mental health/Stigma and discrimination/Biological & psychological explanations of Schizophrenia/Biological & psychological explanations of Clinical Depression/Development of treatments
Term 2/3 Development
Stages of development and the development of brain structures and functions/IQ tests/Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development/Dweck’s Mindset Theory/Willingham’s Learning Theory/Changing role of education
Research Methods 1 Hypotheses/Variables/Experiment design/Population and sampling/Ethical Guidelines/Experiments/Interviews/ Questionnaires (Surveys)/ Observations/ Case Studies/ Correlations


Year 11

Year 11 Curriculum Overview Topic Unit content
Term 1/2 Sleep and dreaming Sleep/Sleep disorders/Endogenous pacemakers & exogenous zeitgebers/Nature of Dreaming/Freudian Theory of Dreaming/Activation Synthesis Theory/Treatments for insomnia
Social Influence Conformity including majority influence/Collective and crowd behaviour/Obedience/Situational Factors/Dispositional Factors/Changing attitudes
Term 2/3 Memory Information processing/Forgetting/Brain and memories/Amnesia/Multi-store Model of Memory/Reconstructive Memory/Techniques used for recall
Research methods 2 Types of Data/Descriptive Statistics/Tables, Charts and Graphs/Reliability and Validity/Sources of bias