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Psychology / Criminology / Child Development


About the course:

Psychology is a fascinating subject which deals with how your brain works; it is the science of the mind. The human mind is the most complex machine on Earth and it is the source of all thought and behaviour.

Psychology lies at the intersection of many other different disciplines, including biology, medicine, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, neuroscience and artificial intelligence – elements of which are taught throughout the course.

We offer Psychology at KS5 (Sixth Form) as a two-year A-Level course forming a part of the Academic Pathway. It is a very popular option and we always have at least two groups filled. Amongst many topics, in Year 12 students study the origin of Psychology, brain structures and brain scanning methods, social influence (theories of obedience and conformity), attachment, and psychopathology (abnormalities, including OCD, depression and phobia). In Year 13, they have a chance to focus on optional units, such as forensic psychology and the psychology of relationships. With such a wide variety of psychological issues, we make every effort to allow students to experiment and experience some phenomena on their own. The course includes a number of small practical activities, which students always appreciate. We also encourage them to conduct their own studies. In the past, this has led to some fascinating research projects, e.g. perception of taste when the subject is blindfolded, gender differences in spatial awareness, how wearing glasses changes what people think about you, the effect of different colours of highlighters on memory retention, and others.

To be an outstanding Psychology student, you need to have a good understanding of science (variable control) and be confident in using simple maths (drawing charts, doing calculations, etc.). As some exam questions are essay-style, you need to also have a good command of English and be able to analyse a theory using academic language. Having these skills in abundance would be a clear advantage when studying our course.

Psychology is an ambitious choice that can be an asset when applying to many university courses, as well as future careers, including in the business, sports, healthcare sectors and many more.

We have strong links with universities and we use those regularly to take our students out for lectures or research including to Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Warwick.


AQA A-Level 7182:

Recommended textbooks/revision guides:

Textbooks: Psychology A Level (Year 1 and 2 separate books, 5th edition) by Mike Cardwell and Cara Flanagan

Revision Guides: Psychology A Level Revision Guide (Year 1 and 2 separate books) by Mike Cardwell and Rachel Moody or AS & A-Level Psychology by CGP and Essential Maths Skills for Psychology by CGP 




About the course:

The course will offer you an exciting insight into the field of Criminology. You will study crime, deviance and the criminal justice system across this two-year vocational course that is delivered as part of our Applied Pathway at KS5 (Sixth Form). In Year 12, you will develop the understanding of the key concepts, theories and principles of criminology and its application across a range of case studies and examples, while in Year 13 you will get a chance to learn about different methods of collecting evidence. You will also experience basic forensic analysis of fingerprints and other trace evidence, as well as learn about the processes happening in the courtroom and the types of punishment available in the UK.

The course is divided into 50% internal and 50% external assessment. The coursework will involve scenario analysis (partly analytical, e.g. recognising typical victims and criminals, and partly creative, i.e. designing your own crime prevention campaign) that will be done on computers with the use of your folder notes; you will also sit a written paper at the end of each year as your final exams – these will be in controlled conditions without any notes.

To be successful in Criminology, you need to show a lot of endurance and self-discipline in completing your coursework. You also need to have a good command of English as you will be writing pages of crime analysis. As most work is done on a computer, you should be confident in typing and using basic software, for example to create a logo for your campaign or a poster. There is no need for maths requirements if you don’t feel particularly strong in maths.  

Criminology course is ideal for people who wish to progress to work in the police or similar public service. It is also recognised by UCAS and carries the necessary points should you wish to apply to university.


WJEC Level 3 Diploma 4543QD:

Recommended textbooks:

Textbook: WJEC Level 3 Applied Certificate & Diploma Criminology by Carole Henderson





Child Development

About the course:

Child Development is a subject covering children’s growth in terms of their physicality, but also their intellectual abilities, social skills and emotions. The course is delivered exclusively to KS4 and ends with the Cambridge National Certificate graded Level 1 Pass to Level 2 Distinction* (these corresponds to GCSE scale, e.g. L2P being a 4, old C grade).

Students start in Year 10 learning about human reproduction system and the stages of pregnancy. We also touch on some intriguing yet difficult topics, such as infertility and abortion. In addition to gaining academic knowledge, students also complete small practical tasks, e.g. creating information leaflets for pregnant woman, interviewing a midwife or making a bottle feed for a newborn. Towards the end of Year 10, students cover the actual growth of a child and facilitating factors, such as choice of toys, selection of equipment for a nursery, and the legal aspects of being a parent. In Year 11, students need to complete two units of coursework (9 tasks in total) and one examination paper sat in the summer session in their final year.

The coursework requires students to be dedicated and show independence in completing various written tasks; for example, students may be asked to create a plan of activities for a child and deliver them to an actual toddler of their choice. Students must meet the deadlines and be committed to organise additional activities in their home time. As most work is done on a computer, students choosing to study Child Development should feel confident in typing and using basic software, such as powerpoint.

The course counts towards students’ Progress 8 grade, which means it is an asset when applying to further KS5 education, be it college or Sixth Form. Many students found the course beneficial when progressing to future apprenticeships in Child Care/Nurseries, as well as when applying to study courses such as Midwifery at the university level.


Cambridge National J818:

Recommended textbooks/revision guides:

Textbooks: either Child Development for Cambridge National Level 1/2 by Miranda Walker, or OCR Child Development for GCSE by Carolyn Meggitt

Revision Guides: either Collins Revision - GCSE Child Development Essentials or CGP GCSE Child Development or Essentials: GCSE Home Economics - Child Development Revision Guide



Staffing and facilities:

The Child Development course is taught by the Head of Department, Miss R Paradowska, while the Duke of Edinburgh programme is co-ordinated by Miss D Carty. Most sessions are delivered in one of the computer rooms adapted for the purpose. We have a selection of props to aid learning, such as electronic baby dolls, pregnancy models and baby products. We make every effort to offer students enrichment by inviting guests (pregnant women or midwives), and taking students out on relevant visits, e.g. to Mothercare.