Curriculum Intent

Psychology is a Social Science covering a range of different topics which allows students to explore the human mind from the classroom. By studying Psychology at The Dorcan Academy students will develop a lifelong interest in human behaviour and how we can make predictions about how humans will interact with the world; they will learn to understand how structures of the brain and human behaviour are connected, how behaviour can be genetic or developed from life experiences and how different cultures/people  fit into the world and how this impacts on the way in which people interact with the environment around them. Psychology lessons will support and enable students to appreciate the complex nature of human behaviour and interactions and how through their actions they can make a difference to the world by developing empathy and tolerance for others.

Psychology aims to make students’ knowledge rich by linking new learning to previous knowledge. Through the development of links between research studies, psychological concepts and theories, students are aided in committing knowledge to their long-term memory.

Students will be equipped with the necessary scientific knowledge, skills and vocabulary to develop a better understanding of themselves and the wider world enabling them to ‘Think like a scholar of psychology’, giving them the opportunity to critically analyse and communicate informed judgements through their rich subject knowledge. They will develop problem solving skills and acquire an understanding of the impact life chances or opportunities can have on human behaviour, encouraging them to take responsibility for understanding their own behaviour or to develop empathy and compassion towards other people for theirs.


In Psychology last year, 92.9% of students achieved grades 9 to 5

What we study – Topic Overview

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 10Topic 1- Development: How did you develop?Topic 2 – Memory: How does your memory work?Topic 3 – Psychological problems: How would psychological problems affect you?Topic 4 – The brain and neuropsychology: How does your brain affect you?Topic 5 – Social influence: How do others affect you?Topic 5 – Social influence: How do others affect you?
Year 11Topic 11- Research methods: How do you carry out psychological research?Topic 6 – Criminal psychology: why do people become criminals?Topic 8 – Perception: How do you interpret the world around you?Revision  

How we assess

Students’ learning and mastery of content is assessed continually throughout the course. Firstly, through a variety of formative assessments; through home learning tasks, key term tests, whole class questioning, lesson activities and writing tasks such as deliberate practice of exam-style questions. These assessments lead to live verbal feedback which enable students to act immediately on the feedback they have verbally received to close the gaps in their learning by redrafting their answers or adding points missed in green pen. 

Secondly, a summative assessment is taken at the end of each topic of the course. These assessments are cumulative and involve the recall and rehearsal of knowledge from the current topic (80%) and the previous topics (20%). These summative assessments take the form of GCSE past papers and are marked against the GCSE assessment objectives. Written bridging feedback is provided for students based on their summative assessment performance and this allows them to close gaps in their knowledge or exam skills before proceeding onto the next topic.Students also sit Prelim exams in Y10 and 11 which allow them to sit a summative assessment as close to the actual GCSE papers as possible.

Y10 – Full paper 1

Y11 – Full paper 1 and 2

Meet the team

Curriculum Allocation

Students may choose Psychology as an option at GCSE and will receive 5 lessons a fortnight.

Enrichment Opportunities

The Global Learning faculty offers a mindful art club which provides an opportunity for students to consider their own well-being and strategies for maintaining a positive frame of mind.

Students can access support with their revision through signing up for after school or holiday intervention sessions. A list of books and films linked to the topics covered by the course are available to all students

The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.