Hathershaw College




Curriculum Intent


  • To deliver a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum that is challenging yet engaging.
  • To stimulate students’ curiosity about the world around them and how it works.
  • To equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the psychological ideas that will impact on their personal health, development and growth.
  • To develop an awareness of psychology-related issues that may affect the lives of students, in their contexts and beyond.
  • To encourage scientific inquiry, where students are be able to plan, analyse and evaluate psychology studies.
  • To grow cultural capital both within psychology lessons and through enrichment work by providing students with a range of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences.
  • To improve the levels of literacy and oracy by promoting the development, memory and pronunciation of key terminology.
  • To grow and foster a thirst for knowledge and love for psychology that ensures that students leave with the best possible grades, which provides them with access to further psychology-related courses and careers.
  • To promote careers in Psychology, which would enable students to make a positive contribution to society.


Curriculum Overview



The structure and processes of memory and information processing is studied in this unit along with the features of short-term and long-term memory and the two types of amnesia.



Sleep and Dreaming:

Students learn about the features, functions and benefits of sleep as well as symptoms of and explanations for the sleep disorders insomnia and narcolepsy.




Psychological problems:

The symptoms and features of two mental health problems: depression and addiction are studied here as well as the influence of genes on mental health and addiction.

Child Development:

Students learn about early brain development,
Piaget’s stages of development and their role in education as well as Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.



The structure of the brain, damage to the brain including agnosia’s, the role of the CNS, lateralisation of hemispheres & studies of brain damage


Social Psychology

Factors affecting bystander intervention, factors affecting conformity, factors that lead to blind obedience & studies looking into conformity, bystander behaviour & identification.




Social Psychology

Factors affecting bystander intervention, factors affecting conformity, factors that lead to blind obedience & studies looking into conformity, bystander behaviour & identification.


Criminal Psychology
Students discover how learning theories can be used to explain criminality. They will also study the effects of punishment and ways in which criminals are rehabilitated.

Research Methods

Ethical issues and issues and issues with validity and reliability are also studied in this topic.


Revision of:


Child development




Psychological problems


The brain and



Social Influence


Revision of:


Criminal Psychology


Sleep and Dreaming


Research Methods


To download this table, please click below.

Curriculum Overview


Medium Term Plans





Revision Resources


Psychology SMSC Statement


Spiritual education in Psychology involves students having the opportunity to consider and discuss questions relating to all aspects of their development such as their personality, gender, behaviour, thoughts and beliefs. Students are encouraged to apply their own beliefs to a range of ethical and psychological issues, debates and controversies, and to hear other students' opinions to develop a range of balanced view points. Lessons are developed to allow opportunities for students to be creative and resilient and allow for development and reflection of their progress, supported by teacher feedback. Examples of this include:

  • Studying the symptoms of mental illnesses, across different cultures.
  • Exploring and debating the impact of individual differences.
  • Assessing the extent of applied ethics within Psychology and how it impacts how valuable a piece of research is.

Students develop morally through discussing values, attitudes and beliefs relating to a range of ethical, social and controversial issues such as conflicts in research such as culture bias, ethical costs of conducting research, scientific status and sexism. Moral education spans across all areas of study in psychology with ethical issues being discussed and applied to a range of theories, studies, contemporary debates and applications for the various topics studied. In addition to this, students investigate ethical issues in detail - particularly when they study the Stanford Prison experiment & Milgram’s study into obedience.

In addition to this, students improve their social skills in Psychology by being encouraged to consider the values, attitudes and roles of people that occur in different societies and cultures. They will learn to respect and understand different human behaviours that occur in these cultures and societies. Throughout Psychology, students are led to work in groups outside of their friendship groups, which also encourages students them to accept one another and learn to work as a team.

Furthermore, there is a strong focus on cultural development in Psychology as students learn about human behaviour in different cultures. Students develop their understanding of and respect for the different influences people have and the effect it may have on their behaviour. They will also discuss how research carried out in traditional western societies may not be applicable to other cultures. Students also explore topics such as masculine and feminine behaviour in relation to different brain structures, studying different types of culture and cultural differences, and ethnocentrism. Examples of good practice include:

  • Explore and debate the cultural differences in behaviour, mental illnesses, memory and aggression. Considering issues such as individual differences.
  • Using statistics to make conclusions about trends in behaviour cross culturally.
  • Explaining behaviour by looking at the role of physiological, psychological factors across cultures and how it influences socialisation.