At the Oldershaw School, the aim is to provide all our students with the opportunity to learn and enjoy studying Psychology in a safe, pleasant and stimulating environment. By providing a well-planned and structured curriculum, students are able to engage in lessons where interactive whole class teaching, problem solving, and rich tasks challenge the full range of abilities. All students have the opportunity to develop skills across the 2-year A’ level course. The course covers a broad range of psychological paradigms which will focus on developing not only knowledge of the theories but also the practical elements of conducting psychological investigations. Topics covered in Year 12 include Social, Cognitive and Biological Psychology as well as learning theories, covering the main approaches to explaining human behaviour. In Year 13 the focus becomes more specific; students will study Clinical Psychology as well as focusing on one other area of profession-based Psychology, Criminological Psychology, where the application of theory and research becomes central to the focus of study. The course curriculum is also ambitious and allows for recall and revision of topics on numerous occasions throughout each school year.

 The Psychology Department aims to:

  • Provide all students with a deep and broad understanding of the application of Psychology in everyday life through developing knowledge and understanding of theories and concepts, which are relatable for students and the community in which we teach.
  • The Psychology A Level course develops skills in evaluation, analytical essay writing and statistical analysis.
  •  In addition, the department’s well-resourced classrooms offer the opportunity to undertake practical research, including experiments which will develop independent research skills and use of statistical analysis.
  • Students will carry out a range of small-scale investigations which enable them to apply ethical guidelines and develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different research methodologies.
  • Develop conceptual understanding with a focus on the use of cognitive abilities to recall and apply knowledge accurately through teaching that makes use of models of memory to enhance learning. 
  • Provide an ambitious curriculum with stretch and challenge for all students with appropriate support and guidance, particularly for disadvantaged learners, to achieve a pathway to success.
  • Build students’ confidence and competency in applying psychological reasoning through enquiry, conjecture and generalisation to develop argument and justification.
  • Acknowledge the importance of formative assessment with special attention to providing a feedback that has positive effect on students’ self-efficacy.
  • Frequently review and evaluate the progress of students through formative and summative assessments of learnt skills, with structured and tailored intervention for students as required.
  • Ensure that support is available to students which have been identified as falling below the expected level of attainment due to the pandemic.
  • Keep children safe by reducing anxiety in the subject whilst ensuring that they develop an understanding of the place that psychology has in managing behaviour effectively and leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • Ensure that pupils receive a broad curriculum when learning remotely and identify areas of weakness which have occurred as a result of the pandemic.


Full Course Details available via PEARSON website HERE

The year 12 journey begins with students studying two Key areas of Psychology, Social and Cognitive; Social psychology – how others influence our behaviour – including obedience and prejudice and Cognitive psychology – the human memory system. The research methods & statistics component includes measures of central tendency, dispersion, probability, binomial distributions, hypothesis testing and sampling. All components of the course are delivered by a specialist teacher. By the end of the first term students will apply their newly learnt skills towards the successful completion of the paper 1 questions on all of the AS examination past papers. We then move on to Learning theories – the acquisition of phobias. We end the year by recalling and revisiting material from the Foundation Year of the course, in preparation for the external examinations in May. Once completed, students use the last 5 weeks of the summer term to study and revisit the statistics and research methods elements of the course.

Full Course Details available via PEARSON website HERE

The year 13 journey begins with students studying two Key areas of Advanced Level Psychology. They are expected to focus on applying the theoretical principles learnt during the Foundation year. The first unit is Criminological Psychology, Students must show understanding that criminological psychology is about the definition and causes of crime and anti-social behaviour, and of the identification and treatment of offenders undertaken by forensic investigators. Individual differences and developmental psychology must be considered when learning about the possible causes of criminal behaviour, such as labelling, self-fulfilling prophecy and social learning. By the end of the first term students will apply their newly learnt skills towards the successful completion of the section B questions on all of the Advanced Level examination past papers. We then move on to students showing their understanding that clinical psychology is about explaining and treating mental health issues, and of the different ways of treating them, including counselling and drug treatments. Individual differences and developmental psychology must be considered when learning about links between personality factors and mental disorders and genetic influences (nature) or environmental influences (nurture) within different explanations for mental health disorders. This is a synoptic section in which students will be asked to draw on other areas of the qualification in order to understand conceptual and methodological issues. Students will develop an understanding of how to use theories and evidence from many areas of psychology and apply them to the issues. Relevant psychological skills have been contextualised in Topics 1–8. This topic collects them together in order to ensure that all content has been covered. Students must consider issues and debates from across all topics in order to develop a general knowledge of key issues and debates. We end the year by recalling and revisiting material from the Advanced Level course, in preparation for the external examinations in May. Students work through a range of past paper questions and develop strong problem-solving skills.

Cultural Capital & Enrichment

Our aim is to ensure that cultural capital is incorporated into lessons in both year groups. We aim to prepare students for the real world by ensuring that they develop the necessary skills required to apply psychology to areas within everyday life. Students leave Oldershaw with the ability to feel confident with the following:

Developing a passion for understanding the world around them and helping students to decipher a society they may not feel part of is a belief at the very core of Psychology. Students are encouraged to develop a deep sense of understanding about factors which influence an individual in their lifetime, from the way they form attachments to their genetic predisposition and their ability to become criminals. Psychology is delivered with the ethos of allowing students to feel confident in themselves and their abilities to analyse, evaluate and synthesise theories.

We also learn about the importance of mental health enabling our students to have an appreciation of values and norms in all cultures.

Psychological content is linked to careers by identifying how particular skills relate to daily life and ensuring that students understand the place that it has within industry.

We facilitate a range of educational visits and experiences including:

  • Freud Museum, London 
  • Mawdsley Hospital, London
  • Crown Courts, Liverpool
  • Chester Zoo
  • Revision Day Conference

Progression Routes

Students will develop transferable skills that support study in a wide range of subjects at university and the transition to employment, including quantitative and analytical analysis, and forming and testing hypotheses. The development and application of psychological skills prepare students for the study of psychology and related courses at university. At the end of Key Stage 5 students are equipped with the skills to progress within Higher Education as well as Apprenticeships. Qualifications gained in psychology can lead to various specialised professions, as well as offering an insight into the numerous aspects of human behaviour, which is useful for any career pathway

Students can progress from this qualification to:

  • Psychology related careers include forensic science, occupational health, sociology, politics, police, Law, Education, CPS and Probation
  • Study neuropsychology, counselling as well as teaching and research.
The Oldershaw School
Valkyrie Road, Wallasey
Wirral CH45 4RJ
T: 0151 638 2800 E: Executive Headteacher: Mr S Fisher