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St Gregory'sCatholic School

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Every child is known and loved


Statement of intent


The AQA psychology course at A Level aims to provide students with the scientific ability to study human nature. At St Gregory’s, we challenge students to question the psychological motivations behind a range of behaviours, reviewing a range of approaches such as biological, cognitive and humanistic as potential explanations. Students explore a plethora of topics such as Attachment, Biopsychology and Relationships. They develop their ability to recall, evaluate and critique classic case studies and experiments. Students become scientists by conducting their own psychological experiments, working within both ethically and methodological constraints. Ultimately, they begin to question what people do and begin to understand the difficulties with such a philosophical science, attempting to ascertain what might be a possible answer rather than a definitive one.  Students acquire the ability to become critical thinkers, independent learners and passionate about understanding the subject at a deeper level.  These skills can open up a range of future opportunities and allow students to see the real-life applications and benefits of psychology that could make the world a better place.




In Year 12 and 13, students study 11 topics across 3 exam papers at the end of the two years. The exam papers include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to draw together their skills, knowledge and understanding from across the full course of study and to provide extended responses.   Students can build upon each topic to develop their knowledge from the staple skills they require through to more specialist knowledge.   This ranges from theoretical, scientific, mathematical, philosophical and practical skills, which students should be confident in using by the end of their journey. Students accumulate new psychological knowledge, including key terms, experiments and theories whilst simultaneously learning about exam technique and mastering how to outline, state, describe, evaluate, analyse and discuss. These are assessed through the assessment objectives AO1, AO2 and AO3.  AO1 is the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological procedures and theories.  AO2 is how a student can apply scientific and mathematical ideas in both a theoretical and practical context.  AO3 is how to assess evidence, making valid and supported judgements, improvements and reaching conclusions.  The course allows students to make real-life applications, connections with other subjects and the opportunity to use these skills in either further education, apprenticeship or employment.


Paper 1: Introductory topics to psychology


Social influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology


These topics include some of the classic studies in Psychology, allowing students to understand how we can measure human behaviour and the impact that this can have.


Paper 2: Psychology in context


Biopsychology, Approaches and Research Methods


These topics are some of the underlying principles of psychology, from the activity of the brain, the different factions of psychology that can provide input and the scientific process that must be adhered to.


Paper 3: issues and options in psychology


Issues and debates, Optional topics (Relationships, Stress, Forensics)


These topics allow students to use their prior psychological knowledge and begin to assess and evaluate at a deeper level.


These can identify the problems that psychology has to face as a philosophical science and use their biological or cognitive knowledge to understand the impact of these modern and relatable issues. The topics were chosen because of their relevance for students and the wider reaching issues that can be discussed in relation to their learning but also their personal and moral development.


Students should feel prepared to attempt the variety of questions that may be presented to them across all topics such as choice, scenario, short answer, methodology or essay questions.  This is achieved through a variety of knowledge testing from low-stake quizzing, essay questions, practical research tasks, end of topic tests and full paper assessments.

Our Values

Ambition Rooted firmly in Catholic teachings, we aim to nurture and guide our students to fulfil their God-given potential so they may achieve success.

Leadership We strive to be a community of servant leaders, where individuals gain a clear sense of self and purpose, knowing their values and using these to guide how they enrich the community in which they belong.

Integrity We teach our students to value honesty and have strong moral principles, using their discernment to govern their actions and take responsibility for their choices.

Vigour Inspired by the life of St Gregory, we empower our students to work with vigour, so they approach all activities and opportunities with effort, energy and enthusiasm.

Empathy We aim for our students to understand and value the feelings of others and for them to know they are loved and celebrated irrespective of their differences.


Trust Information

St Gregory's Catholic School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Gregory's Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.