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Kingswood Secondary Academy

Ofsted Good

Curriculum End Points

Year 12;

Introductory topics in psychology (Paper 1) 

Social Influence 

  • Describe and explain types of conformity, explanations for conformity and variable which affect conformity.  

  • Describe and explain reasons for obedience, situational and dispositional variables which affect obedience. 

  • Describe and explain reasons why individuals can resist social influence.  

  • Explain how and why a minority or majority can bring about social change.  


  • Outline the features of the multi-store model of memory and the working memory model. 

  • Explanations for forgetting including proactive and retroactive interference and retrieval failure due to absence of cues. 

  • Factors affecting the accuracy of eyewitness testimony: misleading information and how to improve the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. 


  • Features of caregiver-infant interactions in humans. 

  • Development and stages of attachment identified by Schaffer and the role of the father. 

  • Animal studies of attachment: Lorenz and Harlow. 

  • Explanations of attachment: learning theory and Bowlby’s monotropic theory.  

  • Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’ and cultural variations in attachment.  

  • Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation.  

  • Effects of institutionalisation.  

  • The influence of early attachment on childhood and adult relationships.  


  • Definitions of abnormality. 

  • The behavioural, emotional and cognitive characteristics of phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

  • The behavioural approach to explaining and treating phobias. 

  • The cognitive approach to explaining and treating depression. 

  • The biological approach to explaining and treating OCD. 

Psychology in context (Paper 2) 


  • Origins of Psychology: Wundt, introspection and the emergence of Psychology as a science. 

  • The basic assumptions of the following approaches: Learning, Cognitive, Biological, psychodynamic, Humanistic and the comparison of approaches. 


  • The divisions of the nervous system and the structure and function of neurons. 

  • The process of synaptic transmission. 

  • The function of the endocrine system.  

  • The fight or flight response including the role of adrenaline. 

  • Localisation of function in the brain and hemispheric lateralisation. 

  • Plasticity and functional recovery of the brain after trauma. 

  • Ways of studying the brain. 

  • Biological rhythms: circadian, infradian and ultradian and the difference between these rhythms. 

Research methods 

Explain the use and the strengths and limitations of the following techniques;

  • Experimental method. Types of experiment, laboratory and field experiments; natural and quasi-experiments. 
  • Observational techniques - naturalistic and controlled observation; covert and overt observation; participant and non-participant observation. 
  • Self-report techniques - questionnaires and interviews 
  • Correlations - analysis of the relationship between co-variables. The difference between correlations and experiments. 

Understand the following areas within the scientific process:  

  • Aims: stating aims, the difference between aims and hypotheses. 
  • Hypotheses: directional and non-directional. 
  • Sampling: the difference between population and sample; sampling techniques including: random, systematic, stratified, opportunity and volunteer; implications of sampling techniques, including bias and generalisation. 
  • Pilot studies and the aims of piloting. 
  • Experimental designs: repeated measures, independent groups, matched pairs. 
  • Observational design: behavioural categories; event sampling; time sampling. 
  • Questionnaire construction, including use of open and closed questions; design of interviews. 
  • Variables: manipulation and control of variables, including independent, dependent, extraneous, confounding; operationalisation of variables. 
  • Control: random allocation and counterbalancing, randomisation and standardisation. 
  • Demand characteristics and investigator effects. 
  • Ethics, including the role of the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics; ethical issues 
  • in the design and conduct of psychological studies, dealing with ethical issues in research. 
  • The role of peer review in the scientific process. 
  • The implications of psychological research for the economy. 

Understand the following areas within data handling: 

  • Quantitative and qualitative data; the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques. 
  • Primary and secondary data, including meta-analysis. 
  • Descriptive statistics: measures of central tendency – mean, median, mode; calculation of mean, median and mode; measures of dispersion; range and standard deviation; calculation of range; calculation of percentages; positive, negative and zero correlations. 
  • Presentation and display of quantitative data: graphs, tables, scattergrams, bar charts. 
  • Distributions: normal and skewed distributions; characteristics of normal and skewed distributions. 
  • Introduction to statistical testing; the sign test. When to use the sign test, calculation of the sign test. 

Year 13; 

Psychology in context (Paper 2) continued… 

Explain the use and the strengths and limitations of the following techniques: 

  • Content analysis.  
  • Case studies. 

Understand the following areas within the scientific process:  

  • Reliability across all methods of investigation. Ways of assessing reliability: test-retest and inter-observer; improving reliability. 
  • Types of validity across all methods of investigation: face validity, concurrent validity, ecological validity and temporal validity. Assessment of validity. Improving validity. 
  • Features of science: objectivity and the empirical method; replicability and falsifiability; theory construction and hypothesis testing; paradigms and paradigm shifts. 
  • Reporting psychological investigations. Sections of a scientific report: abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and referencing. 

Understand the following areas within data handling: 

  • Analysis and interpretation of correlation, including correlation coefficients. 
  • Levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal and interval. 
  • Content analysis and coding and thematic analysis.  

Knowledge and understanding of inferential testing and be familiar with the use of inferential tests: 

  • Probability and significance: use of statistical tables and critical values in interpretation of significance; Type I and Type II errors. 
  • Factors affecting the choice of statistical test, including level of measurement and experimental design. When to use the following tests: Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r, 
  • Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, related t-test, unrelated t-test and Chi-Squared test. 

Issues and options in Psychology (Paper 3) 

Issues and debates 

  • Knowledge and understanding of the following issues and debates in psychology and are able to apply this to contexts from across the specification: 
  • Gender and culture 
  • Free will and determinism 
  • The nature-nurture debate and interactionist approach 
  • Holism and reductionism 
  • Ethical implications of research studies and theory, including reference to social sensitivity. 


  • The evolutionary explanations for partner preferences, including the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour. 

  • Factors affecting attraction in romantic relationships. 

  • Theories of romantic relationships. 

  • Virtual relationships in social media. 

  • Parasocial relationships: levels of parasocial relationships, the absorption addiction model and the attachment theory explanation. 


  • Outline how schizophrenia is classified and diagnosed and the issues with reliability and validity. 

  • Biological explanations and treatments for schizophrenia. 

  • Psychological explanations and treatments for schizophrenia. 

  • The importance of an interactionist approach in explaining and treating schizophrenia; the diathesis-stress model. 

Forensic psychology 

  • Offender profiling: the top-down approach, including organised and disorganised types of offender; the bottom-up approach, including investigative psychology; geographical profiling. 

  • Biological explanations of offending behaviour: an historical approach (atavistic form); genetics and neural explanations. 

  • Psychological explanations of offending behaviour: Eysenck’s theory of the criminal personality; cognitive explanations; level of moral reasoning and cognitive distortions, including hostile attribution bias and minimalisation; differential association theory; psychodynamic explanations. 

  • Dealing with offending behaviour: the aims of custodial sentencing and the psychological effects of custodial sentencing. Recidivism. Behaviour modification in custody. Anger management and restorative justice programmes. 

  • Ofsted
  • NOS
  • NOS 2
  • Career Mark
  • DofE
  • London Institute