Head of Department: Ian Campbell email@example.com
The Psychology Department
Psychology is now a well established subject at Sevenoaks School offering both Standard and Higher Level courses, and has grown considerably in recent years with a significant number continuing the subject at university. The aim of Psychology is to understand how and why people behave, and to explore different aspects of the mind such as intelligence and perception. This is achieved by exploring scientific evidence which can support or refute proposed psychological theories. The nature of the course is sophisticated in that it aims to teach students how to analyse psychological concepts at 3 different levels of analysis rather than simply moving through a sequence of topics as many Sixth Form courses tend to do.
The department prides itself in the use of technology to support teaching and learning, with all students having online access to a dedicated IB Psychology web site with a wealth of resources as well as access to hundreds of psychology video programs.
The Sixth Form
The IB course has a very contemporary feel, for example including the very latest evidence supporting the role of genes and neurotransmitters on behaviour. Students not only explore normal behaviour, but also investigate what happens when the mind becomes disordered, with emphasis being placed on understanding the origins of the disorders and how they can be successfully treated.
In the core of the course students cover three psychological levels of analysis: The Sociocultural approach looks at the influence of social interactions and cultural experiences on behaviour; the Cognitive approach contrastingly looks inside the mind at how mental processes such as perception, attention and memory affect behaviour; the Biological approach then investigates the physiological and genetic basis of behaviours such as intelligence, and also considers evolutionary theories of behaviour.
Students then specialise in Abnormal Psychology which attempts to firstly define what is meant by the term 'psychologically abnormal' and then looks at different models attempting to explain the huge diversity of disorders, particularly depression and bulimia. Finally this component looks at how people can benefit from treatments and therapies and which are the most effective. The other specialist option covers aspects of human relationships exploring theories of helping behaviour, interpersonal attraction and the role of the media on human violence.
Students also design and carry out their own psychological experiment which can include topics such as visual perception, memory and eyewitness testimony.
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