Psychology – Further Information

Teaching & Learning

You will be encouraged to take an active approach to your study of Psychology. The most important skill that you will develop is a questioning approach to your studies, the ability to think for yourself and a greater understanding and empathy towards other people.

The emphasis is on active participation. You will be expected to be involved in lively debate, discussions, presentations and role-plays.

You will be encouraged to use IT and develop independent research skills.
The Psychology department is well stocked with a range of reference books, journals and videos (many made in the department!).

Psychology has an excellent record of strong A level results – Students excel in Psychology.


Brain Day @ The Polesworth School

On the 28th February, the Psychology Department hosted a Brain Day, run by the brilliant and charismatic Dr Guy Sutton.  Dr Sutton’s passion and enthusiasm for Neuroscience was certainly infectious and our students were hooked.  Students learnt about cutting edge research in this field and the latest brain scanning techniques.  They were fascinated to learn about how amazing the brain is and in particular about radical brain surgeries for Rasmussen Syndrome (a rare childhood brain disorder, leading to life threatening epilepsy) that involves removing a whole hemisphere of the brain.  Remarkably, due to the plasticity of the brain, patients do recover from this radical surgery and lead relatively normal lives, with their intellect intact.

The highlight of the seminar was the brain dissection.  Students were able to discover the similarities between a sheep brain and a human brain, they were surprised to discover that the only difference was one of scale, not function or structure.

The day was a huge success.  Students came away fascinated by Neuroscience and keen to discover more. Hopefully, some of our students will be inspired to read Neuroscience at University.


The Psychology Dept hosted a Forensic Psychology Seminar for Year 13 students. 

The day was led by Dr Guy Sutton an eminent psychologist from the University of Nottingham Medical School. This gave students a chance to further their own understanding of Forensic Psychology and a taster of what studying Psychology at University is really like.

During the day students had the opportunity to explore a number of topics; they were particularly interested in the forensic analysis session which included a very grisly video of an autopsy and blood splatter analysis.

Students were given the opportunity to examine real life cases such as Aileen Wuornos, the American serial killer, famously portrayed by Charlize Theron in the film Monster and the Zodiac killer.

The day showed students what forensics is really all about, it displaced their misconceptions, fed on a diet of unrealistic TV programmes such as CSI Miami.

The day was rounded off by a buffet lunch for those who still had an appetite for food!  The day was hugely enjoyed by all the students who took part.  They were enthused and motivated by Dr Sutton who really was an excellent presenter.

Behind Bars – True Life Conferences

All of Year 12 and Year 13 Psychology and Sociology students had the opportunity to meet Andy an ex-convict, guilty of murder. Andy was accompanied by Jill a Forensic Psychologist. Andy told us of his crime in 1990 and his time in prison. His insight and personal experience of prison life was particularly interesting and helpful towards our Psychology and Sociology A levels. We were told how life sentences were in fact 99 years with a tariff of a number of years. Andy’s tariff was 12 years, in which he was transferred to various prisons. His description of prison life was fascinating, we also learnt of the hostile treatment of sex offenders in prisons and the dangers for those inside. Andy interacted with the sixth formers and asked us about our views on rehabilitation and re-offending.

We were given detailed accounts of Andy’s time in prison and his thoughts and feelings about it, allowing us to see for ourselves the effects of prison on offenders and the possibility of rehabilitation. It was extremely interesting to see how offenders cope with life after prison, Andy was married, no longer a risk to society and fully committed to a law abiding life style, however his activities are still under supervision.

Overall, the session was definitely beneficial and would greatly benefit Psychology and Sociology students, especially if organised to be a full day programme.

Hannah Jackson
Year 13 Psychology Student

What The Students Say

Charlene Dunn

Psychology at Polesworth is very enjoyable! It is such a broad subject and this course gives you an insight into many of the different aspects in psychology.  For me it was my favourite subject, lessons were fabulous and the content was interesting. Psychology teachers at Polesworth were very helpful; giving their time for numerous revision sessions which were for me was the reason why I did so well. Psychology has lots of broad career prospects therefore it is very versatile a level to have. This A-level gave me good background knowledge to continue psychology at a degree level.  I definitely recommend it if you are considering a career within social sciences or people!  Charlene achieved an A* at A Level.

Becci Hulme

After finishing my GCSEs in 2006 I decided to go into further education and study for my A levels and chose Polesworth Sixth Form College to be the place to do this. One of the subjects I chose to study was Psychology, which I can now say was one of the best things I have done. I found the Psychology department to be superb, with brilliant resources, supportive teachers and most importantly encouragement to learn. I studied Psychology for two years and grew to have a real interest; the lessons were well structured, organised and delivery by brilliant teachers. Through the exam periods and UCAS applications the support of the teachers was amazing.  I had no real ambition to go on to University, but the teachers and the department helped me to explore all options. I went on to study Psychology at Coventry University and this year gained a First class with honours Bsc in Psychology. I couldn’t have done this without the teacher’s guidance and support who I’m still in contact with now.

Sam Gayton

I studied A-level Psychology for two years at Polesworth and can honestly say it was brilliant. While I don’t take a Psychology-related subject at University, you would be surprised by how much everything can relate back to what you learn in your two years in the care of Polesworth’s Psychology department. Last year I found myself reading Freudian theory and memories of Mrs Gajic and Miss Smith came flooding back!
Not only is this an interesting and thought-provoking subject, it’s great fun too. Mrs Gajic and Miss Smith really make the classes worth paying attention to (which I know isn’t always easy at A-level!) and the fun we had completing murder mysteries and watching psychological films really aids your learning.
If you can’t get the gist of my message, I’ll give you a hint: take Psychology at Polesworth!!! You definitely won’t regret it.  Sam achieved a grade A at A level.

Future Prospects

Psychology can lead to specific careers in Industrial, Clinical, Educational or Forensic Psychology, counselling and therapy, but it is also a useful qualification to have if you are thinking of any career that involves dealing with people (almost anything!).

An understanding of psychological processes and principles would be useful in careers such as teaching, health service related occupations, law (including police) and social work. Psychology is a well-respected subject by University Admissions tutors.

For those of you interested in finding out more about psychology, a list of websites can be found at and then clicking on the links icon at the top of the page on the right.

For further information, please contact Mrs Gajic