Churston Ferrers Grammar School

Tel: 01803 842289



Head of Department: Mrs N Risdon
Department team:
  • Mrs J Parkes
  • Mrs S Brown
  • Mrs B Brown
Curriculum intent 
To some extent we are all naïve psychologists as we try to interpret and understand the behaviour of those around us. Our aim at Churston is to develop active citizens who are passionate advocates for social justice. Psychology in its quest for developing a critical understanding of human behaviour is central to this task. In understanding the causes of human behaviour and respecting individual differences students take ownership of their behaviour and learning.  Psychology can be applied to situations in our everyday lives as well as every event in human history. Students will explore the reasons why individuals became complicit in horrific incidents in the 20th century such as the Holocaust, how such evil can be committed and to reflect on whether these causes are biological or whether social pressures compel people to do such things. In this way Psychology is critical in promoting social justice. We want students to become curious about factors that influence our behaviour, for example the structure of the brain, parenting or past traumatic experiences. To develop awareness of the causes and treatments of a range of mental disorders such as phobias, OCD and Schizophrenia. Human behaviour is the basis for civilisation as we know it and understanding what drives us to behave in the way we do, can help students to make sense of the world around them and become better at communicating with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Students who study psychology are given the tools to become more sensitive, cosmopolitan individuals, which benefits not only themselves, but the society in which they live. 
What we do 
We are teachers who are passionate about Psychology and we want our students to be curious about human behaviour and to use their knowledge in their daily lives. The emphasis of the course is on applying knowledge and understanding rather than just acquiring knowledge, thereby developing students’ transferable skills. It builds on skills developed in the sciences and humanities, and enables progression into a wide range of other subjects. Through studying Psychology at Churston you will gain excellent research and analytical skills enabling you to carry out your own research and to practically engage in the world around you. The goal is to help students build on prior learning and develop skills and attitudes whilst being respectful to the differences of others. Our learners leave with a lifelong interest in human behaviour and the transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking valued by Higher Education and employers.  
Opportunity for further study and destinations
Many of our students go on to study Psychology degrees. Psychologists are involved in many areas of research. Some conduct work in the field of Applied Psychology and research in areas seeking to answer real societal issues – such as working with the government on how best to inform the population about social distancing or finding ways to reduce stress.  Pure research instead focuses on areas such as how the working memory operates or how hormones influence our aggression. Psychologists are employed in a wide range of fields including the clinical arena (e.g. psychiatry), industry and commerce, hospitals, teaching and education, social work, the probation service and in counselling. The study of Psychology also provides the student with transferable skills which can be utilised within many indirectly related careers including market research, advertising, careers guidance, retail management and personnel. It is extremely useful in any career which involves people, or understanding people, and is a popular choice at degree level.
Student quotes
‘I want to be a Clinical Psychologist so I find learning about the human mind and mental disorders such as schizophrenia fascinating. The lessons have inspired me to study Psychology at a higher level and work towards a career in this area.’ – Marcella Turner
‘The thing that interests me the most is learning how my own mind works and understanding where my behaviour comes from’ – Bertie John
‘I want to understand the diversity of human behaviour, as no two people are the same. Psychology has helped me to understand why people act in the ways that they do’ – Conor Harrison
Psychology department website