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    • AS and A Level Psychology Helping you make the most of the new approach – a brief guide to our exciting new specifications for first teaching in September 2015 ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology A LEVEL REFORM
    • What the reform means for you A Level timeline In February 2013 the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, asked Ofqual to implement changes leading to new A Levels. The Government has stated that the purpose of taking A Levels is primarily for entry to university and that some changes are needed so students are better prepared to start their university course. We now know that, for first teaching in September 2015, we’ll have reformed A Levels in named subjects including Psychology, followed by more subjects for first teaching a year later. We’ve been busy developing specifications to engage and enthuse you and your students, and we’re working hard to create high-quality resources. This summary brochure introduces you to the new AS and A Level Psychology qualifications and shows you how we can help make the transition easier. • Changes to assessment Removal of January examination series (from September 2013) There’s now only one examination series each year for AS and A2 units. Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will only be able to sit OCR AS and A2 exams in the June examination series. These changes apply to all OCR A Level qualifications, including Applied A Levels. Sept 2015 June 2016 Sept 2016 June 2017 First teaching of new A Levels in Art and Design, Business, Computer Science, Economics, English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, History, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Physics) and Sociology First teaching of new A Levels in Ancient Languages, Dance, Design and Technology, Drama, Further Maths, Geography, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education and Religious Studies First exams for new AS qualifications in Art and Design, Business, Computer Science, Economics, English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, History, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Physics) and Sociology First exams for new A Levels in Art and Design, Business, Computer Science, Economics, English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, History, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Physics) and Sociology First exams for new AS qualifications in Ancient Languages, Dance, Design and Technology, Drama, Further Maths, Geography, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education and Religious Studies What the reform means for you ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology2
    • • Northern Ireland and Wales While the Northern Ireland and Welsh governments are still to provide information on their plans, OCR’s current position is that since September 2013, there’ll now be only one examination series each year for both AS and A2 units. Students in Wales and Northern Ireland will only be able to sit OCR current AS and A2 Level exams in the June examination series. For more details about changes to current A Levels, go to ocr.org.uk/alevelreform. • A Levels from 2015 – linear assessment New A Levels will be fully linear so assessment of a student’s knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study. (There’ll be no exams in January.) The first assessment of two-year courses that start in September 2015 will be in June 2017. It’s proposed that the first assessment of the new AS qualification will take place in June 2016. • Proposed changes for AS Levels The new AS Level qualifications, for first teaching in September 2015, won’t count towards the final grade of an A Level, but will be separate, stand- alone qualifications in their own right. The new AS qualifications will remain broadly at their current standard. In some subjects, it may be appropriate for the AS to be designed to be co-teachable with the first year of the A Level. The first assessment of the new AS Levels is planned for June 2016. Sept 2017 June 2018 June 2019 First teaching of new A Levels and stand-alone AS Levels in a range of further subjects. (Ofqual is consulting in May 2014 on the principles for other subjects to be included as A Levels) First exams for new A Levels in Ancient Languages, Dance, Design and Technology, Drama, Further Maths, Geography, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education and Religious Studies First AS exams in a range of further subjects First exams for new A Levels in a range of further subjects A Level timeline ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology3
    • Why choose OCR? Choose OCR and you’ve got the reassurance that you’re working with one of the UK’s leading awarding bodies. Our new AS and A Level Psychology qualifications have been developed in consultation with teachers, employers and higher education to provide students with qualifications that are relevant to them and meet their needs. We’re part of the Cambridge Assessment Group, Europe’s largest assessment agency and a department of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge Assessment plays a leading role in developing and delivering assessments throughout the world, operating in over 150 countries. We work with a range of education providers, including schools, colleges, workplaces and other institutions in both the public and private sectors. Over 13,000 centres choose our A Levels, GCSEs, and vocational qualifications including Cambridge Nationals, Cambridge Technicals and Cambridge Progression. We believe in developing specifications that help you bring the subject to life and inspire your students to achieve more. They’re designed to be straightforward and accessible, so you can tailor the delivery of the course to suit your students’ needs. Meet the team We have a dedicated team of people working on our new Psychology qualifications, including: Vicky Hunter – Subject Specialist, Psychology. Find out more about our Psychology team at ocr.org.uk/psychologyteam. Have any questions and want to talk to us? Want to find out more? Our aim is to assist you however we can. As well as giving you a toolkit of support services and resources to choose from, we’re also here to help you with specialist advice, guidance and support for those times when you simply need a more individual service. Here’s how to reach our Customer Contact Centre: By phone: 01223 553998 By email: psychology@ocr.org.uk Why choose OCR? ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology4
    • Introducing… AS and A Level Psychology (from September 2015) Our vision Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and the mind. It offers a unique educational experience that develops a distinctive and broad set of skills. It’s located in scientific method and allows scope for extensive evaluation from a range of perspectives. Our specifications provide students with the exciting opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of psychology. Stimulating content is at the heart of these engaging qualifications, which will encourage students to think like psychologists. They will have the opportunity to develop a wide-ranging set of key skills, including being able to communicate effectively using appropriate language, to interpret and critically assess scientific data, and to research and critically evaluate a range of sources. The specifications also encourage the development of strong literacy and numeracy skills. The acquisition of such a diverse range of skills will be of great benefit to your students in further education, in the workplace and society in general. Introducing… AS and A Level Psychology (from September 2015) ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology5
    • Progression pathways • Key Stage 3 curriculum • English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Music, Physical Education, Citizenship, Information and Communication Technology (ICT).KS3 • Key Stage 4 curriculum • Relevant subjects include GCSE Mathematics, English and Science. KS4 • AS and A Level Psychology. KS5 Progression pathways ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology6
    • Why choose OCR AS and A Level Psychology? This engaging course has been redeveloped after feedback from teachers and other key stakeholders. We’ve designed the content to inspire, nurture and develop students. We’ve retained or enhanced the most popular aspects of our current AS and A Level, and changed the least popular – so you can be confident that our new Psychology specifications are practical and enjoyable to teach. Here are some of the key benefits of our new AS and A Level Psychology specifications for you and your students. Improved support and more teacher guidance As well as building on established, proven support, we have a range of exciting and innovative resources that can be tailored to the needs of your students. A reworked core studies component This has always been a unique feature of our AS and A Level Psychology specifications, popular with teachers and students alike. Now, having listened to a range of views, we’ve improved the component in a number of ways. We’ve introduced a contemporary and classic core study linked by a key theme, allowing for more meaningful comparison and evaluation. We’ve also introduced a number of exciting new studies while retaining the favourites from our current specifications. Options in Component 3 For A Level, teachers and students can choose areas of specific interest to them from an exciting list, which includes criminal and child psychology. A practical approach to the study of research methods This approach should prove popular with students, enabling them to gain hands-on experience of a range of different methods while developing evaluation skills and an understanding of research. Straightforward structure, which includes focused content We’ve arranged and designed the content to make the course focused and easy to navigate. In response to teacher feedback, we’ve included more guidance in the specifications and accompanying teacher support documents. Suitability for different learning styles In mixed-ability groups, all students will benefit from the new specifications. Structured approaches to core studies and the opportunities for hands-on research suit a range of learning styles, and the use of original research papers, where appropriate, can stretch the most able students. Why choose OCR AS and A Level Psychology? ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology7
    • AS and A Level Psychology at a glance Here’s a brief look at some of the components, the course content and the assessment overview for our AS and A Level in Psychology. AS Level Psychology Our AS Level Psychology qualification has been designed to be co-teachable with the first year of the A Level. The specification content is taken from Components 1 and 2 of the full A Level qualification. Assessment will be of AS Level demand. AS Level content overview Component title Content overview Component 1: Research methods This component is intended to introduce and develop a knowledge and understanding of the process of planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques Component title Content overview Component 2: Psychological themes through core studies This component focuses on some of the central areas of investigation in Psychology. For each key theme, students are presented with both a classic and a contemporary study. The classic studies are ‘landmark’ pieces of research that have helped to shape the course of the subject and which all students of Psychology should be familiar with. The contemporary studies are more ‘up-to-date’ pieces of research that engage in some way with the issues being explored in the classic studies they are paired with AS and A Level Psychology at a glance ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology8
    • The assessment consists of two written examinations externally assessed by OCR. Component Marks Duration Weighting Component 1 Research methods 75 1 hour 30 minutes 50% Section A 15 multiple-choice questions. These contain four options each and are worth one mark per question. These can assess any part of the component 15 Section B Research design and response: students are required to answer all questions relating to a novel source 35 Section C Data analysis and interpretation: students are required to answer all questions based on a novel source 25 Component 2 Psychological themes through core studies 75 1 hour 30 minutes 50% Section A Core studies: students are required to answer all short- answer questions 25 Section B Areas, perspectives and debates: students are required to answer all questions 25 Section C Practical applications: students are required to answer all questions relating to a novel source 25 Assessment overview AS and A Level Psychology at a glance ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology9
    • A Level Psychology Component 1: Research methods Component 1 introduces the world of psychological research methods. Students are required to conduct their own practical work. This component provides students with the opportunity to understand what’s involved in a range of different research methods and techniques, and it creates awareness of associated strengths and weaknesses. Students are encouraged to reflect on their research journeys as they develop vital investigative skills and develop an appreciation of the principles of empirical scientific enquiry. Component 2: Psychological themes through core studies Component 2 introduces key themes and core studies in psychology. The selection of classic and contemporary studies enables students to appreciate how psychological knowledge and understanding develop over time. The new specification has ten pairs of studies to be covered over the two-year course. Each pair is located within a key theme to provide a strong foundation to the subject. The inclusion of both classic and contemporary studies enables students to place research in its historical context. By the end of the component, students have built up a varied knowledge of exemplar studies, a sound understanding of key themes, and strong critical evaluation skills. Component 3: Applied psychology Component 3 introduces a new and engaging compulsory section on issues in mental health and an exciting range of options as students discover how psychology is used in applied areas: • Child psychology • Criminal psychology • Environmental psychology • Sport and exercise psychology. Through this component, students explore applications of psychology and gain an insight into how theory can be applied to real-world situations. The assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their learning through extended writing. A Level Psychology ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology10
    • A Level content overview Component title Content overview Component 1: Research methods This component is intended to introduce and develop a knowledge and understanding of the process of planning, conducting, analysing and reporting psychological research across a range of experimental and non-experimental methodologies and techniques Component title Content overview Component 2: Psychological themes through core studies This component focuses on some of the central areas of investigation in Psychology. For each key theme, students are presented with both a classic and a contemporary study. The classic studies are ‘landmark’ pieces of research that have helped to shape the course of the subject and which all students of Psychology should be familiar with. The contemporary studies are more ‘up-to-date’ pieces of research that engage in some way with the issues being explored in the classic studies they are paired with Component title Content overview Component 3: Applied psychology Compulsory section on ‘issues in mental health’. Options: students select two options from a choice of four: • Child psychology • Criminal psychology • Environmental psychology • Sport and exercise psychology Methodological issues and debates to run throughout the component including: • Nature/nurture • Freewill/determinism • Reductionism/holism • Individual/situational explanations • Usefulness of research • Ethical considerations • Conducting socially sensitive research • Psychology as a science A Level content overview ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology11
    • The assessment consists of three written examinations externally assessed by OCR. Component Marks Duration Weighting Component 1 Research methods 90 2 hours 30% Section A 20 multiple-choice questions. These contain four options each and are worth one mark per question. These can assess any part of the component 20 Section B Research design and response: students are required to answer all questions relating to a novel source 35 Section C Data analysis and interpretation: students are required to answer all questions based on a novel source 35 Component 2 Psychological themes through core studies 105 2 hours 35% Section A Core studies: students are required to answer all short- answer questions 35 Section B Areas, perspectives and debates: students are required to answer all questions 35 Section C Practical applications: students are required to answer all questions relating to a novel source 35 Component 3 Applied psychology 105 2 hours 35% Section A Issues in mental health: students are required to answer all questions 35 Section B Options: students select two options from a choice of four: • Child psychology • Criminal psychology • Environmental psychology • Sport and exercise psychology 70 Assessment overview Assessment overview ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology12
    • What stays the same? What changes? Structure All components remain compulsory Moved from a four to a three compulsory component qualification Content A practical approach to research methods has been maintained There is still a core studies approach Students retain the ability to make choices in Component 3 Content across all components has been updated Component 1 has an increased focus on vital quantitative skills Component 1 now requires students to carry out a range of practical activities and reflect on these activities in the assessment New and exciting core studies have been added A compulsory section on issues in mental health has been added in Component 3 ‘Health’ as an option in Component 3 has been removed Education has been incorporated into the Child Development option in Component 3 New engaging options have been introduced in Component 3 Assessment All components are assessed through written examinations that are externally marked Total examination time is six hours to satisfy the new minimum assessment time rules for A Level qualifications Multiple-choice questions are included in Section A of Component 1 There is more focus on applying knowledge to novel sources All examinations are terminal What stays the same, what changes? What stays the same, what changes? ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology13
    • Psychology specimen assessment materials Sample questions (Subject to accreditation) Component 1 Which is an example of qualitative data? A. the diary entries of six patients suffering from schizophrenia B. the length of time each participant spent reading a list of words C. the modal colour chosen by extroverts D. the percentage of respondents who agreed with capital punishment Which feature of science refers to the importance of being able to refute a psychologist’s claim? A. deduction B. face validity C. falsification D. verification Which is an example of interval level data? A. the mass, in grams, of the brain of an individual with schizophrenia B. the number of nightmares experienced by an individual with schizophrenia C. the number of novel words spoken in one hour by an individual with schizophrenia D. the rating of the severity of the delusions experienced by an individual with schizophrenia You have been asked to carry out a further observational study to investigate the differences in use of personal space between rural and urban environments. This will be part of a quasi experiment using one village and one city. Write an alternative hypothesis for your investigation. Explain how you would carry out an observation to investigate the differences in use of personal space between rural and urban environments. Justify your decisions as part of your explanation. You must refer to; • structured and/or unstructured observations • participant and/or non-participant observations • time and/or event sampling • collection of data. You should use your own experience of carrying out an observation to inform your response. Psychology specimen assessment materials ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology14
    • A psychologist tested the effects of expectations on people’s perceptions by carrying out the following experiment. The test item was an ambiguous image – an image that had been purposefully drawn to be perceived in one of two ways – either as a monkey or as a teapot. Participants had to say what they saw after they had viewed the image for one second. Before carrying out the experiment, the psychologist had checked that the ambiguous image could be perceived in one of two ways. His findings are presented in the bar chart below: A bar chart to show the frequency of the different ways in which the ambiguous image was perceived. Summarise the findings from the bar chart. Explain why a bar chart is appropriate for presenting this data. Calculate the percentage number of times that the image was identified as neither a monkey nor a teapot. Show your workings. Component 2 Explain the different external influences on children’s behaviour in Bandura’s study on the transmission of aggression and Watt et al.’s ‘Funhaler’ study. With reference to Milgram’s study of obedience: Describe what the study found in relation to how individuals respond to people in authority. Discuss ethical considerations in relation to the study of individual differences. Component 3 Rosenhan (1973) hypothesised that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are sane and those who are insane. With reference to the key research, discuss how classification of mental illness can result in ‘stickiness of labels’. Child psychology Using the research by Barkley-Levenson et al. explain the relationship between brain development and risk-taking behaviour. Assess ethical problems using brain structure as an explanation of risk-taking behaviour. Max has just passed his driving test and often breaks the speed limit. He enjoys driving fast and even a police warning has not stopped him. Max’s parents have tried to punish him for this behaviour but their interventions have not been successful. Discuss how a psychologist could investigate whether Max’s behaviour is due to brain development. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Frequency Monkey Teapot Image perceived Other Psychology specimen assessment materials ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology15
    • Supporting you all the way We recognise that the introduction of a new specification can bring challenges for implementation and teaching. Our aim is to help you at every stage and we’re working hard to provide a practical package of support in close consultation with teachers and other experts so we can help you to make the changes. For a start, we’ll provide a range of high-quality creative resources. Tailored to the needs of each subject, their focus is on supporting creative teaching approaches and progression for all students. We see our resources as a body of knowledge that will grow throughout the lifetime of the specifications. They’ll be built on the best practice we’ve identified from our discussions with the teaching community since the reforms were announced. Please visit our website at ocr.org.uk/reformresources to take a look at the types of resources on offer. Along with subject-specific resources, you’ll also have access to a selection of generic resources that focus on skills development and professional guidance for teachers. These include the following: Skills Guides –we’ve produced a set of Skills Guides that aren’t specific to Psychology, but each covers a topic that could be relevant to a range of qualifications – for example communication, legislation and research. Download the guides at ocr.org.uk/skillsguides. Active Results –a free online A Level results analysis service to help you review the performance of individual students or your whole school. It provides access to detailed results data, enabling more comprehensive analysis of results to give you a more accurate measurement of the achievements of your centre and individual students. For more details, please refer to ocr.org.uk/activeresults. Publisher partner resources too We’re working with Hodder Education to publish resources for all the new AS and A Level Psychology specifications for 2015. We’re working together to make sure that our resources embed the fundamental content of each specification, while delivering the breadth and depth needed to succeed at A Level and beyond. You can find more details about our publisher partners and all the resources we’re providing on our website at ocr.org.uk/publisherpartners. Supporting you all the way ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology16
    • New and exciting mock papers services ExamCreator Past papers at your fingertips We’ve launched an exciting new online past papers service, ExamCreator, that enables you to build your own test papers from past OCR exam questions. Test papers can be created either focusing on single topics or made up from the full range of topics to produce a complete mock GCSE or A Level exam. You can print tests you’ve created, use them like traditional exam papers or assign them to students to be taken and marked online. Students are sent an email by the system, telling them that a test has been assigned to them and to log in to take the test from any internet- enabled PC. Plus, it could be a great tool for setting homework and tracking the outcomes. You’ll be able to: • Build your own tests using real exam questions • Filter questions by topic, tier, unit, year, etc • Select individual questions and sort them to the test you want • Print off tests as PDF documents to be taken in normal exam conditions – you can print off resource booklets, mark schemes and Examiner’s comments too • Assign tests online • Gather students into teaching groups, year groups or any other combination to make assignment easier • Mark online tests on-screen and record the results • Create reports for individual students or whole teaching groups • Access full telephone and email user support. Tests created in ExamCreator are supported by the original mark scheme and Examiner reports – broken down by individual question. So a mark scheme is created to specifically support a test that’s been built. All the questions are pre-tagged by topic so you don’t have to review every question to create focused tests on specific topics. We’ve worked with partners ‘The Test Factory’ to build ExamCreator and we’ll continue to support the system going forward. In summary…ExamCreator could help you create end-of-topic tests for Assessment for Learning, make termly tests to assess retention of knowledge, set mock examinations or set homework. And remember, it has a built-in reporting system, so could help you track the progress of individual students or teaching groups. To find out more about the costs and to register as a user, please see the details at ocr.org.uk/examcreator. New and exciting mock papers services ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology17
    • Mock exam service (details to be finalised) Most A Level Psychology students, after 2015, will have significantly fewer chances to experience full examination conditions in preparation for their final exams, due to linearisation and assessment at the end of the course. You’ll also have fewer opportunities to assess students’ progress under formal examination conditions. To help fill this gap, we plan to support our A Level Psychology qualifications with a mock examinations service from April 2016. The standard service will feature: • Question papers produced to the same standards as official A Level papers that will be available to download from a secure location • Well-presented, easy-to-interpret mark schemes • Examiner’s commentary on points to look out for when marking • Sample answers with Examiner’s commentary. We’re planning an enhanced service, including benefits such as Chief Examiner’s Standardisation Webinars – live online events hosted by the Chief Examiner providing more detail of the mark scheme and how to apply it – helping you standardise your marking to be closer to a national standard. Mock exam service ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology18
    • Free Psychology A Level reform events An introduction to the new specifications We’re running events throughout the next academic year to help you get to grips with the reformed Psychology qualifications for first teaching in September 2015. Practical events, created with you in mind These carefully planned events are designed to help smooth the path to the reformed qualification and provide you with an understanding of: • The new Psychology specification content, structure and assessment • The differences between the existing and new specifications • The resources and support available for Psychology. They’ll give you the opportunity to speak face to face with our team, and network and discuss teaching approaches with colleagues. In 2015, we’ll also be running a series of events to help you get ready for first teaching of the reformed qualifications. Watch out for details at cpdhub.ocr.org.uk. To receive more information about dates, both of these events, and the wide range of locations as we release them, please register for A Level reform email updates at ocr.org.uk/updates. Free Psychology A Level reform events ocr.org.uk/alevelpsychology19
    • follow us on 1758938145 We also have a team committed to supporting you through this time of change. They would like to hear from you, whether you want to know the bigger picture or what’s happening in a specific subject area, or would like to tell us what kind of resources you’d like to see. To stay up to date with all the relevant news about our A Levels from 2015, register for A Level reform email updates at ocr.org.uk/updates. Psychology Community The social network is a free platform where teachers can engage with each other – and with us – to share ideas and best practice, offer guidance, and access a range of Psychology support materials produced by other teachers. To sign up, go to social.ocr.org.uk. In the meantime if you have any queries, please contact us on 01223 553998 or email us at psychology@ocr.org.uk. For staff training purposes and as part of our quality assurance programme your call may be recorded or monitored. This document contains items which have been sourced from third parties; for a full list of acknowledgements please contact Brand and Campaign, 9 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1GE. ©OCR 2014 Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England. Registered office 1 Hills Road, Cambridge CB1 2EU. Registered company number 3484466. OCR is an exempt charity. facebook.com/ ocrexams linkedin.com/ company/ocr @ocr_exams youtube.com/ ocrexams A LEVEL REFORM