Nicola Heath, Psychology Subject Advisor
In this blog I’ll answer your key questions about our planned refreshed A Level specification, explain how and why our content and assessment models are changing, and give an overview of our contemporary and engaging qualification.
We have submitted a draft refresh of our A Level Psychology specification to the regulator and are awaiting their response. We are planning for this to be approved for first teaching in September 2024 and we hope to confirm this by January 2024. For now, you don’t need to take any action, or make any plans.
To see our refreshed A Level in Psychology, including our draft specifications, sample assessment materials and the support available, please visit our dedicated webpage.
The changes we are proposing are teacher led. We always listen to teachers, and collect their feedback about our qualifications. We found several emerging themes about our A Level Psychology and decided to work on these improvements sooner rather than later.
We began the development in Summer 2022 starting with a detailed external review of our specification and analysis of any previous teacher feedback. We wanted to make sure we got it just right our process has been very vigorous and thoughtful. We then held a number of consultation focus groups with teachers, heads of department, principle examiners, HE lecturers, and representatives from organisation such as The ATP and BPS.
Teacher and stakeholder feedback is always at the very heart of everything we do. Throughout the development journey we analysed all the feedback from our survey’s. Thanks to so many of you who gave up your time and got involved.
One of the major themes coming through from teachers’ feedback was to reduce the volume of content that was required to be taught. This would take some pressure of both teachers and students whilst also allowing time for additional activities such as practical research projects and a focus on exam technique and revision.
With these parameters set, we feel confident that we can deliver a successful refreshed A Level Psychology qualification that meets the needs of our teachers and students. In our draft proposal we have:
Our team of psychology subject advisors are ready to help you along your journey. We’ll be offering up a range of preparation and delivery support services. We’ll share updates and resources, and invite you to training and networking opportunities by email. Be sure to sign up to receive your subject updates.
To help you navigate the specification and its content we’re creating detailed assessment guides too. Organising a wide range of professional development courses, from getting started with us to exploring our exams and assessment materials. You can discover more on our professional development website, in addition to:
I hope the blog has helped inform you about the latest development stages of the draft refreshed to A Level Psychology. Whilst we wait for confirmation from Ofqual to be completed, our aims is for the refreshed qualification to be ready for first teaching in September 2024 and we hope to confirm the good news with you in January.
The proposed changes to the volume of content and consistency of assessment have been made as a direct result of the extensive and valuable teacher feedback we have received. We are busy working on new resources and support for existing and new OCR teachers.
There is nothing you need to do for now, we will be in touch when we know the outcome of the regulatory process, and we’ll be here to help you every step of the way with the transition.
Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com, call us on 01223 553998 or message us @ocr_psychology. You can also sign up to subject updates to keep up-to-date with the latest news, updates and resources.
Nicola joined OCR in 2022 as the Subject Advisor for Psychology. Prior to joining OCR, she taught psychology for over 10 years and had various other responsibilities in that time including being Head of Year. SENDCo and Subject Leader for PSHE. Nicola has a personal interest in mental health and wellbeing and enjoys reading, baking and spending time outdoors to relax.