Nicola Heath, Psychology Subject Advisor
As the new academic year approaches, I wanted to share with you some key resources and documents that will help with your planning, whether you are new to teaching OCR GCSE Psychology or have been with us for many years.
Before diving into lesson planning or reviewing, it is important to familiarise yourself with the J203 specification.
If you are an existing teacher it might useful to refresh yourself with the content of the course and ensure that all aspects are covered in your current curriculum. If you are a new teacher, it’s important to look carefully at what students need to know (as well as what they don’t!) when creating your curriculum plan. We have an excellent example scheme of work you can use as a starting point for your planning.
The latest exam materials are a great way to get insight into the experience students will have of sitting psychology exams. The exam papers, mark schemes and examiner reports are all on Teach Cambridge, under the Assessment then Exams tab. These documents together will provide further examples of questions to use with your students as well as an overview of the strengths, weaknesses and common misconceptions from this year’s students.
The examiner reports are thorough and provide feedback on each question on the exam. The call out points in the examiner reports will highlight some key areas to focus on with your own students. The example answers in the examiner reports can also aid your own and students’ understanding of how to respond to the demands of the question posed. Take a look at my previous blog about using examiner reports with your students.
Have your students taken their exams with us this year? Active Results is a useful tool to analyse their performance. You can compare performance overall across papers as well as per question and even compare to the national average. Use these tools to highlight where your students did particularly well and where you might want to add some support for next year.
On Teach Cambridge, we have over 60 free resources that you can use for your planning or with your students in the classroom. These are found under the Activities and Teaching and Delivery Guides tabs.
The most useful resources are the teacher guides for core studies which outline the psychological studies that students need to know for units 01 and 02. We also have a delivery guide for each aspect of the course, and they contain a large range of teaching ideas to use in your lessons.
Some additional resources worth using when planning your curriculum are listed below. However, it’s worth spending some time browsing Teach Cambridge and ‘favouriting’ any potentially useful documents to use later on. These free learning resources will save you lots of time and effort as you create or update your lessons.
We regularly publish blogs aimed at teachers. Some are psychology specific and others are related to general teaching and learning. I will often signpost to these on Twitter and in our newsletters but do look at the previous ones and see what catches your interest. For example, the recent blogs on flipped learning and spaced review may give you some ideas for planning the year ahead.
We run a range of free events and courses to help support your planning and teaching including Exam Review, Starting to Teach and Q&A events..
If you are interested in meeting other teachers and sharing ideas, why not join one of our online network events later this term?
Our teachers tell us that one of the best forms of professional development is to become an examiner, as you get a real in-depth look at how exams are marked – and plenty of practice too!
Keep your eyes peeled on the BPS website as they will be running a series of free webinars aimed at psychology teachers throughout this academic year. I will also share the details when they are published.
There are a number of YouTube channels that have dedicated playlists for GCSE Psychology. Take a look at Miss Maw’s Psychology Revision, Hartismere Psychology and PsychSpace for videos you can use in lessons or share with students for revision and recap.
Looking for quick quizzes you can use as revision with your students or set as a homework task? Hodder Education host a set of interactive online quizzes for each of the seven sections of the course.
The Mind Changers podcast series has some excellent talks about studies and topics related to OCR Psychology. You could play clips or set an episode as homework; maybe even suggest your students combine this with taking a walk and getting some fresh air.
There’s a huge range of people on Twitter, posting daily articles, tips and ideas that might just give you that inspirational boost to support you and your students. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
If you are starting to teach OCR GCSE Psychology for the first time, or have questions about content, assessment or resources, you can contact me on email@example.com. As a subject advisor, my role is to help and support you to deliver our psychology qualifications.
Do you have any other resources that you have found useful when planning? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org call us on 01223 553998 or tweet 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.