Hints and tips - 10 minute read
Lucy Carey, Subject Advisor
This blog was originally published on 17 April 2020
For many of you, you’re probably used to working from home and in the classroom now supporting your students that are working at home too.
For our psychology subjects we have a number of free resources that you might already be familiar with: ExamBuilder - currently available for A Level Psychology only, candidate exemplars, past papers, practice papers and SAMs and of course the valuable examiner reports. From your feedback we know these are useful tools to support your teaching.
If you have not been on Interchange recently, I recommend that you download the June 2019 and November 2020 question papers, mark schemes, examiner reports with the matching candidate exemplars.
A new resource that came because of your feedback was a Guide to Assessment for Paper 2. This is a student friendly guide, full of exemplars, tips and ideas on how to structure your answers and decode questions.
There are also lots of good resources that you may have forgotten about when trying to work in exceptional circumstances. Here’s a quick reminder of where you can find some of our other free resources.
The planning and teaching page on our website for our GCSE and A Level qualifications is worth a look. To save you time I’ve summarised the most useful sections:
Remember not all activities should involve technology. You could get creative with the activities you set, and allow your students to get a break from the computer screen while still applying their understanding to psychological concepts.
For example, get your students to recreate their own version of Piaget’s 3 mountain model. Pick a core study and have a “bake off” competition with your class, making a cake that captures the key concepts and issues in a study.
Create a Facebook or Instagram biography for a researcher or participant in a key or core study, include key information about them such as their likes and dislikes, possible friends, types of posts they’d share – remember to stay true to what we know about the study.
We ran a successful range of exam preparation CPD webinars in autumn 2020. These were delivered by assessors who also teach the OCR psychology specifications for both GCSE and A Level, so were full of rich practical ideas on how to assess and teach the different elements of the specification. The sessions were not just about exam preparation, but also talked about assessment objectives, how to teach tricky areas, and how to target top level performance for Paper 2.
All these materials can already be found under the past events tab on the professional development website (CPD). The exam feedback for 2019 CPD materials is available on Interchange alongside the Mock Marking workshop materials too.
Universities are a good place for your A Level groups to to start looking at. Some are sharing activities and resources that your students can do at home. Royal Holloway is one example you could access. The Freud Museum also has a range of activities and resources for you to look at.
For any units that cover mental health, all of the resources above will have sections on mental health, but you can’t beat mind.org.uk. This charity is all things mental health: they have an A-Z of mental health, downloadable leaflets, information, support, campaigns and news. You don’t need to interpret jargon and the website is designed to be accessible and user friendly.
The ATP has transition activities that can be shared with your current Year 11 students and other teacher resources. They are also hosting free CPD on building confidence in teaching descriptive statistics and building confidence in teaching Inferential statistics in collaboration with AMSP.
The BPS has done a huge amount in the last year with their new Teacher Toolkit from the Education and Training Board. There are a full range of career videos and student support guides on statistics and research methods. There is wider reading in the Research Digest and includes the digest podcasts.
Alongside our blogs, there are other teacher blogs that can inspire you with ideas such as Psychology Rocks or podcasts such as the BBC’s All in the Mind for your students to listen to.
As you already know these two-year groups will not sit exams in summer 2021. However, you can still support your Year 11 and your Year 13 students who may potentially go on to study psychology at A Level Psychology or university next year.
You could help them by sharing your transition activities that you would normally have set out to do during the summer holidays. Examples include listening to great TED talks that link to the specification, such as What is Schizophrenia are recommended, or watching documentaries that also are relevant and link to the topics in the specification - such as Three Identical Strangers (about separated identical triplets) or Stacey Dooley’s On the Psych Ward.
Both A Level and GCSE students could do mini practical research investigations from home. We have the handbook guide to practical investigations to help.
Students could do investigations on family members. Examples could be - can different types of music lead to different physiological responses? Measuring the heart rates of participants in response to various types of music to see if there is a clear difference. Or do action films cause people to eat more popcorn and candy during a movie? The BPS has created a guide on how to carry out practical work during Covid–19. Very well mind has pulled together resources and support for this type of investigation.
Alternatively, you can follow the ideas from the A Level Applied Learning Scenarios and apply theory to real-world situations and news stories.
You will likely have your own departmental lists for this, but it might be worth reading a few of my favourites:
There is plenty of research that says reading helps wellbeing and you can share this insight with your students to support them while working remotely.
Twitter has a huge range of people, posting daily articles, tips and ideas that might just give you that inspirational boost to support you and your students. These accounts are just to get you started:
Many great online resources are available, so join the conversation by sharing your ideas and resource links in the comment box below.
If you have any queries or questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter @OCR_Psychology. You can also sign up to subject updates and receive email information about resources and support.
Lucy Carey - Subject Advisor
Lucy joined OCR in September 2017 as the subject advisor for sociology and psychology. Before joining OCR she worked as a teacher as the head of sociology and psychology departments in Peterborough, Yorkshire and Cambridge. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving and travel.