"Taught at A Level and International Baccalaureate (IB), Psychology is a very popular course at Haileybury. It offers considerable diversity and challenge and we are rated by pupil feedback as one of the top departments."
Angus Macdonald Head of Department
At Haileybury, Psychology is a Sixth Form subject only with both A Level and IB syllabuses being taught. All pupils learn about the major studies which have informed psychological thinking and the vast array of methods employed, from lab experiments to observations.
There is a particular focus on the implications of gender and culture on behaviour; very much suiting the cosmopolitan profile of the pupils studying the subject.
Whether studying A Level or IB, the first year in both courses delivers a general introduction to the diverse nature of the different approaches within the subject, their methods, proponents and areas of interest.
The second year specialises a little more with the applications of Psychology to areas such as criminology and health.
The Psychology syllabus is the first to change to the new linear A Level rather than changing boards. In the case of A Levels, the Upper Sixth are currently studying the Edexcel A2 syllabus while the Lower Sixth have just embarked upon the first year of the new Edexcel linear A Level.
Enrichment forms a core part of our course delivery. As well as offering a range of print and web-based contemporary Psychology-related resources, the department also manages an enrichment resource database. This is regularly updated with recent developments in Psychology.
A significant element of how the department teaches the course is the opportunity to hear leading thinkers in modern Psychology. Haileybury attracts a number of visiting speakers to lecture to the pupils.
Last year, for example, Charles Gale spoke on social influence and behavioural heuristics; this year the pupils will be addressed by Dr Jane Garrison, Director of Studies, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, at Robinson College, University of Cambridge.
Pupils also take part in lecture trips. In 2015, for example, we will be listening to Professor Elizabeth Loftus, world-renowned psychologist in the area of eye witness testimony and false memory.
Head of Department Angus MacDonald BSc PGCE is a passionate believer in learning for life and inspiring a lifelong curiosity about the world. Holding a BSc (Hons) in Sociology from Kingston University, be began life in the IT industry for companies such as ICL and Compaq. Eventually deciding to retrain, he became a teacher of Business, Psychology and Religious Studies at Hampton School in 2003 before branching out and finally specialising in Psychology two years later. Within three years of starting he became Head of Department at Hampton, holding that position for 6 years before joining Haileybury in 2012. Angus is married to Sarah and has four children (3 boys and a girl ranging from 14 to 7), two of whom are at Haileybury.
Angus's team at Haileybury includes: Angus Head BSc MA Deputy Head (Co-curricular); Emma Millo BA MSc; and Linzi Burstein BA.
To find out more about our recent Psychology results, please click on the link below: