Social Sciences

Health & Social Care

BTEC Health and Social Care (Mrs Rodrigues)

Level 1/2 BTEC Tech Award  in Health and Social Care  

(This course is equivalent to 1 GCSE  grades 1-9)

This is an excellent course for pupils who wish to go into careers that include Nursing, Primary Teaching, Physiotherapy, Social Work and Mental Health care.

The course focuses on key knowledge and skills that underpin working in  the Health and Social Care sector. There are three components:

  • Component 1 - Human Development across our life stages – this component looks at how we grow and develop across our lives, the factors that affect this and an assessment of the impact of these factors.  (Timed Internally assessed coursework) (30%)
  • Component 2 – Health and Social Care Values – this component looks how the Health and Social Care Sector works and the care values that under pin it (Timed Internally assessed coursework) (30%)
  • Component 3  -  Health and Wellbeing – this looks at the factors that affect our health and well being. Students are also required to assess an individual’s health and wellbeing and use this assessment to create and evaluate a health and wellbeing improvement plan. (Externally assessed examination) (40%)

             This course does not focus on looking after children.

This is a demanding course that is 60% coursework and, as such, carries a heavy workload associated with the continuous assessment of coursework in both Year 10 and 11. These take the form of controlled assessments for which deadlines are strict, and as a result the course moves with pace and rigour.

Pupils need to be motivated and develop excellent time management skills whilst working independently for extended periods of time in lessons on computers and during their assessed Internal coursework.


GCSE Psychology


Meeting the needs of SEND and disadvantaged students

In accordance with our whole school policy, Psychology teachers place SEND and disadvantaged students at the heart of their lesson planning.  

In Psychology we provide for the progress of SEND and disadvantaged students by:

  • Providing regular opportunities for retrieval in the form of retrieval starters. Students will be regularly be retrieving information from previous lessons and topics
  • Tracking systems in place to monitor student’s performance and intervention put in place for the students who may have gaps in their learning


This course provides a framework that allows students to develop your scientific interpretation and evaluation skills to look critically at data, theories and models which attempt to explain behaviour.

Course outline:

In GCSE Psychology, there are six compulsory topics and two optional topics which are chosen by the department.

The six core topics are:

Research Methods – Students learn how to design and carry out different types of psychological research. Students will also learn how to analyse the results of these studies and to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each research method for studying behaviour.

Development – students will learn how our brains develop in early life and how our intelligence develops as we grow. This includes the role that education plays in intelligence, and how we learn.

Memory – students will learn a variety of theories of how our memories function, why we remember some things and not others, what amnesia is as well as other types of memory loss.

Psychological Problems – Students will learn the symptoms of depression and addiction, how people develop depression and addiction and how these psychological problems can be treated.

The Brain and Neuropsychology – Students will learn about the structure and function of neurons, synapses and different parts of the brain, brain lateralisation, and how neurological damage can lead to visual agnosia and prosopagnosia.

Social Influence – students will learn how and why people conform (go along with what other people are doing) and obey (follow orders). Additionally, they will learn how people become deindividuated and what the bystander effect is. Students will then learn about how different cultures vary in their levels of conformity and obedience.

The options topics will be:

Sleep and Dreaming – students will learn about the stages of sleep, internal and external influences on sleep, sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy, and different theories about why we dream.

Criminal Psychology – students will learn why people become criminals, the effects of punishment for crimes and how criminals can be rehabilitated so that they do not reoffend.

Each topic also contains key psychological studies on the research area, and an important issue or debate in Psychology, such as free-will versus determinism. Whilst there will be opportunities on the course to be hands-on and conduct psychological research, GCSE Psychology involves a lot of written theory, mathematical calculations and interpretations of data collected and biology.

How it’s assessed:

Psychology is assessed through a variety of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions. Some questions will test the students recall on theories/concepts and studies, others will test their ability to apply these to a novel scenario. Students can also be asked to evaluate the effectiveness of different ideas and draw conclusions from data. Finally, students can also be asked to show their ability to interpret and manipulate data in the form of graphs and calculations.

Assessment and Progression:

Throughout the course students will be assessed in 2 main ways:

  1. End of Topic Tests – students will be tested at the end of the topic on the last topic they have learnt, plus a small number of questions from previous topics. The rationale for this is to increase the rehearsal of information, so students are constantly revisiting previous work.
  2. Long answer questions – students will practice answering long answer questions in class, sometimes in timed conditions and sometimes unseen. These will be marked using the banded marking system provided by the spec, and the structure, fluency and content will all be assessed.

Examination Board:  


Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)


2 Papers:

Paper 1:

  • Development
  • Memory
  • Psychological problems.
  • Neuropsychology and the brain.
  • Social influence.

Paper 2:

  • Criminal psychology.
  • Sleep and dreaming. 
  • Research methods.

Progression to Post-16:

Students could take the A-level Psychology, which is taught at Didcot Sixth Form on the AQA Specification.

Future career links:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Counsellor
  • Policy Maker
  • Occupational Psychologist
  • Teacher
  • Prison Officer
  • Criminology degree
  • Mental Health Practitioner
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Detective
  • Market Researcher
  • Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
  • Neuroscientist
  • Human Resources Officer


Miss Freya Ralph

Head of Psychology

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