Psychology programme at BSB
The Psychology programme has grown quickly in BSB. When we first began, we just had one class of A-level students with about 6 students in total. Now we teaching I/GCSE Psychology and IB Diploma Psychology and the classroom is always full. Last year, we even had to make an extra class so everyone who wanted to study could join. We always try to do something different in class and to learn about ourselves.
The fascination of Psychology is that it attempts to understand human beings and what they do, so we are constantly examining our own actions. We often recreate classic experiments to see how people react. One example is when we examined prosocial behaviour to see if people would help a stranger who is in trouble. One of our students pretended to have an accident in our lunch hall while the rest of the students watched a noted down how many people went to help.
One of my IB classes was studying gender and decided that the boys would dress as girls and the girls would dress as boys! We then went over to our primary school to interview the younger children to see what their ideas about gender differences where. Experimenting like this is at the heart of Psychology and we take every opportunity we can at BSB to conduct our own research.
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Head of Year
Being Head of Year is also very rewarding as each day brings something new. We all have our own personalities and ideas and putting hundreds of people together in one building is always going to lead to interesting things happening and different relationships being formed.
Helping students understand different ways of approaching challenging situations is a really rewarding experience and seeing them take on board advice and finding out what works for them when they encounter difficulties is a really satisfying experience. There is always something to learn and every day is new, fresh and exciting.
After School Activities (ASAs)
I’ve been involved in various different ASAs over the years. Robotics was fun where I helped the students to construct and drive their own robots.
- Debating was also interesting as the students got to investigate and discuss a variety of different topics from animal testing to school uniforms.
- I have also run a board game ASA in the past which involved students working together to complete game challenges rather than competing against each other.
- Chess club was also a good experience where we looked at improving our chess skills and knowledge.
- And, of course, I usually run a Psychology ASA which helps students to become more familiar with what we do in Psychology and how to run experiments.
Now I’m married with children, my time for hobbies has dropped considerably. My favourite sport is squash and I try to play at least twice a week. Despite being exhausted when I finish playing, I find that I am constantly learning something new about the game by playing different people with different styles. It is a great mix of power and skill – and can be great to get out any frustrations!
I’ve spent my last two years working towards my Master’s in Psychology and I would actually consider that a hobby as well. Although it is hard work, it is a labour of love because I enjoy everything about Psychology so I am constantly learning new ideas and concepts that I can bring into the classroom.
I’m an avid reader, particularly science fiction, but haven’t been able to read much due to my own studies. I’m also a huge fan of old black & white American comedies such as Laurel & Hardy and Harold Lloyd. One day, I would like to take a pilgrimage to visit the places these classic films were made….but I need to find time first!
Mr. Jim Hartland
Head of Psychology, Head of Year 9
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