December 2023 Psychology subject update
Welcome to your Pearson Edexcel Psychology December 2023 subject update!
It has been a busy school year so far and I hope you have managed to strike a balance between supporting and inspiring your students, and looking after yourselves! Thank you for all of the feedback you have provided through various channels, and for the very good questions you have asked.
I wanted to take the opportunity to share some key updates, event information and useful resources with you. As always, please do get in touch with me if you have any queries or if I can help with anything.
Psychology Subject Advisor
This update includes:
- Ofqual guidance on resilience and collecting evidence.
- Reminder - access to scripts closes on 15th December.
- Examiner vacancies (all psychology qualifications) and trainer vacancies (international A Level and GCSE for international centres).
- Pearson Edexcel National Teaching Awards.
- AS and A level (Exam feedback training videos and exemplars with marks, new command word guidance).
- GCSE (new exemplars with commentary from recent training, exam feedback videos coming soon).
- International A Level (teacher resource pack available later this December, textbooks to be published in December 2024, clinical interviews in developmental psychology resource).
On 21 September 2023, Ofqual published the resilience guidance for centres delivering: GCSE, AS and A levels, Project Qualifications and Advanced Extension Award in maths (AEA). We’ve put together a summary of this guidance on our new support page with links through to the full information from Ofqual.
Please do encourage your team members to read through this guidance in full.
If you have not already done so, our free Access to Scripts service is a very valuable resource as it allows you to interrogate how your students performed in their exams in order to inform your teaching.
The service closes on the 15th December so ensure that you have downloaded any scripts that you would like to save before then.
Working as an examiner, or Assessment Associate, is the best way to develop your understanding of the requirements of exam questions, which can in turn be a huge asset in terms of preparing students for future exams.
We currently have vacancies for each of our psychology courses, and you can find out more and apply online via the links below. If you run into any difficulties with the application system, please do contact me at email@example.com and I can put you in touch with our Assessment Leader for psychology who oversees examiner recruitment.
There are also vacancies for trainers for International A Level psychology, and for GCSE psychology for international centres, and you will find information on these at the bottom of the vacancies list linked below.
The Pearson National Teaching Awards aim to raise the profile of the teaching profession, highlight the positive impact teachers and school leaders have in our society – with pupils, parents and the wider community, and show teachers how much they are valued.
Entry is free, and the awards are open to all state and independent schools and FE colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
2024 entries are now open, and we want to get as many early entries in as possible. Deadline for applications is 1st March.
A nomination can have a huge impact, not just on those entered, but on the whole community. Become part of the 25 year legacy and enter today at www.teachingawards.com
A 2023 Silver Winner said: “The profession needs to be shouted from the rooftops. They work incredibly hard & dedicate their lives to young people - it’s vital they get the recognition they deserve.”
If you enter before 22 December you will be eligible for early bird feedback on your entry, along with the chance to win 2 x free tickets to one of the prestigious 2024 celebratory events to meet and network with fellow educators.
- Outstanding New Teacher of the Year, supported by the Department for Education
- Lifetime Achievement, supported by the Department for Education·
- FE Lecturer, supported by the Department for Education·
- FE Team of the Year, supported by the Department for Education
- Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School, supported by Hays Education
- Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School, supported by Hays Education·
- Teacher of the Year in a Primary School·
- Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, supported by Nord Anglia Education
- Digital Innovator of the Year, supported by Nord Anglia Education
- Primary School of the Year – Making a Difference
- Secondary School of the Year – Making a Difference
- Excellence in Special Needs Education
- Early Years Team of the Year
- Teaching Assistant of the Year·
- Impact through Partnership
- Unsung Hero
We have recorded video versions of our live exam feedback training events for 2023's A Level psychology papers, and these are available in the 'past training content' of the qualification page - see link below - along with all of the exemplar responses we used and the marks that these were awarded.
The videos are on my Subject Advisor YouTube channel but are unlisted currently, so they are not accessible to students, in order to preserve the papers for future mock exams. You will therefore need to use the '2023 Exam Feedback Links' document to access them. This, and the exemplars, are locked resources so require an Edexcel Online Login. If you have difficulties accessing this then please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following a round of consultation events with teachers in the summer we identified a need to clarify the use of command words and how they are mapped to the Assessment Objectives in A Level exams. Understanding what command words including 'describe', 'evaluate', 'discuss' and 'assess' are looking for is key and we felt that we could offer some useful additional guidance to that found in the specification.
We plan to create a playlist of short student-friendly YouTube videos to accompany this resource, each focused on a different command word with exemplars taken from examiner reports from 2022 and earlier, and I will share details in a future update.
We recently ran 'Welcome to Pearson' training for Edexcel Psychology, aimed at international centres. Module 2 featured marking exercises using new exemplars with examiner commentary taken from the 2023 exam papers, and as such may be of interest to all GCSE teachers.
You can download the presentation containing the responses, and the marks and examiner commentary, from our community group (they will be added to the qualification web page shortly too).
We are currently producing video versions of our 2023 exam feedback training for GCSE psychology, as we have done for A Level. If you missed these events, apologies for the delay in making recorded versions available. We anticipate them being ready by the middle of December and will share them in a future update.
A new Pearson teacher resource pack created specifically for the International A Level psychology course will shortly become available to purchse through the link below and I will confirm that it is available in my next update - this should be by 15th December.
For this area of the specification resources can be hard to come by so teachers may find this short resource, adapted from the Pearson UK A Level textbook, of some use.
Work continues on new Pearson textbooks to support the International AS and A Level courses. These now have a planned publication date of 1st December 2024.