Schools psychology event continues to grow
Date: 30th Jul 2018
Students at a trio of schools have gained an impression of life in higher education during a two-month project with the Department of Psychology at Buckinghamshire New University.
Around 150 A-Level Psychology students from Royal Grammar School and Sir William Ramsay School in High Wycombe; and Chesham Grammar School took part.
Students sat in on lectures and developed research projects for a competition, focusing on subjects including the relationship between belief in the paranormal and IQ, whether attractiveness affects judgment of criminality and the relationship between health and disgust sensitivity.
The winning presentation came from Sir William Ramsay School, with students Nicola Bird, Caitlin Enright and Rebecca Walker earning plaudits for a presentation on ‘Behavioural cues, specifically eye movement, in relation to lying’.
Second prize went to Grace Fahy, Emma Horsted, Romy Leach, and Liv Schurer, of Chesham Grammar School, presenting on ‘the relationship between physical health and levels of disgust’; and third place was awarded to James Gordon, Sharky Iqbal, and Sam Kendall of the Royal Grammar School for their presentation on ‘the effect of anxiety of performance in sport’.
Senior Lecturers Dr Barbara Kingsley and Dr Julia Robertson judged the presentations and the students all won Amazon vouchers.
Dr Robertson said: “This was a great opportunity to strengthen the ties between Bucks New University and some of our local schools.
“The aim was to give current A-Level psychology students the opportunity to experience learning in a higher education environment, with the idea to cultivate their research skills, with the support of the university and their psychology departments, through the development of team research projects.
“This is the third year we have run this event and it has grown each year, with Chesham Grammar School joining the Royal Grammar School and Sir William Ramsay.
“We were delighted to welcome them all and to hear about the wonderful research they had conducted.”
Jacqui Watson, Head of Psychology at the Royal Grammar School, said: “Overall, our boys all found this a great experience, building on their knowledge in areas including analysing data, summarising large amounts of information, speaking in public and analysing other group's presentation and using it to see how they could improve their own research.”
Farhana Rahman, Psychology teacher at Sir William Ramsay School, said: " We are grateful for the opportunity to be able participate in this unique academic event at Bucks New University in collaboration with the Royal Grammar School and Chesham Grammar School.
“The students have learnt so much about research methods and the event clearly highlighted the raw potential in all individuals. Despite students feeling nervous, they showed grit and determination to share their presentations to the lecturers and their peers.
“We are very proud of all those that participated and we look forward to the event next year.”
Katie Cork, Subject Leader – Psychology at Chesham Grammar School, added: “I am delighted that Chesham Grammar School has been able to take part in this experience and the benefits of the collaboration have been numerous.
“The introductory lectures gave students a taste of learning at university, and the chance to discuss their ideas with researchers in different psychological fields helped them to shape their ideas.
“The competition itself has provided a platform for students to develop and apply their practical research skills and knowledge.
"Hearing the presentations from the best research projects has provided all students with a greater understanding of the issues around conducting research in the real world in a way that positively extends their classroom learning.”