At OHS we hold events for our students and invite external speakers to share their expertise knowledge in their field of Psychology with our students.

Our Y12 students had a lovely afternoon visiting the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford last week. The visit provided our A-Level students planning to take Psychology at University with a chance to experience a real research setting, the research laboratory and gave them an opportunity take part in a study of their perception of time! Our girls really enjoyed their time at the department and have been invited again, this time to attend an MSc Poster Presentation where students will present the findings of their highly interesting research projects. We are delighted to offer them this exciting opportunity to learn about research at post graduate level, as well as to meet the supervisors of the MSc students, who are all eminent researchers themselves.

Our Year 12 Psychology students had a lovely day at the Brain Network Dynamics Unit. The open day was designed specifically for A-Level students where they attended talks on the use of animals in medical research (Professor Paul Bolam), computer simulation and brain simulation (Dr Rafal Bogacz), as well as neural aspects of memory, (Dr David Dupret). They were also given a fabulous opportunity to attend a practical session into synaptic plasticity in the brain (Professor Peter Somogyi), the brain in Parkinson’s disease (Professor Peter Magill and Dr Andrew Sharott) and a human brain stimulation demonstration by Professor Peter Brown and Dr Huiling Tan. We finished the lovely day with lunch in the park in the beautiful spring weather!

The Psychology students enjoyed a lovely day in Warwick at the Power of the Mind Conference, attending fascinating key note speakers in the areas of the Science of Laughter (Professor Sophie Scott, UCL), and the Psychology of Cognitive Neuroscience and Anxiety disorders (Dr Oliver Robson, UCL). We were also delighted to listen to Dr Sam Wass from the University of Cambridge (who is famous for his contribution to ‘The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds’) exploring the Development of Attention. The fabulous day finished with the students exploring the impact of Dancing on the Brain as we all got up and danced together with Dr Peter Lovatt!

We were delighted that Dr Nenagh Kemp (a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Tasmania) was able to join us to talk about how she has extended her research in children’s literacy to young people’s reading and writing of text messages. She introduced her research in the talk: Txt Msgng: Does it ruin our literacy skills?   Dr Kemp also introduced her new book, focusing upon whether text messaging really ruins out literacy skills and this was followed by an interesting discussion with the students.

We were also delighted to have Clinical Psychologist Amanda Robinson coming to visit us. Amanda introduced our students to ‘a day in the life of’ a Clinical Psychologist, which many of the girls enjoyed.

We were also very happy to welcome Dr Cynthia Graham, to OHS to talk about the process of revision and the new DSM-5 which came out in the summer 2013. Dr Graham described some of the major controversies and issues that the DSM Task Force have been grappling with the new publication. It was a fascinating insight, and very timely since Sixth Form students had been watching the Horizon documentaries “How Mad are You?” in Psychology Club and using these programmes as a basis for discussion of mental health conditions, the reliability and validity of diagnoses and the perception of mental health conditions in society.

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