Edinburgh Local

Psychology for schools

Undergraduate Psychology students have been working with pupils at Craigroyston Community High School to introduce them to the subject.

An image of the brain
Pupils have been learning about how the brain works.

As part of their final year studies, students of Psychology can choose to work in partnership with a local school to develop a set of lesson plans. The classes tie in to schools’ National 5 Psychology curriculum and the resources created are given to the schools for future use.

Some classes involved students talking to pupils about how the brain works, the various functions of its different parts, and how it shapes our view of the world and the way in which we respond to stimuli. 

They were also taught about the famous 19th century case of Phineas Gage whose brain was seriously injured in an industrial accident and who was then extensively studied by doctors, allowing them to develop their understanding of how someone’s behaviour and personality could be altered when the brain is damaged.

Other classes investigated mental health and wellbeing.  Discussion included how we are influenced by parents and peers as well as the media and advertising, and how to cope with issues like discrimination.

The importance of emotional resilience was explored and pupils were given some practical skills they could take home and practice daily in order to develop a stronger mental outlook.

This resource is one of three: ‘The Brain’, ‘Prejudice Reduction Strategies’ and ‘Attention and Advertising Techniques’, all of which can be accessed through the University of Edinburgh’s Open.Ed website

Feedback from the classes was positive:

Today I learned that what I feel today is not how I will always feel; therefore, I will remember that when I have a bad day.

Workshop participant

 Today I learned about being mindful and learning from my mistakes; therefore, I will take risks and spend time being mindful each day.

Workshop participant


After the classes, several pupils spent time talking to the students about the possibility of studying psychology in further or higher education, and were given encouragement to do so. 

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What do our students think?