Twelve Triumphant Teams, One GDST Psychology Cup

Notting Hill & Ealing High School welcomed A-Level participants from across the GDST to compete in the Psychology Cup. Judged by three of our fantastic alumnae working in the field, the competition demonstrated the fast growing appeal that this essential science has for the younger generation.

gdst psychology cup

On Monday 3rd July, students from across the GDST gathered at the Trust Office to take part in the annual Psychology Cup, a competition for A-level students to present findings from an independently designed and delivered research project. Twelve GDST schools participated this year, highlighting our students’ avid interest in the subject and desire to advocate for a better world. A number of schools joined from their virtual classrooms, representing the GDST family from far and wide across England and Wales. 

Presentations were judged by three GDST alumnae from Croydon High School, and Wimbledon High School respectively – Dr Shola Apena Rogers, Chartered Forensic Psychologist and Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Birmingham, Emma Gleadhill, Specialist in Child/Adolescent Development, and Dr Charlotte Airey, Chartered Counselling Psychologist and Director of The Belgravia Psychology Practice.


Dreams, Myers-Briggs Personalities, and Climate Change

The applications of the science of psychology are many and varied. The GDST Psychology Cup participants brought their investigative skills to a diverse range of topics. Hypotheses investigated ranged from ‘How should we be presenting information to inspire change and not exacerbate climate anxiety?’ and ‘The Psychology Behind Dreams’ to ‘Do similar or different personalities work best together?’ One of the groups even incorporated the use of an AI-generated voiceover into their research on the possible correlation between letters of the alphabet evoking certain emotions.

Catherine McHenry, Head of Psychology at Notting Hill & Ealing School and organiser of the Cup, thinks the sheer variety of applications of psychology is part of its student appeal:


“Psychology is a diverse area of study, including everything from Social Psychology to Cognitive Neuroscience, and there truly is something for everyone to find interesting. It is also incredibly relevant to modern society. Understanding why humans behave in certain ways can foster a sense of empathy for others.”


Collaboration and creativity 

Our judges were enthusiastic about encouraging more young women into the study of psychology, and remarked on their clear support for each other. Dr Charlotte Airey commented:


“The collaboration between the students was evident and watching them support each other as they presented and prepared was very special. ”


Emma Gleadhill spoke with high praise on the creativity and sheer variety of topics presented across the twelve groups:


“From the impact of a film’s emotional tone and content on the appetite, to the use of fear to ignite behaviour change in the face of the climate crisis, it was wonderful to see such curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness in these self-directed projects. “


The winning hypothesis

This year, The Psychology Cup went to South Hampstead High School for their excellent research on the best way to present information to inspire behavioural change relating to the Climate Crisis. The competitive standard this year was high, and all teams were congratulated on their efforts by Catherine McHenry, before Dr Charlotte Airey gave some final words to the winning teams:


“Congratulations to all of the days’ winners and to the overall winners, South Hampstead High School. Their passion for their topic was clear and they produced a truly excellent piece of research.”


Our educational expertise

In the study of psychology, and in every subject, the GDST provides a space where girls learn without limits. Find out more about our educational ethos