Economics at Sir Thomas Rich's

Business and Economics are both grounded in the real world and the dynamic nature of both subjects is evident in the frequent reference to contemporary events.

Economics enables learners to foster an understanding of economics concepts and theories in a range of contexts and to develop a critical consideration of their value and limitation in explaining real world phenomena. Students will understand microeconomic and macroeconomic market models and will be able to use these to explore current economic behaviours and develop an understanding of how the models shed light on the economy as a whole.

Both Business and Economics develop skills in: analysing and interpreting data, assessing different viewpoints, applying concepts to the real world, delivering presentations and working in a team.


Head of Department:
Department Teaching Staff:
Chris Perry, Tim Hubbard, Nathan Chan, Robert Lightowlers, Alexander Allison and Martin Burley: Winners of the Regional BASE Competition 2016-2017

Key Stage 4 - Years 10 & 11

Teaching Arrangements: Students are taught for 4 periods per week in GCSE Economics.
Homework Guidance: Homework is set weekly. In Year 10 homework will often require answering a series of questions created around the new examination but may also involve: adding to notes from the textbook; learning key terms for a test in class; revising a whole topic for a test in class; using the internet to conduct research or watching a recommended TV programme and making notes. In Year 11 students will complete an examination practice question every week to fine-tune their examination technique and in addition another homework as in Year 10.
Exam Specification: GCSE Economics: OCR J205 Topics Covered:
Year 10
  • Role of economic groups
  • Central economic problem and opportunity cost
  • Role of markets
  • Demand, supply and market price
  • Competition: degrees of competition and monopoly power
  • Production: importance for economy, economies of scale
  • The labour market and pay
  • Role of financial institutions
Year 11
  • Economic growth
  • Employment
  • Fair distribution of income
  • Price stability
  • Fiscal policy
  • Monetary policy
  • Supply-side policies
  • Limitations of markets
  • International trade
  • Exchange rates
  • Globalisation
Assessment Arrangements: 100% examination consisting of:
Paper 1 (50%) - 1 hour and 30 minutes
This paper examines the topics of Unit 1 and aspects of Unit 2.
The paper consists of 20 multiple choice questions and extended writing questions based on three case studies, marks currently range from 2 to 6 marks. Total marks: 80

Paper 2 (50%) - 1 hour and 30 minutes
This paper examines the topics of Unit 2 and aspects of Unit 1.
The format of questions is exactly the same as Paper 1. Total marks: 80

After studying GCSE Economics students are in a very strong position to continue and study A Level Economics, however, it is not a prerequisite for the A level course. Alternatively students may wish to consider A Level Business that takes a broader approach in studying how businesses operate and covers such areas as marketing, production, accounts and personnel.

Entry Requirements: A GCSE Grade B in Economics is required (if studied) or a Grade 6 in Mathematics.
Teaching Arrangements: Classes are taught by two teachers totalling 7 periods in Year 12 and 8 periods in Year 13.
Homework Guidance: Students are assessed through a variety of questions. Some handouts involve short answer questions based on a context, other questions involve higher marks and are based on longer extracts. Essays are also set, although more frequently in Year 13. Students are also tested using multiple choice questions. Typically an assessment is set weekly, either in class or for homework. Homework may also involve further reading, internet research, learning key terms for a test or revising a whole topic for a class test.
Assessment Arrangements: This course is 100% examination with three examinations at the end of the second year.
Component 1: Microeconomics: covers the basic economic problem, how a market economy works, the theory of demand and supply, market failure and government correction of market failure.

Component 2: Macroeconomics: covers economic policy objectives indicators of macroeconomic performance, aggregate demand and supply analysis, fiscal, monetary and supply-side policies.

Components 1 and 2 are assessed through a compulsory data response question and two essays (each essay has a choice of two questions).
Component 3: Themes in Economics - a synoptic unit that draws on the content of Components 1 and 2. This is assessed through 30 multiple choice questions and an extended case study with questions ranging from 2 to 15 marks.

Each examination last 2 hours and there is equal weighting given to each paper when calculating the final grade.
Exam Specification: A Level Economics: OCR H460 Topics Covered:
Year 12
  • Microeconomics:
  • The economic problem and types of economy: market, planned and mixed
  • Demand and supply, market equilibrium price and changes in equilibrium
  • Elasticity of different types
  • Types of efficiency: productive, allocative, dynamic
  • Reasons for market failure and consequences of market failure eg public goods, merit goods, external costs
  • Government intervention to tackle market failure such as taxation, subsidies, legislation, pollution permits, and so on.
  • Macroeconomics:
  • Structure of economy in terms of industry
  • Economic growth and development as well as sustainable development
  • Macroeconomic policy objectives
  • Means of measuring and policies to improve: inflation, unemployment, economic growth and balance of payments
  • Trends in macroeconomic performance of UK economy and why
  • Model of aggregate demand and aggregate supply and impact on AD/AS of government policies
Year 13
  • Microeconomics:
  • Types of competition and behaviour of firms in different markets, including monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition and perfect competition
  • Demand and supply applied to the labour market, reasons for labour market failure such as trade unions, monopsony power and immobility of labour
  • Methods of government intervention to tackle labour market failure eg national minimum wage
  • Income and wealth inequality: causes and consequences, government solutions to the issues
  • Government failure – the unintended consequences of government intervention
  • Macroeconomics:
  • The economic cycle
  • Phillips curve representation of inflation and unemployment trade-off
  • International trade and absolute/comparative advantage
  • Economic integration such as common trade areas and customs unions
  • Different measures of exchange rates
  • Role of the financial sector in the economy, reasons for regulation
  • Role of the central bank such as the Bank of England
  • Approaches to macro policy depending on circumstance eg credit crunch

Due to the demands of the quantitative topics, students should feel confident in their numerical ability. Students should also possess strong literacy skills as they will be required to answer high mark questions as well as planning and writing essays.

Students are encouraged to read a quality newspaper daily, the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) subscribes to the Financial Times. The Economist is also highly recommended and again a copy is available through the LRC and students can access this digitally as well. Further advice on extended reading, such as textbooks, recent non-fiction books, websites and blogs can be found on Sharepoint.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto: Students may wish to pursue a degree course in Economics or a specific area of the subject that they have enjoyed such as Development Economics or Environmental Economics. Alternatively, they may wish to study a related subject such as Economics Management, Marketing, Accounting, Law, Politics and Land Management.
Careers that Economics may lead onto: There are many avenues open to Economists but typically students tend to follow careers in Banking, Law, Retail Management, Accountancy and Economic Analysis.
From my experience, Economics at Sir Thomas Rich’s is Excellent. Every lesson we are challenged to apply theory to the real world and to understand new ideas. Furthermore, the department allows students to develop their knowledge of Economics outside of the Curriculum. For example, students can take part in the annual “Target 2.0” competition, which is about economic policy making. I was one of the economics students to take part in the competition this year and the experience was fantastic. I would really recommend Economics to any pupils who are interested in gaining a more in depth understanding of the world.
-- Will McMahon (Year 13 student in 2016-2017)
Associated Clubs / Societies / Trips:
  • Young Enterprise
  • BASE Challenge (Accounting and Finance Competition)
  • Shares for School Competition
  • Trips are organised every year but vary from year to year. Recently we have attended:
    • Your Green Future Conference
    • Ethical Business Conference
    • Land Rover talk and tour
Euro Debate: A Level Economists Will McMahon, Sam Jones and Lawrence White present the case for remaining in the EU