Science at Sir Thomas Rich's School

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, all pupils at STRS follow a general Science course, consisting of roughly equal amounts of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course provides a solid foundation for the study of Science, equipping pupils with the skills and knowledge to develop the subject further in their separate Science lessons in Years 8 and 9. There is an emphasis on practical laboratory-based work, as this is fundamental to understanding the way Science works. Topics are particles and materials, the variety of life, energy, dissolving, forces, cell biology and ecology.

In Years 8 and 9, all pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics separately.

GCSE

At Key Stage 4, students are given the choice between continuing to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects (Triple Science) and taking a reduced course in all three sciences, leading to two GCSE grades in Science (Double Science). At STRS, the overwhelming majority of our students opt for separate sciences.

However, we recognise that a number of students wish to develop their talents and interests in many other subjects. Therefore, we offer Double Science as a means of increasing the number of other options available at GCSE from four to five subjects. Currently, about 20 students take Double Science in Year 10 and a slightly smaller number in Year 11. Academically this course is as demanding as separate sciences, although it covers a narrower range of topics. Therefore, we advise anyone considering pursuing A level sciences to choose separate sciences at GCSE, as these courses provide a broader and more secure knowledge base, from which to tackle A level sciences.

Like Biology, Chemistry and Physics, we follow the Edexcel iGCSE Specification for Double Science. We include as much practical work as possible in the course. The topics studied are the same as those in GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics.