‘Stunning science schools' - Good Schools Guide
The Science Faculty is housed in a large and modern purpose building which has been extended and fully refurbished; it was opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in October 2008. The building still retains much of the original architectural features which blend old with new in a highly attractive design.
Each subject area has generous sized teaching laboratories, a prep room with good technician support, a project laboratory and a pupils’ resources room. There are currently twenty four science teachers: seventeen full time and seven part-time.
Science in the lower school is taught by specialists as separate subjects leading to IGCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics for all pupils. Help clinics are available each week for the sciences as well as revision lectures after Easter in the Trinity term. After the first term the F block are banded into three bands (top, middle and lower) which allows for genuine stretch and breadth by scientific ability.
All the sciences are very popular at A-level and many of the sixth form students go on to study the sciences and medicine at top universities including Cambridge and Oxford. An alternative to A-level called Pre-U written for Cambridge International Exams is taught in Physics and Chemistry alongside A-level for the top sets.
The former Head of Science helped pioneer the Pre-U Physics course and the current Head of Science (Dr Mike Thompson) helped pioneer the Pre-U Chemistry course. This follows a long tradition of science innovation at Rugby School, which was the first school to teach science as part of the curriculum and pioneered Nuffield Science in the 1960s and 1970s.
Each term there are Science lectures for the different year groups, usually held on a Tuesday or Thursday evening. For example, lectures have included: Science of Chocolate, Gross diseases and Killer bugs, and a joint venture with the Drama department called Let Newton Be! The lectures are held in the Foxcroft Lecture theatre in Science or the MacReady theatre on Hillmorton road depending on the size of the event. After the lectures a group of pupils have dinner with the visiting lecturer and a couple of members of the science department.
The Science Faculty is lucky to have access to an 8.5 inch refracting Alvin Clark telescope housed in the copper covered roofed building on Horton Crescent. Many Rugby pupils as well as local groups make use of this unique on site facility.
The science departments also host competitions and quizzes with similar schools in the county and beyond. Last year Rugby School pupils won an inter-school chemistry quiz as well as the Annual Foxcroft Essay competition.