Business & Economics

Curriculum Leader: Mr G Maloy

The Business and Economics Department consists of a team of 3 highly skilled and enthusiastic teachers who deliver KS4 and 5 Business / Economics courses and is housed in a suite of 3 classrooms, one of which is a fully equipped IT room. We are a successful and dynamic department, committed to providing high quality courses which reflect the ever changing nature of the subject. We use up to date case studies, visits to companies, invite guest speakers from local businesses into school as well as employ a wide range of learning and teaching strategies in order to engage students in a relevant and highly contemporary curriculum.

Year 9 Foundation year

Year 9 students who have chosen the GCSE Business or level 2 BTEC Business specification follow a short foundation course before starting their qualification. Both year 9 courses consist of 4 lessons a fortnight and is intended to give students the opportunity to learn the basics of business as well as carry out investigations into local business organisations so they can apply knowledge learned in their lessons. Topics covered include:

  • The types of business organisation that can be set up by an entrepreneur including sole trader, partnership, private limited company and franchise
  • The employment of a range marketing techniques such as secondary and primary market research methods and the marketing mix (4 P’s) in order to compete successfully in the business environment
  • The use of Human Resource Management in order to attract, train and retain the best employees in an organisation so that a business organisation can continue to operate successfully
  • The use of Operations Management methods such as total quality management and mass customisation that enable a business organisation to create a competitive advantage
  • The study of external factors outside a business organisation’s immediate control that impinge on its success- for example, the ethical values of society and the economic and technological environment

Year 10/11 Business courses

Either GCSE Business Studies or a Level 2 BTEC in Business is taken, following on from the Foundation course taken in Year 9. These courses have distinct and different learning styles and assessment methods. With both courses, emphasis is placed on developing both the academic and entrepreneurial skills required to be successful in an increasing competitive and globalised world.

GCSE Business – AQA

The GCSE Business course has been designed to give students the opportunity to explore real life business issues and gain an understanding of how businesses operate in an increasingly complex external environment. In addition, students are given a grounding in the different functional areas of business including Human Resources, Marketing, Business Operations and Finance. Many of the themes touched on the TV programme Dragons’ Den are covered and another major facet of the course centres on how organisations are affected by external factors such as globalisation, competition and changes to government policies. There are two examination papers taken at the end of the course as shown below:

Further information on subject content can be accessed via the link below

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/business/specifications/AQA-8132-SP-2017.PDF

Level 2 BTEC in Business-Edexcel

The level 2 course is much more practically based in nature, with an emphasis on students applying knowledge learned to real life businesses. There are 4 units of work, each which is worth 25% of the total assessment:

Unit 1: Enterprise in the Business World (Internal Assessment)

Unit 2: Finance for Business (External Examination)  

Unit 3: Promoting a Brand (Internal Assessment)

Unit 8: Recruitment, Selection and Employment (Internal Assessment)

3 out of the 4 units involve students learning about a particular aspect of business activity and then completing an assignment that is internally set and assessed by teachers. In addition, there is one externally set test lasting one hour that is marked by external examiners. The emphasis, however, is very much centred on active learning where students apply their knowledge to real-life businesses. Depending on their progress throughout the course, a student can gain a grade ranging from a pass to a distinction. Further information on subject content can be accessed via the link below:

https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/BTEC-Firsts/Business/2012/Specification-and-sample-assessments/9781446936085_BTECFIRST_L12_AWD_BUS_Iss3.pdf

Uptake onto KS5 programmes of study are excellent. We have a thriving post 16 curriculum where sixth form students can follow A Levels in Business and/or Economics to suit their area of interest.

Economics – OCR

Economics is very much a subject for students who wish to explore real life issues. The course enables students to develop an appreciation of economic concepts & theories through a critical consideration of current issues & problems that affect everyday life. Recent examples of topics covered include:

  • Will the implementation of the recent “sugar tax” be effective? What are the pros and cons of its implementation?
  • Should we pay to use motorways through tolls or renationalise the railway network in order to improve UK transport provision?
  • Should there be intervention to make housing more affordable to local residents in major cities such as London and UK tourist hotspots?
  • On balance, will Brexit deliver improved economic performance in future years?
  • How should the UK pursue a more global outlook in light of the Brexit referendum result?

Additional information on course content/specification can be accessed via the link below:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/170839-specification-accredited-a-level-gce-economics-h460.pdf

Business Studies – AQA

The Business Studies course is an exciting subject that examines the increasingly dynamic and complex environment in which organisations operate. A major focus centres on the implementation of different strategies that enable businesses be successful in the marketplace whilst also giving an opportunity to gain a critical perspective of business behaviour through the study of topics such as corporate social responsibility and business ethics and values. Students will gain both important practical business skills used in the world of work as well theoretical knowledge, using a range of business models, theories and techniques to support analysis of current business issues. The course is very much holistic in nature, where the inter-related nature of business and strategic decision making is covered. Topics such as digital technology, globalisation and the development of new markets are covered throughout the course emphasising the increasing importance of these developments on the business world. Both small and large scale UK focused and global multinationals are studied allowing an appreciation of key issues in a number of different contexts.

Additional information on course content/specification can be accessed via the link below:

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/business/specifications/AQA-7131-7132-SP-2015.PDF

As well as visiting local business organisations as part of the everyday curriculum, the department has a number of well-established extra-curricular activities. In KS4, students have recently visited Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd in Wakefield as well as Clipper Logistics in Selby to gain a practical appreciation of the operations strategies that are implemented, particularly the management of stock & inventory as well as the branding and marketing used by the organisations. All KS5 students go to London in June where they have recently visited the Kings Cross Regeneration site, The World Bank, The Westfield Centre, Stratford as well the Canary Wharf financial district.

A Level Business students have participated in the Nestle Chocolate Box Challenge with the winning group competing in the regional final and a small number of year 13 Economics students were successful in The Bank of England Target 2.0 Interest Rate competition where the school reached the North of England and Midlands final round. Sixth form students also have the opportunity to participate in Young Enterprise as part of their enrichment entitlement programme.