Head of department: Mrs P Cullen
Aims and objectives of the department
Business Studies is an option subject, which pupils may choose prior to entry to Year 10. It concerns the business aspects of organisations within their economic, political and social contexts. Our aims are:
- To see our pupils develop their business acumen
- To improve their opportunities to be our entrepreneurs of the future
- To ensure that the performance of business is studied from a range of perspectives
- To use a variety of methods to analyse and evaluate evidence and thus make reasoned judgements in the context of real business scenarios.
- To enable pupils to apply their knowledge and critical understanding to current issues and problems in a wide range of appropriate contexts
- To enable them to understand the dynamics of business activity. The understanding must be rooted in current business theory and practice and must reflect the integrated nature of organisations and their decision-making processes.
Edexcel is now the exam board of choice. It has a leading reputation for promoting education for the public benefit and draws on long experience of setting and marking public exams such as GCSEs. We are constantly reviewing exam boards to ensure that our pupils have the best possible opportunity for success in this subject.
The study of Business Studies at Key Stage 4 comprises:
Introduction to Small Business – Unit 1
Consists of a compulsory unit which is externally assessed. This unit consists of five topics:
- spotting a business opportunity
- showing enterprise
- putting a business idea into practice
- making the start-up effective
- understanding the economic context.
External examination: 45 minutes
Compulsory multiple-choice and objective test questions with a total of 40 marks, which is 25% of the final mark.
Investigating Small Business – Unit 2
Compulsory unit which is internally assessed. The content is the same as Unit 1
This unit is internally assessed under controlled conditions. Students complete one Edexcel-set task with a total of 40 marks, which is 25% of the final mark.
- Research/investigation – approximately two weeks of curriculum of time (a maximum of six hours).
- Analysis/evaluation of task (final write-up) – approximately one week of curriculum time (a maximum of three hours).
The task is internally marked by teachers and moderated by Edexcel.
Building a Business – Unit 3
Compulsory unit for GCSE Business Studies pathway only which is externally assessed
Overview of content
This unit contains five topics:
- meeting customer needs
- effective financial management
- effective people management
- the wider world affecting business.
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
Students will be required to answer all questions from all sections. Questions will comprise of a combination of multiple-choice, short- and extended-answer, data response and scenario-based questions with a total of 90 marks, which is 50% of the final mark
Knowledge and understanding
This GCSE specification requires students to:
- actively engage in the study of business and economics to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
- use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish facts and opinions, to build arguments and make informed judgements
- develop and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to contemporary issues in a range of local, national and global contexts
- appreciate the range of perspectives of different stakeholders in relation to business and economic activities
- consider the extent to which business and economic activity can be ethical and sustainable.
The following are skills within business contexts you would expect a student to develop during the course:
- practical skills – time management, personal organisation and action planning
- presentational skills – addressing audiences using a variety of media and forms
- personal skills – showing evidence of progression
- interpersonal skills – communication and group work
- cognitive skills – reflection and review of own and others’ performances.
Proshare – Student Investor
All pupils are encouraged to participate in Proshare. This is a competition for pupils aged 14 to 19. The idea is to use £100,000 to purchase shares and hope that your purchases will increase in value.
- Every team must have four members
- You can only be a member of one team
- Each team must have a name and contact email address
Top Prize – all expenses paid trip to New York and many other prizes
This qualification is a recognised part of the National Qualifications framework. As such, GCSE provides progression to study the subject further. It lays an appropriate foundation for further study of Business Studies and/or related subjects at GCE advanced level. It also enables pupils to progress to vocational qualifications.
All Business Studies lessons are taught in an ICT suite. A huge variety of teaching methods are used to deliver the subject, to ensure that it appeals to all pupils.
Trips are organised, where appropriate, and these have included a visit to the Enterprise Road Show, At Warner Village in Birkenhead. This enabled the pupils to
- Come face to face with cutting edge entrepreneurs in a stimulating environment
- Understand how entrepreneurs set up their businesses
- See the benefits of running a business
- Increase their knowledge of Business and Enterprise.
Trips have also been organised to Cadbury World – to investigate how a factory works and how the company market their products; and Alton Towers to experience how a large company recruits and manages staff.
Useful websites for Business Studies are: