The Business Department
The Business Department’s philosophy is simple: to deliver the best SO THAT our students can be the best. Our team of Business specialists are extremely dedicated and work very hard to ensure that all students in our care enjoy their learning, make progress and achieve their potential. We are a successful department, although refuse to stand still – a firm focus on continuous improvement ensures that student outcomes in terms of results improve year on year. Our aims are:
- To provide all students with high quality learning experiences that engage and motivate them to achieve their full potential in Business
- To encourage all students to develop and master a wide variety of Business related capabilities that can be applied in other subjects, everyday life and ultimately, employment
- To develop all learners’ transferable skills such as literacy, numeracy, creativity, problem solving, independence and team working
- To reinforce the Gospel Values that form the basis of our school community at every opportunity
At KS4, Business is an optional subject which pupils can take at Level 2. We currently offer 2 courses
Edexcel GCSE Business
GCSE Business Studies is worth 1 GCSE. The course is an academic qualification that is based around an ‘enterprise and skills’ approach to learning. There is a heavy emphasis on theory and exams. It introduces students to the world of small businesses and what makes someone a successful business person. They will find out how to spot an opportunity, develop an idea and turn that into a successful business. Students will learn how to make a business effective and manage money; they will also see how the world around them affects small businesses and all the people involved.
The course is made up of three units:
Introduction to Small Business (25%) – this unit will be completed in Y10 and concentrates on the key issues and skills involved in enterprise. It provides a framework to consider the marketing, financial, human and operational issues involved in starting and running a small business. Topics include: spotting a business opportunity, showing enterprise, putting a business idea into practice, making start-ups effective and understanding the economic context
Investigating Small Business (25%) – in this unit, also completed in Y10, students will use the content and topics from Unit 1 to research, present, analyse and evaluate a selected issue relating to enterprise.
Building a Business (50%) – the final unit will be completed in Y11; it builds on Units 1 and 2 and examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on practical methods used to build up a business, with an emphasis on topics such as of marketing, customer service, financial and people management. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the success or failure of a business.
GCSE Business is 75% examination, 25% controlled assessment, split as follows:
Unit 1 is a 45 minute multiple choice exam (completed in Y10 but examined in Summer Y11)
Unit 2 is a controlled assessment (completed in Y10). Students choose one ‘coursework style’ task from a choice of five set by the exam board. They then have 9 hours to complete the task in lesson time, under formal supervision.
Unit 3 is a 1 hour 30 minute exam made up of a combination of multiple-choice, short- and extended-answer questions. The questions are based on a business scenario or case study given in the exam paper
Homework takes the form of a booklet that students complete on a weekly basis linked to the current subject area being taught. Questions are made up of multiple choices and extended writing tasks. These are usually peer assessed whereby a target is given for the next piece of homework in order that students make improvements.
NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Business & Enterprise
This qualification is designed for learners who want an introduction to business and enterprise that includes a vocational and hands on element. It has been developed to enthuse and inspire learners about a career in business and enterprise. The qualification will appeal to learners who wish to either set up their own business, move into employment or progress onto further study.
This qualification aims to:
- develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of business and enterprise
- develop a significant knowledge core which spans the vocational sector
- provide academic and study skills that will support progression within business and enterprise and more broadly.
The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:
- add breadth to their knowledge and understanding of the sector as part of their career progression and development plans
• progress to a level 3 qualification, an apprenticeship or set up their own enterprise.
- Unit 01 Introduction to business and enterprise – is an internally assessed unit. This unit aims to give learners an introduction to business and enterprise. It gives learners an introduction to start up projects and helps them to identify risks and rewards.
- Unit 02 Marketing for business and enterprise – is an externally assessed unit. This unit aims to give learners an insight into market research, and different marketing opportunities and techniques.
- Unit 03 Finance for business and enterprise – is an internally assessed unit. This unit aims to provide learners with a basic knowledge and understanding of business finance for a new business or enterprise.
- Unit 04 Plan, develop and participate in a business or enterprise project – is an internally assessed unit. This unit aims to develop a project plan and implement the project. The learner will then go on to evaluate the overall success of the project.
Units 1,3,4 are all internally assessed units whilst Unit 2 is an externally assessed unit. The external assessment takes place under exam conditions with an invigilator present.
The students completed exam paper is then assessed by an examiner at NcFE. Results are then posted onto a portal several weeks later.
For the internally assessed units the candidates have 90 guided hours to complete all 3 units. Their work is assessed by an internal moderator as well as by a NcFE moderator.
The grades that students can gain are Pass, Merit or Distinction. This is the equivalent of A,B,C at GCSE level.
Homework is ongoing because of the vocational element to the course. A task will be set in class and students will be expected to complete this at home on a weekly basis. It is vital that deadlines are met due to the timescale given from the board. Also homework comprises of revision for the unit 2 examination.
Students are asked to research local businesses range of to enable them to experience a broad range of business context.
External speakers deliver an overview on sources of finance relevant to individual businesses.
Business (GCSE) (commencing September 2016)
GCSE Business is based around an ‘enterprise and skills’ approach to learning. It introduces students to the world of small businesses – they will find out how to spot an opportunity, develop an idea and turn that into a small business. They will then look at how it can be built into a successful large business. All aspects of the course will be linked to real-life examples so that students can see how the theory relates to business in practice.
Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business:
Spotting a Business Opportunity, Showing Enterprise, Putting a Business Idea into Practice, Making the Start-up Effective, Understanding the Economic Context
Unit 2 – Investigating Small Business:
Covers the same content as Unit 1, although is assessed differently (see below)
Unit 3 – Building a Business:
Marketing, Meeting Customer Needs, Effective Financial Management, Effective People Management, The Wider World Affecting Business.
- Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business (worth 25% of final grade): 45 minute external exam at the end of Y11 which comprises multiple choice questions covering all Unit 1 topics.
- Unit 2 – Investigating Small Business (worth 25% of final grade): internally assessed / externally moderated controlled assessment task whereby students choose one of the five topics from Unit 1 and complete a focused investigation into a small business of their choice.
- Unit 3 – Building a Business: (worth 50% of final grade): 90 minute external exam at the end of Y11 which comprises extended answer questions covering all Unit 3 topics.
All students are set topic based homework tasks based on developing and securing their understanding of key terms and theory which are crucial to the course – this involves tasks such as matching activities, creating flashcards and revision for key terms tests / end of topic assessments. This homework is set approximately once per timetable cycle (every 2 weeks).
Students may also purchase the Business Revision Workbook from school which includes set questions for every topic covered – this ‘extra’ homework is useful exam practice and will help them to consolidate / extend learning beyond the classroom.
All students are advised to purchase the Business Revision Guide which contains all course content presented in an easy to follow format – they are available at a reduced price from school. Useful websites include:
- BBC Bitesize (GCSE theory only): www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects
- Tutor 2 U (GCSE & A Level theory): www.tutor2u.net/business
- Times 100 (theory & case studies for GCSE & A Level): businesscasestudies.co.uk
- Business Ed (theory for GCSE & A Level): www.businessed.co.uk
Lunchtime / after school catch up
Each teacher runs at least one supported after school session per fortnight for their individual classes (usually on Tuesday or Thursday) – all students are welcome to attend. Alternatively, students are able to use homework clubs in LRC/ICT rooms at lunch / after school to complete homework or catch up on classwork independently.
The department is continually building links with organisations such as The University of Teesside and local businesses to enrich the pupils’ experience of ICT and Business.
Mrs F Harrington – Curriculum Team Leader
Ms L Gosnay – Subject Teacher