BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS CURRICULUM STATEMENT
It is our intention that all students should achieve the maximum of their academic potential, in an environment where teachers and students have a shared enthusiasm for Economics and Business. The Teaching and Learning is designed, as much as is possible, to meet the individual needs of the student. There are secure, well-tested schemes of learning that deliver all components of the specification (and beyond) in an interesting and varied approach. There are appropriate resources, well-organised and structured, in place to provide support for both staff and students alike.
We intend that all students will feel able and willing to approach members of staff for additional help and advice. In addition to that there is an extra-curricular programme in place that provides an extension for all students to immerse themselves in aspects of business and economics where they can thrive and develop their passion for the subject.
There are many external links and applications made to the real world to ensure the dynamism that the nature of the subjects provide. These include speakers from the Bank of England, Speakers for Schools and visits to businesses. In addition, most lessons will see real world application to current affairs and local, national and international business case studies.
Students are made aware of the spiritual and moral implications of the issues explored and developed, and understand the diversity and validity of different social and cultural traditions. There is a secure and positive Teaching and Learning environment, where behaviour is good and all students are able to progress, whatever their level of ability.
In implementing the Business curriculum, we have thought about sequencing. The sequence of topics increases in challenge over the 2-4 years. As this is an exam subject there are no optional units. We teach beyond the curriculum and offer many super-curricular elements.
At KS4 we begin with Business Activity as it is an introductory topic that sets the scene of ‘what a business is’ before students learn the different functional areas of a business. We offer an optional Cadbury World visit as enrichment where students have a tour and learn about the structure of the business. We then move onto the 4 functional areas in a business. Marketing followed by People. As optional enrichment, students can take part in the Disneyland Paris visit. Here, the students learn about how the business functions and the marketing activities. All of these enrichment activities support the substantive knowledge of the course and allow time to embed knowledge.
All students will take part in the Tycoon Enterprise Competition which has been embedded into the curriculum to make the course exciting and have a real-world application. It is a national competition with set dates but it is ideally timed as the students can utilise what they have learned about business and put a marketing plan into action. It gives them practical experience and introduces basic finance and operations. We finish the year with a synoptic project that revisits the year’s learning, called Deb’s Café, which includes a visit to city centre.
In Year 11 we begin with Operations as it teaches students about the role of production in a business. Students engage in a Student Investor Challenge during this term which helps them to develop their understanding of the stock market, risk and reward. We then teach Finance followed by External Influences and as Interdependence is a synoptic topic, it is taught last. Year 11 focus then moves towards exam practice and preparation for Mocks and GCSE exams.
For KS5 Business we have structured the course so that teachers specialise on either Paper 1 (topics 1 and 4) or Paper 2 (topics 2 and 3). Both teachers in Year 13 will prepare the students for Paper 3 (synoptic). This allows the teacher to be specialised in the exam. The topics build on the concepts taught at GCSE. Not all students have studied GCSE Business so we need to ensure all topics are taught as if new.
The course is structured similarly to the GCSE; Marketing and HR are taught alongside each other and Finance, Ops and External Influences are taught alongside each other. The exam board has structured the course this way and we feel it is easier for students to understand and prepare for their exams if it is delivered in a specialised manner.
Extra-curricular opportunities in Year 12 include the Tycoon Enterprise Competition and a European city visit. The Tycoon Enterprise Competition is embedded into lessons and Year 13 Tycoon Prefects will mentor Year 12s during the competition. The European visit is enrichment that offers students an opportunity to learn about businesses in a European country. It is timed so that it occurs after most of the course has been delivered and before the revision period for KSAS. It provides real world experience for the students to draw on in the course.
The Year 13 topics are more challenging and include a lot of new learning. They build on the prior knowledge from Year 12. We take our time to teach all of the topics and ensure students are confident in the concepts and in the application to exam-style questions. We use a lot of case study materials to prepare them for this. The Student Investor Challenge is an extra-curricular activity offered in Year 13 where we encourage students to invest in multinational corporations. It is a national / school-based competition that teaches students about risk and reward and public limited companies.
In implementing the Economics curriculum, we have again thought about sequencing. The sequence of topics increases in challenge over the 2 years. As this is an exam subject there are no optional units. We teach beyond the curriculum and offer many super-curricular elements.
For KS5 Economics we begin with the building blocks and fundamentals of microeconomics. Teachers teach both Micro- and Macroeconomics to ensure students have a broad knowledge of the course as there is a lot of overlap between topics. Teachers make links between different parts of the course to encourage students to do this to achieve the highest marks on their exam questions. Both teachers in Year 13 will prepare the students for Paper 3 (synoptic).
Topics are taught where we feel they fit better to support students’ learning. For example, in Year 13 we teach Labour Markets after Market Structures as it builds on the knowledge learned in Market Structures. The Year 13 topics are more challenging and build on the basic knowledge for Year 12. We revisit prior topics most lessons as the understanding of one concept is so reliant on the understanding of other concepts.
The European visit is enrichment that offers students an opportunity to learn about businesses in a European country (microeconomics) and to visit institutions such as the European Commission or national banks. It is timed so that it occurs after most of the course has been delivered and before the revision period for KSAS. It provides real world experience for the students to draw on in the course.
There are many extra-curricular opportunities in Economics including the ‘Barter Challenge’ where students are given a penny and 30 days to barter for the best possible exchange. Year 13 students take part in an Economics Essay Competition, where all students complete a 1,200-word essay on a wider interest topic in a school-based competition. This helps them to develop their wider knowledge of economic issues. We also apply every year to have a Bank of England speaker and a Speakers for School speaker every year and fit them in where they have availability.
All students taught within the department are in KS4 and 5, and are all studying for external exams. It is therefore possible to evaluate their achievements. We take pride in our success rate measured through the following methods:
- Comparing their results against their potential (i.e. using ALIS, FFT and any other available indicators) - 2022: GCSE +0.88, A-Level Business +0.52 A-Level Economics +0.04
- Comparing their results to other data (i.e. other individuals, group averages, historical data, whole school data, national data) - most groups made positive progress in GCSE and Business, see SEF data for specific breakdown.
- Enabling students to progress (i.e. moving into KS5, moving into higher education or into employment) - a high proportion of our students went on to study a Business / Economics degree.
Mrs Emma Weston (EJW): Head of Business & Economics Department
Mr Antony Pawlett (AJP): Teacher of Business & Economics
Mrs Lucy Willis (LAW): Teacher of Business & Economics and Assistant Headteacher