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Business & Economics acts as a bridge between students’ studies and the real world. All pupils will work and be part of an organisation in their future and the subject allows them to understand how organisations operate, giving them an advantage when entering the world of work.
This is achieved through the teaching of the curriculum in context of businesses in the local area, nationally and internationally. Links to real life businesses give students a portal into the world of business. Developing students’ knowledge, analytical and evaluative skills that can be used in all their studies. As well as giving students real life skills such as the understanding of how interest rates impacts on consumers as well the economy.
Purpose of curriculum
The curriculum of business acts as an anchor of knowledge developed both within the subject and through other subjects. Helping to take abstract terms and place it in a real-world scenario. This helps develop students’ overall skills of problem solving, effective communication and leadership. Students will consider the practical application of business concepts. The units provide opportunities to explore theories and concepts in the most relevant way, through the context of events in the business and economic world. The knowledge and skills gained from this specification will provide students with a firm foundation for further study.
For students to understand the business world through mastering a series of concepts to include marketing, finance, operations and human resources. Making these concepts a reality through link to real life business and business people. Students are introduced to basic business terms and theory. This acts as a backbone to then go into detail looking at the various functional areas within a business.
Coverage and appropriateness
The fast changing and dynamic nature of the business world and the economy means that students can be given opportunities to apply a range of their skills developed from the specification on a daily basis. Bringing up to date news into the classroom means students get to practice this on a regular basis. The specification covers a broad range of business theory and the school applies this in a real context. Often using examples that students are familiar with such as the big four supermarkets and JD Sports.
Teaching for Mastery
Business anchors knowledge and skills from all subjects across the school curriculum and applies these to realistic situations. Business therefore acts as a gateway subject from education to next steps in the real world of work. It offers a variety of challenging problems to encourage students to think outside of the box to solve a range of problems in a variety of ways. Students use case studies of business scenarios to problem solve issues and find solutions to problems. Group work allows students to develop their leadership, communication and team working skills.
Schemes of learning
GCSE business students are taught the course over a three year period. With year 9 having a focus on the fundamentals of business that then allows students to build on these foundations in year 9 and 10 through the studying of the functional areas (marketing, human resources, finance and operations). The most complex topic (finance) is taught in year 11 where students have developed the cognitive thinking skills to best grasp this topic. Students start BTEC in year 10 with a focus on controlled assessment in the first year and a shift to exam focus in year 11.
The department uses a range of resources to promote mastery of the subject. One of the most effective resources we use is the links we have established with the private sector. This involves guest speakers who are experts in their field coming in to speak to and answer questions from our pupils. This allows students to have a real soundboard where they can get immediate feedback from an expert allowing them to take the theory they have learned in lessons and relate this to a real scenario. Current affairs are also a useful tool that the department uses to engage students and progress learning in the subject. Using the latest business news as case studies allows students to practice their theory against real life situations.
Best practice is regularly shared in departmental meetings to ensure that outstanding practice is being used throughout the department. Staff are split equally at federation staff days between A-level business, A-level economics and OCR Cambridge technical. Staff then feedback to each other on each respective area. In addition to the regular training offered by the school, federation, exam boards and professional bodies, staff are sent on external training courses run by experts in business and economics education. Experienced staff in the department are deployed as mentors for less experienced teachers in the department giving regular feedback through observations and weekly meetings nurturing their development. All staff have learning walks to demonstrate bets practice in their lessons.
Subject specific WORD
The business and economics WORD projects are embedded heavily in current affairs within those disciplines. This often involves taking a prominent figure from the world of business such as Richard Branson or a significant business event such as the proposed Sainsburys and Asda merger and basing a WORD project around this such as creating a diary entry or a newspaper article. WORD is promoted on a daily basis through regular key term tests that help students master the new key terms that they encounter in business. In addition to this students analyse and evaluate case studies on a regular basis.
The business departments run two courses at key stage 4. The first is AQA GCSE business studies and the second is BTEC business studies. The former is assessed fully through two examinations whereas the latter is assessed through a mix of examinations and controlled assessment. This allows students to be placed in a group that best suits their needs.
In order to ensure that all students can make excellent progress, the course that students take at KS4 depends on the student’s own individual needs. We offer BTEC to those who prefer to work on a project whereas the GCSE offers an alternative option to those who are more suited to examinations.
Students are regularly assessed through extended writing in tasks in lessons on a weekly basis. This is complemented by mock papers every term. This allows teachers to measure progress of pupils accurately on a regular basis and put intervention in for those who need extra help.
Students are given regular feedback on controlled assessment projects at KS4 and KS5, this allows them to build confidence over time and be more proficient at producing high quality work as the course progresses.