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Business Studies

Business Studies

Curriculum Intent

In Business, our aim is:

  • To give students the opportunity to explore real business issues and how businesses work.
  • To provide students with the knowledge and skills needed with a firm foundation for further study in Business, Economics or Finance.
  • To enable students to read and comprehend business case studies.
  • To ensure students apply the knowledge they have gathered to business case studies.
  • To explore business theories and concepts in the most relevant way, through the context of events in the business and economic world.
  • To keep up to date with current business affairs to enable students to develop a deeper understanding of key business studies topics and to then apply this current affairs knowledge to these key topics.
  • To enable students to reflect on their strengths and areas for development in their own writing and to actively improve their work.
  • To become critical thinkers through extended use of analysis and evaluation skills.
  • To give students opportunities to think like business leaders, enabling them to think and evaluate far beyond the context of the classroom.
  • For our students to apply the Holcombe habits and thinking tools to their every-day learning experience in Business Studies.
  • To challenge our students to work collaboratively and think independently when in lessons and outside of lessons.
  • For students to engage in topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society, e.g. digital technology, globalisation, business ethics etc.
  • For students to take a holistic approach to business by studying business models and theories which allows them to look at the interrelated nature of business.
  • For students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions which will support them in further education and future employment.

Key Stage 4

Business Studies is a popular subject to study and deals with the management of business and of making money. As well as exploring business theories and terminology and concepts, students will learn to apply these to relevant events in the business and economic world. They will also study different businesses ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national and global contexts. Students will also need to demonstrate their understanding of business issues by analysing the consequences of business decisions as well as recommending and evaluating decisions. Pupils who have studied Business Studies often continue on this pathway through to A Level and is a very popular degree choice as it leads to a wide range of business careers.

Students will study some of the key areas within a business, such as marketing, finance, human resources and operations. They will also consider how a business is affected by external factors such as legislation, competition, global pandemics, the economy and Brexit.

Students will need to be able to perform financial calculations as well as analysing data. Students will have to analyse options businesses have and evaluate both options to help them decide which option would be better suited to a specific business

The AQA GCSE is all exam-based – there is no coursework. Students study the following topics:

Business in the Real World – The purpose and nature of businesses, business ownership, business aims and objectives, stakeholders, business location, business planning, expanding a business.

Influences on Business – Technology, ethical and environmental considerations, economic climate, globalisation, legislation, competitive environment.

Business Operations – Production processes, the role of procurement, the concept of quality, good customer services.

Human Resources – Organisational structures, recruitment and selection of employees, motivating employees, training.

Marketing – Identifying and understanding customers, segmentation, the purpose and methods of market research, the elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion and place (4Ps).

Finance – Sources of finance, cash flow, financial terms and calculations, analysing the financial performance of a business.

Year 10

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
3.4.1 Organisational structures 3.4.2 recruitment and selection of employees 3.4.3 Motivating employees 3.4.4 Training 3.5.1 Identifying and understanding customers 3.5.2 Segmentation 3.5.3 The purpose and methods of market research 3.5.4 The elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion and place (4Ps) 3.5.1 Identifying and Understanding Customers

3.5.2 Segmentation

3.5.3 The purpose and methods of market research

3.5.4 The elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion and place (4Ps)

3.3.1 Production processes

3.3.2 The role of procurement

3.3.3 The concept of quality

3.3.4 Good customer service

3.3.3 The Concept of Quality

3.3.4 Good Customer Service

3.6.1 Sources of Finance

3.6.1 Sources of Finance

3.6.2 Cash Flow

3.6.3 Financial Terms and Calculations

Year 11

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
3.6.1 Sources of Finance

3.6.2 Cash Flow

3.6.3 Financial Terms and Calculations

3.6.4 Analysing the Financial Performance of a Business

3.4.1 Organisational Structures

3.4.2 Recruitment and Selection of Employees

3.4.3 Motivating Employees

3.4.4 Training

3.3.1 Production Processes

3.3.2 The Role of Procurement

3.3.3 The Concept of Quality

3.3.4 Good Customer Services

Revision of 3.1 and 3.2

Revision of 3.5

3.6 Exam Questions

GCSE Exams

Years 12 and 13

Business is also a popular choice amongst students at A-level. This subject can be chosen by students even if they have not studied it at GCSE level. Students learn about the workings of real-life businesses; understand the cause and effect of business decisions; develop skills such as handling data; presenting arguments; making recommendations; recognising problems; planning and conducting research ‐ all useful for future study and for all career choices.

Students will develop their knowledge of local, national and international businesses. The content is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society, e.g. digital technology, business ethics and globalisation. Students will also need to demonstrate their understanding of business issues by analysing the consequences of business decisions as well as recommending and evaluating decisions. Students will perform financial calculations but will also develop the ability to analyse and evaluate the financial calculations.

Students will consider how a business is affected by external factors such as legislation, competition, global pandemics, the economy and Brexit. The financial implications of such external factors will be considered and applied to real life businesses.

The course guides students to take a holistic approach to the subject as they will study business models and theories which they will then apply to real life businesses, which will develop students’ curiosity for the subject. Students will need to stay up to date with current business affairs so they can bring in relevant business examples when answering exam questions, particularly for 25-mark questions.

The AQA A-level Business course is all exam based – there is no coursework. Students study the following topics

Unit 1 – What is Business?

Unit 2 – Managers, Leadership and Decision-making

Unit 3 – Decision-making to Improve Marketing Performance

Unit 4 – Decision-making to Improve Operational Performance

Unit 5 – Decision-making to Improve Financial Performance

Unit 6 – Decision-making to Improve Human Resources Performance

Unit 7 – Analysing the Strategic Position of a Business

Unit 8 – Choosing Strategic Direction

Unit 9 – Strategic Methods: how to pursue strategies

Unit 10 – Managing Strategic Change

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
3.1.1 Understanding the nature and purpose of business 3.1.2 Understanding different business forms 3.1.3 Understanding that businesses operate within an external environment 3.2.1 Understanding management, leadership and decision making 3.2.3 Understanding the role and importance of stakeholders 3.2.2 Understanding management decision making 3.3.1 Setting marketing objectives 3.3.3 Making marketing decisions: segmentation, targeting, positioning 3.3.2 Understanding markets and customers 3.3.2 Understanding markets and customers 3.3.4 Making marketing decisions: using the marketing mix 3.4.1 Setting operational objectives 3.4.2 Analysing operational performance 3.4.3 Making operational decisions to improve performance: increasing efficiency and productivity 3.4.4 Making operational decisions to improve performance: improving quality 3.4.5 Making operational decisions to improve performance: managing inventory and supply chains 3.5.1 Setting financial objectives 3.5.2 Analysing financial performance 3.5.3 Making financial decisions: sources of finance 3.5.4 Making financial decisions: improving cash flow and profits 3.6.1 Setting human resource objectives 3.6.2 Analysing human resource performance 3.6.3 Making human resource decisions: improving organisational design and managing the human resource flow 3.6.4 Making human resource decisions: improving motivation and engagement 3.6.5 Making human resource decisions: improving employer-employee relations

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
3.7.1 Mission, corporate objectives and strategy

3.7.2 Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses: financial ratio analysis

3.7.3 Analysing the existing internal position of a business to assess strengths and weaknesses: overall performance

3.7.4 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: political and legal change

3.7.5 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: economic change

3.7.5 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: economic change

3.7.6 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: social and technological

3.7.7 Analysing the external environment to assess opportunities and threats: the competitive environment

3.7.8 Analysing strategic options: investment appraisal

3.8.1 Strategic Direction: Choosing which markets to compete in and what products to offer

3.8.2 Strategic Positioning: choosing how to compete

3.9.1 Assessing a change in scale

3.9.2 Assessing innovation

3.9.3 Assessing internationalisation

3.9.4 Assessing greater use of digital technology

3.10.1 Managing change

3.10.2 Managing organisational culture

3.10.3 Managing Strategic Implementation

3.10.4 Problems with strategy and why strategies fail

Preliminary examinations continuing into beginning of Term 5

Terms left blank are for revision purposes and focused sessions.

Revision

Exams

Exams

Online Learning Support

There are a wide range of online support resources available to students studying business. Please see list of websites below:

A Level Business https://www.tutor2u.net/business

A Level Business http://www.beebusinessbee.co.uk

A Level and GCSE Business https://senecalearning.com/en-GB/blog/free-aqa-business-a-level-revision/

GCSE Business https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zvwb382

GCSE Business https://www.gcsepod.com/

Tutor2u have a wide range of YouTube videos which are very useful for the more complicated topics for A-level Business.

Careers

There are hundreds of Business courses at University from Pure Business to combinations with languages, marketing, human resources, and economics.  Specific careers include accountancy and management as well as preparing students working for themselves.

British Values

British Values feature in many aspects of the course that we deliver within our Business department. As such, these themes appear in many topics that are taught in Business.

As part of our GCSE and A-level Business Studies courses, both Business Law and Employment Law are covered in some depth as well as the importance of these laws in determining British liberties and freedoms. The role of legislation and regulation is taught within many topics and referred to in lessons regularly by examining the impact the regulations and legislations have on businesses and society as a whole. In particular students examine how governments can use punishment through fines etc., rules, guidelines, constraints to change the behaviour of firms and consumers, e.g. minimum wage, compulsory taxes, health and safety etc. Students develop an understanding of what laws they as consumers need to follow along with laws businesses need to follow in order to behave in an ethical manner.

When students study recruitment units, they analyse the impact of mutual respect, tolerance and equal opportunities when working with employees. They study the financial impact this could have on businesses and their reputation. Both A-level and GCSE lessons lead to discussions on how different ethnic groups and religious beliefs help contribute to the overall success of the global economy, which are key to students understanding how every individual has a place in today’s society.

At A-level, students examine political and legal environments which helps them to understand the effects UK and EU law can have on competition, the labour market, the environment, infrastructure and international trade. Students learn about the impact not following these EU and UK laws can have on a business.