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Business Studies

Business Studies at Key Stage 4

Students are taught in classes of mixed ability, with their work being assessed using GCSE Assessment Objectives that reflect the skills within the A - G grading system.

Key subject aims

GCSE Business Studies (encourage students to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and gain an insight into related sectors. The GCSEs prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

GCSE qualifications in business subjects enable students to:

  • Actively engage in the study of business and economics to develop as effective and independent students 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.

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.

Skills

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.

The qualification is divided into three units of work: 

Unit 1 Introduction to Small Business

Content overview

This unit 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.

This unit contains five topic areas.

Topic 1.1 Spotting a business opportunity
Topic 1.2 Showing enterprise
Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice
Topic 1.4 Making the start-up effective
Topic 1.5 Understanding the economic context

Assessment overview

This unit will be externally assessed.

  • Written examination: 45 minutes.
  • The paper is untiered and consists of multiple-choice and objective test questions*.
  • Students are required to answer all questions.
  • The paper will be marked out of 40.
  • Formulae will not be supplied with the question paper.

Unit 2 Investigating Small Business

Content Overview

Same as Unit 1

Assessment overview

This unit is internally assessed under controlled conditions.

  • Students complete one Edexcel-set task with a total of 40 marks
  • Research/investigation - approximately 2 weeks of curriculum of time (a maximum of 6 hours)
  • Analysis/evaluation of task (final write-up) - approximately 1 week of curriculum time (a maximum of three hours)
  • The task is internally marked by teachers and moderated by Edexcel.

Unit 3 Building a Business

Content overview

This unit 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 aspects 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.

Students need to appreciate that organisational success requires an understanding of the business as a whole: the interactions between departments and the relationship between the business and outside forces.

This unit consists of five topic areas.

Topic 3.1 Marketing
Topic 3.2 Meeting customer needs
Topic 3.3 Effective financial management
Topic 3.4 Effective people management
Topic 3.5 The wider world affecting business

Assessment overview

This unit will be externally assessed.

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Students will be required to answer all questions.
  • The paper is untiered and divided into three sections. Questions will require a mixture of multiple-choice selection, short- and extended/long-answers. Sections B and C will both consist of questions based on a scenario given in the paper*.
  • The paper will be marked out of 90.
     

The following is an outline of the topics covered per half term:

Year 10

Autumn 1

Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business

1.1 Spotting a business opportunity

1.2 Showing enterprise

Autumn 2

Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business

1.2 Showing enterprise

1.3 Putting a business idea into practice

ASSESSMENT: written test of multiple choice, extended writing and data response questions

Spring 1

Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business

1.3 Putting a business idea into practice

Spring 2

Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business

1.4 Making the start-up effective

ASSESSMENT: written test of multiple choice, extended writing and data response questions

Summer 1

Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business

1.5 Understanding the economic context

Summer 2

Unit 2 – Investigating Small Business

End of year mock exam

Controlled Assessment – 25% GCSE

Year 11

Autumn 1

Unit 3 – Building a Business

3.1 Marketing

Autumn 2

Unit 3 – Building a Business

3.2 Meeting customer needs

Spring 1

Unit 3 – Building a Business

Mock exams – unit 1 and unit 3

3.3 Effective financial management

Spring 2

Unit 3 – Building a Business

3.4 Effective people management

Summer 1

Unit 3 – Building a Business

3.5 The wider world affecting business

Summer 2

Revision & exam practice - units 1 & 3



Business Studies at Key Stage 5

The following GCE course helps students’ on a clear pathway of progression, building on the GCSE programme of study and course they have studied, or enabling those who have not previously studied a GCSE Business Studies course.  

Aims

Courses based on these specifications should encourage students to:

  • Develop an enthusiasm for studying business
  • Gain holistic understanding of business in a range of contexts
  • Develop a critical understanding of organisations and their ability to meet society’s needs and wants
  • Understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives
  • Generate enterprising and creative approaches to business opportunities, problems and issues
  • Be aware of the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities faced by organisations and individuals
  • Acquire a range of relevant business and generic skills, including decision making, problem solving, the challenging of assumptions and critical analysis
  • Apply numerical skills in a range of business contexts.

In order to be able to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in business, students need to have acquired competence in the quantitative skills that are relevant to the subject content and which are applied in the context of a business A-level, including:

  • Calculate, use and understand ratios, averages and fractions
  • Calculate, use and understand percentages and percentage changes
  • Construct and interpret a range of standard graphical forms
  • Interpret index numbers
  • Calculate cost, revenue, profit and break-even
  • Calculate investment appraisal outcomes and interpret results
  • Interpret values of price and income elasticity of demand
  • Use and interpret quantitative and non-quantitative information in order to make decisions
  • Interpret, apply and analyse information in written, graphical and numerical forms.

The assessment of quantitative skills will include at least Level 2 mathematical skills as a minimum of 10% of the overall AS marks and as a minimum of 10% of the overall A-level marks.

These quantitative skills may be assessed across the assessment objectives.


The following is an outline of the topics covered per half term:

Year 12
  1. What is business?
  2. Managers, leadership and decision making
  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance
  4. Decision making to improve operational performance
  5. Decision making to improve financial performance
  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance

Assessment overview (Paper 1: Business 1)

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks in total
  • 50% of AS

Three compulsory sections:

  • Section A has 10 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 10 marks
  • Section B has short answer questions worth approximately 20 marks
  • Section C has two data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 25 marks

Assessment overview (Paper 2: Business 2)

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks in total
  • 50% of AS
  • One compulsory case study consisting of approximately seven questions

Before the qualification can be awarded, students must undertake both the assessments.

Autumn 1

Teacher 1 – Managers, Leadership and Decision Making

Teacher 2 - What is Business?

Autumn 2

Teacher 1 – Managers, Leadership and Decision Making

Teacher 2 - What is Business?

Spring 1

Teacher 1 – Decision Making To Improve Operational Performance

Teacher 2 – Decision Making To improve Marketing Performance

Spring 2

Teacher 1 – Decision Making To Financial Performance

Teacher 2 – Decision Making To improve Human Resource Performance

Summer 1

Exam Revision and Preparation

Summer 2

Teacher 1 and 2 – Choosing Strategic Direction

Year 13
  1. Analysing the strategic position of a business
  2. Choosing strategic direction
  3. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  4. Managing strategic change 

Assessment overview (Paper 1: Business 1)

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A-Level

Three compulsory sections:

  • Section A has 15 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 15 marks
  • Section B has short answer questions worth 35 marks
  • Sections C and D have two essay questions (choice of one from two and one from two) worth 25 marks each

Assessment overview (Paper 2: Business 2)

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A-Level

Three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each and made up of three or four part questions

Assessment overview (Paper 3: Business 3)

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A-Level

One compulsory case study followed by approximately six questions

Autumn 1

Teacher 1 – Analysing the Strategic Position of a business

Teacher 2 – Strategic Methods: How to pursue strategies

Autumn 2

Teacher 1 – Analysing the Strategic Position of a business

Teacher 2 – Strategic Methods: How to pursue strategies

Spring 1

Teacher 1 – Analysing the Strategic Position af a Business

Teacher 2 – Managing strategic change

Spring 2

Teacher 1 – Analysing the Strategic Position of a Business

Teacher 2 – Managing strategic change

Summer 1

Exam Revision and Practice

Summer 2

A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS PAGE FOR 2016-17

For further advice or to find out more about the Business Studies curriculum at Idsall School, please contact Mr Thomas and Mrs Fee.

Updated September 2016