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Business Studies

Be the next Branson...

Fancy yourself at the head of a successful business? Got some great ideas for new products or services? Or maybe you want to work for a large company by working in marketing or management.

No matter what your vision, the Business Studies course gives you an incredibly powerful start. All the key topics of starting and running a business are covered. Armed with this knowledge, maybe you could be giving Richard Branson a run for his money in a few years' time.

...or start a business from home

Of course not everybody wants a global corporation. A lot of people prefer small businesses offering individual service or set up their own business, working for themselves. Whether you’re selling homemade candles or starting your own e-company, you still need to know about business: how to get your products to market; how to price them; how to promote them; and how to get paid. It’s all here.

Staffing

Teachers

Mr T Leader

Prefects

Emily Maher

Lauren Atkinson

Ambassadors

Matty Agrawal

Emily Brooks

Key Stage 4

Content:

This GCSE specification introduces learners to the business world, empowering them to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individuals. Learners will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, enabling them to use business information critically, to develop arguments, to make justified decisions and to prepare them for further study and career pathways. The focus of the specification is to introduce and nurture an enthusiasm for studying business in a range of contexts. Learners will appreciate how businesses operate in a dynamic and competitive environment and develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of business functions from a local to a global perspective.

Assessment and feedback:

Below are the assessment objectives for this specification. Learners must demonstrate their ability to:

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of business concepts and issues
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of business concepts and issues to a variety of contexts
  • AO3: Analyse and evaluate business information and issues to demonstrate understanding of business activity, make judgements and draw conclusions

The table below shows the weighting of each assessment objective for each component and for the qualification as a whole:

 

A01

A02

A03

TOTAL

Component 1

25%

22.5%

15%

62.5%

Component 2

10%

12.5%

15%

37.5%

Total

35%

35%

30%

100%

 

Summary of Assessment

Component 1: Business Dynamics

  • Written examination: 2 hours
  • 62.5% of qualification
  • A mix of short answer and structured questions based on stimulus material covering all of the specification content.

Component 2: Business Considerations

  • Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 37.5% of qualification
  • Data response questions covering all of the specification content.

This linear qualification will be available for assessment in May/June each year. It will be awarded for the first time in summer 2019.

Business Studies Marking Policy (GCSE)

Students are required to complete a large number of past examination questions and they are assessed against formal A Level or GCSE marking criteria as appropriate. Students are given full access to the marking criteria so they know how they are to be assessed.  Grades are given in line with examination board grade boundaries. In Business Studies, the previous academic year’s grade boundaries are used. 

The following assessment techniques are used:

Peer and self-assessment

Students are provided with marking criteria and (usually) a model answer which they use to assess each other’s or their own work.  Usually, this work would also be assessed by the teacher. 

Teacher assessment

For examination questions, the teacher will use the formal exam board marking criteria.  Usually, feedback will include the formal subject assessment form where each student’s work receives a separate assessment for each element of the assessment criteria as well as an overall mark and an explicitly identified area for development that the student should aim to improve in the future.  In addition, students are asked to provide a written response to an area of their answer that requires improvement.  This could include providing accurate definitions, rewriting a paragraph, drawing a diagram, explaining a point more clearly, making a correction or anything else the teacher feels appropriate.  Students should expect the formal assessment of at least one examination style question every three weeks but normally more than that at A Level and in the final year of GCSE.  Examination style questions could include data response questions, essays, short answer questions and multiple choice questions.  Students will normally be provided with a model answer as part of their feedback.  All formal assessments will be recorded in the teacher’s markbook. 

Work that does not reflect the potential of the student will be re-done either in part or in full.

In line with the school’s assessment calendar, all students will undertake a formal assessment each term, the results of which will influence their Interim and Summative reports. 

Assessment will be ongoing throughout all lessons.  In addition to the above, students will be assessed on the quality of their verbal feedback and the written, presentation and group exercises completed during lesson time.  Where possible, students will receive immediate verbal feedback.

Incorrect spelling, punctuation and grammar is highlighted, especially where there is the incorrect use of technical terms.

Specification

Please click here for the current EDUQAS Business Studies specification

A Level

Content

The A Level course demonstrates the interrelated nature of Business using business models, theories and techniques to support analysis of contemporary business issues and situations.

The course content is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today's society, through key contemporary developments such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation topics.

Real Life Skills

Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions – all skills that are needed for further study and employment.

The topics lend themselves to studying and engaging with the business world. The specification and assessment should encourage students to follow business developments and think critically about contemporary business issues. Most of the assessment material is based on real business situations. By examining and thinking critically about real business situations as they study the subject, students will gain an insight into different contexts which will help them to understand the key issues in any situation and compare and contrast this with other situations and apply their understanding.

Assessment and feedback

Course Aims

The department will be adopting Eduqas A Level Specification from the 2018 academic year.

Introduction

Eduqas A level in Business encourages learners to:

· Develop an enthusiasm for studying business

· Gain an 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.

This A level specification introduces learners to the dynamic business environment and the importance of entrepreneurial activity in creating business opportunities and sustaining business growth. Learners will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of essential skills required for higher education and employment. The focus of the specification is to nurture an enthusiasm for studying business using contemporary contexts, allowing learners to develop an appreciation of the strategic, complex and inter-related nature of business issues from a local to global perspective.

Subject Content

The subject content enables learners to investigate different types and sizes of organisations in various business sectors and environments, drawing on local, national and global contexts. Learners will develop an holistic understanding of business and enterprise and be aware of the opportunities and threats of operating in a global marketplace. Learners will be expected to be familiar with current issues in business and be able to investigate, analyse and evaluate contemporary business opportunities and problems in a wide range of contexts, whilst recognising how businesses adapt to operate in a dynamic business environment. Learners will gain an understanding of the important role played by small businesses in the economy and the opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs, as well as the importance of established business and not-for-profit organisations in providing goods and services. Learners will apply a number of analytical techniques, including decision-making models, investment appraisal tools and ratio analysis, to investigate business opportunities and problems to determine business strategy in a range of contexts. Learners will be expected to use a range of numerical skills and make justifiable decisions using both quantitative and qualitative methods applied in the context of A level Business as listed in Appendix A. The knowledge, understanding and skills are set out in two columns. The topic to be studied is in the first column, with amplification in the second column. There is no hierarchy implied by the order in which the content and amplification are presented, nor should the length of the various sections be taken to imply any view of their relative importance.

Assessment

Business studies structure 2

Business studies structure

Link for current specification:

http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/business/as-a-level/eduqas-a-business-spec-from-2015.pdf?language_id=1&dotcache=no&dotcache=refresh

Business Studies Marking Policy (A Level)

Students are required to complete a large number of past examination questions and they are assessed against formal A Level marking criteria as appropriate. Students are given full access to the marking criteria so they know how they are to be assessed.  Grades are given in line with examination board grade boundaries.

The following assessment techniques are used:

Peer and self-assessment

Students are provided with marking criteria and (often) a model answer which they use to assess each other’s or their own work.  Usually, this work would also be assessed by the teacher. 

Teacher assessment

For examination questions the teacher will use the formal exam board marking criteria.  Usually, feedback will include the formal subject assessment form where each student’s work receives a separate assessment for each element of the assessment criteria as well as an overall mark and an explicitly identified area for development that the student should aim to improve in the future.  In addition, students are asked to provide a written response to an area of their answer that requires improvement.  This could include providing accurate definitions, rewriting a paragraph, drawing a diagram, explaining a point more clearly, making a correction or anything else the teacher feels appropriate.  Students should expect the formal assessment of at least one examination style question every three weeks.  Examination style questions could include data response questions, essays, short answer questions and multiple choice questions.  Students will normally be provided with a model answer as part of their feedback.  All formal assessments will be recorded in the teacher’s mark book. 

Work that does not reflect the potential of the student will be re-done either in part or in full.

Assessment will be ongoing throughout all lessons.  In addition to the above, students will be assessed on the quality of their verbal feedback and the written, presentation and group exercises completed during lesson time.  Where possible, students will receive immediate verbal feedback and written work perused and marked in class.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar is normally corrected, especially where there is the incorrect use of technical terms.

Specification

Please click here for the current AQA A Level Business Studies specification

Exam Support

Advice

Writing a Business Exam Essay:

Planning

  • Is not about students listing all the points they already know
  • It is about them identifying the demands of the question and deciding how they want to tackle this question – what stance are they going to take? What do they actually think?
  • It is the ‘standing back and thinking’ moment not the ‘scribbling down knowledge’ moment.

What makes a good essay?

  • Well developed arguments
  • Balance
  • Judgement that links to the arguments made
  • Answers the question.

What are common problems with essays?

  • Focusing simply on the arguments. It can be/it may not
  • Not actually answering the question.

Frequently asked questions

Q. If a question asks whether ‘X is the best way’ can a student say ‘no, it is Z’?

A. Possibly, but remember the question is about X so if they are considering Y they need to show why it is better that X. They must keep referring back to X otherwise they have invented their own question. In this case the judgement that would be made is actually that X is not the best way (rather than Z is the best) to make sure it relates back to the starting point of the question.

Q. How many arguments are needed in an essay?

A. If it is an essay, students will want to consider the different arguments (there will need to be a consideration of a range of relevant issues), ensure there is balance and that judgements are well-supported. However, it is about the quality of the arguments and judgement and the extent to which the demands of the question are addressed rather than the number of arguments.

Q. Does an essay have to be two sided?

A. An essay is evaluative and therefore there need to be arguments and counter arguments/comparisons to make a judgement. There needs to be some ‘balance’, i.e. some weighing up of competing arguments. This does not mean that the student should regard the arguments as equally important when making their overall judgement.

Q. Do students need to use actual/‘real’ business case studies in their answers?

A. No, they can be used to support an argument but equally they can consider industries/situations/possible situations. If they are used, they need to support an argument. If they are well used, actual examples can provide insight but it is the insight that matters not the ‘story’. This insight can come in many ways without ‘names’ of businesses, e.g. awareness of challenges of the economy and of operating in different industries.

Past papers

Please click here for the WJEC GCSE Business Studies past papers

Please click here for the AQA A Level Business Studies paper papers

Useful external links

GCSE 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zpsvr82

https://revisionworld.com/gcse-revision/business-studies

https://www.tutor2u.net/business/blog/gcse-igcse-business-studies-revision-notes-master-listing

http://resources.wjec.co.uk/Pages/ResourceSingle.aspx?rIid=499

A Level

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/business/AQA-7131-7132-FORMULAE.PDF

 

Careers

Potential careers

The skills you gain through a business and management qualification will allow you to start contributing to a potential employer's organisation quickly and effectively.

Job options can include:

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Chartered management accountant
  • Corporate investment banker
  • Data analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Insurance underwriter
  • Management consultant
  • Operational researcher
  • Product manager
  • Project manager
  • Risk manager
  • Social media manager
  • Stockbroker
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Human resources officer
  • Logistics and distribution manager
  • Marketing executive
  • Retail manager
  • Sales executive
  • Systems analyst

What do business studies graduates do?

Seven of the top ten jobs held by graduates working in the UK are related to business, sales and HR. Marketing associate professional is the top job for business and management graduates with more than 800 graduates in these roles six months after graduation.

More than 10% of graduates go on to further study or combine further study with work.

Graduate destinations for Business Studies:

Destination

Percentage

Employed

77.1

Further study

6.8

Working and studying

4.4

Unemployed

6.3

Other

5.4

 

Types of work entered in the UK:

Type of work

Percentage

Business, HR and financial

25.1

Marketing, PR and sales

20.8

Secretarial and numerical clerks

11.9

Managers

11.4

Other

30.8

 

Alumni 

Jasmine Horrocks: Studied Business at Canterbury Christchurch University. Employed by Sony Music UK as an Artists & Repertoire Scout.

Laura-Louise White: Studied Business at University of West England, Bristol. Employed by UBS Investment Bank as an Executive Director.

Sue Eames: Studied Business at the University of Wolverhampton. Employed by Loreal Paris as a HR Coordinator.

Extra-curricular

Business Studies at Highworth Grammar School subscribe to two Young Enterprise initiatives, details of which can be found via the following links:

Young Enterprise (A Level Year 12)

https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/what-we-do/secondary-programmes/company-programme/

Tenner Challenge (GCSE Year 10)

http://www.tenner.org.uk/#/

Trips and visits

Year 9 Business and Economics students have the opportunity to visit Cadbury in Birmingham where they partake in an industrial tour and receive a lecture on marketing.

News

Two current Year 13 Business Studies Students have secured positions with two leading British companies, Barclays & BAE Systems, after a very competitive recruitment process. This is to complete a management training programme and higher apprenticeship.     

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