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Economics

The world has limited resources and yet we appear to have unlimited wants. This means resources are scarce. Economics is the study of how we allocate scarce resources on a regional, national and international basis.

Economics is split into two sections:

  • Micro-Economics involves the study of individual consumers, firms and markets including how decisions are made and what influences those decisions.
  • Macro-Economics involves the study of regional, national and international resource allocation.

If you have ever wondered about any of the following questions, then Economics may be the course for you…

  • How are prices determined?
  • How do firms decide what goods to produce and services to provide and in what quantities?
  • How do consumers make decisions about what goods and services they consume?
  • Why do Governments sometime intervene in markets? (e.g. why are cigarettes and alcohol taxed?  Why is solar energy subsidised?  Why are some goods and services provided by the Government?)
  • What is inflation and how does it impact on all of us?
  • Does it matter that we import more than we export and that the Government spends more than it receives through taxes?

Staffing

Teachers

Mr S McEvoy

Prefects

Ben Tinker

Max Birley

Mika Goodchild

Olly Mitchell

Ambassadors

May-Ying Tang

Phoebe Long

Key Stage 4

Content

The GCSE Economics course is split into two sections:

  1. How markets work

Students will look at the nature and purpose of economic activity, the factors of production and the importance of making choices. Students will also look at how resources are allocated using a market mechanism and how prices are determined. This introduces students to concepts such as supply and demand, intermarket relationships and price elasticity. Students investigate the significance of costs, revenue and profit for producers, leading to an understanding of the concepts of production, productivity and economies of scale. Students will then explore the importance of competition in relation to resource allocation, leading to an investigation of market failure. Students are encouraged to explore the moral, ethical and sustainability issues that underpin economic decision-making and economic activity.

  1. How the economy works

Students are introduced to the wider economy from the perspective of consumers, producers and government. Students explore the significance of interest rates including their impact on saving, borrowing and spending. They will focus on government objectives and their role in managing the economy. Students also examine why countries trade, and the significance of the global economy, including free-trade agreements. Finally, students will explore the role of money and the significance of the financial markets in modern economies. Students are encouraged to explore the moral, ethical and sustainability issues that underpin all aspects of managing an economy.

Assessment and feedback 

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

AO1 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of economic concepts and issues

AO2 - Apply knowledge and understanding of economic concepts and issues to a variety of contexts

AO3 - Analyse and evaluate economic evidence and issues to demonstrate understanding of economic behaviour, make judgements and draw conclusions

Economics Marking Policy (GCSE)

Students are required to complete a number of specimen and past examination questions (as they become available) and they are assessed against formal GCSE marking criteria as appropriate. Students are given full access to the marking criteria so they know how they are to be assessed.  Grades will be given in line with examination board grade boundaries when available.

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.  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.

Work that is to be formally assessed will be completed in the blue assessment books. Work that is not to be formally assessed (normally student notes) will be completed in the students’ note books and these books will be monitored at least once every half term.  Students will receive feedback with regard to the comprehensiveness of their notes and any gaps therein and the quality of their presentation.  Students will be expected to fill any gaps.

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 reviewed 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 AQA GCSE Economics specification

A Level

Content 

The Economics course focuses on recent economic events, current economic issues and problems relating to the UK, but with the increasing globalisation of the world economy, it also deals with how we affect, and are affected by, developments in Europe and the rest of the world.

The AQA specification which, as well as looking at the theoretical aspects of the subject, puts considerable emphasis on how it can be applied to the present day. Some of the many topics covered during the course include supply and demand, the labour market, money and banking, international trade, taxation, government spending, unemployment, inflation and the management of the economy generally.

Assessment and feedback 

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

AO1 - Demonstrate knowledge of terms/concepts and theories/models to show an understanding of the behaviour of economic agents and how they are affected by and respond to economic issues.

AO2 - Apply knowledge and understanding to various economic contexts to show how economic agents are affected by and respond to economic issues.

AO3 - Analyse issues within economics, showing an understanding of their impact on economic agents.

AO4 - Evaluate economic arguments and use qualitative and quantitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues.

Economics Marking Policy (GCSE and 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 markbook. 

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 reviewed 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 AQA A Level Economics specification

Exam Support

Advice

Please click here in order to access exam advice for A Level Economics

Past papers

GCSE

As this is a new specification, there are currently no past papers available but specimen papers for the AQA Economics GCSE can be found here

Please click here for the OCR GCSE Economics past papers. PLEASE NOTE: The Highworth Economics Department uses the AQA exam board. The OCR papers are only examples of a similar paper. 

A Level 

Please click here for the AQA A Level Economics assessment resources

Please click here for the AQA A Level Economics past papers and mark schemes. PLEASE NOTE: these papers assess the previous A Level Economics examination but the assessment criteria and question style are similar

Useful external links

Ezyeconomics is a superb resource to which the Economics department subscribes. A Level students will be provided with a username and password so they can log in. The site has a wealth of excellent assessment exercises where students get immediate feedback on their performance and how they can improve. In addition, there are lots of videos and specimen examination papers with guidance and model answers.

https://www.ezyeducation.co.uk/ezyeconomicsdetails.html

Tutor2U is a free resource created many years ago by an experienced Economics teacher. It contains a huge quantity of resources that can be used to reinforce and develop subject knowledge and examination technique. Students are provided with a comprehensive list of links to relevant web pages ordered alphabetically by subject.

https://www.tutor2u.net/economics

The Department makes extensive use of ‘Google Classroom’ where students can access their homework but also links to suggested wider/background reading. Students are given their own usernames and passwords so they can log in.

https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/6072460?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

Other recommended websites include:

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/forums/a-levels/economics

 

Careers

Potential Careers

Economics is highly regarded by employers and universities. You may choose to pursue a career in a directly related field such as banking or finance. Economics will stand you in good stead by giving you an insight and understanding of the economic forces that impact your day to day activities.  Alternatively, you may decide to follow a career path which isn’t directly related to your course of study. The analytical and evaluation skills that you will have developed will be useful whatever path you choose in the future.

What subjects does Economics go with? In recent years, Economics has been studied in combination with almost every subject on offer. Many students take it with Mathematics, Geography, History, English, Sociology or Psychology but it is also a useful addition to someone concentrating on sciences or languages.

What skills will I learn? Economics will help you develop a range of skills that will benefit you whether you decide to go on to further study or the world of work:

  • analytical thinking
  • manipulating and interpreting different types of information
  • communicating effectively
  • using qualitative and quantitative data effectively.

Extra-curricular

Clubs

Student support sessions are available for the following year groups:

Year 11 GCSE every Wednesday lunch time in G248

Year 13 A Level every Tuesday and Thursday lunch time in G248

Trips and visits

GCSE students have the opportunity to visit the Bank of England and Lloyds of London.