Economics and Business

Head of Department: Nicola Rich

Members of Department:

  • Safina Khatun - Deputy Head of Department and Subject Leader for Business
  • Nasir Amin - Economics and Business teacher
  • Sarah Murphy - Economics and Business teacher

KS4 curriculum (Years 9-11)

Summary of the curriculum

At Key Stage 4 we offer two very popular GCSE courses, Business Studies and Economics.  Students find both subjects interesting and valuable, having not studied them at KS3. 

GCSE Economics:

Unit 1 How the Market Works (25%) – Written exam paper (1hr)

Unit 2 How the Economy Works (25%) – Written exam paper (1hr)

Unit 3 The UK Economy and Globalisation (50%) – Written exam paper (1.5hrs)

Economics is the study of how individuals, firms and governments allocate their limited resources in order to get what they need and want.  It draws from many subjects – including History; Mathematics; Politics; Geography; Psychology

In GCSE Economics we consider answers to the following questions:

  • Why do workers go on strike?
  • What’s the best way to deal with firms which pollute?
  • Will there be a housing market crash?
  • Should the UK leave the EU?
  • How fair is Fair Trade?

If you are interested in news and current affairs, possess good written and numeracy skills and would like to understand more about how the works then Economics could be the subject for you.

GCSE Business: 

Unit 1 – Setting up a Business – Written exam paper (1hr)

Unit 2 – Growing a Business (35%) – Written exam paper (1hr)

Unit 3 - Investigating a Business (25%) - Controlled assessment

In GCSE Business you will learn how businesses are set-up and managed.  The course covers starting a business, marketing, human resources, finance, operations management and growing a business.

In Business Studies we seek to answer the following questions:

  • How should Mark Zuckerberg motivate his employees?
  • Which marketing techniques should a local shop use?
  • Why does Dyson outsource their production to Malaysia?
  • Where can a new start-up business obtain finance?

If you are interested in learning about how businesses operate, would like to set-up your own business one day or would like to be a manager in a business then business studies could be suitable for you.

KS5 curriculum (Years 12-13)

At Key Stage 5 we offer A-Level Economics and BTEC Extended Diploma in Business Studies. 

A Level Economics:

A-Level Economics concerns the study of the fundamental forces which affect our lives such as employment, prices, international trade and poverty.  Students are encouraged to debate these key issues which results in lively and interesting lessons.  Students develop skills in research, communication, analysis and evaluation.

Here are some examples of the types of questions we seek to answer in Economics:

  • What determines prices and why do they always seem to rise?
  • Why is unemployment so high in some countries and what can be done about it?
  • How do events outside of the UK affect the success of businesses in the UK and the economy?
  • How do government policies help to achieve economic growth?

If you are interested in news and current affairs, have an analytical mind and would like to participate in discussion and debate then you could be well-suited to Economics.

Unit 1 – Microeconomics (33%) – Written exam paper (2 hours)

Unit 2 – Macroeconomics (33%) – Written exam paper (2 hours)

Unit 3 – Themes in Economics (33%) – Written exam paper (2 hours)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Business 

Who is this qualification for?

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business is intended to be a qualification for post-16 students wanting to continue their education through applied learning, and who aim to progress to higher education and probably to employment in the business sector. The qualification is wide-ranging and equivalent in size to 3 A levels, and it

has been designed as a full-time two-year programme. Students wishing to take this BTEC will have successfully completed GCSEs or equivalent vocational qualifications.

What does the qualification cover?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted in order to confirm that the content is also appropriate for and consistent with current practice for students choosing to enter employment in the business sector.

Everyone taking this qualification will study seven mandatory units, covering the following content areas:

  • Business Environments
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Management

As the mandatory content is equivalent in size to 2 A levels, the final third of the qualification is comprised of optional units chosen by the department. They cover topics such as:

  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Work Experience

Will the qualification support progression to further learning, if so, what to?

In addition to the business sector-specific content, the requirements of the qualification mean that students develop the transferable and higher-order skills that are highly regarded by both HE and employers.

For example, the study of principles of management requires students to research and provide evidence to support proposed management solutions, and then to evaluate and justify their propositions, basing their responses on different case scenarios. This activity requires the application of the higher-order skills of evaluation, reflection and justification. Business Decision Making is a synoptic unit where students identify and apply the concepts and theories developed in previous units to a business case study, so demonstrating understanding in an integrated way.

The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by HE providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant courses, for example:

  • BSc (Hons) in Business and Management
  • BA and BSc (Hons) in Business Studies
  • BSc (Hons) in International Management
  • BA (Hons) in Events Management
  • BA (Hons) in Marketing/Marketing and Business
  • BSc (Hons) in Business with Human Resource Management

Students should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes at specific HE providers.

Will the qualification lead to employment, if so, in which job role and at which level?

This qualification is designed primarily to support progression to employment after further study at university. However, it also supports students progressing directly to employment, as the transferable knowledge, understanding and skills will give successful students an advantage in applying for a range of entry level roles, or ‘school leaver’ industry training programmes and Higher Apprenticeships in areas such as business administration, marketing, accounting, sales or enterprise.

This qualification is supported by the following organisations

  • John Lewis
  • Barclays Bank
  • Lloyds Commercial Banking
  • The Co-operative Group
  • Peter Jones Foundation

Enrichment Opportunities

We have a firm commitment to extending our curriculum wherever possible:

GCSE Economics

  • After school Economics support club (weekly)
  • Deutsche Bank Mentoring Programme (financial literacy in lessons)
  • Visits to city firms for talks from some of the UK’s top Economists
  • In school talks by top Economists on current issues
  • Visit to the Bank of England
  • IFS Student Investor Challenge (trading game)

GCSE Business

  • Enterprise Competition
  • Controlled assessment after school support club
  • A range of business visits including: BMW, Cadburys, Coca Cola and an Organic Farm.
  • IFS Students Investor Challenge

BTEC Business

  • A range of visits to businesses including: Mini, Cadburys, Crossrail, Marks and Spencer’s and Coca Cola
  • University visits
  • Enterprise challenge
  • Investor challenge
  • Work experience

A Level Economics

  • Day trip to the European Parliament in Brussels
  • UK trips include:Bank of England and the Transport Museum
  • Visits to city firms for talks from some of the UK’s top Economists
  • In school talks by top Economists on current issues
  • Bank of England target 2.0 challenge
  • IFS Investor Challenge
  • Enterprise Competition
  • University visits
  • After school Economics support club