Business Curriculum Intent
The Business curriculum enables students to develop an interest in and enthusiasm for the academic study of Business and exploit all opportunities to enrich their learning through application to the real world. The GCSE and A level qualifications are suitable for any student who has an interest in any one of the key business areas, as there is a broad scope to the topics the students will study. This enables students to develop their synoptic thinking across the syllabus.
The GCSE curriculum is broken down into the following units;
- Business Activity (Year 9)
- Marketing (Year 9 and 10)
- Finance part 1 (Year 10)
- People (Year 10)
- Influences on Business (Year 10)
- Finance part 2 (Year 11)
- Operations (Year 11)
- The interdependent Nature of Business (Year 11)
The units are delivered in a manner that allows for a logical progression from the starting of a small business to understanding the relationship between multi-national business and external influences; By teaching the units in this order the students are given an opportunity to understand what it takes to start and run a small business before understanding the more interdependent nature of big business.
Whilst Business GCSE compliments many studies at KS5, students are encouraged to continue with Business at A level and this is a popular choice. The A level curriculum itself however is also designed to be accessible to students who did not chose to study business at GCSE. The themes studied at A level are;
- Marketing and People
- Managing Business Activities
- Business Decisions and Strategy
- Global Business
Whilst business is broadly delivered through the modules above students are encouraged to develop their synoptic thinking by using chains of reasoning developed from across the modules. This is a skill that enables them to access the higher grades in their A level examinations.
The Aims of the Department
The Business department aims to bring to life the impact of the business world and the wider economy in the classroom. We are currently living in very uncertain and interesting times as a society. We aim to help our students understand the role of business in these times and the future. Our experienced teachers are able to interpret up to date and real life events that affect us all, to deliver the business course in an engaging and relevant manner for our students.
We have a good track record of exam success for all our students, no matter their ability. This is reflected in the uptake of both the GCSE and A level courses. Whilst many of our students use business as a facilitating course to study a variety of subjects at degree level, many continue with their business studies upon leaving Blenheim. Student voice consistently rates lessons as challenging as well as being engaging and enjoyable.
A number of school visits are arranged, depending on availability, throughout the year. Details of trips which have taken place this year or are planned in the future can be viewed in the School Visits, Enrichment area of the website.
- Business teachers are encouraged to access up to date and relevant resources online, providing students with the very latest business news and opinions. The department subscribes to specific business teaching websites as well as publications such as the business review. All resources are continually reviewed and developed to ensure our students have access to engaging and up to date materials.
- The Business suite, which is located in the purpose built Sixth Form block, comprises of spacious classrooms with interactive whiteboards and boasts over 50 desktop computers available for use during lessons as well as after school if required.
- The department always aims to bring in guest speakers form the business world to inspire the students.
The GCSE specification can be found at: WWW.OCR.org.uk
The A level specification can be found at: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/home.html
GCSE students are encouraged to use BBC Bitesize: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/z98jmp3
A level students are encouraged to use Tutor 2U (A level): www.tutor2u.net
KS4 Business Studies GCSE
Board and Exam Details
GCSE Business Studies – OCR GCSE 9-1
What skills students develop
The aim of all the Business courses is to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to run a business, as well as providing opportunities for them to develop a range of personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life and further education. GCSE students learn how to set up and grow a business and will investigate a local business as part of their controlled assessment.
Leadership, teamwork and communication are key areas of learning as well as understanding the pressures and the expectations of the workplace. Students will understand how a business identifies opportunities, sources finance, produces their products, markets their offerings to customers and manages their staff. The course is delivered by business professionals with wide reaching experience, using relevant and engaging examples.
How students are assessed
100% of the course is completed through two external examinations at the end of the course.
Regular homework is set around the examination skills sets that are required for externally assessed units and the completion of the tasks for internally assessed work. Homework aims to consolidate knowledge and examination technique and may require independent research or analysis of a specific business issue.
How parents can help
- Discuss the business issues that your child has learnt about and encourage the exploration of similar issues of a variety of business.
- Encourage your child to read an article in the business pages of a newspaper or the internet (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk/news/business).
- Take an interest in their homework and read it through, inspiring attention to detail such as grammar and punctuation.
- Encourage your child to watch television documentaries with a business focus.
As well as running a support group for GCSE and A level students during the week, our GCSE students take part in a “Stock Exchange Challenge”. In addition, students have access to enterprise activities such as building a promotional campaign and running a music festival.
In previous years we have run a school trip for Year 10 or Year 11 students at GCSE with trips to venues such as Wimbledon Tennis Club, Cadbury’s World and Drusilla’s Park and Zoo. We continue to add to our contacts to provide variety and engagement for all students and dependent on availability and cost considerations, would aim to provide a speaker or off site trip during the course.