At GCSE level, current students are following the Edexcel specification. This involves three units of study; unit 1 (introduction to small business = 25% of the qualification) which is examined at the end of KS4 with a 45 minute multiple-choice paper, unit 2 (investigating small business = 25% of the qualification) which is a controlled assessment , and unit 3 (building a business = 50% of the qualification) which is examined at the end of KS4 in a mixed question style paper).
From September 2017, new students will follow the reformed 9-1 specification with the Eduqas/ WJEC exam board. This will involve 2 exams at the end of KS4. 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.
At AS and A level, students also follow the Eduqas/ WJEC exam board specification. This involves three externally examined units at the end of KS5. Business Studies A level 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.
At both GCSE and A level, 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. At A level, this progresses onto strategy and dealing with business issues.
Study visits, trips and extra-curricular clubs
The department aims to help students learning of business concepts and theories by visiting a product based and a service based business in Year 10. This year, students will visit Jaguar Landrover to aid understanding of lean production and quality control as well as visiting Warner Brother Studios to learn about movie marketing and market segmentation. There will also be visiting speakers throughout the course. Students will have an opportunity to take part in a national online trading competition and sixth form students will also take part in BASE; a business competition organised by the ICAEW.
Students are provided with a guide to unit 1 and personal learning checklists for unit 3. There is access to past papers and advice on how to answer exam questions.