Aims of the curriculum
- To give students the opportunity to investigate the work of small businesses and their role in the business world.
- To introduce the features and skills of an entrepreneur and learn how they can be used to spot an opportunity to develop a successful business idea.
- To become familiar with business financial matters and how to manage them effectively.
- To understand how the world around us affects a small business and the people involved.
- To develop the skills of organisation and self-discipline and use them to manage their school work.
Initial Entry Level Qualification studying three units including Business and People, Marketing and Enterprise and Production, Finance and the External Business Environment. This is assessed through two small unit tests and a piece of coursework.
Students will learn more about how small businesses are developed and discover how businesses promote themselves and keep their customers happy. There are 3 Units of study during year 10 and 11. In Year 10 students will study Unit 1 – Introduction to Small Business which is broken down into five topic areas: Spotting a Business Opportunity; Showing Enterprise; Putting a business idea into practice; Making the start-up effective; The economic context. This is assessed at the end of year 11 in an exam of 45 minutes duration through multi choice and objective test questions.
Students will study two further units: Unit 2 – Investigating Small Business which is completed through a controlled assessment assignment requiring personal research and investigation. Unit 3 – Building a Business which again is broken down into five topic areas: Marketing; Meeting Customer Needs; Effective Financial Management; Effective People Management; The Wider World Affecting Business. This is assessed through a written examination lasting 90 minutes. There will be a mix of multi-choice and long and short answer questions based on scenarios.
Teaching methods and student organisation
Students are organised into mixed ability classes. Students receive 2-3 lessons during the course of KS4 depending on their individual Option choices. The course is both active and enjoyable. A variety of teaching methods are used from traditional instruction, group work and individual study. You will need to be good at communicating and explaining your ideas, listening to new concepts and respecting other opinions. You will learn how to be a creative thinker and how to make decisions. You need to be self-disciplined, willing to be an independent learner and keep your work organised. You must review work regularly and complete weekly homework.
Progression after Key Stage 4
Overall this is a new, dynamic and exciting course. It can lead on to AS Level Business Studies, AS Level Accounting, or any vocational, in particular OCR Cambridge TECS at Levels 2 and 3 in Business. Even if you do not want to go on to study business further you will have benefited from studying a GCSE Business course because any job you do will involve working for a business or organisation. You may well decide to become self-employed utilising the entrepreneurial skills and attributes gained.
Additional classes and extra curricular activities
GCSE Unit 2 Controlled Assessment - Extra support is offered to students carrying out the controlled assessment.
GSCE Unit 1 and Unit 3 Revision Workshops - Extra support is offered to students in preparation for the end of year examinations.
Lunch-time Drop In sessions are also available to students who need further guidance or use of ICT facilities.
Wherever possible the department utilises the expertise of a wide range of external business partners to provide real-life examples of business practice. Regular visits are made to a number of organisations. For example, Jaguar/Land- Rover, Cadbury World, Alton Towers, Chester Zoo, etc.
How can you help your child?
As a department we believe that working together effectively, with both parents and students, will allow students to achieve their full potential. Parents can support in a number of ways:
- Take an interest in the topics studied.
- Encourage your child to ask questions and approach their subject teacher if they have any questions.
- Ensure that homework is completed on time and to a high standard.
- Providing opportunities to develop subject knowledge by further reading e.g. Key Stage 4 revision guide, textbook, newspapers, specialist magazines, watching business TV programmes i.e. The Apprentice.
- Support your child to use the internet as a valuable research tool (not simply to copy and paste findings).
- Appreciate the importance of your child’s controlled assessment (25% of the overall GCSE grade).
- Provide facilities to work with your child during revision and homework activities.
- Instil appropriate behaviour and positive attitude in all of your child’s studies.
- Develop an excellent work ethic that would prepare them for their working life.
- Guide your child to be responsible and confident, in line with the school’s Gospel values, so that he/she can reach their full potential.
In addition to the points above, if you feel that your child needs further support or you need clarification on any subject related issues, please do not hesitate to contact their subject teacher.