Business Studies

Ethos

The Business Studies and Work Related Learning Department introduces pupils to the dynamics of how a business is set up and organised. It enables individuals to enhance their ability to enter the world of work within a wide range of business organisations. Our courses also provide valuable opportunities to develop key skills such as ICT, Maths, team working and communication, as well as developing confidence and inter-personal skills. A large number of students who take Business Studies/Economics/Financial Studies in the Sixth Form go on to study within higher education institutions or start Higher Level Apprenticeships.

The Work Related Learning course provides students with an alternative to the traditional GCSE qualifications and provides opportunities to develop similar skills to GCSEs together with / alongside the work related skills that vocational courses offer.  Some students may also be able to attend a weekly extended work placement which provides real experience of the work place, helping them to develop their employability skills and prepare them for the future rigours of the world of work.

Key Stage 4

In Years 9, 10 and 11 Business Studies and Work Related Learning are optional subjects. We offer two choices of courses:

  • GCSE Business Studies – AQA in Years 10 and 11 (from September 2016) and Edexcel Business starting September 2017 for the new year 10 students, (this means students currently in year 9 as of September 2016). All GCSEs in Business are changing, so we have taken this opportunity to review and select the best new GCSE for our students to study.
  • VCert (vocational certificate) in Business and Enterprise – this is a vocational option with 75% coursework and 25% exams and so is an appropriate option (the preferred choice) for students who cope better with a structured coursework approach instead of 100% exam assessment.

YEAR 9

In year 9 students complete knowledge and skills based projects, as we consider this to be a bridging year and an introduction to those who have never studied a business or work related learning qualification before. Thus, in GCSE Business and VCert in Business and Enterprise activities include:

  • The SUBWAY challenge – a national competition that has a new challenge every year

  • Projects on Added Value and Branding

  • A project based on ethics and corporate social responsibility using McDonalds as the context

  • A major project about customer service.The aim is for students to develop their knowledge, application, analytical, evaluative and research skills ready for the year 10 courses that will start after the Easter of year 9.

YEARs 10 and 11

In GCSE Business Studies (from September 2016 but this will be the final AQA Business Studies qualification as we change to Edexcel Business starting in September 2017)

  • AQA GCSE Business Studies (4133). Assessment is split into two exams and one piece of controlled assessment which replaces coursework (this is worth 25% of the whole qualification). There is only one tier of entry and students sit all three units of work in year 11 of this course.

    • Unit 1 –Setting up a Business – divided into 5 sections – worth 40% of the total GCSE

    • Unit 2 – Growing as a business – divided into 5 sections – worth 35% of the total GCSE

    • Unit 3 – Controlled Assessment coursework – worth 25% of the total GCSE

       

  • The NCFE VCert in Business and Enterprise was new from Easter 2015.It is a semi-vocational alternative to AQA Business as it has three pieces of coursework and one exam – all equally weighted. The four units are:

    • Unit 1 - Introduction to Business and Enterprise – coursework

    • Unit 2 - Marketing for Business and Enterprise – controlled assessment exam (5 hours sat in exam conditions)

    • Unit 3 - Finance for Business and Enterprise – coursework

    • Unit 4 - Plan, develop and participate in a Business or Enterprise project – coursework

Extended work placements

In Years 10 to 11 we offer the opportunity for certain students to undertake a 2-year work placement in various businesses for two hours each week. Students who choose this option will do one less GCSE qualification but will gain vital real life work skills. We strongly believe that this initiative gives students a valuable opportunity to develop the employability skills that they would find hard to experience within school, whilst at the same time building their self-confidence and TENSILE skills.


Sixth Form

With the aim of offering a wider and more comprehensive choice of courses in our Sixth Form, we offer three different A level courses. Our philosophy is to enable students to make a reasoned choice, which will then support whatever career or further study they wish to undertake.

The three courses in Years 12 and 13 are as follows:

Edexcel AS Business - new syllabus from September 2015

The new AS Business differs from the older A levels in that it is a stand-alone qualification. Students sit the two exams and then achieve an AS qualification.  If they want to achieve the full A level, students then have to sit all three exams of the A level course and the AS exams will not contribute to the full A level.

  • Theme 1 – Marketing and people

  • Theme 2 – Managing business activities.Students will sit two exams.

Edexcel A Level Business – will start from September 2016 to be examined in September 2018

  • Theme 1 – Marketing and people

  • Theme 2 – Managing business activities

  • Theme 3 – Business decisions and strategy

  • Theme 4 -Global business.Students will sit three exams.

Edexcel AS Economics - new syllabus from September 2015

The new AS Economics differs from the older A levels in that it is a stand-alone qualification. Students sit the two exams and then achieve an AS qualification.  If they want to achieve the full A level, students then have to sit all three exams of the A level course and the AS exams that students pass will not contribute to the full A level.

  • Theme 1 – Introduction to markets and market failure

  • Theme 2 – The UK economy – performance and policies.Students will sit two exams.

Edexcel A Level Economics Specification A – will start from September 2016 to be examined in September 2018

  • Theme 1 – Introduction to markets and market failure

  • Theme 2 – The UK economy – performance and policies

  • Theme 3 – Business behaviour and the labour market

  • Theme 4 – A global perspective.Students will sit three exams.

 

  1. IFS Certificate in Financial Studies

  2. Unit 1 – Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short term

  3. Unit 2 – Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term. Students will sit two exams.

IFS Diploma in Financial Studies

  • Unit 3 – Sustainability of an individual’s finances

  • Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System

Students will sit two exams.

Extended Learning

The Business and Work Related Learning team believe very strongly in a students’ Whole Education and so our trips and extra-curricular activities play a large part in the all-round education of students.

LIBF Student Investor Challenge: Students between 14-18 years old can take part in a nationwide competition to increase the value of their virtual share portfolio. Groups of 4 students can invest in shares and commodities with the chance to win prizes, whilst understanding the mechanics of changing share prices, and commodity prices.

Enterprise—Post 16 year 12 and 13 only

As part of the Business department we also run the challenging Enterprise programme. It is an internationally run programme in which year 12 students set up and run their own REAL business. The students raise capital, sell products/services, run meetings and solve a wide range of problems. This runs from September in year 12 to March in year 13. The students have to produce a company report and undertake a formal presentation to their peers and business people. This is very similar to the Young Enterprise course but we have adapted it so that we can be more flexible to the needs to the students and their busy academic schedule.


Trips and competitions

In the Business department we try to have at least one trip per year group and we enter students into business competitions wherever possible. This is vital as Business Studies students need to experience the real world of business wherever and whenever possible.

We have been on and usually go each year to:

Jaguar factory in Castle Bromwich – We take the year 12 and 13 students from all courses to see how these cars are made. This is excellent support for the topic of Operations Management.

Chelsea – the “Business of football” – This is open to GCSE and VCert year 10 Business Studies students. A trip to London to see how Chelsea run themselves as a business – which they are a highly successful example of!

Woburn Wild Animal park Whipsnade – Open to GCSE and VCert year 11 Business Studies students. Students are given a tour of the park and attend a presentation explaining how and to whom Woburn market themselves to and how they deliver outstanding customer service.

Coca-Cola Milton Keynes – Open to any year 12 and 13 student in the department. Students learn how Coca-Cola market and manufacture their fizzy flavoured drink.

Cranfield Business Challenge – Cranfield School of business – This is a year 12 business competition that takes place in June and July of each year. We usually have two teams of five students who take part in an on-line computer simulation activity. Students pitch themselves against teams from across Milton Keynes on how to best run a fictional business. The winner is the team which makes the most profit.

YEAR 9 Subway Challenge – We begin year 9 by arranging for students to enter this exciting marketing challenge.  Students are given a topic and resources and have to market a new sub sandwich of their choosing.


Revision workshops

We also offer to take students to externally run revision workshops that we hope will further enhance our students’ examination skills. We give students the opportunity to go to a set of revision workshops that were held at Star City in Birmingham. Students pay for these courses as they are organised and run by private companies but we have attended them in the past and we believe that they provide an excellent, additional experience which complements what we provide for our students in school.