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Shenley Brook End School

Shenley Brook End School

Business Studies


We study Business and Economics to develop an awareness and natural curiosity of the Business and Economic environment around them. To have a deeper understanding of the businesses that students will work for or run, and the key driving factors and inhibitors that impact the environment. To learn how to manage your current and future financial capability in the short, medium and long term. 

The Business Studies and Economics 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.

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 – Edexcel Business.
  • BTEC Technical Award in Enterprise - vocational option with 1/3 exam and 2/3 coursework.
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 BTEC Technical in Enterprise activities include:

  • The SUBWAY challenge – a national competition that has a new challenge every year
  • Cereal Box Project whereby we focus on marketing a product created
  • Ethics Project by McDonalds whereby we focus on improving ethics in a global company
Years 10 and 11
In GCSE Business Studies (from September 2017 Edexcel Business Studies qualification):

Edexcel GCSE Business assessment is split into two exams that are sat at the end of Year 11. This course is assessed by 100% exams.  There is only one tier of entry and the course is split into two units of work.

Theme 1 - Investigating Small Businesses - worth 50% of the total GCSE - 1 hour 30 minute exam

Theme 2 - Building a Business - worth 50% of the total GCSE - 1 hour 30 minute exam

In BTEC Technical Award in Enterprise:

This course is offered to Year 9 students when choosing their preferences who wish to learn about business and enterprise. On completion, this has an equivalent value of 1 GCSE. The course consists of 3 components to be completed over a two-year period:

  • Component 1 - Exploring Enterprises (internally assessed) – to be completed in Year 10
  • Component 2 - Planning for and Running an Enterprise (Internally assessed)  to be completed in Year 10 and Year 11
  • Component 3 - Promotion and Finance for Enterprise (External and Synoptic)  to be completed in Year 11
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 transferable 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

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Business is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers. Students are introduced to business in Themes 1 and 2 through building knowledge of core business concepts and applying them to business contexts to develop a broad understanding of how businesses work. Breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, with applications to a wider range of contexts and more complex business information, are developed in Themes 3 and 4, requiring students to take a more strategic view of business opportunities and issues. Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to the study of business, to understand that business behaviour can be studied from a range of perspectives and to challenge assumptions.

  • Theme 1 – Marketing and people
  • Theme 2 – Managing business activities.Students will sit two exams.

Edexcel A Level Business

  • 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 at the end of Year 13

Edexcel A Level Economics Specification A

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Economics A is structured into four themes and consists of three externally examined papers. Students build knowledge and understanding of core economic models and concepts in Themes 1 and 2, and then build on this and apply their knowledge to concepts that are more complex and models in Themes 3 and 4. Students will need to apply their knowledge and understanding to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts in the assessments and demonstrate an awareness of current economic events and policies.

  • 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 at the end of Year 13

LIBF Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS)

As an Applied General qualification, the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) is primarily designed for students aged 16–19 and introduces personal finance. Its purpose is to prepare students for further study through the development of the core skills of critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis, verbal communication (through classroom discussion) and written communication.

CeFS develops the knowledge and skills required for young people to make informed financial decisions by introducing them to the risks and challenges involved in personal finance and the tools for effective planning. Within this, it provides a solid basis for creating financial inclusion, by exploring social-economic trends and their relationship with an individual’s circumstances and attitudes.

  • Unit 1 - Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short term
  • Unit 2 - Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term. Students will sit two exams.
LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS)

As an Applied General qualification, the Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) is primarily designed for students aged 16–19 and provides an in-depth exploration of the key concepts of financial capability and how they are applied to achieve longer-term financial sustainability.  DipFS builds on the skills and knowledge acquired through successful completion of the Certificate in Financial Studies and extends this to include areas such as financial sustainability within the wider financial services system, and the long-term impact of debt.

Within DipFS the student explores the political, economic, social, technological, ethical and legal impacts of personal finance in the short, medium and longer terms. Through this, a greater understanding of the impact that global events can have upon consumers and the wider financial services industry is developed. DipFS therefore enhances the ability to make informed financial decisions through effective planning to manage the risks and challenges involved in personal finance.

  • Unit 3 – Sustainability of an individual’s finances
  • Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System
Extended Learning

The Business and Economics 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.

Young Enterprise - Post 16 Years 12 and 13 Only

From September 2017  year 12 students will take part in the National Young Enterprise programme.  The objectives are to set up and run a real business. Students raise capital, sell products/services, run meetings and solve a range of problems a business would face.

Trips and Competitions

Trips we have run previously:

Bank of England Presentation and Tour. Students attend the Bank of England and receive a presentation on how the Bank of England ‘Keep an Even Keel’ on the UK economy

Cadbury’s World. Students attend Cadbury’s World to learn about the production process and business operations of a global business. Students have a workshop to attend and then a tour of the facility, demonstrating all elements of their production process.

Woburn Safari Park. Students attend a marketing presentation by Woburn Safari Park, learning all aspects that the park use for marketing their service to their target market. Students then have a guided tour of the safari park with specialist staff, sharing their wealth of experience of the business

Wimbledon Marketing Workshop and Tour. Students attend Wimbledon Tennis Club and spend the day learning about how Wimbledon market themselves throughout the year, attracting tourists globally. Students then have a tour of the facility including Centre Court.

Tutor2u Workshops. Students attend various revision and exam preparation workshops run by Tutor2u who are exam specialists in Economics and Business.

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.