Business Studies

“Always deliver more than expected.”
Larry Page

 

Business at Kings Langley School

We consider Business to be a rigorous academic subject which develops skills in analysis and evaluation, and which helps students to develop an appreciation of the business and economic environment that we live in. The course breeds critical thinkers both at GCSE and A-Level and there is a specific emphasis on examination technique throughout the two years of study in both key stages. Business supports student’s moral and cultural development and prepares them for the diversity of cultural and ethical situations that they will experience throughout their life. Topics in both GCSE and A-Level enable students to critically analyse decisions made by businesses in their pursuit of profit and question whether these decisions are morally right. Furthermore, students gain an understanding of the cultural differences between many different economies across the world and gives students the chance to offer critical opinions on how managers should make decisions based on these variances.

Staff

Mr G Dickinson (Subject Leader)
Miss J Pell

Curriculum Intent

As a department of dedicated and experienced subject specialists we offer business at GCSE and A-Level. As subject specialists we take pride in our commitment to keeping up to date with the fast-changing business and economic environment, which enables up to date context embedded within the curriculum. This provides students with access to a knowledge rich Business curriculum which is differentiated to meet learning needs and styles.

We aim to deliver a KS4 and KS5 curriculum that stretches students to think critically and evaluate different decisions taken by all levels of management within business. With the knowledge developed and retained using stringent assessment systems, students are encouraged to make informed decisions in relation to different business contexts and economic scenarios. This builds confidence in students and gives them an insight into real world decision making, which they are likely to use in their future working life.

Throughout the course, both in GCSE and A-Level we challenge our students to think sensitively and carefully about issues businesses face and how the decisions taken by businesses affect themselves and their families. Ethics and morals are an important part of business activity and we explore the concepts surrounding the poor decisions some managers make in relation to this important area of business. This builds a moral compass within students and in turn will hopefully help students approach social, moral, and cultural decisions in an ethical and sympathetic way.

There is a focus on interpreting data throughout both key stages in business. This ranges from the calculation of profit, labour turnover rates and capacity utilisation to more complex calculations such as profitability ratios and investment appraisal calculations. Students are then encouraged to interpret this data in any given context and to analyse different outcomes in relation to changes in data and external influences. These skills are invaluable for future careers and make students highly employable in later life. The cross-curricular content builds strength in mathematics and statistical understanding, which helps to improve the understanding of concepts taught across maths and business.

The assessment for learning policy within business enables teachers to embed targeted differentiation throughout the teaching of the curriculum. The use of informal and formal assessments gives students opportunities to show their capabilities in the subject and allows them to express their opinions in relation to different case study contexts. Students are regularly tested in class to help identify gaps in knowledge and understanding. Lessons are then subsequently planned to ensure that this knowledge is covered again to help those struggling with new business terminology and concepts, but also acts a reminder to those whom which business comes more naturally.

Ultimately, we hope, that students will end up in employment and the skills taught within business will give them a competitive advantage when promotion opportunities arise, when applying for new roles, or when making important business decisions. The world is continually changing in many ways, with many aspects affecting it, but none more so than the part business plays. It is therefore imperative that the next generation of managers and leaders shape the future through empathy, and high moral beliefs. Studying business at Kings Langley School will undoubtedly help to achieve this aim.

GCSE Business (Years 10 – 11)

Students can study business as a GCSE option from Year 10 and is a popular choice amongst many at Kings Langley School. Students will gain an understanding of current business decisions and develop an insight into the choices small, medium, and large businesses face in the changing external environment. Students will develop valuable analytical and evaluative writing skills, which are a necessity in further education. The course focuses on the decisions entrepreneurs and established managers make to start or grow their business. Students will develop their understanding through:

  • The learning of key terms and theories within the syllabus.

  • Analysing information found in case studies, and using this information to develop arguments for and against a management decision.

  • Discussing business decisions made by entrepreneurs and managers with peers.

  • In depth analysis of businesses strengths and weaknesses in relation to core functions of a business; Marketing, Human Resources, Operations and Finance.

  • Using calculations to support an entrepreneurial or managerial decision.

AQA Business (GCSE)

Students sit two papers for AQA GCSE Business (9-1):

  • Paper 1, includes the topics: Business in the real world, Influences on business, Business Operations and Human Resources.
  • Paper 2, includes the topics: Business in the real world, Influences on business, Marketing and Finance.

The length of both exams are: 1 hour 45 minutes, each paper is worth 90 marks and accounts for 50% of the overall GCSE grade.

GCSE Assessment Objectives for Business

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of business concepts and issues.

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of business concepts and issues to a variety of contexts.

AO3: Analyse and evaluate business information and issues to demonstrate understanding of business activity, make judgements and draw conclusions.

KS4 useful links:

AQA - Business Studies 

BBC - Bitesize 

A Level Business 

Students can study AQA A Level business as part of their A Level options choices. In the first year of the course, students will receive 10 periods of teaching across a two-week timetable. During the second year of teaching, students will receive 11 periods of teaching across a two-week timetable. Although studying GCSE business will help students understand some concepts taught at A Level, it is not a necessity to have studied business at GCSE level.

A Level business will provide learners with a breadth of knowledge and understanding in relation to business activity in the modern world. The course focuses on the management and strategic decision-making businesses take, to survive or grow in a modern-day economy. Students will develop this critical understanding through:

  • The interpretation and analysis of business models and theories.

  • Forming opinions and offering advice on business situational analysis in relation to real world case study examples.

  • Discussing business strategic direction with peers, improve teamwork and leadership skills during the process.

  • Researching business case studies and critically analysing the business decisions taken in relation to uncontrollable external environment actions.

  • In depth analysis of businesses strengths and weaknesses in relation to core functions of a business; Marketing, Human Resources, Operations and Finance.

Students sit three papers for AQA A Level Business

Paper 1: All content from two years of teaching

Section A has 15 multiple choice questions worth 15 marks.

Section B has short answer questions worth 35 marks.

Sections C and D have two essay questions (choice of one from two and one from two) worth 25 marks each.

Paper 2: All content from two years of teaching

Three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each and made up of three- or four-part questions.

Paper 3: All content from two years of teaching

One compulsory case study followed by approximately six questions.

The length of all exams are 2 hours. They are individually worth 100 marks and each account for 33.3% of the A Level grade.

A Level Assessment Objectives for Business

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories, methods and models to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues

AO3: Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences

AO4: Evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues.

KS5 useful links

AQA 

Tutor2u 

Places to visit:

Visiting business related attractions is a worthwhile pursuit in developing a wider understanding of business practices, as well as accessing a knowledge rich environment that supports the work done within the department. The following locations are recommended:

  • Harry Potter Studios

  •  Amazon warehouse – guided tours

  •  Visit local MP – discuss business development within your area

  • Visit the local high street and analyse the shops that are located here, compare this to a town and a larger city

  • Bank of England – tour and information

  • Cadbury’s World

  • Thorpe Park

  • Zoos & Safari Parks (Woburn, Whipsnade and London Zoo etc.)