Economics

"Economic growth without social progress lets the great majority of people remain in poverty, while a privileged few reap the benefits of rising abundance.”

 John F. Kennedy

Economics at Kings Langley School

We consider Economics to be a rigorous academic subject which develops skills in critical analysis and evaluation, and which helps students to develop an appreciation of micro and macroeconomics. The course breeds critical thinkers at A-Level and there is a specific emphasis on examination technique throughout the two years of study. Topics in A-Level enable students to critically analyse decisions made by Governments in their pursuit of economic growth and question the nature of these decisions in relation to global economic trends. Furthermore, students gain an understanding of the cultural differences between many different economies across the world and gives students the chance to critically analyse government intervention based on local and global variances.

Staff:

Mr Gregory Dickinson (Subject Leader of Business and Economics)

Mr Anthony Easthorpe (Teacher of Economics)

Curriculum Intent

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

We aim to deliver a KS5 curriculum that stretches students to think critically and evaluate different decisions taken by different governments around the world. With the knowledge developed and retained using stringent assessment systems, students are encouraged to make informed decisions in relation to different economic contexts and 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 two-year course, we challenge our students to think sensitively and carefully about economic issues faced by some of the poorest economies and the influences on these economies. Ethics and morals are an important part of economics and we explore the concepts surrounding the decisions governments make in relation to economic problems, trying to balance finite resources with infinite demand. 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 the course in economics. The interpretation of key economic data, supply and demand graphs along with many aspects of business financial data is significant in understanding the concept of economics. 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 economics.

The assessment for learning policy within the business and economics department 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 economic terminology and concepts, but also acts a reminder to those whom which economics comes more naturally.

Studying economics at A-Level gives students the high level of mathematical and statistical skills and the ability to apply economic concepts and models to problems in business, finance, and the public sector. Economics helps students to think strategically and to optimise the outcome. The knowledge and skills taught in this subject are highly transferable and apply to many job roles. It is also an exciting time to be studying economics, with so many global changes, divided opinion and economic challenges, the course will give students a real insight into the working world around us, and prepare them for a future in which they can be the change.

Key Stage 5 (A Level)

Students can study Edexcel A Level Economics 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 economics will help students understand some concepts taught at A-Level, it is not a requirement to have studied economics at GCSE level.

A Level Economics will provide learners with a breadth of knowledge and understanding in relation to economic activity in the modern world. Students will consider how markets work, looking at how supply and demand interact to allocate resources in local, national, and international markets. They will learn how to apply supply and demand analysis to real-world situations and be able to offer explanations of consumer behaviour. This will involve looking at both how consumers act in a rational way to maximise utility and how firms maximise profit, but also why consumers may not behave rationally. Having investigated how markets work, students will then look at market failure. They will look at the nature and causes of market failure before considering the strengths and weaknesses of possible government intervention to remedy market failures. This theme will provide a coherent coverage of microeconomic content with students drawing on local, national, and global contexts. The course will develop this critical understanding through:

  • The interpretation and analysis of economic models and theories.
  • Discussing the role of government intervention through research and presentation.
  • Researching economic case studies and critically analysing the intervention of the government.
  • In depth analysis of objectives, costs and revenues of business and consider their role in the wider economy.

A Level Summary:

Students sit three papers for Edexcel Economics A.

Paper 1: Markets and business behaviour – 35% of the total qualification

Questions are drawn from topics across Themes 1 and 3 and focuses on microeconomics.

Paper 2: The national and global economy – 35% of the total qualification

Questions are drawn from topics across Themes 2 and 4 and focuses on macroeconomics.

Both Paper 1 and Paper 2 comprise of three sections. Students answer all questions from Section A and Section B, and one from Section C.

  • Section A comprises a range of multiple-choice and short answer questions.
  • Section B comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts.
  • Section C comprises a choice of extended open-response questions; students select one from a choice of two.

Paper 3: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics

Each question is set in a context, drawing on topics from across Themes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The paper comprises of two sections. Each section comprises one data response question broken down into a number of parts, including a choice of extended open-response questions; students select one from a choice of two.

All assessments are 2 hours long and comprise of 100 marks.

A Level Assessment Objectives for Economics

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge of terms/concepts and theories/models to show an understanding of the behaviour of economic agents and how they are affected by and respond to economic issues.

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding to various economic contexts to show how economic agents are affected by and respond to economic issues.

AO3: Analyse issues within economics, showing an understanding of their impact on economic agents.

AO4: Evaluate economic arguments and use qualitative and quantitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues.

KS5 useful links:

Exam specifications

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