Developing effective decision makers for businesses of the future.
Business is front page news. The way companies operate is under greater scrutiny than ever before and television programmes like The Apprentice and Dragons Den have raised the profile of Business to a new generation. Business GCSE and A Level enables students to engage with, explore and understand business behaviour and develop a critical understanding of what business is and does.
Business is a popular subject and many of our students go on to study business related degrees at university. The new updated A Level and GCSE specification’s are dynamic and engaging, taking a holistic approach to the subject and investigating and analysing a wide range of contemporary business issues.
All students are invited to take part in the Tycoon in Schools competition. This national enterprise competition is open to all Coloma pupils from Years 7-13 (not just Business students). In 2015 a Coloma team were invited to an awards ceremony held at Buckingham Palace by HRH Prince Andrew and Peter Jones. In addition, 6th from students are invited to take part in the Young Enterprise Programme.
6th form students may also enter the ICAEW’s BASE competition. This is a unique and exciting experience where students are able to engage in business challenges that enable them to develop key employability skills and understand what it’s like to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.
Key Stage 4
During the course students will gain an understanding of how the world of business works. They will apply their knowledge and understanding to different business contexts ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in both the local and national contexts. Students will look at a range of topics including:
- Business in the real world – this will involve looking at the purpose of businesses, the role of business enterprise and entrepreneurship, and the dynamic nature of business.
- Influences on business – looking at the different external influences on business and how businesses change in response to these influences.
- Business operations – the study of production, human resources, finance and marketing.
AQA GCSE Business is assessed by two exams at the end of Year 11. Both exams are 1 hour 45 minutes long and both are worth 50% of the GCSE.
- Paper 1: Influences of operations and HRM on business activity.
- Paper 2: Influences of marketing and finance on business activity.
Students learn about the exciting world of business, from understanding about how business starts and is managed to the main functions of marketing, finance, people and operations.
The course is made up of three units:
- Unit 1 – Setting up a Business. Written paper (1 hour examination) – 40% of GCSE Qualification
- Unit 2 – Growing as a Business. Written paper (1 hour examination) – 35% of the GCSE Qualification
- Unit 3 – Investigating Businesses. (Controlled assessment) – 25% of GCSE Qualification
Students on this course enjoy combining theoretical understanding and practical application of business using ICT. They gain an awareness and insight into the workings of a business and expectations on employees, in preparation for their future employment experience.
The course is made up of three units:
- Unit 8 – ICT Systems in Business
This unit introduces learners to the importance of ICT and communication systems which contribute to the success of a business. This unit covers content relating to The Business Environment; Business Administration; Workplace Organisation; Health & Safety at Work; ICT Data Systems Security of Data. This unit is assessed by a one hour written examination providing 40% of the final marks.
- Unit 9 – Using ICT in Business
This unit introduces pupils to a range of software applications used to support each function of a business. Study will includes; Word Processing; Spreadsheets; Databases; Graphics; Presentation; Web Authoring: Desk Top Publishing. This unit is assessed as a one and a half hour practical examination paper using the computer providing 35% of the final marks.
- Unit 10 – Investigating ICT in Business
This unit is a controlled assessment . An exam board real life business scenario is provided allowing pupils direct application to the world of business. This unit is assessed as a controlled assessment providing 25% of the final mark.
Key Stage 5
In Year 12, leaners receive an introduction to business including aims and legal structure then progress on to learning how decisions are made in business in the various functional areas – marketing, operations, human resources and finance. Year 12 focuses on small to medium-sized businesses operating within national, as opposed to international, markets.
Students will consider
- Students will study business in a variety of contexts (eg large/small, UK focused/global, service/manufacturing) and consider:
- the importance of the context of business in relation to decision making
- the interrelated nature of business activities and how they affect competitiveness
- the competitive environment and the markets in which businesses operate
- the influences on functional decisions and plans including ethical and environmental issues
- the factors that might determine whether a decision is successful e.g. the quality of data and the degree of uncertainty
- how technology is changing the way decisions are made and how businesses operate and compete
- the impact on stakeholders of functional decisions and their response to such decisions
- use of non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making (including the interpretation of index numbers and calculations such as ratios and percentages)
AQA Business A Level is a linear course with all examinations at the end of the two year course.
Young people taking their first step into a new career need the right blend of technical and academic skills to support them. Employers and Higher Education are looking for highly skilled, job-ready individuals with a strong work ethic. This BTEC qualification has employability at the heart, so learners can develop the skills and confidence they will need to step into a prosperous future. The BTEC provides transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression to university including; the ability to learn independently; the ability to research actively and methodically; to be able to give presentations and be active group members. The BTEC provides a vocational context in which learners can develop the knowledge and skills required for particular degree courses, including; effective writing; analytical skills and creative development.
Year 12 Personal and Business Finance (Written 2 hour examination)
Year 12 Recruitment and Selection Process (Internally set written assignment)
Year 13 Exploring Business (Internally set written assignment)
Year 13 Developing a Marketing Campaign (Externally set written assignment)
Year 13 looks at business from a strategic point of view with learners using some of the key models used by large, often international businesses to help them in their decision-making.
Students will consider:
- the impact of technology on strategic decision making
- the influences of Corporate Social Responsibility, ethical and environmental issues on strategic decisions
- the difficulties in forecasting future trends
- the importance of assessing feasibility and risk when making strategic decisions
- the impact on stakeholders of strategic decisions and their response to such decisions.
The topics lend themselves to studying and engaging with the business world. The specification and methods of assessment have been chosen to encourage students to follow business developments and think critically about contemporary business issues. Most of the assessment material is based on real business situations. By examining and thinking critically about real business situations as they study the subject, students will gain an insight into different contexts which will help them to understand the key issues in any situation and compare and contrast this with other situations and apply their understanding.
Three examinations at the end of Year 13
- Paper 1 (33.3%). Multiple choice questions. Short answer questions & two essay questions .
- Paper 2 (33.3%) Three data response questions
- Paper 3 (33.3%) case study followed by six questions.