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Business Studies

Context

  • The curriculum for Business Studies allows students to gain a broad understanding of business in the real word encompassing a range of topics focused on six main themes. The course allows for flexibility in using a combination of theory based lessons as well as taking part in learning events outside the classroom with a personal project lasting six weeks developing a range of skills they will take beyond their academic careers.

Design

  • Although Business Studies is a KS4 option subject with no curricular learning in Years 7 & 8 Business topics covered lend themselves to a range of other subjects most noticeable Geography, meaning students starting the course are able to relate and cross reference materials.
  • Students can correlate learnings from KS4 Religion & World Views as we cover morality of business, ethical considerations and the humanity aspect of business and the developing world.
  • The curriculum is designed by the exam board AQA with most topics having one hour approaches and as there is no coursework element the subject does rely on student’s memory recall skills.
  • The curriculum is taught in six major topic areas starting predominantly with Business in the Real World and Influences on Business. These topics are covered in both examinations and are the foundations of knowledge before more specialised topic areas enhance earlier learning. 

Intent

  • With the new course student’s ability to answer coherent and well-structured recommendations in their exam paper are essential to unlocking higher grades with a particular focus on extended writing.
  • Homework focus for Year 9 is the creation of revision cards and resources to enable revision and to aid memory recall from to ease the process and make it a business as usual approach in time for Year 11. Students from Year 10 will then also have exam structured questions for homework twice a term with the idea of exposing them gaining familiarity and developing their skills and abilities.
  • Homework questions will be adapted with students on a lower flightpath having the opportunity to opt for a question which will have guidance on how to structure the response as to not disengage them with the subject matter.
  • This will be supported by a 1-hour exam in Year 9, a full mock previous paper in Year 10 and then 2 mock previous papers in Year 11.
  • This assessment structure will allow strategic monitoring of how students are progressing and will allow targeted intervention where necessary. It allows students to frequently revisit skill and exam question types to refine their technique and develop deeper understanding. This understanding of development is designed to help engage and encourage students spurred on by progress. This will be complimented by a Year 11 revision evening running October – June.

Implementation

  • The curriculum is taught in a structure to allow the basic understanding of business before going into more in depth areas where the examinations will focus on. These include Human Resources and Business Operations which are covered in the first examination before finally studying Marketing and Finance which are covered in the second examination. Throughout the curriculum many topics are intertwined allowing for easier recall and provide the foundations for answering extended writing pieces.
  • Enrichment opportunities include a 6-week project where students create their own business before selling at the school’s annual Christmas Fair. This provides real life experience and helps to relate students to what can be expected with Work Experience opportunities. A trip is also planned to Cadbury World which encompasses an educational talk and research activity.

Impact

  • Number of students taking GCSE Business Studies is 57 split over 2 option classes although this was the first year options were chosen with a new teacher leading the curriculum.
  • Year 11 GCSE results for 2018-2019 were disappointing with a SPI of -1.00 against a 2017-2018 SPI of -0.77. This is in part due to changes in the curriculum and assessments with 2018-2019 being the first year to run the new specification. This could also be down to changes in teaching staff with a lack of consistency through 2017-2018 the first year of the course.
  • Many of the details listed above have been constructed with the aim of learning from the previous cohort to enhance the offering and potential success of the 2019-2020 cohort. This means it is expected to reverse the trend and see improvements in attainment.