What will students study in Business at KS4?
In Year 10, students will build on what they have learned in Year 9 and continue covering the last two topic areas in Theme 1, which are as follows:
- Topic 1.4 Making the business effective – students will explore a range of factors that impact on the success of the business, including location, the marketing mix and the business plan.
- Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business – students are introduced to a range of factors, many of which are outside of the immediate control of the business, such as stakeholders, technology, legislation and the economy. Students will explore how businesses respond to these influences.
Although we work on gaining students exam skills from the early stages in Year 9, these skills are continuously practised throughout their Business GCSE and at every stage new skills are added to the mix. Once Theme 1 is completed, students will go through a period of intense revision and exam skills, such as data and case study handling, application and analysis using past and sample papers.
In the Spring/Summer of Year 10, students will move onto Theme 2, which examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. They will complete the first two topic areas of Theme 2 in Year 10 and the last 3 topic areas of this theme in Year 11. Once again, we will do intense and targeted revision and exam skills development in Year 11 in addition to completing Theme 2.
Our Exam Board is Edexcel and Theme 2 comprises five topic areas.
- Topic 2.1 Growing the business – students are introduced to methods of growth and how and why business aims and objectives change as businesses evolve. The impact of globalisation and the ethical and environmental questions facing businesses are explored.
- Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions – students will explore how each element of the marketing mix is managed and used to inform and make business decisions in a competitive marketplace.
- Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions – this topic focuses on meeting customer needs through the design, supply, quality and sales decisions a business makes.
- Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions – students will explore the tools a business has to support financial decision making, including ratio analysis and the use and limitation of a range of financial information.
- Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions – growing a business means that decisions relating to organisational structure, recruitment, training and motivation need to be made to influence business activity. These aspects are considered in this final topic.
Theme 2 focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Theme 2 also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows. In this theme, students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. National contexts build on those in Theme 1 and relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK. Global contexts relate to non-UK or transnational businesses.
Students must develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of business activity through interactions between business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, as well as the relationship between the business and the environment in which it operates. Students must understand how these functional areas influence business activity and how interdependencies and relationships between them underpin business decisions.
What are the major assessments at KS4?
In Year 10, students will complete end of topic assessments each time a topic is completed as well as and end of year exam in the Summer-term.
In Year 11, in addition to the end of topic assessments, there will be 2 mock assessments once Theme 2 is completed. Normally, GCSE Business students sit two externally assessed examinations in the Summer of Year 11. Each paper has the same structure and weighting and are as follows:
- Paper 1 – Theme 1 content.
- Paper 2 – Theme 2 content.
- Each assessment is 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
- Each paper is out of 90 marks.
Both Paper 1 and Paper 2 will have 3 separate sections with Section B and C having one case study each.
What do assessments test?
End of topic tests and the end of year examination will be summative assessments that will enable both the learner and the teachers to determine the level of progress made in the business topics covered and what still need to be addressed going forward.
Paper 1 will assess students on Theme 1 content and Paper 2 will assess students on Theme 2 content using the following question types:
- There will be calculations, multiple–choice, short–answer and extended–writing questions.
- Each paper will include questions that target quantitative skills at a minimum of Key Stage 3 level.
- Questions in Sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper and will be presented in the form of case studies.
What are the expectations of my daughter in Business?
We welcome all students into the Business area who are keen to find out more about the world around them as well as use creativity, intuition, enquiry and independent thinking. This introduction is both challenging and engaging. The subject would be best suited to those students who enjoy solving problems and using their research skills.
What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in Business?
All teachers in the department are subject specialists with industry experience. It is always best for your daughter to approach their business teacher in the first instance. We also encourage students to develop their independent working skills by advising them to use a wide range of revision materials such as online resources that include Tutor2u and Seneca online learning platform. In addition, students will need to use their revision guide and workbooks to complement their studies outside the classroom.
How can I best support my daughter in Business?
It would be very helpful if you could talk to your daughter about their business course, what topics they study, what they enjoy and find challenging. Business is all around us and having conversations about business news or even discussions about the changes in the local high street could prove beneficial in your daughter’s understanding of how the business theories they learn can be applied in real-life contexts. You can also encourage them to do regular revision of knowledge learned as they will need to grasp business language and get competent in using this in their writing.
Whom should I contact for further advice or information?
For further advice or information, please contact Ms Sanda, Curriculum Leader for Business and Economics on email@example.com.