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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in November 2017 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

Economics A Level KS5

What will students study in Economics at KS5?

During the two years, students will study topics that range from traditional topics such as demand and supply, interest rates, exchange rates and economic policy to more dynamic topics, which will include the impact of globalisation on international trade, how behavioural economics draws upon consumer psychology to influence consumption decisions and how government and law-makers influence business judgements on their investments, the impact of economic shocks on the UK or world economics, how science can help improve the productivity of resources available and how we can attempt to predict the future trends by analysing current and historical data and information.

We will be following the AQA A level Economics syllabus and throughout your two-year programme, learners will study the essential theories in microeconomic and macroeconomic fields.

Microeconomics explore the economy on an individual business or an industry level; looking at concepts such as demand and supply for a product, how businesses can respond to economic changes, monopolies and causes of market failure. There will also be a focus on labour markets, wage determination, causes of inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth, commodities and housing markets amongst many other key areas within an economy.

We will look at the national and international economies in the macroeconomics section, which will include theories and topics in relation to unemployment and immigration, economic growth and trade/budget deficits, monetary, fiscal and supply-side policies. It also considers the trade-offs that governments face as they try to resolve problems such as the financial crisis of 2008, dealing with the aftermath of Brexit or the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Economics A level also explores themes in behavioural economics, which is the fast-emerging counterpoint to the 'ideal behaviour' notions on which classical economics is based.

While on this course, students will get to think about their views on issues such as political debates, how blunt economic policy tools can be and how well that fits with their personal beliefs and ethical stance and they will review how economic theories and methods can help us understand the challenges we face such as climate change, inequality and racism.

What are the major assessments this year?

In Year 12, students will sit a mock assessment at the end of Autumn term and an end of year mock in the Summer term. They will also be completing end of topic assessments as a form of summative assessment all through the year.

In Year 13, students will sit a mock assessment in the Autumn and Spring terms as well as their actual A level papers in the Summer term in May/June exam series. Students will sit through 3 papers, which will each be worth 80 marks taking 90 minutes to complete.

  • Paper 1 Markets and market failure (microeconomic issues). A section of data response questions, and a section of essay questions.
  • Paper 2 The National and international economy (macroeconomic issues). Same question structure as paper 1
  • Paper 3 Economic principles and issues (a synoptic paper which can test any part of the A level). A section of multiple choice questions followed by a section of case study questions.

What do assessments test?

Paper 1 will be assessing the students’ understanding and appreciation of microeconomic concepts whereas Paper 2 will be assessing the macroeconomic concepts. Paper 3 is a synoptic paper.

Overall, the exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • 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.

What are the expectations of students in Economics?

A level Economics requires logical thinking, and a command of maths to a good level. It is also a subject which requires social awareness which develops the ability to debate, both in class and on paper. This is a subject where in many instances, there is no right or wrong answer, especially in relation to the macroeconomic contexts that students will review, so they will need to be able to present arguments clearly, justify their thought process supported by relevant examples.

An economics students will be someone who is resourceful and open-minded about the possibilities of learning from a variety of sources. This is not a subject where you can rely entirely on textbooks as the dynamic nature of the subject will require you to follow news on and off-line in relation to economics, politics, business and social issues. It is absolutely an integral part of your course to follow the world affairs and bring what you learn into the classroom for in-depth discussions. 

Students must complete at least 5 additional hours of independent study every week on top of homework completion and lesson attendance. This should increase to 10 hours of additional study a week during the examination periods.

What should my child do if they feel they are struggling in Economics?

First point of contact should always be their subject teacher to ask for support and guidance. Students can also use their independent work, research and cognitive skills to seek information outside the lesson by visiting relevant websites such as Tutor2u and Seneca online learning platform, attend webinars, follow our subject YouTube channel and business and economics news.

Additionally, they can attend online or in-person public lectures at universities such as the London School of Economics, enrol onto webinars or online courses using websites such as Futurelearn that complement their studies in class.

How can I best support my child in Economics?

In Economics, your child will come across many concepts that they have not ever heard of before or had to think about. In a relatively short space of time, they are required to develop enough competence to be able to write essays about these concepts. Although we will guide and support them significantly throughout their studies, it would be highly beneficial if you also engaged in discussions with them at home related to economic and business world. Your discussions do not have to be conducted in expert language for them to be effective as the main point of these discussions should be about engaging the young person in the topical issues, getting them to think about their perspective on the topic discussed while having the opportunity to hear another person’s viewpoint before making a judgement about it. It might be a good idea to just get into conversations about what you hear in the news or after watching a documentary or hearing a podcast what their view is on the issue.

Another way you can help support your child in A level Economics is by helping your child to manage their time well, organise their resources and ensuring that they complete weekly revision and independent work.

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 bsanda@carshaltongirls.org.uk.