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Business Department

Welcome to the Business Studies department at Churchdown School

The Business Studies department helps students to develop their interest in business. They may have an enquiring mind and be interested in learning about the world around them, how businesses are set up, and what it is that makes someone a great entrepreneur.

KS4 offers two different pathways: GCSE Business Studies or the BTEC First in Business. Both pathways allow students to learn about how small businesses are developed and discover how businesses promote themselves and keep their customers happy. Students also understand how businesses manage both their finances and the people who work for them.

KS5 develops this knowledge and understanding further by providing two different options: A’level Business Studies or the BTEC National in Business. These options help to lay the foundation of understanding on how businesses function and how managers make decisions. There are six areas within the subject content: marketing; accounting and finance; people at work; operations management; external influences and companies’ objectives and strategies.

 

KS4 Overview

Edexcel GCSE Business Studies

Unit 1: Introduction to Small Business

45 minutes exam         25 

This unit provides an introduction to the world of business through the eyes of the start up entrepreneur. Discover how some famous businesses began, and how small and start up business come into being by finding an idea that will work. Then an entrepreneur must find funding and decide who will own the business. Once up and running, business owners and managers have to manage their finances, promote themselves and conduct market research, as well as employ people and produce good quality products and services. All these aspects are covered using high quality examples of both real and fictional businesses

Unit 2: Investigating Small Business

Controlled assessment    25 

Students investigate a local business and create a full research report into the business on a theme specified by Edexcel, for example ‘Competing as a Business’ or ‘Promoting a small Business’. This research is then used to write a report summary and recommend improvements for the business – this is the controlled element

Unit 3: Building a Business

1 hour 30 minutes exam             50% 

As the course progresses into Unit 2, larger businesses are considered including many whose brands and names will be instantly recognisable such as Coca Cola and Apple. As businesses grow, things change. The main functions of a business stay the same but the role these take in running the business and the way they do this becomes more complex.

Edexcel BTEC First Award in Business

Unit 1: Enterprise in the Business World

Internal coursework portfolio    25%

Can you come up with an innovative business idea? Can you develop that idea to make it successful? In this unit you will create a business plan for a business idea of your choice and then pitch it to bank managers from Natwest. Recent ideas have included personalised t-shirt printing, ICT teaching for the elderly, five-a-side football leagues and mobile pet grooming. Also discover the factors and trends that impact upon small businesses including the economy and recent technological developments.

Unit 2: Finance for Business

60 minute Onscreen Finance examination    25%

How will your business be successful and make a lot of money if you aren't careful with your finances! Discover how businesses raise money to start up, whether that’s from selling shares, from a bank or from friends or family. Learn about different costs so you can manage your outgoings effectively, and analyse different ways of boosting your revenues and profits. Discover different financial planning tools such as cash flow forecasting, budgeting and break even analysis. These will help you run your business successfully.

Unit 3: Promoting a Brand

Internal coursework portfolio  25%

Nike, Apple, Tesco, Mercedes, to name but a few. These are all businesses with extremely strong brands. But how have they built that brand? Discover how large, well known businesses build their brands through the use of their logos, slogans and advertising. Then discover how businesses use a range of promotional techniques to communicate with customers such as advertising, personal selling and direct marketing. After you have learnt the skills, put them into practice! You will build a brand and create a promotional campaign for a client of your choice. 

Unit 8: Recruitment, Training and Employment 

Internal coursework portfolio  25%

People are often described as the most important asset for a business. Therefore getting the right employees is extremely important for businesses. Discover all about recruitment and what businesses do to ensure they get the best candidates they can for the position. Then practice applying for a position, this will help you in the future. Consider your dream job and what steps you need to take to get there.

 

KS5 Overview

AQA AS/A’Level Business Studies

What does the AS course include?

The AS course lays the foundation of understanding how businesses function and builds a knowledge of how managers make decisions.  There are six areas within the subject content: marketing; accounting and finance; people at work; operations management; external influences and companies’ objectives and strategies.

What does the A’Level course involve?

Business Studies can be continued at A’Level where you can further develop a critical understanding of organisations and the markets they serve through deeper study of the above subject areas. 

Will it suit me?

These courses are open to all students, whether they have taken Business Education at Key Stage 4 or not. This course will allow students to use a critical approach to distinguish between fact and opinion, build arguments and make informed judgements. It will also help them to develop and apply knowledge, understanding and skills to contemporary issues in local, national and global contexts.

Where could this lead?

An AS/A’Level in Business is a qualification contributing to university entrance requirements in any chosen area of study. It is a good foundation for studying the various options within a Business Studies degree course e.g. Human Resources, Marketing and Financial Management. It is a very useful qualification if you decide to go straight into the workplace, e.g. into Accounting or Administration. Students gaining this Certificate will have demonstrated that they have learnt the skills of research, analysis and evaluating data as well as being able to communicate their findings. These skills are in great demand and are highly valued by employers.

Edexcel BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in Business

What does the course include?

The course covers a broad range of business topics to include units on starting up your own business, learning how to make profit in your business and making the most of your workforce.

What does the BTEC course involve?

This course gives you an understanding of the essential knowledge needed to help you progress in a broad range of business careers. It can also open up further areas of study to you. You will be assessed on 6 portfolios of work and two external exams. This course is designed to be adaptable to your needs, abilities and career aspirations.

Will it suit me?

You will be assessed on six portfolios of work and two external assessments. This means that your level of attainment mainly depends on the amount of work you are willing to put in. So, if you are interested in learning about what makes a business tick, this could be the course for you. You will gain confidence through developing independent learning skills as well as your ability to work with others to complete projects.

Where could this lead?

A BTEC National Certificate in Business is a qualification contributing to university entrance requirements in any chosen area of study. It is a good foundation for studying the various options within a Business Studies degree course e.g. Human Resources, Marketing and Financial Management. Students gaining this Certificate will have demonstrated that they have learnt the skills of research, analysis and evaluating data as well as being able to communicate their findings. These skills are in great demand and are highly valued by employers.

Extra Curricular Opportunities

The Business Studies computer room (B1) is open for students to come and complete coursework at break and lunch every day. The room is also available for students after school until 4pm from Tuesday to Thursday.

There are a number of Business challenges for students to get involved with throughout the year including the Tenner Challenge; which allows students to come up with unique and innovative ideas to generate a return from their £10 investment.  The department is also keen to submit an idea to the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future programme; ideal for any budding entrepreneurs who would like to develop their business ideas further.

The department also run several in school events throughout the year that students can get involved in, including; concerts, movie nights, fetes, quiz nights and many more. 

Trips

The Business Studies department run several visits from local business people and there are also opportunities to go out and investigate how businesses run in practice.

In previous years we have visited Cadbury World to investigate chocolate production; West Midlands Safari Park to study the different functional areas and also many large retailers to observe and evaluate customer service.

The department also runs an annual Business trip to Disneyland Paris; this allows students to learn about the management and structure of the theme park as well as the marketing strategies they employ. The Business Studies department is also introducing a trip to New York in 2017. 

Next steps or Where the subject leads

 

No matter which route you follow, all these business courses can help you prepare for further and higher education such as AS/A2 Levels and BTEC and NVQ courses. You will become skilled in making decisions, being creative, solving problems, understanding finance, dealing with data, communicating and working as part of team. A Business Studies course could lead to work in a business-related profession such as accountancy, law, marketing or the leisure and tourism industry.

Research by UnLtd shows that over 247,000 companies are founded by young people. A report from Santander also estimated that 80,000 UK university students run a business, and a quarter of these plan to turn it into a career when they graduate.

Emma Jones, founder of small business network Enterprise Nation, said: “These statistics show that younger generations are no longer pinning all their hopes on finding the perfect job, they are taking their destiny into their own hands and creating a business around a skill, a passion or a hobby."

Maybe it’s time to find out where a qualification in Business could take you?

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