The qualification provides an introduction to the world of business giving students the opportunity to explore real business issues and how businesses work. Students will consider the practical application of business concepts as the units will provide opportunities for them to explore theories and concepts in the most relevant way through the context of events in the business and economic world.
Pupils will also have the opportunity to study aspects of business and develop key skills, such as research, report drafting and writing skills as well as project management. They will study the following mandatory units, covering the underpinning knowledge and practical skills required to work in the industry:
- Business in the real world
- Influences on business
- Business operations
- Human resources
Pupils find it very difficult to learn with understanding from tasks which have no meaning that is apparent to them. They learn more effectively when they can link new experiences to what they already know and are motivated by curiosity to answer questions. All pupils have had experience of the business industry at some time, either as a customer or consumer, using either goods or services. Activities should therefore enable pupils to engage with real situations and with real issues.
The GCSE course is assessed by two external examinations.
Paper 1 – influences of operations and HRM on business activity. This paper is worth a maximum of 90 marks and comprises 50% of the GCSE result. The examination lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes.
Paper 2 – influences of marketing and finance on business activity. This paper is worth a maximum of 90 marks and comprises 50% of the GCSE result. The examination lasts for 1 hour 45 minutes.
Both examinations have 3 sections.
Section A – multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions worth 20 marks.
Section B – a short case study with questions worth approximately 34 marks.
Section C – a short case study with questions worth approximately 36 marks.
Pupils’ progress is evaluated using their baseline upon entry to the academy and the progress they actually make. This allows necessary intervention to be put in place in order to give pupils the best chance of obtaining their expected outcomes. As this academic year will be the first cohort through the exam, a review of its appropriateness, evaluated against the exam board choices, will be made next academic year.
Pupils will be working towards English and mathematics qualifications at Key Stage 4. This GCSE provides further opportunity to enhance and reinforce skills in English and mathematics in naturally occurring, relevant, work-related contexts. English and mathematical skills are embedded in the assessment criteria.
In all aspects of the study of Business, it is vitally important that pupils are able to express their views and ideas in a clear and grammatically correct manner. Good literacy is necessary to understand, respond to, and use a range of specialist language to describe the concepts and ideas relating to the world of Business and to represent and communicate ideas and this is common to all areas of the curriculum.
Events/ people/ places
Business involves the study of many aspects of business in the real world including entrepreneurship, legalities of business, and influences of external factors to name a few. This study gives pupils a greater understanding of the world of business and what is involved with running your own business. The short case studies allows the study of people, places and events from different angles, and means they can put these various issues into perspective in relation to each other.
It is essential that pupils become thinkers and problem solvers, not just memorisers of facts. Business can help pupils to do this. These are skills that are applicable to all areas. Learned concepts can be applied in other areas of the curriculum e.g. pupils can identify aspects of ecology and environmental issues in Science and world events and places in History, as well as developing Empathy and communication skills in History.
Many procedures in Business are common to all aspects of the curriculum. These include: Child Protection, Health & Safety, Confidentiality and Data sharing. In- house training as well as CPD courses ensure that that these procedures are consistent throughout the curriculum.
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