Business & Enterprise

Curriculum Statement

Our department is dedicated to providing a dynamic and comprehensive education in business management, entrepreneurship, and leadership.  Our curriculum emphasises practical skills, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and global perspective to prepare students for success in a rapidly evolving business landscape.  We integrate theory with real-world applications and experiential learning opportunities through designing a Business proposal.

Intent

Business & Enterprise is taught as a Key Stage 4 subject that gives students a good understanding of what they need to know to be a valuable member of society when they enter the world of work, either in the public or private sector.  It gives students the knowledge to go on and study business at a higher level either as a vocational post-16 course or at A level, leading to higher education academic study.

Students are given an understanding of how real businesses work and how they contribute to both the UK and global economies.  Both numeracy and literacy skills learned across the school at Key Stage 3 are developed and enhanced to allow students to give clear arguments on why business decisions are undertaken and to show an understanding of how the financial performances are measured. Arguments based on case studies are debated orally and extended answers are also written, following the strategies students have been taught in their English classes.

The Enterprise and Marketing course encourages students to develop the practical skills and applied knowledge they’ll need in the business and enterprise sector.  Students put their learning into practice and develop valuable transferable skills, beneficial if they’re considering starting up their own enterprise/business.

Students are taught to respect and listen to each other when business decisions are debated.  They are encouraged to take pride in their work and to build up their own portfolios that can be used for exam revision and re-capping knowledge.

Implementation

We offer two courses as GCSE options in KS4 for Years 10 and 11.  AQA GCSE in Business Studies and OCR Cambridge Nationals Enterprise and Marketing.

For the GCSE course, Year 10 students are taught to understand how businesses are run, the structure of a business and the role of human resource.  In Year 11 they study operation management and finance including record keeping.  Students in both year groups are also given opportunities to refine their exam techniques in mastering the long answer questions.  We have also recently introduced another digital platform, Smart Revise, to enhance their knowledge, fill missing gaps and support with retrieval practise from units taught earlier.

For the Cambridge Nationals course, it is a vocational course which combines practical and theoretical elements to introduce and develop skills in enterprise and marketing.  The grades awarded for this course are slightly different to those for GCSE qualifications, but the challenge posed by the course is similar to that of any other Key Stage 4 qualification.  In Year 10, students start their first course work to design a business proposal and in Year 11 the second coursework, market and pitch a business proposal is delivered.  Students will also go back to the exam topics in Year 11 in preparation for their final exam.  The course is currently run with 2 coursework tasks, that must be completed in school under the supervision of their teacher, and one written exam that is 40% of the final mark.  Students are given guidance but must complete the coursework independently.  Students are also encouraged to access the online platform of Google Classroom to support with their learning for the exam unit.  After school revision clinics are also provided for both courses on two days per week.

There is cross-curricular work with the English team advising and observing how students develop and defend an argument when composing extended long answers.  There is also collaborative work with the Maths team, who advise on techniques students use for working out financial calculations – an example being how to work out percentage change in business performance.

Students have three 50-minute lessons per week.

Impact

In AQA, at the end of each unit, students are tested to check the acquisition of key business vocabulary and retested to check significant progress has been made.  Case study style questions are used to assess students’ ability to apply the business knowledge learnt to a business situation.  Past papers are adapted and used for end of year tests to enable teachers to give accurate data predictions and to put interventions in place where necessary.

In OCR, written communication skills will be developed through both projects and in the exam unit; verbal communication skills will also be required when it comes to pitching product ideas in the second coursework R069.  Design work is required in R068 when developing a new product idea and maths skills will be required when completing key calculations, like those for costs, revenue, break-even and profit.  The first coursework is submitted and graded in Year 10 and the second one is submitted and graded early in Year 11.  Both coursework must be submitted before the final exam in Year 11.

Individual teachers keep mark sheets to track the progress of students across the course.  Students and parents are informed by phone where exceptional progress has been made or if there are concerns that a student is not achieving expected progress, to help ensure there is an improvement in effort and attitude where necessary.  Each student receives a written data report and comments are given verbally on individual’s strengths and areas to improve.

The business department is now part of the Computing & Business Department under the guidance of one Curriculum Leader.

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