Business & Enterprise
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 learnt 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 Cambridge National in 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.
The course delivered has two pathways, first is AQA GCSE across 2 years. In Year 10 students begin with businesses in the real world, giving them an understanding of how and why people run a business. This leads on to how businesses are influenced by external factors, including ethical and environmental considerations, and the role businesses have in contributing to the economy and finally the role of human resources.
In Year 11, students understand how businesses are run and the structure of a business and the financial performance and record keeping. They then move on to focus on using case studies to develop exam questions technique.
The second pathway is OCR Cambridge Nationals in Enterprise & Marketing, this 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 an extended answer. 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.
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 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.
Business is now part of the Computing & Business department.