The GCSE Business course will give students an understanding of what is it like to both run their own business and work within a business. The course deals with all of the core business topics including finance, marketing and human resources. Students will develop of understanding of the steps that are needed to start a small business and then go on to consider the issues around business expansion and growth. The controlled assessment task (25%) of the course requires students to conduct research into a business based around a certain issue and write a business report on their findings.
Year 9 will cover the main elements of Unit 1 of the course. This is based around how to set up a small business including legal structures, aims and objectives and location. Other elements of small business operations including marketing, finance and human resources are covered to allow students to understand the basics of being an entrepreneur. The course is taught through the concept of business planning and students will develop a small business plan during the year.
Year 10 begins with methods of business expansion and introduces students to some of the core issues around this. Other topics from unit 2 covered in Year 10 include the marketing mix, financing large businesses and recruiting and retaining a large workforce. The second half of year 10 will focus predominantly on the controlled assessment task with students researching a business related to task set for that year and building towards the writing of a three hour business report on the issue.
Year 11 begins with a round-up of Unit 2 topics. Production methods in a large business and the challenges of growth will be examined. Students then return to the core topics of marketing, finance and human resources for both small and large businesses through revision and updating knowledge in preparation for their final exams
The BTEC Business course gives students more of a vocational insight into what it is like to run or work in a business. The aim of the course is to not only enable students to understand all of the main topics involved in business studies, including finance, marketing and human resources, but also to develop the key skills necessary to be ready to work in a business in the future. With 75% of the course assessed through project-based coursework there are a number of opportunities to develop these key skills through presentations, report writing and group work.
Year 9 will involve a general introduction to business with key concepts explained and students being encouraged to analyse the business environment in their local area. Core skills of report-writing and deadline management will be developed to allow students to access the project work. Later in the year, the first BTEC unit, Enterprise in the Business World will be taught which looks at business classifications and compares businesses in different sectors and industries and also the core elements of becoming a successful entrepreneur. One further optional unit will be delivered which is likely to be on human resources.
Year 10 will cover the remaining three coursework units which can be chosen from a selection of fourteen different units. The units will be chosen to give students a broad overview of business as a subject and will include sales, customer service the law and online retailing.
In Year 11 the focus will be on preparation for the two externally examined units: Finance and Marketing in Business. The students will build on the knowledge in the first two years to study the basics of business finance including profit and loss and cash flow. In marketing the four Ps of the marketing mix will be analysed. The lessons will be a combination of application of concepts to the business world and practice of examination technique.