Business 

Departmental approach to the curriculum

Business is a popular subject at Rickmansworth and many of our students go on to study business-related degrees or apprenticeships at post 18. The new updated AQA specifications at both GCSE and A level are dynamic and engaging, taking a holistic approach to the subject and investigating and analysing a wide range of contemporary business issues. It includes relevant topics in today’s society such as digital technology and e-commerce, business ethics, international business and globalisation. Both GCSE and A Level provide worthwhile and interesting courses and the material studied will be valuable for candidates intending to pursue careers in any area of business.

  • Do you fancy yourself as the head of a successful business?
  • Got some great ideas for new products or services?
  • Maybe you want to work for a large company in marketing or management? 
  • ... or start a business from home? 

No matter what your vision, studying business gives you a powerful start to launch you on to becoming a successful business person. All the key topics of starting and running a business are covered and our results reflect a strong team of teachers and committed students. 

Among the many benefits, both specifications are designed to encourage candidates to develop real-life skills needed for further study and future employment.


 

Long Term Curriculum Overviews

Year 10 and 11

Specification studied: AQA

For students to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding to different business contexts ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national and global contexts. Students develop an understanding of how these contexts impact on business behaviour.  

The GCSE Business aim is for students to be able to: 

  • use business terminology to identify and explain business activity  
  • apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts  
  • develop problem solving and decision making skills relevant to business  
  • investigate, analyse and evaluate business opportunities and issues  
  • make justified decisions using both qualitative and quantitative data including its selection, interpretation, analysis and evaluation, and the application of appropriate quantitative skills 

Students will complete the course having gained a better understanding of the all-encompassing business world that they live in, and will apply their knowledge and understanding to business decision making including:  

  • the interdependent nature of business activity, influences on business, business operations, finance, marketing and human resources, and how these interdependencies underpin business decision making  
  • how different business contexts affect business decisions  
  • the use and limitation of quantitative and qualitative data in making business decisions. 

Subject Content


Paper 1: Influences of operations and HRM on business activity


What's assessed 

  • Business in the real world 
  • Influences on business 
  • Business operations 
  • Human resources 

How it's assessed 

• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
• 90 marks
• 50% of GCSE 


Questions 

  • Section A has multiple choice questions and short answer questions worth 20 marks. 
  • Section B has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 34 marks.
  • Section C has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 36 marks.

 

Paper 2: Influences of marketing and finance on business activity


What's assessed 

  • Business in the real world 
  • Influences on business 
  • Marketing 
  • Finance 

How it's assessed 


• Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
• 90 marks
• 50% of GCSE 


Questions 

  • Section A has multiple choice questions and short answer questions worth 20 marks. 
  • Section B has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 34 marks. 
  • Section C has one case study/data response stimuli with questions worth approximately 36 marks. 

Cross curricular links with: 

Maths - students need to demonstrate the ability to calculate % change and read data from graphs.  

Geography – students learning about factors of location and globalisation 

PE – students learn about different motivational theorists and how to businesses aim to get the best from their human resources. 

Year 12 and 13

Specification studied: AQA

A level Business students gain an understanding about the dynamic yet interrelated nature of business using business models, theories and techniques to support analysis of contemporary business issues and situations.  

The curriculum is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society – they will study key contemporary developments such as digital technology and business ethics, and globalisation. 

A level Business Aim is for students to be able to: 

  • The primary aim is for students to study and engage with the business world. 
  • Students are encouraged to follow business developments and think critically about contemporary business issues. With assessment material based on real business situations, this allows students to examine and think critically about real business situations as they study the subject. 
  • Students shall gain the knowledge and skills needed to analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions – all skills that are needed for further study and employment.  

Curriculum key concepts 

Students shall study business in a variety of contexts (eg large/small, UK focused/ global, service/manufacturing).  

The course is broken down into two key areas: 

Functional Decision making:  

  • the importance of the context of business in relation to decision making  
  • the interrelated nature of business activities and how they affect competitiveness  
  • the competitive environment and the markets in which businesses operate  
  • the influences on functional decisions and plans including ethical and environmental issues  
  • the factors that might determine whether a decision is successful eg the quality of data and the degree of uncertainty  
  • how technology is changing the way decisions are made and how businesses operate and compete  
  • the impact on stakeholders of functional decisions and their response to such decisions  
  • use of non-quantitative and quantitative data in decision making (including the interpretation of index numbers and calculations such as ratios and percentages).  

 

Strategic Decision making: 

  • The study of strategic decision making should build on the study of decision making in the functional areas.  
  • the impact of technology on strategic decision making  
  • the influences of Corporate Social Responsibility, ethical and environmental issues on strategic decisions  
  • the difficulties in forecasting future trends  
  • the importance of assessing feasibility and risk when making strategic decisions  
  • the impact on stakeholders of strategic decisions and their response to such decisions.  

Assessments

Paper 1: Business 1

  • All content is assessed in a written exam 2 hours in length.
  • 100 marks in total
  • 33.3% of A level
  •  Three compulsory sections: 
  • Section A has 15 multiple choice questions (MCQs) worth 15 marks. 
  • Section B has short answer questions worth 35 marks. 
  • Sections C and D have two essay questions (choice of one from two and one from two) worth 25 marks each.

Paper 2: Business 2

All content is assessed in a written exam 2 hours in length.

100 marks in total

33.3% of A level

Questions

Three data response compulsory questions worth approximately 33 marks each and made up of three or four part questions.

Paper 3: Business 3

All content is assessed in a written exam 2 hours in length.

100 marks in total

33.3% of A level

Questions

One compulsory case study followed by approximately six questions.

Cross curricular links with: 

  • Geography – Globalisation and trade.   
  • Maths - interpretation of index numbers and calculations such as ratios and percentages. 
  • Economics – How do economic factors such as interest rates and taxes affect business? 
  • Politics – Brexit and economic externalities.  How will Brexit affect business?  
  • History – students learn about how changes in working lives and nature of business have changed over time and the impact this has on business today.  Students gain an understanding of how trade unions developed, evolved and the changes in business practices today.  
  • Psychology – How consumer habits influence business?  How do businesses motivate their human resources to achieve the best from them?  

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

This document will provide a visual overview of the department's curriculum from Key Stages 3 to 5. This is in a student-friendly format to support them in their understanding the of the department's curriculum. 

Assessment

Department Assessment Matrix

This document will provide an overview for assessment for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

 

Key Stage 3 Judgement Descriptors

This document will give you an overview of the criteria for Emerging, Developing, Secure and Mastery judgements at KS3 for this subject.

How can you help your child succeed in business?

It is important that students have an interest in the business world around them and in current affairs, have the ability to communicate effectively and are competent in mathematical techniques such as calculating percentages and interpreting graphs. 

Discussions at home regarding current affairs and business news will aid students to gain a deeper understanding of what is being taught in the classroom.  This shall also reinforce the use of business language which is essential to show knowledge and understanding.

Helpful websites and further information