Social Sciences: Business Studies & Economics

Staff

Mr Edward Harvey – Head of Social Sciences (Business Studies, Economics & Law)

Mr Elliot Lloyd – Teacher of Business and Economics

Mrs Hasina Ali – Teacher in charge of Business Studies and Teacher of Economics

Mr Richard Coulthard – Teacher of Economics

Naqqash Kamal – Teacher of Business Studies

 

Vision

The Business and Economics department sits within the social sciences faculty alongside the Law department. The vision for the faculty is to ensure that all HGS students are equipped with the powerful knowledge, awareness, and confidence to take their place at the world’s leading tables. We are also committed to the school’s teaching and learning vision to ensure that study of our disciplines leads to learning without limits in later life. Our vision is the lodestar for everything we do and implement as a department. Our main priority is that our staff are fully equipped to allow our students to flourish.

Department goals for students

As a result of studying the Business & Economics curriculum we desire to achieve the following goals:

  1. Students will learn the fundamentals of business, including an understanding of complex systems, market forces, entrepreneurship and the theory and praxis of business.
  2. Students will be able to engage meaningfully in the world of business through developing their confidence with innovation, driving ideas, marketing products and learning to make informed judgements on quality and efficiency.
  3. Students will become morally responsible as they learn about integrity in the workplace, and that businesses are no less morally accountable than individuals and should be driven to contribute positively to society. Through studying business, we seek to form the character traits of determination and integrity. Thus, reinforcing the CARES values.
  4. Students will learn the dynamics of human behaviour at both a micro and a macro level, thereby enabling them to understand how markets work, how markets fail, and the role of institutions within markets.
  5. Students will be able to model complex economic processes using theoretical constructs, analyse and evaluate the validity of their outcomes, and articulate their findings in a logical way.
  6. Students will become ethically aware as they learn the principles and moral or ethical problems which can afflict households, firms, and/or governments, and consider their place in tackling some of the challenges that face humanity.

Course Calendars and Curriculum Mapping

Our approach to curriculum is summarised in the table below. Our ‘intent’ outlines the purpose of our curriculum whilst our ‘implementation’ details the vehicles we will use to successfully deliver these aims. Finally, ‘impact’ refers to the characteristics and actions we expect from our students when they successfully meet our vision.

GCSE Business Studies Curriculum Map

GCSE Business Studies Course Calendar – Year 10

GCSE Business Studies Course Calendar – Year 11

A Level Business Studies Curriculum Map

A Level Business Studies Course Calendar

A Level Economics Curriculum Plan

A Level Economics Course Calendar – 12A

A Level Economics Course Calendar – 12B

A Level Economics Course Calendar – 13D

A Level Economics Course Calendar – 13E

Curriculum: Business Studies at KS4

The GCSE that the department teaches is a Business Studies GCSE run by AQA. This GCSE is not essential for the A’ level Business Studies course but it is a useful introduction to those who feel that they have an interest in this area.

The course is comprised of six units.

  1. Business in the real world
  2. Influences on business
  3. Business operations
  4. Human resources
  5. Marketing
  6. Finance

The course requires students to draw on their knowledge and understanding 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

 

Assessment is via two 1hr 45 min exams with a variety of question types including multiple choice and short answer questions as well as longer data response/case study questions

The business environment is dynamic and ever changing and delivery of the course content will be supported by reference to current developments in the business world.  GCSE Business Studies requires students to have both good numerical and good writing skills and is a good GCSE to study in preparation for a wide variety of careers.

 

Curriculum: Business Studies at KS5

Students choosing Business at A level follow the AQA specification (7132). The two Business teachers share responsibility for the teaching of each of the ten units that make up the A level Business course. Broadly, students study functional decision-making units (1-6) in Year 12 and strategy units (7-10) in Year 13. By the end of year Year 12, students are expected to understand six units enabling an end of year mock examination to take place that broadly follows the AS examination. Teachers have a degree of flexibility in delivering aspects of the syllabus bearing in mind the make-up of the class. It may be the case that aspects of ‘strategy’ (Year 13 material) will be taught in Year 12 if the makeup of the class consists primarily of students who have studied GCSE Business. Students are assessed half-termly, perhaps under timed conditions in lessons, using examination-based questions and essays. All units should be taught by Easter of Year 13 allowing for full revision and students to have the ability to sit full practice exams in each of the three papers.

 

A level Business Studies aims to give students an understanding of the many problems businesses can face and encourages students to develop analytical and evaluative ways to solve them.  Year 1 of the course focuses on leadership, management and decision making in the various departments of a business and Year 2 looks at the fundamental decisions on strategy made at board level. All units will require working with a business and provide significant opportunities for students to investigate the real world.

There are ten mandatory units which are detailed below:

  • What is business?
  • Managers, leadership and decision making
  • Decision making to improve marketing performance
  • Decision making to improve operational performance
  •  Decision making to improve financial performance
  • Decision making to improve human resource performance
  • Analysing the strategic position of a business
  •  Choosing strategic direction
  • Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  • Managing strategic change

 

Assessment is via 3 examinations of 2 hours each. These contain multiple choice, short answer, and extended case study questions as well as essays. Students need to have both good numerical and good writing skills. Business Studies combines well with Economics for those interested in pursuing a finance-based degree but is a good general A level that will support any career.

 

Curriculum: Economics at KS5

A Level Economics is a more conceptual course than Business Studies and we focus on the powerful forces that shape the world in which individual businesses must operate. The course is structured to enable students to study how whole economies (macroeconomics) and individual markets (microeconomics) work as well as a look at international aspects in both Years 12 and 13. Students should be numerate and able to write clearly but having an interest in what is going on in the world and wanting to understand it more is also important.

 

Economics sits in the middle of the learning spectrum. In one direction is has close links to Mathematics as calculations are invariably needed. In the other, its demand in terms of analytical essay writing skills align it with the ‘arts’ subjects such as History, English, Politics and Psychology.

 

COURSE CONTENT:

 

Component 1 – Individuals, firms, markets and market failure

  1. Economic methodology and the economic problem
  2. Individual economic decision making
  3. Price determination in a competitive market
  4. Production, costs and revenue
  5. Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly
  6. The labour market
  7. The distribution of income and wealth: poverty and inequality
  8. The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets

 

Component 2 – The national and international economy

  1. The measurement of macroeconomic performance
  2. How the macro-economy works: the circular flow of income, AD/AS analysis, and related concepts
  3. Economic performance
  4. Financial markets and monetary policy
  5. Fiscal policy and supply-side policies
  6. The international economy

 

Assessment is via three 2 hour external examinations: Paper 1: Markets and market failure (33.3%) Paper 2: National and international economy (33.3%) Paper 3: Economic principles and issues (33.3%).

Extra-Curricular Activites

KS4 – years 10/11

As well as having a strong focus on the planned, taught and learned curriculum we offer students in KS4/5 the department has some trips and visits for students to enjoy and see what they learn in action. We chose to visit IKEA because it is a fantastic institution for students to see what they study in the classroom come alive and gain face to face experience of the world of work. The IKEA business and community departments were fantastic in showcasing to our students how IKEA operates, what it’s like to work there and how employees work and succeed at IKEA. It was a tremendous week of visits that has allowed our students to see what it’s like to work at an institution that values culture and inclusion so highly and where more matters than the margins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have also been lucky enough to have the Financial Times – financial literacy and inclusion charity come into school to deliver a talk to students about the potential and perils of cryptocurrency. Our students were keen to see how to manage their money which is why 30 year 11 students were lucky enough to have the privilege of a session with the Financial Times financial literacy and inclusion charity.

 

The session was fantastic and helped students to master their money. The FLIC team were able to illustrate to students the power and perils of cryptocurrency and show students the history of money. Our students put their knowledge to the test and their pre-conceptions about bitcoin challenged. Overall, it was a smashing experience and all of the students took something worthwhile from the session. See the student testimonies to see how it got them to think again about their money:

 

Donnell Chappajong 11N: Once I start getting money properly, I’m going to try and be a lot more careful than I have been in the past. You never know what’s going to happen, changes in the market can lead you to lose money so I’m going to be a lot more controlled.

 

Basil Ziyara 11A: I’ll think differently about how you invest your money. I learnt that property and real estate is less volatile – there’s a lot more risks associated with bitcoin. 

 

Ibrahim Hassan 11H:  I learnt a lot about crypto currencies. I came into this not knowing much. I think the teachers really helped.

 

KS5 – years 12/13

April is usually a busy month for all businesses. The end of the financial year bringing big challenges and tight deadlines, however it was busy for an altogether different reason for HGS’ A-level Business students as they journeyed across Birmingham to brush up on their business acumen and expertise.

First, 8 year 12 students attended an enterprise taster day run by Aston University’s Business School. They heard from amazing guest speakers in local industries, learned more about pathways into enterprise at university and got to try their hand at some marketing challenges. It was a great experience for the students and invaluable for explaining to them how they can enter the world of business in higher education and beyond. The student testimonies below show the value of the experience.

Overall, the trip was interesting and informative, especially for the people with an active interest within business. The trip has highlighted to me what courses I want to partake in when I go to University. (Manish Doal – Year 12).

 

The trip to Aston University was definitely an inspiring experience! For me personally, as someone who wishes to enter both a marketing position and become an entrepreneur in the future, looking at courses and pathways that I may well be looking into in the near future was incredibly useful. Although we didn’t get to do all of the planned workshops, the ones we did do were enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this taster day for future business students. (Sami Zahid)

 

Year 13- Workshop Trip 

For hardworking year 13 students working hard with the prospect of exams looming a trip to Star City was the perfect tonic. Now I know what you’re thinking – bowling, relaxation, good food, the cinema – our students had a carefree day or R & R. Sadly not. Instead, year 13 went to the cinema for a revision conference where they performed excellently and got some great tips to excel in their external exams. They were a true credit to the school and really benefitted from the experience as they attest to below.

In the midst of your constant revision at home and in school rooms, it was a nice change of mood to recap business content and exam techniques with Tutor2u. Resuming our revision process in the cinema largely helped me to revisit subject knowledge and enjoy some memorable moments with a nice heart-warming picture with the creators to perfectly end the day. (Omar Elderiny- Year 13)

I believe the business workshop was a valuable experience as it allowed us students to meet business experts and learn new skills that will best adapt us towards the exams in the summer. In the workshop we were able to practice our quantitative business methods and access new specialised resources given by the very friendly staff. The sessions were engaging and interactive which allowed us to meet plenty of students in similar positions to ourselves to improve our business knowledge. Overall, the business workshop was a great experience that I would highly recommend as it improved our confidence moving forward to the exams. ( Jay Surray- Year 13 )

The business revision workshop helped me in several ways, providing me with the opportunity to enhance my exam technique and consolidate subject knowledge. I was able to get a further insight into an examiners perspective and have learnt the techniques to make my answers appeal to examiners and get me into the top band of marks. Also, the opportunity of meeting Jim Riley allowed me to finally put a face to the voice from all his tutor2u videos I regularly watch for my revision, and by being able to learn from him in a real life environment meant I could ask questions if I was confused allowing me to get instant feedback. ( Aliya Zaman- Year 13 )

Visit from Deputy Governor of the Bank of England

It was pleasure to attend an economics lecture delivered by Sarah Breeden, the Deputy Governor at the Bank of England who has had an impressive career of over 30 years. We were able to discuss topics such as Geopolitics, Climate change and its impacts on the global economy, the aftermath of the Financial Market and how the BoE has had an important role in addressing these issues. One of the most popular discussions was how the BoE has and plans to take inflation considering the current cost of living crisis, we learnt that tools such as Monetary Policy and Quantitative Easing from a large part of how the Central Bank decides to tackle the problem. Talks of trialing a central bank digital currency piqued the interest of the audience as we discovered up to 62% of transactions are now digital. Overall, it was a stimulating and thoughtful lecture which allowed economics students to take the theory learnt in class and apply it to current real-world issues.

Leighton Tankoua 12PJO

 

Curriculum Materials

Curriculum Intents – Business Studies and Economics

GCSE Student Handbook

AQA – Business Studies

AQA A Level Economics KO Whole Course

AQA Business Paper 1 barebones revision

AQA Business Paper 2 barebones revision

AQA A Level Economics Crib Sheet for Exams

HGS SSF – Steps To Make Revision As Effective As Possible

Department Vision