“There are few satisfactions in life better than running a successful business.”
Sir John Harvey-Jones (late Chairman of ICI)
To inspire and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs, economists and accountants.
Given that business underpins so much of our very existence, it makes sense that we should try to understand how commercial organisations operate. Business aims to encourage a critical understanding of business organisations and the markets they serve, as well as understanding government decisions that influence both consumer and business behaviour.
These courses require and develop a range of skills including decision-making and problem-solving in the light of evaluation, and making use of numerical data. The courses provide an excellent foundation to understanding the key concepts of business and economics and provide an insight into areas of further study or careers.
A Level Business
At AS, students explore the challenges facing entrepreneurs as they attempt to convert fledgling ideas into thriving realities. Problems facing a firm as it tries to raise finance are considered and analysed. Organisations need to evaluate and control risk – how do they do this? Each department (e.g. marketing, finance) needs to understand how it fits into the overall organisation and what impact inter-relationships between these functions can have, and students will examine how this works in practice.
At A2, students analyse the issues facing businesses as they grow in scale and complexity. Consideration is given to how larger firms set objectives and identify strategies to achieve these goals. Companies need to assess long-term investments – how do they do this and how do they balance the financial arguments with non-financial considerations? As the business environment changes, companies need to respond. Students will study how a big business responds to economic, political, social, ethical and technological developments.
GCSE Business Studies
Modules include Setting Up a Business, Growing as a Business and a personal study, Investigating Businesses (25%). The Unit 1 paper tests students’ ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of key business concepts to small businesses. The Unit 2 paper requires students to apply many of the same concepts to large business scenarios, as well as more advanced business concepts such as ratio analysis, and the product lifecycle and the implications to a business.
The personal investigation (Controlled Assessment) requires students to investigate a small local business according to examination criteria, which change annually, using their knowledge and understanding from the topics studied in Unit 1.
Beyond the Classroom
Students have the opportunity to visit the BMW Mini Factory in Oxford to see a manufacturing business in operation. We are also regularly invited to attend Eton College’s Keynes Society lectures and uptake is very good each time. Students are also charged with the running of the school stationery shop to try to put classroom theory into practice. And as part of the personal investigation our GCSE students will go off site to undertake some primary research in relation to their investigation.