Department: Business & Economics

Head of Department: Mr P Smith

If you wish to learn more about the curriculum, please contact the Head of Department by email: ­­­­p.smith@oaklandscatholicschool.org

Curriculum Implementation

Dynamic collaborative curriculum planning lies at the heart of what we do in Business and Economics. We are consistently committed to finding ways in which to improve our curriculum offering.  We endeavour to use all available resources and teaching strategies to ensure that our students have a comprehensive knowledge of the specifications and are capable of going beyond what is taught in lessons.

Whatever the key stage, students commence their study of Business and Economics students starting from a personal level.   For example, they may have family or friends who own, manage or work in a business. Teachers discuss this with their students and it is from this practical understanding that provides the platform from which their studies can begin.  Dependent on the key stage and the specific topic taught, lessons are delivered using a range of teaching methods such as teacher led and student led lessons involving discussions, debates and presentations. Relevant video clips are often included in lesson delivery to bring theory into line with real business and economics scenarios.  As their academic journey continues, students will regularly revisit their work to ensure knowledge is consolidated and there will be a regular focus on retrieval practise low stake multiple-choice tests, questioning and mini whiteboards. Techniques like this help students master subject content these are  in the curriculum. Metacognition, memory techniques, numeracy and literacy are woven into the curriculum

Key Stage 4

In June of Year 9 we start teaching the Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) GCSE (1BS0) Business specification to those Year 9 students who have opted for the course.  In Year 9 students study enterprise & entrepreneurship and then complete the rest of the units from Theme 1 in Year 10.  The focus of Theme 1 is the ‘small business’.  A one week ‘Young Enterprise’ activity is woven into the curriculum delivery to provide students with the opportunity of developing their entrepreneurial skills.  In contrast to this micro approach to the curriculum, in Year 11, students are expected to have an understanding of larger businesses and how they grow as outlined in Theme 2 ‘Building a Business.

Throughout the course, students are assessed on their understanding of the units taught at the end of each half-term.  Assessments involve the use of multiple choice and exam style questions which are marked in line with  Edexcel’s mark scheme.  Students take a Theme 1 mock paper at the end of Year 10 and a Theme 1/2 mock paper by Christmas of Year 11. After each paper an effective assessment at their examination performance is determined and graded, leading to constructive feedback regarding improved performance can be given.  In particular, pupil premium students and SEN will be given the potential to attend support lessons after school. All students are given the option of using scaffolded examination responses to model examination answers, more able students complete the work without scaffolding.

Key Stage 5

A Level Business

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 have an understanding of six units enabling an end of year mock examination to take place that broadly follows the AS examination.  Both 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 a full set of three mock papers to be taken by students before the holiday.

A Level Economics

A level Economics students follow the AQA specification (7136). By the end of Year 12, A level Economics students should have a broad understanding of the micro and macro principles underpinning the AQA AS course.  This should enable effective half-termly assessment via A level examination style material throughout the first year of the course, culminating in a two paper assessment made up of AS/A level multiple choice questions and 25 mark based A level/AS essay questions.   In the second year of study, students will complete in more detail theories of the firm and international economics material enabling a three paper mock assessment to be undertaken prior to the Easter holiday.  Low stake multiple-choice tests, questioning and mini whiteboards is a common feature of retrieval practise in these lessons.  Lessons regularly involve timed assessments via multiple choice questions and 15 & 25 mark essays

Further information Curriculum Detail Key stages 4 and 5

How we address values and virtues through the Business and Economics  Curriculum

The department generally attracts students from a range of abilities at both Key Stage 4 and 5.  The department prides itself on being able to support students though courses up to the end of Year 13. Progress across the qualification portfolio is good and the department undertakes a uses a variety of resources and strategies to support learners with disadvantages. Such students are offered specific after school tuition should if be felt they are slipping behind. Fill in the gaps model answers are used to help struggling students improve their answers to the longer responses and essays at both Key Stage 4 & 5. Individual subject teachers also monitor their own class Pupil Premium, SEND and EAL students and intervene with to address individual students needs as they deem appropriate.

High Prior Attainers are supported in Business & Economics by a range of strategies at both Key Stage 4 and 5.  Personalised feedback to such students highlights further reading, podcasts and articles in the media to provide challenge.  ‘Tutor2u’ and ‘Econdplusdal’ are specific websites recommended for Thinking Hard activities and stretch. Model essays are also used to illustrate to such learners how to write improved essays with logical chains of analysis and evaluation.

Assessment and feedback

In general, students in Business and Economics receive at least one significant assessment each half-term with detailed written feedback.

Extra Curricular and Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital is embedded throughout the Business & Economics curriculum.  Our students are constantly drawing upon the influence politics, religion, science and technology have on business and economies.  Students are also introduced to a wide variety of perspectives from some of the world’s most influential economists and entrepreneurs. We investigate the impact that their work has had on the world we live in and students are encouraged to make links between the theory they are taught and real life examples. Students undertake this whilst developing an increased awareness of the current events happening globally.

The department also offers our students a range of experiences outside of the classroom environment.  These have included the following:

  • Young Enterprise Activity
  • IFS Share Game (department own version)
  • Nudgestock
  • PGS – Institute of Economics Affairs Presentations
  • Presentations from ex Business & Economics Students
  • Bank of England
  • Student Revision Conferences

Development of Literacy through Business and Economics.

In order to access the Business curriculum students must develop an understanding of the challenging terminology used in the specifications.  Furthermore, examination success rests on a students ability to apply, analyse and evaluate.  Consequently, the development of literacy skills is an extremely important aspect of our teaching. The department recognizes the importance of subject disciplinary literacy as well as the school ‘flying start’ initiative where students read independently. There are three key area where we focus our literacy work:

Disciplinary literacy

  • Using verbal questioning in lessons to prompt discussion and explanation.
  • Using ‘paired work’ to prompt student analysis
  • Using formal debates in lessons.
  • Class/teacher reading of text in lessons
  • Suggested student ‘Reading Lists’ (Summer – A level)
  • Scaffolded Essays to gives a framework encouraging the development of linked chain of analysis

Giving students the ability to read complex academic texts.

  • News Paper Articles – Read and Review Scrap Books (A level)
  • Discounted periodicals on offer to students (The Economist)
  • The department has a range of strategies to help students access academic reading, for example ‘chunking’ of text
  • Explanation of complex vocabulary.

Targeted vocabulary instruction

  • Learning of key connectives (BLT M FC) that assist students in the development of longer answers.
  • Substitution of complex vocabulary with similes
  • Development of vocabulary through explanation and instruction.