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

Intent

it is the aim of the Business & Economics Department at Oaklands to provide an engaging, dynamic and relevant curriculum that provides all of our students with the effective knowledge and skills to navigate and participate in the commercial and economic world they find themselves in.  We aspire for our students to, not only, enjoy their study of these subjects but to understand the role that they may play in the commercial world as a citizen, consumer, entrepreneur, employer or employee.

This understanding should provide our students with the ability, independence and confidence to make critical assessments of dynamic scenarios in both business and the economy.   We are also committed towards developing in our students the necessary communication, literacy and critical data analysis skills that enable strongly supported, effective decision making in these subject areas.  Students should appreciate that ‘effective’ decision making means that self-interest and profit are not the only objectives to consider.

Our Business & Economics Curriculum Is Ambitious Because:

  • We strive to provide a curriculum that ensures all business & economics students can enjoy, engage and be successful in the subject matter.
  • Christian values are embedded in our curriculum and we strive to ensure that Business and Economics students appreciate the sentiments expressed in Mark 8.36 ‘For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?’ It is through this we debate and dicuss some of the values and virtues that support the school ethos.
  • Students are taught that ‘effective’ decision making means that self-interest and profit are not the only objectives to consider when analysing and evaluating economic and business decisions or performance. Students are made aware that governments, businesses, employees and consumers have wide ranging social, environmental and ethical responsibilities.
  • The department actively encourages regular debates and discussions regarding business issues and the economic policies and events of the day.
  • To deliver the curriculum in a dynamic economic and commercial environment requires a regularly updated set of resources to reflect key changes in the international, macro and micro business environment. Wherever possible the curriculum is supported by contemporary ‘real world’ business resources.  External organisations and individuals are incorporated into delivery when the opportunity arises.
  • Practical activities are used to develop those business-related skills not assessed in the qualification (enterprise, communication, team work and leadership).

The department offers GCSE Business at Key Stage 4 and A level Business and/or Economics at Key Stage 5.  It is not essential to have studied GCSE in Business to embark upon A level study. Consequently, students arrive at each Key Stage with a variety of experiences of Business.  On a practical level, many students understand business through their parents’ commercial interests or sometimes the students themselves may have part-time employment or run their own small business.  Consequently, in each Key Stage, the Business curriculum delivery starts with a focus on the study of what business actually is, enterprise and the role of the entrepreneur.

At Key Stage 4, the GCSE Business curriculum starts in the Summer term of Year 9 where students are introduced to enterprise and entrepreneurship.  In Year 10 students are taught about how to spot an opportunity, develop a business idea, and turn it into a successful business.  Furthermore, they are introduced to the basic internal functions of the business such as marketing, finance, human resource and operational decision making.   Students gain an insight into the external environment and the influence it can have on businesses.  In Year 11, the focus switches to the growth and building of the business and functional decision making.

At Key Stage 5 students have the option of studying A Level Business and/or A Level Economics. In Business A level, Year 12 students build on their knowledge gained in Key Stage 4 with a more detailed study of decision making in the functional areas of business in addition to leadership and management.  Year 13 focus is directed towards gaining an understanding the nature and theory associated with business strategy.  In A level Economics, the Year 12 emphasis is on giving students a firm grounding in micro-economic (including behavioural economics) and macro-economic topics.  Year 13 students study broader macro and micro topics such as the labour market, international economics, banking and finance and the theory of the firm.

Business and Economics is firmly rooted in a knowledge-based curriculum as we believe that a grounding in this underpinning knowledge is essential for the development and application of higher order skills; both are entwined. Across the key stages, content is delivered with reference to real life business examples and current economic developments. This provides an anchor for students to understand and make sense of the curriculum whilst gaining a deeper insight into theories and concepts.  This knowledge base, once acquired, allows, students to develop higher quality responses to a range of questions and exhibit the necessary examination skills of application, analysis and evaluation. Students are assessed on a regular basis through a variety of multiple-choice and examination style questions. Informative feedback is then given to provide student progress in future assessments. We believe that the Business and Economics curriculum is extremely relevant for our students and hope that they develop a keen life-long interest in these subjects that transcends the time they spend in the class room.