Business is at the heart of national growth and development and this is reflected in the opportunities for learners in the Business department at Higham Lane School. Our main aim is to prepare students to develop crucial skills and knowledge which will allow them to access, understand and contribute in a dynamic business environment. We aim to prepare students for their working life by giving them an insight into what is involved in running a business, or working as part of an existing business by encouraging economic and business understanding. Whatever you do in your professional life, the chances are that is will involve business. For any career, it is useful to understand the way business is run. The popularity of reality TV shows such as The Apprentice have raised the profile of the country’s business success stories and provided a real insight into the up’s and downs of following your business dream. We focus on teaching Business in a very practical hands-on way. In 2018, 90% of students studying the GCSE achieved A* - C and 100% achieved D* - pass on the vocational course.
Year 9 Curriculum
Business students begin by studying enterprise and entrepreneurship and learn how to spot a business opportunity using market research and segmentation. They find out how to put a business idea into practise by learning about financial implications and analyse how to make a business effective by understanding why businesses plan, choose their location and ownership type and consider the marketing involved in a start-up. Students will learn about external influences on a business such as changes in technology, legislation, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates. After each mini topic, students complete a mini-test and are regularly assessed at the end of each section. Year 9 is an important year for Business students as we cover essential theory that helps students to develop logical chains of reasoning that explain the decisions businesses make. All Business students will be assessed in an end of year examination to check their knowledge, application, analysis and evaluation.
Year 10 Curriculum
Business students continue onto their second unit where they learn about growing a business, globalisation and the importance of making sound marketing decisions. They also learn about making operational decisions through the methods of production, sales and quality. Students also learn about making financial decisions which are important when trying to secure the financial security of a business. Finally students learn about the human resources department and the importance of recruitment and selection, training, motivation, ways of working and the need for effective communication. Once again, after each mini topic, students complete a mini-test. They are regularly assessed at the end of each section. All Business students are assessed by an end of year examination to check their knowledge, application, analysis and evaluation. Students studying the vocational route will begin their internal assessment which is a task set by the exam board, internally assessed and then moderated by the exam board. During the year, students will also have the opportunity to participate in an enterprise activity to help put the theory into practise. All of these profits are given to a variety of charities.
Year 11 Curriculum
Year 11 is used to complete the remaining theory from the previous year. Students continue to complete mini tests and end of topic tests, which are methods to assess key examination skills. These skills are practised in timed conditions, examination technique is developed further and knowledge is consolidated in a range of activities including the use of technology. Revision of all topics takes place and students will sit a number of trial examinations to identify any gaps in their learning. Students on the vocational course will submit their internal assessment and sit their final examination in the autumn.
Year 12 Curriculum
In Year 12, students study two different themes. Theme 1 is about marketing and human resources and Theme 2 is about finance and production systems. Students learn about these specific topics through a range of resources and use current up-to-date business information. They learn the necessary examination technique and begin practising extended answers working either as a group, in pairs or individually. Students produce their own revision aids to reinforce their knowledge and are encouraged to read around the subject and keep up with the dynamic world of business. Throughout Year 12, students will have regular knowledge tests and are set regular assessments to ensure that they are producing work to examination standard.
Year 13 Curriculum
In Year 13, students study another two different themes. Theme 3 is all about strategy and growth, decision making techniques, influences on decisions, assessing competitiveness and managing change. Theme 4 looks at globalisation, global markets and business expansion, global marketing and industries. Students learn about these specific topics through a range of resources and use up-to-date business information. They continue to practise and develop extended answers working either as a group, in pairs or individually. They produce their own revision aids, read around the subject and keep up with the dynamic world of business. Throughout Year 13, students will have regular knowledge tests on Year 12 work also and are set regular assessments to ensure that they are producing work to examination standard.
SHARON McKERNAN, Subject Leader for Business and Economics