Business Studies is a popular subject at both GCSE and A-Level. The department is staffed by two subject specialists who deliver the Business Studies curriculum as well as supporting the popular enterprise events in school. Business Studies has consistently shown strong examination results. The department also now offers GCSE Economics which continues to grow in popularity and 2016 results included 20% A*/A Grades.
Here are a few comments from a subject specific Ofsted inspection for Business Studies in May 2009 following observation of our two Business Studies teachers:
- Achievement and standards are outstanding in GCSE and GCE AS and A2 courses
- These results represent excellent progress in relation to students’ starting points.
- Teachers have a very good knowledge of their students and provide them with excellent support both within and outside of lessons
- Teaching in lessons was lively
- Teaching is well planned and focussed
In Key Stage 4 pupils can opt to study OCR GCSE Business Studies which involves learning about business functions such as marketing, finance, operations, human resources and the external business environment. The course is linear and requires pupils to complete one controlled assessment worth 25% of the course, as well as 2 external examinations at the end of Year 11. This is a good choice for those wanting to learn about the nature of business operations as well as those thinking about studying A-Level Business Studies.
A more recent initiative is the OCR GCSE Economics course which looks in depth at how economies function and the role of Government policies to achieve economic growth. It is a challenging, theoretical course which focuses on issues such as “How does the Government use Fiscal Policy to maintain economic growth?”, or “How can interest rates be used to manage inflation”. Pupils will study 3 units, A591 – How the market works, A592 – How the Economy works and A593 – The UK and the Global Economy. The assessment pattern is 100% examination with all 3 external exams being completed at the end of Year 11. This is a useful course for pupils wanting to continue studying A Level Business.
All Key Stage 4 Business Studies students take part in Enterprise Challenge activities, where pupils are set the task of developing an innovative business concept which is then presented through a formal business presentation. This activity is a favourite with pupils as it gives them the freedom to be creative as well as the opportunity to apply their business knowledge. They get their opportunity to enter ‘The Dragon’s Den” with their innovative and often thought provoking concepts.
A-Level Business is increasingly popular both at NTS and nationally with many students going on to complete business related degrees at university. We run the OCR Business A Level course which studies 2 units in Year 12: The Local Business Environment and The Wider Business Environment. These include study of Introduction to Business and Business Functions. Those progressing into Year 13 will study an additional unit looking at the Global Business Environment, which includes a great deal of Business Strategy topics. Business Studies is a regularly high performing Nelson Thomlinson School department in terms of “value added” scores.
The department is incredibly proud of its repeated strong performance in the highly competitive Young Enterprise Company Programme which is open to all Year 12 students. Each year a company sets up and develops, produces and sells a product and then attends a series of trade events to compete against other schools. In the past 3 years NTS teams have reached the National Finals in London out of 22,000 students nationally.
Following the success of Digi Pi in 2014, Cumbria Unwrapped in 2015, most recently in 2016 the Eduvation team were Cumbria County champions, North East and Cumbria Champions and as such again reached the prestigious London National Finals with their innovative new GCSE Economics Revision Guide and App.
For further information please contact Miss Walker or Mr Beechey.