Business

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Key Stage 4

GCSE Business Studies (Edexcel)

If you have enjoyed doing Enterprise or any Enterprise Activities in Year 9, then you will really enjoy GCSE Business! This is an accessible and fascinating subject - we are surrounded by businesses in our daily lives and subtly parted from our cash in numerous ways each day!

In the GCSE course we continue with some practical enterprise activities, although on a smaller scale than during Year 9, and underpin this with theory. You will already be familiar with many of the concepts and ideas we discuss and should find it relatively easy to add more depth to your understanding and analysis.

What will you study?

As you can see from the course details below, the design of the course starts with very accessible ideas and concepts, which gradually build into a thorough and detailed understanding of the world of business by the end of Year 11.

In Year 10 we focus on small businesses and learn about setting up a small business - how entrepreneurs get their ideas, the calculated risks that entrepreneurs take and what enterprise skills they need to have to be successful; for example understanding customers, researching the market and thinking creatively. You will learn about business planning and finances: for example where the initial capital can come from, the importance of cash flow, legal issues and recruiting staff. Finally, you will look at the economic context of interest and exchange rates, what boom and recession means and how important stakeholders can be.

In Year 11, we move on to look at how to build a business and cover four main functions in the context of larger businesses: marketing, operations, finance and people. You will look in more depth at successful marketing - the life of a product, building a brand and how to get the right marketing mix. In operations, you will learn about the importance of research and development, how we manufacture quality products, manage stock, stay competitive and deliver good customer service that meets legal requirements. You will then revisit some of the financial concepts including cash flow, revenue, costs, break even and profit. In the topic on people, you learn about motivation, how organisations can be structured, remuneration and the vital role of communication. Finally, you will look at the wider world of business; ethics, environmental issues, economic issues and international trade, and the impact of government and the EU.

How will you be assessed?

There is a piece of Controlled Assessment, carried out over a number of weeks during Year 11, in which you research and investigate one aspect of a small business. You then write up your research, analysis and conclusions in class time under examination conditions over about 6 periods: this accounts for 25% of your total GCSE mark.

There are two written examinations which are taken at the end of Year 11. Unit 1 accounts for 25% of your total GCSE mark and Unit 3 accounts for 50% of the total GCSE mark.

Is this for you?

This GCSE is fun, lively and thought-provoking - we look at product development, talk about what is happening in the business world and review marketing campaigns. By the end of the course you will have a solid understanding of how businesses operate.

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