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Business Studies

learning journey & sequencing rationale

A-level Business is a great choice for anyone interested in the world of commerce and entrepreneurship. It's a great way to prepare for university courses in the fields of business and management, and to equip our learners with the know-how to start up their own business or follow a career in finance, accounting, marketing or management, post university.

Through A-level Business, learners will engage with the world of business through the context of current business developments and real business situations. Learners will learn how management, leadership and decision-making can improve performance in marketing, operational, financial and human resources. Learners also explore the interrelated nature of business activities and how they affect businesses, be they large or small, UK or internationally focussed and in different sectors such as service or manufacturing.

Sequence

Business is taught by theme. In Year 12, Theme 1 and 2 are covered prior to the AS exams. In Year 13, Theme 3 and Theme 4 are taught alongside each other during Year 13. This is detailed on the programme of study.

Link to programme of study:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GvpYiY0LF3YuOo5VnBi1v-7xt7lhRC-X210Ib84kLtY/edit#gid=1068014141 

Year 12

Year 12 begins with a study of Theme 1. Which represents the key concepts in Business, which helps establish a solid foundation to build learners' knowledge for Theme 2, 3 & 4.

1.1 introduces learners to meeting customers needs, this topic is easily relatable to learners and learners are able to read and digest case studies associated with this topic quite fluently without feeling overwhelmed in an A level subject. This leads naturally to 1.2 whereby supply & demand are taught, as well as, the factors which can influence demand such as income and price. Naturally learners will understand these are not the only determining factors and businesses can alter perceptions in order to create a want and need for the product they are selling. This leads to 1.3, where the concentration is on the marketing mix and how to ensure the product, price, place and promotion of the product are well-thought out in order to meet the needs of the consumer/customer. 1.4 learners understand getting the marketing mix right needs the right human resources and the techniques needed to motivate staff in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the organisation. 1.5 can be taught alongside 1.4 or after, as it introduces learners to what type of leader is necessary to ensure aims and objectives are met. These topic areas build learner knowledge to be able to access the knowledge at theme 2.

2.1 concentrates on the financial resources the business will need after determining the resources needed and the strategies being adopted in the marketing mix. This leads to 2.2 & 2.3 financial planning and  managing. Learners concentrate on calculations and determining costs, sales and budgeting and the best cause of action for businesses. 2.4 deals with production and can be taught at any point during the year as a stand alone topic, as it flows best with 2.5, it is taught beforehand. 2.5 looks at the external influences affecting businesses, as well as the legislation businesses need to comply with in order to legally operate within the UK and/or world.

Year 13 

In Year 13 themes 3 & 4 are taught, with Theme 3 starting in September, as it is the bigger theme and the Autumn term has the most amount of teaching weeks. It also builds on topics taught in Year 12 more directly. For example, 3.1 & 3.2 considers the growth of a business and corporate aims & objectives, which builds on knowledge acquired on aims and objectives which smaller businesses would have. 3.3 looks at how business decisions can be made using quantifiable data and probability. 3.4 naturally evaluates these decisions and teaches learners about the influences on decisions and how cultures and ethics need to be considered as well as quantitative data. 3.5 & 3.6 looks at competitiveness and considers the need to change in order to stay competitive.

Theme 4 is the shortest theme, in terms of content and therefore taught in the Spring term. It also looks beyond business within the UK and concentrates on global business. 4.1 looks at globalisation and international trade. This provides the foundation for learners for 4.2 whereby learners understand how to successfully expand the business and when the right time might be to expand abroad. This leads learners to consider the marketing techniques which may be used globally as it would be different to the techniques used in the domestic country of business, which is the main focus in 4.3. Finally the Theme ends with 4.4, looking at the impact of multinational corporations on local labour, wages, to the national economy, as well as the ethics of operating in foreign countries.

unit overview - autumn term

Skills

Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories, methods and models to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues

Apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues

Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences

Evaluate qualitative and quantitative evidence to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues

Knowledge

1.1 Learners to understand Meeting customer needs; understand the different markets available for business. Understand the challenges within each and how niche markets are identified.

1.2 Learners to understand The market; construct supply and demand charts and demonstrate shifts in demand and supply. Apply factors which affect demand to business scenarios and interpret PED/YED formula.

1.3 Learners to understand Marketing Mix Strategy: the importance of marketing strategies and the importance of each element.

1.4 Learners to understand Managing people; understand the different approaches to staffing and the theories associated to motivation. Know the different leadership styles and which business scenario each would be appropriate for.

1.5 Learners to understand Entrepreneurs and leaders; the difference from a manager to a leader. The different forms of business ownership and apply to business scenarios.

Rationale

Theme 1 SOW is an introduction into the foundations of Business Studies. Students will enter the course narrow-minded with impression that business studies is solely designing a product and selling to make profit.

This theme is to introduce the different markets available to businesses and the challenges of start-up. It will discuss how consumer preferences are defined and how businesses research and adapt to these ever changing demands.

It will focus on the micro environment of the business and the challenges of the day to day running of a business. It will investigate the theorist surrounding key concepts and give the students a broader understanding what challenges arise from business ownership.

This theme will lay the foundations to theme 2 where financial and operational aspects are built on the day to day running of the business.

unit overview - spring term

Skills

Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories, methods and models to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues

Apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues

Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences

Evaluate qualitative and quantitative evidence to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues

Knowledge

2.1Learners to understand Raising Finance; understand the different internal and external methods of raising finance for any business. Be able to apply these methods to different businesses.

2.2 Learners to understand Financial Planning; know the importance of designing a business plan and the documents associated. Understand complete ta simple cash flow forecast and analyse its importance for any business.

2.3 Learners to understand Managing Finance; understand the different calculations for profits. Evaluate the different methods of managing finance and how to improve profitability.

2.4Learners to understand Resource Management; Understand ways in which businesses improve efficiency and productivity. Know the different theories of stock management and apply when each would be appropriate in different business scenarios.

2.5 Learners to understand External Influences; Know the different impacts external influences such as interest rates, exchange rates and taxation can have on a business.

Rationale

Theme 1 SOW was an introduction into the foundations of Business Studies. It focused on the micro environment within business and how business start-ups happen. Theme 2 will extend student knowledge into the financial and operational running of a business.

Theme 2 will allow students to understand the importance of finance, what sources of finance are available and the conditions which apply to each. Students will come into the theme not being about to distinguish between revenue and profits and this will be a key focus throughout the theme.

Towards the end of the theme the students will investigate the day to day operational decisions which arise daily in any business and the importance of making the correct decisions. The theme will finish by discussing the macro environment of a business and how external influence can impact any business.

unit overview - summer term

Skills

Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories, methods and models to show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues

Apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues

Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences

Evaluate qualitative and quantitative evidence to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues

Knowledge

2.4 Learners to understand Resource Management; Understand ways in which businesses improve efficiency and productivity. Know the different theories of stock management and apply when each would be appropriate in different business scenarios.

2.5 Learners to understand External Influences; Understand the different impacts external influences such as interest rates, exchange rates and taxation can have on a business.

Rationale

Theme 1 SOW was an introduction into the foundations of Business Studies. It focused on the micro environment within business and how business start-ups happen. Theme 2 will extend student knowledge into the financial and operational running of a business.

Theme 2 will allow students to understand the importance of finance, what sources of finance are available and the conditions which apply to each. Students will come into the theme not being about to distinguish between revenue and profits and this will be a key focus throughout the theme.

Towards the end of the theme the students will investigate the day to day operational decisions which arise daily in any business and the importance of making the correct decisions. The theme will finish by discussing the macro environment of a business and how external influence can impact any business.

Students must also be able to successfully respond to A level test questions on the above.

knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.