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.
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:
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.
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
Applying the full range of A level Business objectives and strategy theory, in order to be able to examine any given business situation.
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
3.1 learners should understand Business objectives and strategy; Apply PESTLE Analysis to given context. Evaluate the appropriateness of specific corporate objectives. Construct and analyse how Ansoff, Porter’s 5 Forces and the Boston Matrix impact on strategic and tactical decisions. Understand the usefulness of SWOT Analysis.
3.2 Learners should understand Business growth; Understand the reasons for mergers or takeovers occurring. Know the problems of business growth. Compare and contrast organic growth with mergers and takeovers. Understand the importance of avoidance of diseconomies of scale.
3.3 Learners should understand decision-making techniques for businesses; know the uses and limitations of quantitative sales forecasting. Understand the uses and limitations of investment appraisal and apply to any given case study situation. Construct and interpret decision trees. Know the uses and limitations of CPA for Center Parcs Woburn.
3.4 Learners should understand influences on business decisions; Understand how culture is formed with relation to objectives and ethics. Analyse how stakeholders influence business objectives. Understand the trade-off between profit and ethics and how this relates to any given business objective/s.
3.5 Learners should understand how to assess competitiveness; Understand how to use ratio analysis to interpret financial statements for any given business, Understand profit and loss accounts and balance sheets for any given business. Apply quantitative measures of HR performance to a real-life context.
3.6 Learners should understand how businesses manage change; Analyse the implications of change to a business. Evaluate the usefulness of planning to reduce risk.
In this theme, learners develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 2 and explore influences on business strategy and decision-making. Learners will need to build upon the knowledge, skills and understanding developed in Theme 2 in Theme 3.
This theme moves from functions to strategy, enabling learners to develop their understanding of the core concepts and to take a strategic view of business opportunities and issues. Learners analyse corporate objectives and strategy against financial and non-financial performance measures and how businesses grow, and develop an understanding of the impact of external influences. The theme covers the causes and effects of change and how businesses mitigate risk and uncertainty.
This theme will aid learners in understanding how real-life business decisions are affected by the culture within organisations. In the working environment in any organisation, there is a culture which has developed over years which workers will need to adapt to or at least be aware of and ensure they are equipped to deal with such situations. This theme helps learners to get an insight into this common and vital element of any organisation and prepares them for the working world.
Students must also be able to successfully respond to A level test questions on the above.
unit overview - spring term
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.