Studying Business in Key Stage 4 allows students to develop a solid understanding of the key workings of both small and large organisations.  The young entrepreneurs of the future will explore how businesses start up and what this requires.  What makes them successful, from finding a gap in the market to taking advantage of developments in technology and changing lifestyles and demographics. Financial elements of these courses help students to access information that will be helpful in their personal lives, such as, interest rates, budgeting, exchange rates and sources of finance.   Students will look at the creative aspects required of marketing concepts used by organisations to target specific markets. Advertising, pricing and promotional strategies are areas that students find particularly interesting and engaging. They will study financial business data and understand its significance when analysing accounts and making judgements from this as to how successful a business has been or is likely to be in the future. An appreciation of the production process from start to finish will be taught.  This involves understanding various methods used, including the role of automation in modern processes.  Carefully planned logistical systems are very important here and how and when the finished products arrive with the customer. Students will understand the significance of how the finished product is used as part of the sales process.  How staff can engage the public, display product knowledge and help breed customer loyalty from this. Finally, motivation of employees is studied.  How organisations achieve high levels of productivity, efficiency and reduce absenteeism and staff turnover.   By the end of their GCSE course they will appreciate how all the functional areas of a large organisation complement each other.  The major areas being Finance, Production, Marketing and HR. How these departments and personnel within may fit an organisation chart and how this leads to effective communication within the organisation as a whole. Finally, we mustn’t ignore the importance of external constraints upon a business.  The factors outside their control such as unexpected competitors, a changing economic situation or legal and technological developments.  Business ethics and the environment must also be explored to appreciate how a business is perceived by the modern world.   Students will develop the holistic appreciation of understanding why businesses are, or are not successful.  Most importantly, their studies mirror real life and their future places of employment.  It also gives students an idea of the type of industry they may be suited to when starting their working lives. 

KS3 within the department solely follows the Computing National Curriculum, this does not naturally lead to Business subjects. However, we therefore plan and deliver the KS4 course as a new one, we work very carefully to ensure the knowledge is delivered in manageable chunks and skills feature every week building on application to relevant case studies.   Our scheme of work is logical in its progression. The topics are ordered to allow for the building of knowledge and skills, from a topic focused on small businesses, entrepreneurs, right through to multinational plc., organisation charts and motivation.

Some units of study from KS3 Computing are good preparation, namely modelling with spreadsheets.  Spreadsheets are particularly useful in financial forecasting and budgeting.  Other units such as App development (for client requirements), cyberbullying (for data security and ethical behaviour), data science (statistics and graphical analysis) will also compliment Business topics.   Competency in literacy and numeracy are essential for Business subjects.  Literacy skills from English at Key Stage 3 for the use of connectives and strands of development in their extended writing questions.  Chains of reasoning when answering Justify and evaluate questions. Competency in numeracy from Maths lessons will support such skills as working out percentages, differences needed in questions for interest rates and market share.  Cash flow forecasts, breakeven charts, Gross and Net profit margins and average rate of return all require Mathematical skills.