The department aims that each student enjoys GCSE Business and that they take an active interest in the subject. In order to make learning as fun, relevant and engaging, theory is contextualised using as many real-life examples as possible.

Whether it is Facebook, British Airways, Instagram, Twitter, Dyson, McDonalds, Cadburys, Loom Bands, KFC or Apple (to name just a few), lessons during Business are designed to allow students to access and relate to the concepts being discussed. Activities also make frequent use of clips from TV shows such as The Apprentice, Dragons’ Den, Mary Portas and The Hotel Inspector. Student feedback tells us that this makes their learning inclusive, fun and enjoyable.

In addition, lessons provide opportunities for active learning as students will be asked to get creative, complementing the enterprise education programme the school offers, such as the £10 Challenge and various Enterprise Days, which aim to develop the enterprise capability of all our students. We aspire and encourage our Business students to be creative, confident, proactive and resilient individuals.

During Year 10-11 we will look at a wide range of business aspects, particularly in the context of small businesses e.g. patents, copyrights and trademarks; types of legal, business ownership; information regarding taxes for consumers, business and employees – something which is very useful to everyday life; management of stock; business ethics and the environment.

One of the most important and useful topics that students learn is how to calculate costs and revenue and present data in the form of break-even charts and cash flow forecasts. Cash flow forecasts and understanding different types of costs are heavily used in many professional occupations; combined with guidance as to how to raise finance for a business venture, students will have a solid basis in which to pursue their personal ambitions beyond GCSE.

Not everything is of course within an entrepreneur’s control and we will examine how the external factors can affect a business. In particular we will look at how exchange rates, interest rates, levels of unemployment, regulation, the environment, globalisation and the EU can all affect business. Once your studies are completed, this section of the course alone will allow students to be able to offer their views on a range of topical questions. Such as the impacts of Brexit upon UK businesses; how the exchange rate can influence business profits and decision-making; the impacts of recessions and economic growth on businesses; impacts caused by changes in interest rates; the importance of imports and exports, global commodity markets and low unemployment levels.

Knowledge of how and why businesses operate will be of great relevance to all young people, especially as they finish their education and enter the world of work. Businesses are part of our everyday lives, providing us with the products we need, communicating relentlessly with us through advertising, providing employment and inventing new products and services that transform how we live.

Though not a pre-condition for entry onto the Economics A-Level course, the Business GCSE provides an excellent basis. Throughout the GCSE course, it is taught and integrated with skills that utilise the language and exam technique with A-Level Economics in mind; those that go onto study Economics will find that their analytical, evaluation, extended writing and exam technique skills are nurtured in a consistent manner from Year 10 all the way to Year 13; therefore making the transition to A-Level as smooth as possible and Business a logical complement to Economics.

What is studied at KS4?

In Year 10 and 11 students follow the GCSE Edexcel Business (1BS0) specification

How are you assessed?
The course comprises of two themes:

Theme 1: Investigating small business (Paper code: 1BS0/01)
Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes - 50% of the qualification (90 marks)
Theme 2: Building a business (Paper code: 1BS0/02)
Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes - 50% of the qualification (90 marks)

Both examination will be 1 hour 30 minutes long and will include multiple choice, short and extended writing questions that are based around. Both themes are compulsory and there is no longer any controlled assessment.

Year 10 (Theme 1)

  • Dynamic nature of business
  • Adding value
  • Identify a gap in the market
  • Market research
  • The competitive environment
  • Finance – revenue, costs, profit and cash flow
  • Break-even analysis
  • Financing sources for business
  • Business plans
  • Legislation
  • Impact of the economy – unemployment, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates

Year 11 (Theme 2)

  • Internal growth and external growth through mergers and takeovers
  • Types of business ownership – PLC, Ltd. and sole traders
  • Stock market flotation to raise finance
  • Globalisation
  • Exports, tariffs and trade blocs
  • Internet and e-commerce
  • Ethical considerations
  • Product life cycle
  • Pricing strategies
  • Managing stock
  • Finance – gross and net profit, profit margins and average rate of return
  • Business performance analysis
  • Organisational structure

What is studied at KS5? 

Business is only offered at GCSE, but many students go onto study Economics at A-Level.


Mr M. Wilson – Subject Leader
Mrs S. Sammons 
Mrs E. Rock