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Business Studies

Our Curriculum Aims:   

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill 

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein 

  Our key aim is to provide a curriculum that inspires a passion for lifelong learning and commercial experiences. Equipping students with the skills to function effectively within further education and the workplace   

Within our Business Studies curriculum we aim to: 

  • Develop student’s ability to think commercially and innovatively, ensuring that they can develop and implement informed solutions for business decisions.  

  • Develop inquisitive and reflective learners, who are aware of the ever-changing business environment and its impact not only on the business itself but its employees, its customers, its local community, and the wider economy. 

  • Develop a student's ability to research, analyse and evaluate information in order to make considered recommendations. 

  • Develop practical employability skills within our students, including the ability to effectively communicate, network, present and work as a team. 


GCSE Course Followed: Business Studies 
Specification: AQA (Syllabus code 8132)  
Why Choose GCSE  
Introduction to the Course 

The GCSE Business Studies course will provide students with an insight into how to start-up and grow a business. The use of case study materials will allow scope for students to apply their business knowledge to local, national and international businesses. The philosophy of the course incorporates the belief that the study of Business Studies should require students both to understand the dynamic environment in which business operates and to appreciate the many and varied factors which impact upon business activity.   

The course as a whole promotes a wide range of skills that are directly related to or transferable to a range of situations in adult and working life. A particular focus is the development of enterprise capability. Students will consider the practical application of business concepts. The units provide opportunities to explore theories and concepts in the most relevant way, through the context of events in the business and economic world. 

The course focuses on the following specific elements of running a business:  

  • Business planning and starting up a business  
  • Conducting market research to identify opportunities 
  • Managing people  
  • Using and managing resources to produce goods and services  
  • Using financial information to make business decisions 
  • Analysing the external influences on business activity 
  • Evaluating the strategies that businesses can pursue in order to improve performance  

Who is the course suitable for? 

It is of particular use to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs or managers within any field. Due to the nature of the course it makes a good combination with any other options, as it will be useful to support any career.   

How is the course divided and assessed? 

The course comprises two units as follows: 

Unit 1: Influences of Operations and HRM on business activity 

  • Business in the real world 
  • Influences on business 
  • Business operations 
  • Human resources 
  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes (50% of the GCSE) 

Unit 2: Influences of Marketing and Finance on business activity 

  • Business in the real world 
  • Influences on business
  • Business operations
  • Human resources 
  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes (50% of the GCSE) 

The following are all elements covered in the course 

  • Business ownership  
  • Setting business aims and objectives 
  • Stakeholders 
  • Business location 
  • Business planning 
  • Expanding a business 
  • Technological, ethical and environmental considerations 
  • The effect of the economic climate on businesses 
  • Globalisation 
  • Legislation 
  • The competitive environment 
  • Production processes and procurement 
  • The concept of quality and customer service 
  • Organisational structure  
  • Recruitment, selection and training of employees 
  • Motivating employees 
  • The purpose and methods of market research 
  • The elements of the marketing mix 
  • E-commerce and m-commerce 
  • Sources of finance 
  • Interpreting cash flow forecasts 
  • Financial terms and calculations 
  • Analysing the financial performance of a business 

Key Stage Four Curriculum Overview 
Year 10 

 

Name of topic 

Key Content of the Topic  

Assessment points 

HT 1 

The Purpose and nature of Business. 

Business ownership 

Setting business aims and objectives 

Purpose of business, reasons for starting a business, basic functions and types of business, business enterprise and entrepreneurship, the dynamic nature of business. 

Sole traders, partnerships, private limited companies (ltd), public limited companies (plc), not-for-profit organisations 

What are business aims and objectives, purpose of setting objectives, role of objectives in running a business, changing objectives, use of objectives in judging success. 

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

October half term assessment 

HT 2 

Stakeholders 

 

Business location 

 

Business planning 

 

Expanding a business  

Main stakeholders of businesses, objectives of stakeholders, impact of business activity on  Stakeholders, impact and influence  stakeholders have on businesses  

Factors influencing the location decision of a business  

The purpose of business planning, the main sections within a business plan, basic financial terms, basic financial calculations.  

Methods of expansion, benefits and drawbacks of expansion, economies of scale and diseconomies of scale  

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

 

 

Christmas half term test 

HT 3 

Technology, 

 

Ethical and environmental 

 

 

The economic climate on businesses  

E-commerce, m-commerce and digital communication  

Environmental considerations: impact on traffic congestion, recycling, disposing of waste, noise and air pollution.  
Sustainability:  

  • global warming  
  • using scarce resources.  

Interest rates:  

  • how fluctuating interest rates can affect businesses that rely on overdrafts and loans for finance  
  • how fluctuating interest rates can affect consumer and business spending.  
  • Level of employment  
  • Consumer spending 

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb half term assessment 

HT 4 

Globalisation 

 

Legislation 

 

Competitive environment 

Production processes 

How UK businesses compete  

  • internationally, offering:  
  • better designs  
  • higher quality products at lower prices.  

Exchange rates 

Employment law, Health and Safety law and Consumer law 

Impact on businesses of operating in competitive markets, uncertainty and risks businesses face 

Methods of production: job, flow   Efficiency in production: lean production and just in time (JIT).  

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

 

 

 

HT 5 

The role of procurement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concept of quality

 

 

 

 

 

Good customer service 

Factors affecting choice of suppliers including: price, quality, reliability.  
The effects of procurement and logistics on a business, including: efficiency, lower unit costs. 

The value of effective supply chain management, including: working with
suppliers to ensure that key processes are running efficiently and cost effectively, getting goods and services for the best price and value, cutting any waste and unnecessary costs to create a streamlined process and fast production times 

Consequences of quality issues  
Methods of maintaining consistent quality: Total quality management (TQM)  Costs and benefits of maintaining quality:  

  • Additional sales  
  • Image/reputation  
  • Higher price  
  • Inspection costs  
  • Staff training  
  • Product recalls  
  • The provision of services 

Methods of good service:  

  • product knowledge  
  • customer engagement (creating a positive experience for the customer)  
  • post sales services (eg user training, help lines, servicing).  

Benefits of good customer service, including:  

  • increase in customer satisfaction  
  • customer loyalty  
  • increased spend  
  • profitability.  

 Dangers of poor customer service, including:  

  • dissatisfied customers  
  • poor reputation via word of mouth  
  • reduction in revenue. 

The ways in which advances in ICT have allowed customer services to develop: websites, e-commerce, social media.  

Year 10 Trial Exam 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HT 6 

 

 

 

Organisational structures 

Recruitment and selection of employees  

Organisational structures, appropriateness of organisational structures, centralisation and decentralisation 

The need for recruitment  
Methods of recruitment and selection of employees  
Contracts of employment  

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

Summer term assessment 

Year 11 

 

Name of topic 

Key Content of the Topic  

Assessment points 

HT 1 

Motivating employees 

 

Training 

 

Identifying and understanding customers 

 

Segmentation 

The purpose and methods of market research 

 

 

 

 

Importance of motivation in the workforce 
Methods to motivate staff 

Importance of training the workforce 
Types of training undertaken by businesses 

The importance of identifying and satisfying customer needs 
Types of segmentation 

Purpose of market research 
Collect information about: 

  • demand 
  • competition 
  • target market. 

Methods of market research to include primary and secondary: 

  • questionnaires 
  • surveys 
  • interviews 
  • focus groups 
  • internet research 
  • printed press e.g. newspapers. 

Use of market research: information that may help decision making 

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October half term assessment 

HT 2 

The elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion and place (4Ps) 

Pricing methods, including: 

  • price skimming 
  • price penetration 
  • competitive pricing 
  • loss leader 
  • cost-plus. 

The factors that influence pricing decisions, including: 

  • costs 
  • nature of the market 
  • degree of competition 
  • product life cycle. 
  • Product differentiation: 
  • unique selling point (USP) 
  • brand image. 

The product life cycle: 

  • research and development 
  • introduction 
  • growth 
  • maturity 
  • decline 
  • extension strategies: 
  • updating packaging 
  • adding more or different features 
  • changing target market 
  • advertising 
  • price reduction. 

Product portfolio: Boston Matrix 

Promotional methods: 
advertising, including: 

  • newspapers 
  • magazines 
  • television 
  • internet 
  • billboards. 
  • PR 
  • sales promotion 
  • point of sales displays 
  • 2 for 1 offers 
  • free gifts 
  • samples 
  • coupons 
  • competitions. 
  • sponsorship 
  • social media. 

Factors influencing the selection of the promotional mix: 

  • finance available 
  • competitor actions 
  • the nature of the product or service 
  • the nature of the market 
  • target market. 
  • Reasons for promotion: 
  • inform/remind customers about the product 
  • create or increase sales 
  • create or change the image of the product 
  • persuade customers to buy the product 

Place (the different channels of distribution used by businesses): 

  • retailers 
  • wholesaler 
  • telesales 

E-commerce and m-commerce 
Integrated nature of the marketing mix 
Using the marketing mix to inform and implement business decisions 

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trial exam - 2 

HT 3 

Sources of finance 

 

Cash flow 

 

 

Financial terms and calculations 

 

Methods businesses use to raise finance 
Appropriateness of sources of finance 

Importance of cash to businesses 
Interpreting cash flow forecasts 
Difference between cash and profit 

Basic financial terms 
Basic financial calculations 
Average rate of return 
Break-even 

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

 

 

 

Feb half term assessment 

HT 4 

Analysing the financial performance of a business 

Purpose of financial statements 
Components of financial statements 
Interpretation of data given on financial statements 

Class tests and individual exam paper questions 

 

HT 5 

Revision and consolidation of learning 

 

Class tests and whole paper assessments 

HT 6 

NA 

 

GCSE exams 

Recommended Revision Guides for GCSE 
CGP GCSE AQA Business for the Grade 9-1 Couse ISBN 9781782946892. 
Students also have access to a Course Companion on the Office 365 STU GCSE Business Studies page. 

Support available for GCSE Students 
 Lunchtime revision sessions are available to students every week in C8