All students should give serious consideration to studying GCSE Business Studies. However, it should not be selected simply as a default option or on the grounds that ‘it sounds useful’. The GCSE Business Studies course provides students with a stimulating though demanding and rigorous academic introduction to the business world, and in particular how firms are set up and what enables them to grow. It aims to give students a thorough and detailed academic grounding in the subject of Business Studies in that they learn about the internal workings of a firm (see summaries of the subject content below), when it is being set up and later on in the course, as it grows and expands.
Students are currently assessed through sitting two exam papers, each of one hour duration. In addition, there is an assessment carried out under controlled conditions midway through. Those applying for this option should feel confident in their ability to write detailed and sometimes lengthy responses to exam questions, and to handle some standard mathematical calculations.
Those deciding to do the course may learn in a variety of ways such as through role-play, visits, case studies, guest-speakers, note-taking, video, preparing presentations and group work. GCSE Business Studies lessons will also provide opportunities for practising and developing the three main key skills of ICT (but please note that the majority of lessons will take place in a traditional classroom setting and not in computer rooms), communication, and application of numbers, alongside the wider key skills of working with others, problem solving, and improving learning. The course provides an excellent academic foundation for those wishing to do Business Studies and/or Economics in the Sixth-Form and to an even higher level.
People in Business
This aspect of the course enables students to learn how a firm recruits, trains, motivates and rewards its most important asset – its people, or personnel.
Essential to the success of all competitive companies is sound understanding and control of finance. Students will, for example, examine sources of finance, different costs, and why revenue and profit are important. Balance sheets, P & L accounts, and cash flow forecasts are both compiled and interpreted.
Students become familiar with how a company gains and retains customers, and ensures that it meets the needs of its customers whilst making a profit. Market research, the product life cycle, and the marketing mix are examples of topics within this area.
Operations Management [Production]
This facet of the course introduces students to how a business best manages its resources to bring about the most efficient method of providing its products. Quality control, research and development, total quality management and stock control systems are some areas studied through this component of the course.
Assessment in this subject is currently through:-
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