Economics & Business
The Economics & Business Studies Department comprises five full-time specialist teachers. Students are able to choose these subjects at KS4 and in the Sixth Form.
Economics and Business Studies are very popular options, and we believe that students choose these subjects for two main reasons: (a) the subjects provide a change from their prior learning; and (b) the students believe that qualifications in these subjects will open up a variety of academic and career paths in the future. From our point of view, we believe that the subjects provide students with a key to understanding the commercial world around us. Economics is an academic subject that builds upon a tightly bound set of theories. In comparison, Business Studies provides a more varied approach to commerce. Either subject can be positioned as a lead subject for Higher Education, or to complement non-related subjects in the Sixth Form - this is particularly true of Business Studies.
Key Stage 4 Business Studies
Pupils follow the AQA specification for GCSE Business Studies. The course focuses on four main components: Marketing, Finance, Operations, and Human Resources. As a result of these studies, pupils are able to evaluate, for example:
- How firms assess their markets, how they promote themselves, and how they survive and prosper in differing market conditions;
- How firms generate finance from internal and external sources, and how finance is planned, monitored and controlled;
- How firms structure their functional and human resources to optimise their performance, and how managers lead and motivate employees;
Whilst a GCSE is certainly not a pre-requisite for further study in the subject, many of our GCSE students do opt to follow Business Studies and/or Economics in the Sixth Form.
Key Stage 4 Economics
Pupils follow the OCR specification for GCSE Economics. As mentioned, this is an academic subject and we recommend this course to those students who have an exemplary attitude to learning, and who are at ease with Mathematics. Similar to GCSE Business Studies the course is split into four main components: The Economic Problem (Scarcity of Resources); How Markets Work; The Economics Role of the Government in the UK; and The European Union and International Market.
The Management and Economics International Baccalaureate course components are broadly similar to their A-level counterparts. The IB will appeal to the more independent learner wishing to study a wider span of subjects.
IB economics is offered at Standard and Higher level and no prior knowledge of economics is required. IB economics covers the same major theoretical content as A level, (micro-economics, macro-economics, international trade and development economics) but with some difference in emphasis and in assessment. The emphasis in the IB economics syllabus are global and international issues whereas A level requires specific knowledge of the UK economy and UK government economic policy. The IB economics course teaches students to consider economic ideas, theories and happenings from the point of view of different individuals, nations and cultures in the world economy. The A level has no coursework where as IB economics stresses the importance of coursework (25% Standard Level, 20% Higher Level) to provide practical applications for theory.
Since our subjects relate directly to the world of work and commerce, we run a number of extracurricular activities:
When possible, we enter, and run, a number of national competitions:
- Economist of the Year
- Bank of England's Target 2.0
- Young Enterprise (running a school-based company)
- IFS Investor Challenge (running a virtual share portfolio)
We organise external learning activities in London:
- Tutor2U revision workshops
We have arranged presentations from interesting companies e.g. Jane Brown (the shoe designer competing with Jimmy Choo), Johnson Banks (arguably the UK's leading graphics company) visited the school. We arrange international field trips: For the past 7 years we have taken Year13 Economists and Business Studies students to New York or China. We have visited the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank, independent companies as well as the usual tourist sites and attractions. In China, we have visited Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and Suzhou). Clearly this country is increasingly becoming the commercial centre of gravity and will continue to do so for the next decade at least. From time to time we help place students in internships. Over the past 7 years we placed 30 students in internships with City Firms, and helped 8 students with full-time employment in the City.