Business, Economics & Finance

Business

Subject Overview

In Business at GCSE, our aim is to introduce students to the main aspects of business operations, including HR, finance, marketing, operations and entrepreneurship.  Over the course of completing the subject, students develop their ability in making decisions and forming arguments based on material seen for the first time and using their knowledge of business. 

The substance of the course is conceptual knowledge of business, including terminology and procedure along with formulae and calculations, in order to draw conclusions on business performance. 

The course also allows students to apply their existing skills to more vocational and real-world scenarios, with particular attention to developing critical thinking skills and entrepreneurial attributes. 

Paul Tilley

Subject Leader for Business, Economics & Finance

Mrs Jess Booker

Business & Economics Teacher

Miss Safiya Raqib

Business & Finance Teacher

In Business from KS4 to KS5, the aim is to develop students’ understanding of the main aspects of business operations, including HR, finance, marketing and operations.  With this knowledge, students practise forming arguments and making decisions and recommendations based on material seen for the first time and using their increasing awareness of current issues in the business world.  The courses serve as a helpful introduction to Business courses at higher levels and work-based routes, both of which are popular amongst our students.

At KS5, there is the option for students to specialise further by taking Economics or Finance in the Sixth Form.

GCSE Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 9 to 11:

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Spotting a business opportunity
  • Putting a business idea into practice
  • Making the business effective. Understanding external influences on business
  • Growing the business
  • Making marketing decisions
  • Making product decisions
  • Making financial decisions
  • Making human resource decisions

A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 12 and 13:

The A Level comprises 4 themes as follows:

Theme 1

  • Meeting customer needs
  • The market
  • Marketing mix and strategy
  • Managing people
  • Entrepreneurs and leaders.

Theme 2

  • Raising finance
  • Financial planning
  • Managing finance
  • Resource management
  • External influences

Theme 3

  • Business objectives and strategy
  • Business growth
  • Decision-making techniques
  • Influences on business decisions
  • Assessing competitiveness
  • Managing change

Theme 4

  • Globalisation
  • Global markets and business expansion
  • Global marketing

Global industries and companies (multinational corporations)

Students have the opportunity to take part in a number of enterprise activities and competitions throughout the course including the Student Investor Challenge involving teams of students investing in two portfolios of stocks.

Business students also benefit from speakers visiting the school who in recent years have included entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, CEOs as well as representatives of the Bank of England and large companies.

Students are encouraged to read a range of texts to further their own emerging areas of interest.  Students have access to a free Financial Times subscription.

Details are published of summer school opportunities with leading Business universities and are regularly attended by Waddesdon students.

Economics

Paul Tilley

Subject Leader for Business, Economics & Finance

Mrs Jess Booker

Business & Economics Teacher

The main aims of the course are to widen students’ understanding of the world through considering the allocation of resources.  Students learn the context of the UK economy and the implications of the changes in trade and industry in the world economy.  Students also increase their ability to form and substantiate arguments using data.

A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 12 and 13:

The A Level comprises four themes as follows:

Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure

This theme focuses on microeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • the nature of economics
  • how markets work
  • market failure
  • government intervention.

Theme 2: The UK economy – performance and policies

This theme focuses on macroeconomic concepts. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • measures of economic performance
  • aggregate demand
  • aggregate supply
  • national income
  • economic growth
  • macroeconomic objectives and policy.

Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market

This theme develops the microeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 1 and focuses on business economics. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • business growth
  • business objectives
  • revenues, costs and profits
  • market structures
  • labour market
  • government intervention.

Theme 4: A global perspective

This theme develops the macroeconomic concepts introduced in Theme 2 and applies these concepts in a global context. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • international economics
  • poverty and inequality
  • emerging and developing economies
  • the financial sector

role of the state in the macroeconomy.

Students have the opportunity to take part in a number of enterprise activities and competitions throughout the course, including the Student Investor Challenge involving teams of students investing in two portfolios of stocks.

Economics students also benefit from speakers visiting the school who in recent years have included entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and CEOs, as well as representatives of the Bank of England and large companies.

Students are encouraged to read a range of texts to further their own emerging areas of interest.

Details are published of summer school opportunities with leading universities and are regularly attended by Waddesdon students.

Students are able to take a free subscription to the Financial Times online.

Finance

Paul Tilley

Subject Leader for Business, Economics & Finance

Miss Safiya Raqib

Business & Finance Teacher

The central aim of this subject in Year 12 is for students to be more financially literate and able to make better financial decisions in their lives outside school and into adulthood.  This includes providing an understanding of borrowing, investment, savings and pension products as well as the relevant organisations that exist. Year 13 builds on this knowledge to equip students for entry into the industry or to be more confident in dealing with the representatives of it.

In Year 12, the certificate can be taken as a single qualification along with a student’s other three subjects or it can be continued into Year 13 as the diploma with the same UCAS points as A levels.

A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following in Year 12:

Unit 1: Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term

Students will gain an appreciation of why money is important through focusing on what money is, attitudes to it, and how it can affect life choices. The unit introduces students to the financial services industry by focusing on the interaction between money, personal finance and the financial services marketplace. They will also learn about:

  • The characteristics of financial products for managing money
  • The impact of poor decision making and unforeseen circumstances
  • Impact of legislation and regulation on earnings and the key features of income tax and National Insurance
  • How an individual’s financial needs change through the various life stages

Unit 2: Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term

Students will have the ability to plan and manage their financial needs in the medium and long term, with particular reference to the importance of the need to budget for future aspirations and life events. Learners will consider the changing priorities attached to needs, wants and aspirations as individuals progress through the personal life cycle and the role of financial services in assisting lifelong financial planning. Students will gain an understanding of:

  • The key steps in financial planning
  • The consequences of an individual’s financial footprint on future financing
  • Risk and Return terms of impact, severity and probability
  • The key features of Islamic banking
  • How to evaluate and critically compare individual circumstances and attitudes

In Year 13, students will study the following:

Unit 3: Sustainability of an Individual’s Finances

This unit highlights the importance of financial sustainability and develops key skills to ensure that an individual’s financial capability is sustained over a period of time, taking into consideration the personal and external factors that lead to change.

When studying this unit, students will explore how external factors affect the financial services industry’s products and services and how these factors can impact upon consumer choice. It will enable students to make informed financial judgements within given situations. Learners will gain an understanding of the impact of global events, developments and ethical considerations that impact on the financial services industry and the consumer.

Unit 4: Sustainability of the Financial Services System

This unit explores the financial services system and looks at how financial services providers work and compete with one another, their priorities and responses to external influences in maintaining financial sustainability. Students will analyse the impact of marketing techniques employed by financial services providers and the impact of changes in the financial services market and the effect this has on consumers. Learners will gain an understanding of how financial services providers use marketing methods and approaches to attract, retain and satisfy their customers.

Students have the opportunity to take part in the Student Investor Challenge involving teams of students investing in two portfolios of stocks.

Finance students also have the opportunity to attend the trip to the City of London with a guided tour around the square mile to learn the history of finance in London, followed by presentations on further study and career options in finance and a trip to the Bank of England Museum.  Representatives of the Bank of England also visit the school to discuss its role and the evolving careers and products in the fast-moving world of finance.

Students are encouraged to attend summer school courses run by the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) and high-achieving students receive a bursary towards further study with the LIBF.

Students are able to take a free subscription to the Financial Times online.