Business provides transferable skills allowing students a smooth transition from an educational environment to a work environment.
At Townsend we aim to ensure that students studying Business will develop a range of life skills including teamwork, problem solving, independent learning and communication skills whilst enjoying the courses that we offer and meeting their academic potential. We aim to instil a lifelong interest in Business at a local, national and international level.
The Business curriculum provides an insight into a wide range of business sectors and functional areas. The knowledge-based curriculum underpins and enables the application of skills and equips students with an understanding of business language. Delivered content is built upon through a variety of practice questions and case studies with regular feedback supporting student progress. All students are encouraged to develop an understanding of current events and we aim to ensure that students continue to think critically and question the changing business environment around them.
Business A Level is in the top 10 of A Levels studied in the UK (2023 – Ranked 7)
AQA Business A Level (7132) https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/business/as-and-a-level/business-7131-7132
The Business A Level course examines how a business operates, and considers the key functional areas of a business including Marketing, Finance, Operations and Human Resources. The external environment and competitive market that businesses operate within is also a key focus. Students will develop a critical understanding of business organisations and business activity, developing the analytical and evaluative skills needed to give strategic advice to firms of all sizes, in a variety of potential business scenarios.
The qualification will appeal to students who have a general interest in business and current affairs or who may wish to pursue a career in the business and enterprise sector in the future. Although the NCFE Business and Enterprise course or GCSE Business will offer an ideal foundation to study Business at A Level, it is not essential that students have previously studied Business at Key Stage 4.
Students have nine one-hour Business lessons over a two week timetable. Lessons are classroom based and utilise a wide range of resources in addition to independent study and research. A range of methods will be used to develop the skills of analysis, decision making and evaluation. The emphasis is on learning through case study material that reflects issues faced by firms and case studies are often based on real life firms. Unit tests and past papers are used to coach students in exam technique and progress is assessed regularly throughout the course.
Students are encouraged to take part in additional activities to support curriculum learning, including national Business and Economics competitions and mentoring younger students studying the Business GCSE course.
Programme of Study
Students will learn why businesses exist and the reasons for choosing and changing business structure. The four key functional areas in business: finance, human resources, operations and marketing are studied in detail. Students will learn how decisions are made regarding these core functions and develop the skills to discuss the impact on the firm of various decisions. Financial planning is a significant part of the course and students will carry out calculations using a range of financial documents in order to interpret and analyse a business’s position. Students will learn to assess risk and the potential impacts of long term strategic decision making using different business models and theorists. Managing strategic change includes an international perspective as well as economic, technological, political and legal aspects.
The syllabus for the course can be viewed below. Sections 1-6 are studied in Year 12 and sections 7-10 in Year 13.
- 1 What is business?
- 2 Managers, leadership and decision making
- 3 Decision making to improve marketing performance
- 4 Decision making to improve operational performance
- 5 Decision making to improve financial performance
- 6 Decision making to improve human resource performance
- 7 Analysing the strategic position of a business (A-level only)
- 8 Choosing strategic direction (A-level only)
- 9 Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies (A-level only)
- 10 Managing strategic change (A-level only)
Final assessment is through external exams and consists of three papers. All three papers will be examined in the May/June of the second year. Each paper lasts 2 hours, is 100 marks, and is worth 33.3% of the A Level marks. All papers are synoptic and cover all syllabus content.
Paper 1 – Section A – 15 multiple choice questions Section B – Short answer questions – generally between 2 and 9 marks Section C + D – Essay questions (choice of two from four) – 25 marks each
Paper 2 – Based on three compulsory case studies which include data response and calculation questions in addition to longer written essay questions. Generally questions will range from between 2 and 20 marks
Paper 3 – One compulsory case study (unseen) consisting of approximately 6 questions ranging from 12 to 24 marks.
Students will be given homework tasks each week to complete, we use Google Classroom and other platforms such as Seneca Learning. Homework will include activities such as: – flipped learning – reading and activities to prepare in advance for lessons – completing a quiz to check understanding of a topic – answer exam questions on a topic – research a specific topic, such as the interests of different stakeholders – create a presentation to deliver in class on a specific topic, such as the sources of finance available to a business – revise/create revision materials on certain topics
As well as completing the weekly homework tasks, students should be reading through their class notes after each lesson to check understanding and prepare questions to ask the teacher where additional help is needed. To help with revision for the exam it is recommended that students prepare revision resources for topics as they are learning them. Students should be prepared to study independently and use all the resources available to them both in and out of the classroom. This includes a commitment to wider reading/study, including keeping up to date with current business news through newspapers and journals, in addition to watching the news and other relevant business programs.
Where can Business take you
Apprenticeship in Business, Economics or Accounting – Degrees in Business, Economics, Management, Administration, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources, Hospitality and Leisure and Tourism – Professional Business and Finance qualifications such as, AAT, CIMA, ACCA, ACA, MBA
Entrepreneur – Accountant – Management Consultant – Actuary – Business Teacher – HR Manager – Marketing – Human Resource Manager – Banking – Stockbroker – Logistics and Supply Chains
How parents can support their child’s learning
- Ask your child to describe what they learnt in their lesson
- Discuss current business and economic events to engage your child in wider learning and reading
- Review work set on Google Classroom
- Use your child’s work / revision resources / flash cards to ask them questions and test their knowledge, regular repetition will consolidate learning and practice key skills
- Encourage your child to attend consolidation and revision sessions
- Ensure your child is completing enough work outside the classroom to thrive at A Level (an average of 4-5 hours per week, per A Level subject in addition to class time is recommended)
- Seneca learning – https://app.senecalearning.com
- Tutor2u – https://www.tutor2u.net/business
- Beebusinessbee – http://www.beebusinessbee.co.uk/index.php/business-qualifications/new-business-as-a-level-qualifications
- BBC Business – www.bbc.co.uk/news/business
- Textbook – AQA A-level Business (Surridge and Gillespie)
- Revision guide – AS and A-Level Business: AQA Complete Revision & Practice (with Online Edition) (CGP A-Level Business)
- Business Review – https://www.hoddereducation.co.uk/magazines/magazines-extras/business-review-extras
For more information contact Miss A. Philpott, Townsend Church of England School.