What is involved?

The GCSE Business option offers students the opportunity to understand and analyse the behaviour of small and large businesses found in the dynamic commercial environment. It looks at how important decisions are made in different types of organisation from sole traders to PLC’s. It also considers the effects of these decisions on stakeholder groups.

During the GCSE you will study many new concepts. The first unit, ‘Investigating Small Business’ concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business. The second unit ‘Building a Business’ examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.

In Business you are expected to develop real skills which are useful to an employer. A variety of teaching methods are used to facilitate learning but assessment is an examination, so written and numeracy skills must be developed throughout the course. Whilst the subject is not incorporated within the KS3 curriculum, it does build upon concepts and skills developed in other areas such as Mathematics, Geography, History, Design and Technology and ICT.

Business encourages the application of relevant concepts and ideas to make sense of a range of topical issues. Questions are often based on engaging and contemporary contexts, being aware of business news is definitely an advantage. Examples of issues explored during the course include:

  • How can a business add value to its products?
  • How can a business improve its cash flow to ensure survival?
  • What might be the implications of Brexit on UK business?
  • How can managers’ best motivate their employees?
  • The use of social media and its reliability as a source of marketing data.

What use is it?

  • It gives the background understanding of the internal and external issues organisations face and which students’ will encounter as an entrepreneur or employee.
  • It is broadly based allowing a variety of paths into apprenticeships, further and higher education.
  • It blends well with non-business subjects.

Units and Assessment

Both examinations combine calculations (10%), multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Unit 1 Investigating Small business Examination 50% Summer Y11
Unit 2 Building a business Examination 50% Summer Y11