Year 9 Options - Business
Business Studies at KS4
This year we are excited to be offering 2 different pathways of studying business in years 10 and 11. For the first time we are offering a traditional GCSE course in business studies as well as a more ‘hands on’ course which is Enterprise and Marketing.
Why study Business?
Both courses encourage students to think commercially and creatively about current issues facing real businesses and are a good introduction into the world of business which after school we all become a part of in some form or other. Students will develop skills such as team-working, communication, and be able to analyse and evaluate how different business situations affect the decisions businesses make. We will endeavour to get local business people into school as guest speakers, as well as arrange visits to businesses once covid allows.
Traditionally results at Sheffield Park Academy have been excellent in business studies. We have a committed team of teachers with a wealth of experience – we all had jobs outside of education before we began teaching so have real life examples to use in our teaching. We also have staff in the department whom are examiners for one of both of the courses. This gives us the advantage of in depth understanding of what the exam board expects students to produce, and we can pass this knowledge onto our students to enhance their performance.
Where can studying business take me?
Post Y11 students often take their studies in business further, moving onto A level / BTEC in the VI form before going onto university to study a range of courses including events management, accounting, law, international business, and business and economics. Business is often favoured by many university and higher education providers as it links to many career paths and encompasses a wide range of study skills, and topics from the real world. The topics we study also give students an insight into the practicalities of starting their own business should then wish to take that path.
What courses do we offer?
This is a traditional GCSE. The course is assessed by 2 formal examinations at the end of Y11. Each exam consists of 3 sections comprising multiple choice questions, calculations (calculations are allowed), short answer and extended writing questions. The course is split into two ‘themes’.
Theme 1 is titled Investigating a small business and topics studied are
- Enterprise and entrepreneurship
- Spotting a business opportunity
- Putting a business idea into practice
- Making the business effective
- Understanding external influences on business
Theme 2 is titled Building a business and topics include
- Growing the business
- Making marketing decisions
- Making operational decisions
- Making financial decisions
- Making human resource decisions
Cambridge National in Enterprise and Marketing
This is a more ‘hands on’ qualification and gives students a greater opportunity to be creative whilst learning key business skills. The course focusses on students creating a product and learning how to brand, market and promote the product they have created, The course is split into 3 assessed units. There is 1 traditional exam which is worth 50% of the total grade, and 2 controlled assessment units, each of which are worth 25% of the total grade. These are pieces of work completed in class and assessed by your teacher. The controlled assessments ask students to design a product based on market research they carry out before creating a brand identity and promotional plan. Finally the proposal it ‘pitched’ dragons den style to an audience who are taking the role of potential investors.
Unit 1. Enterprise and Marketing concepts. This is the externally examined unit and the exam is usually sat in January of Year 11, with a resit opportunity in the summer should it be needed. The topics studied are
- Understand how to target a market
- Understand what makes a product or service financially viable
- Understand product development
- Understand how to attract and retain customers
- Understand factors for consideration when starting up a business
- Understand different functional activities needed to support a business start up
Unit 2. Design a business proposal. This is the first of the internally assessed units. The topics studied are
- Identify your customer profile for a business challenge
- Complete market research to aid you decision making for a business challenge
- Design a proposal for a business challenge
- Review if your business proposal is viable
Unit 3. Market and pitch a business proposal. This is the second of the internally assessed units. The topics studied are
- Create a brand identity and promotional plan to target a customer profile
- Plan a pitch for your business proposal
- Pitch your business idea to a panel (dragons den style)
- Review the strengths and weaknesses of your pitch and your business proposal
Which course is right for you?
If you have an interest in the world around you and have a knowledge of current affairs, then the more traditional route of GCSE could be for you. To be accepted onto this course you need to be tracking at grade 5 or above in English.
If you prefer a more practical option where you get to be more creative and don’t fully rely on exams then the Cambridge National could be the one for you.
I believe anyone can be successful in business studies. The main skills you need for either course are to be organised and have a ‘can do’ attitude. If you are willing to give 100% to your studies we are sure you will be rewarded at the end of Y11 with a good grade in whichever course you decide to opt for.
Still not sure or want more information?
If you still aren’t sure either if business studies is for you, which course you think you are most suited for, or if you just want a bit more information then please don’t hesitate to contact me. The easiest way at present is via my email which is