Business enables students to know and understand business concepts, business terminology, business objectives, the integrated nature of business activity and the impact of business on individuals and wider society. They apply knowledge and understanding to contemporary business issues and to different types and sizes of businesses in local, national and global contexts. Students develop as enterprising individuals with the ability to think commercially and creatively to demonstrate business acumen and draw on evidence to make informed business decisions and solve business problems. They develop as effective and independent students, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds and use an enquiring, critical approach to make informed judgements. Real business opportunities and issues are investigated and analysed to construct well-argued, well-evidenced, balanced and structured arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of business. Quantitative skills relevant to business, including using and interpreting data are also developed and applied.
Making a Difference
Do you want to help others and make a difference in the world?
The single-most important factor in building a successful business is in solving problems for other people
This is hugely rewarding
Do you know how to put an idea in to practice?
Are you good at solving problem after problem?
Do you want to become a better numbers person?
Do you want to better understand revenue and profit, break-even and cash flow?
Are you prepared for the ups and downs of Business?
Business is tremendous fun, but it isn’t without its ups and downs
Learn how to seize opportunities and deal with threats
The aims and objectives of these qualifications are to enable students to:
● know and understand business concepts, business terminology, business objectives, the integrated nature of business activity and the impact of business on individuals and wider society
● apply knowledge and understanding to contemporary business issues and to different types and sizes of businesses in local, national and global contexts
● develop as enterprising individuals with the ability to think commercially and creatively to demonstrate business acumen, and draw on evidence to make informed business decisions and solve business problems
● develop as effective and independent students, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
● use an enquiring, critical approach to make informed judgements
● investigate and analyse real business opportunities and issues to construct well-argued, well-evidenced, balanced and structured arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of business
● develop and apply quantitative skills relevant to business, including using and interpreting data.
Enquiring and caring global citizens
The courses encourage the appreciation of ethical concerns, as well as issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR), at both a local and global level.
Excellence in education
Excellence in education is about much more than the grades students receive in their assessments and external exams. Students excel in different ways. Consequently, the aim is to provide each student with the opportunities and support they need to develop their full and unique potential.
Through the study of topics such as human resource management, organizational growth and business strategy, the courses aim to develop transferable skills relevant to today’s students. These include the ability to: think critically; make ethically sound and well-informed decisions; appreciate the pace, nature and significance of change; think strategically; and undertake long term planning, analysis and evaluation.
Concept-Based Student-led Inquiry
Especially important strategies for business and business management are conceptually focused teaching and contextualized teaching through the use of case studies and examples. The ability to research is a key skill for students studying the course.
The relationship between concepts, the contexts and content of the discipline of business and business management is central, particularly in KS5. Concepts (change, culture, ethics, globalization, innovation, strategy) are anchored in the Content ( Business Management tools, techniques and theories in the syllabus) and they come alive through Context (case studies and examples). Together, these help students to acquire a holistic and integrated understanding of business management.
Approaches to Learning
All five approaches to learning, namely developing thinking skills, social skills, communication skills, selfmanagement skills and research skills feature heavily across both courses and in all content areas.
Approaches to Teaching
The six approaches to teaching, ie teaching that is inquiry-based, conceptually focused, contextualised, collaborative, differentiated and informed by assessment are crucial throughout both courses to help improve both knowledge and understanding of the content, which by its nature has to be contextualized and underpinned by the core key concepts.
There are very obvious interdisciplinary connections and use is made of students’ prior learning in subjects such as Geography, History and DT (referring back to work on design and branding carried out as early as Year 7) as all students are new to the subject in Year 10 as are the vast majority in Year 12.
Students have to demonstrate excellent literacy skills in order to boost performance in examinations on both courses as well as in the Internal Assessment in Diploma programme. The ability to demonstrate clear evaluative and analytical skills in any given context is crucial to their success and therefore is a major focus of all written work.
Students must draw on their knowledge and understanding of business topics to apply a range of quantitative skills relevant to business contexts. This includes calculations and the interpretation, use and limitation of quantitative and qualitative data in business contexts to support, inform and justify business decisions. These are embedded within the examinations for these qualifications.
Developing international-mindedness is at the heart of the Diploma Programme Business Management course. Of all organizations and actors in society, businesses are among those most affected by and affecting the forces of globalization. Many businesses operate across national borders, and even seemingly local businesses are influenced by international competition. The Business Management course helps students understand and evaluate the implications of business activity in an interconnected, global market. The GCSE also recognizes this, particularly in Year 11.
Both courses encourage the use of contemporary examples and case studies at a variety of levels, from the local to the global, as well as from smaller-scale businesses to multinational ones. Throughout the courses case studies are chosen that reflect the cultural context within Britain as well as case studies that allow for comparisons across cultural contexts. The courses are designed to give students an international perspective and to encourage their appreciation of cultural diversity among different types of business organizations, and individuals and groups within them. The courses promote the ideals of international cooperation and responsible citizenship. Students are encouraged to make sense of the forces and circumstances that drive and restrain change in an interdependent and multicultural world.
Theme 1 – Investigating Small Business
1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship
Key things to learn
The dynamic nature of business - New business ideas and their sources. Adapting existing ideas. Changes in technology. Changes in customer requirements
Risk and reward - Types and impact of business risks. Types and impact of business rewards.
The role of business enterprise - The role of enterprise in business activity. Production of goods and services. Meeting customer needs. Adding value. The role of the entrepreneur.
1.2 Spotting a business opportunity
Key Things to Learn
Customer needs - Being aware of different customer needs such as price, quality, choice and convenience. The importance of fulfilling customer requirements.
Market research - Objectives of market research. Methods and techniques. Qualitative versus quantitative research. Use of social media in market research. Importance of reliable data.
Segmentation - Benefits and methods of segmentation. Market mapping to identify gaps in the market.
The competitive environment - Strengths and weaknesses of competition. How competition affects business decisions.
1.3 - Putting a Business Idea Into Practice
Key things to learn
Business aims and objectives - Defining business aims and business objectives. Financial aims for a start-up business. Non-financial aims for a start-up business. Differences in business aims and objectives between firms.
Business revenues, costs and profits - Understanding and calculating business revenue. Understanding and calculating business costs. Understanding and calculating business profit and loss. Interest.
Break even concept and the margin of safety - Interpreting break even diagrams. Changes in break-even variables.
Cash and cash-flow - The importance of cash in a business. Cash versus profit. Interpreting cash-flow forecasts.
Sources of business finance - Short term finance options for small and start-up businesses. Long-term finance options for small and start-up businesses.
1.4 - Making the Business Effective
Key things to learn
The options for start-up and small businesses - Limited and unlimited liability. Business ownership: sole trader, partnership and private limited company. Franchise operations.
Business location - Factors effecting business location.
The marketing mix - Definition of marketing mix. Balancing the marketing mix. Impact of change on the marketing mix.
Business plans - Content of a business plan. Purpose of a business plan.
1.5 - Understanding External Influences on a Business
Key things to learn
Business stakeholders - Main business stakeholders and their objectives. How stakeholders impact and are impacted by business activity. Stakeholder conflict.
Technology and business - Different types of technology that businesses use. How technology influences business activity.
Legislation and business - Purposes and principles of consumer legislation. Purposes and principles of employee legislation. Impact on businesses of meeting and not meeting legislation requirements.
The economy and business - How businesses are affected by the economy and changes to key economic variables.
External influences - How businesses are subject to external change and how it influences their business activity
Theme 2 – Building a business
2.1 Growing the Business
Key Things to Learn
Business growth - Methods of growth: internal and external. Public limited companies. Sources of finance for growing and large businesses: internal and external.
Changes in business aims and objectives - Reasons why business aims/objectives change over time. How business objectives change over time.
Business and globalization - Impacts of globalization. Barriers to international trade. Competing internationally: e-commerce and the marketing mix.
Ethics, the environment and business - Ethics versus profit. Environmental considerations and sustainability. Pressure group impact on the marketing mix.
2.2 Making marketing decisions
Key Things to Learn
Product - The design mix. The product life cycle. Extension strategies. Product differentiation.
Price - Pricing strategies. Influences on pricing strategies.
Promotion - Promotional strategies. Technology in promotion.
Place - Methods of distribution.
Using the marketing mix in business decisions - Relationships between marketing mix components. Building competitive advantage through the marketing mix.
2.3 Making Operational Decisions
Key Things to Learn
Business operations - Purpose of operations. Production processes (job, batch, flow). Productivity. Technology and its impact.
Working with suppliers - Stock management. Procurement. Suppliers and logistics.
Managing quality - Quality control and quality assurance. Controlling costs through quality.
The sales process - The selling process. Customer service and its importance.
2.4 Making financial decisions
Key Things to Learn
Business calculations - Gross profit and net profit. Calculation and interpretation of financial data. Understanding business performance - Using and interpreting quantitative data. Use and limitations of financial data.
2.5 Human Resource Decisions
Key Things to Learn
Organisational structures - Different organisation structures and their use. Achieving effective communication. Different ways of working.
Effective recruitment - Different job roles and responsibilities. The recruitment process. Effective training and development. Methods of training and development. Purposes of training and development.
Motivation - The importance of motivating employees. Methods of motivation: financial and non-financial.
Purpose: How does the curriculum support a holistic approach to education that goes beyond academic development?
Business management is a rigorous, challenging and dynamic discipline in the individuals and societies subject group. The role of businesses, as distinct from other organizations and actors in a society, is to produce and sell goods and services that meet human needs and wants by organizing resources. Profit-making, risk-taking and operating in a competitive environment characterize most business organizations.
Business management studies business functions, management processes and decision-making in contemporary contexts of strategic uncertainty. It examines how business decisions are influenced by factors internal and external to an organization, and how these decisions impact upon its stakeholders, both internally and externally. Business management also explores how individuals and groups interact within an organization, how they may be successfully managed and how they can ethically optimize the use of resources in a world with increasing scarcity and concern for sustainability. Business management is, therefore, perfectly placed within the individuals and societies subject area: aiming to develop in students an appreciation both for our individuality and our collective purposes.
Environment: How is the curriculum adjusted to ensure all students can succeed?
The delivery is in classes with both Higher and Standard Level students for 5 out of the 8 lessons per cycle and this enables debates and discussions that go beyond the depth required by the Standard Level programme if taught separately. This increases the depth of understanding acquired by all students. The delivery is modified to reflect the extra depth and content required at Higher Level as some content can be, and is, delivered as stand alone topics rather than as an extension of the work in the combined classes.
Learning: How is feedback written into the curriculum to ensure that all students are set challenging goals?
Feedback is provided on all work set that is unique to the student who produces the work. This reflects the needs of the individual student and may lead to extra work based on the content and context or it may involve work to improve the crucial analytical and evaluative skills through a focus on answering technique.
Year 12 Curriculum Map
Unit 1: Business organization and environment
1.1 Introduction to business management
1.2 Types of organizations
1.3 Organizational objectives
1.5 External environment
1.6 Growth and evolution
1.7 Organizational planning tools (HL only)
Unit 3: Finance and accounts
3.1 Sources of finance
3.2 Costs and revenues
3.3 Break-even analysis
3.4 Final accounts (some HL only)
3.5 Profitability and liquidity ratio analysis
3.6 Efficiency ratio analysis (HL only)
3.7 Cash flow
3.8 Investment appraisal (some HL only)
3.9 Budgets (HL only)
Unit 5: Operations management
5.1 The role of operations management
5.2 Production methods
5.3 Lean production and quality management (HL only)
5.5 Production planning (HL only)
5.6 Research and development (HL only)
5.7 Crisis management and contingency planning (HL only)
Year 13 Curriculum Map
Unit 2: Human resource management
2.1 Functions and evolution of human resource management
2.2 Organizational structure
2.3 Leadership and management
2.5 Organizational (corporate) culture (HL only)
2.6 Industrial/employee relations (HL only)
Unit 4: Marketing
4.1 The role of marketing
4.2 Marketing planning (including introduction to the four Ps)
4.3 Sales forecasting (HL only)
4.4 Market research
4.5 The four Ps (product, price, promotion, place)
4.6 The extended marketing mix of seven Ps (HL only)
4.7 International marketing (HL only)
In exploring the interactions between humans and their environment, students reflect on their own identity and potential roles in society. They are encouraged to start seeing how they can contribute to positive change in their communities. Business organizations are one category of community actors.
In addition to helping students learn more about active and responsible citizenship, students of business management acquire skills supportive of their CAS activities. They learn about strategic thinking and setting objectives, acquire planning skills and develop an appreciation for different cultural perspectives within organizations. These skills will help them choose significant CAS activities and gain much from them.
Possible Knowledge Questions