Students follow the GCSE Applied Business single award qualification by OCR. Assessment of Unit A241 (Business in Action) is through a written exam that is worth 40% of the final mark. Unit A242 (Making Your Mark in Business) is a Controlled Assessment which the pupils complete worth 60% of the final mark. For their Controlled Assessment pupils will choose one business scenario from a list of five scenarios and select a local business on which to base their subsequent investigations.
Details of any relevant websites and revision guides to support the qualification.
http://www.tutor2u.net/business/glossary/aqaunit1/engage.html – Business glossary
http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/#axzz2I9f1XSXY – Case studies
How will the KS4 qualification prepare my child for life in modern Britain?
The great thing about the GCSE Applied Business specification is that it gives pupils a more in-depth look into how business works, covering everything from small, home-run businesses to international corporations. It also covers a wide range of sectors and industries. This qualification encourages pupils to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and to gain an insight into related sectors. Applied Business Studies prepares pupils to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices. It also encourages pupils to engage actively in the study of business and economics in order to develop as effective and independent individuals and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds. These skills are transferable to whatever career path pupil then wish to follow in the future.
Applied Business Studies also encourages pupils to:
- use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish facts and opinions, to build arguments and make informed judgments;
- develop and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to contemporary issues in a range of local, national and global contexts;
- appreciate the range of perspectives of different stakeholders in relation to business and economic activities, and;
- consider the extent to which business and economic activity can be ethical and sustainable.
For those who are considering running a business of their own in the future, the applied nature of the course means that pupils can learn a huge amount about the potential prizes open to them and the pitfalls to avoid in the real world.
Information about extra-curricular sessions and extended learning opportunities available to my child.
Extra-curricular sessions are held both at lunchtimes and after school. With an increasing emphasis on linear courses at KS4 a number of additional sessions are held before and during exam periods to provide additional support for pupils to realise their full potential.
A number of educational site visits take place during the period of the course, including Alton Towers Theme Park. Pupils have the opportunity to see two business related presentations. The first covers Alton Towers as a business and the second discusses marketing at the resort. The visit will be followed by a number of related activities during lesson times. This trip is an invaluable opportunity for pupils to quote real-life examples of a business they have studied when sitting their GCSE exam paper.
What Post-16 opportunities or potential pathways could this qualification unlock for my child?
GCSE Applied Business can help pupils’ progression to study other qualifications in school or college at a higher level, such as AS or A levels, including vocational A levels, in either Business Studies or other subjects. From there, it is possible to go on to university or other institutions of higher education.
Many degree courses today include some Business Studies as they assume it will be of assistance to graduates in their future careers. You will find it in degree courses in engineering, science, foreign languages and many others. The applied nature of the course makes it a particularly appropriate starting point for these courses. Degrees in Business, Finance, Marketing, Law, Languages and European Business are only some of the options available to students. Careers within the Business environment from Marketing to Strategy, Communications to Finance, and any requiring high level analytical skills and communication skills, such as, the Entertainment Industry, and Insurance are appropriate routes.
By laying the foundations of Business Studies in a way which focuses on the uses and application of ideas and theories, pupils will be better equipped to relate the content of their studies to their eventual working life. The material covered and the relationships which are built up through the course will help them to understand how industry and commerce function within the economy.
Pupils will have the opportunity to understand the dynamic environment in which business operates and appreciate the many and varied factors which impact upon business activity and behaviour in the 21st century. This will provide a better preparation for further education and careers through an understanding of business.
Some pupils might choose to take an Apprenticeship leading to a skilled career or management training, and later to a foundation degree or other higher education course.
Does my child need any specialist equipment for this subject?
Much of the Controlled Assessment can be completed using facilities within the ICT department, which is well equipped with a range of equipment including desk top PCs in suites. iPads are also available for pupils within the curriculum area. It is recognised that not all pupils will have access to technology, and pupils have the opportunity to make use of the ICT suites at lunchtimes and after school to complete homework and further their knowledge through independent learning.
Specialist text books are also provided during lesson times, as are revision guides at appropriate times.