We believe GCSE Business Studies is relevant to students regardless of which career they later pursue, since it is useful for everyone to have a basic understanding of the key operations and decision making processes of modern businesses. To ensure an awareness of local business issues within the wider context we follow Northern Ireland / CCEA specification for GCSE Business Studies. We endeavour to utilise input from local businesses where relevant, to help bring the core topics of marketing, finance, operations and human resources to life.
Pupils are assessed using a variety of methods during their 2 year course, but their GCSE grade is determined by their marks in coursework (single project undertaken in Year 12 worth 25%) and in 2 exam papers.
In the past students have visited local businesses such as Wrightbus, Chain Reaction, Ryobi and the Schrader amongst others. We have participated in Stock Market Challenge competitions. In examinations we have had students placed as high as 2nd across the whole country.
At A-Level we follow the CCEA specification. For those pupils who have sat GCSE Business Studies it would be considered necessary to have achieved at least a Grade B to indicate an aptitude for the subject. However we do welcome students onto the A-Level course who have not previously studied the subject. Thus our main requirements of any pupil wishing to take our A-Level course would be that they should have achieved at least a Grade B in both Mathematics and English at GCSE.
With in excess of 35,000 students throughout the UK following this specification we are pleased to have had students placed in the top 25. The basic content again covers the core areas of business studies (marketing, finance, people, operations management) but also develops knowledge of external influences and objectives & strategy. Clearly though the content is explored at much greater depth at AS and at A2 Level.
Furthermore the A-Level course places great emphasis on the students' ability to develop and utilise the key exam skills of application, analysis and evaluation in the context of case study questions.