Business at Sir Thomas Rich's

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." - Steve Jobs

Business Studies is a dynamic subject at GCSE and A Level as the business environment is constantly changing. Business involves analysing the internal workings of contemporary business organisations with the focus being on departmental areas such as marketing, finance, human resources and production. The external environment within which businesses operate is studied and teachers seek to equip students with core knowledge and understanding of the effects this can have upon decision-making within a business. The Department aims to enhance students’ ability to think for themselves through the application of their knowledge to real-world scenarios. A key skill for a successful Business Studies student is the ability to use their core knowledge and understanding in a way that is relevant to the business context and market situation provided in the literature. We provide opportunities for students to practise selecting the most appropriate knowledge to support an argument that is couched within the context of a specific scenario.

Teachers encourage students to value academic endeavour through an understanding of the established orthodoxies within Business Studies, and develop the intellectual curiosity of students by encouraging them to make links with other subject disciplines, such as between Business Finance and Mathematics, Government Policies and Politics, or Developmental Economics and Geography.

Chris, Tim, Nathan, Robert, Alexander and Martin: Winners of the Regional BASE Competition.

Key Stage 4 - Years 10 & 11

Teaching Arrangements: Students are taught for 5 periods a fortnight in GCSE Business.
Homework Guidance: Homework is set weekly. In Year 10 homework can require: completing a handout; completing questions from textbook; adding to notes from the textbook; learning key terms for a test in class; revising a whole topic for a test in class; using the internet to conduct research or watching a recommended TV programme and making notes. In Year 11 students will complete an examination practice question weekly to fine-tune their examination technique, in addition to another homework as in Year 10.
Assessment Arrangements: 100% examination consisting of:
Component 1: Business Dynamics
Written examination: 2 hours
Questions are based on a series of case studies and range from 1 mark to 10 marks. Some questions require numerical calculations and some require a mini-essay approach.
62.5% of the qualification - 100 marks

Component 2: Business Considerations
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
Questions are based on two extended case studies with questions ranging from 2 marks to 12 marks. There are a greater proportion of higher mark questions requiring a mini-essay approach.
37.5% of the qualification - 60 marks
Exam Specification: GCSE Business: EDUQAS C510QS Topics Covered:
Year 10
  • Private v public sector
  • Role, motives and characteristics of an entrepreneur
  • Business planning and business aims
  • Types of business organisation
  • Business growth – internal and external
  • Impact of globalisation on business
  • Business costs, revenue and profit
  • Location decisions
  • Ethical and environmental influences on business decision-making
  • Market research and marketing decisions on product, price, promotion and place
  • Impact of legislation on business
Year 11
  • Organisational structures and how they change as a business grows
  • Recruitment and selection methods
  • Benefits and types of training
  • Methods of motivation
  • Role of trade unions
  • Methods of production
  • Use of technology in business
  • Quality control measures
  • Stages of the supply chain
  • Sources of finance
  • Average rate of return
  • Cash flow
  • Economic influences on business decisions

After studying GCSE Business, students are in a strong position to continue to study A Level Business in the Sixth Form. Alternatively students may wish to consider A Level Economics that takes a broader approach in studying the markets and the whole economy, covering such topics as labour markets, international trade and unemployment. However, this course is not a prerequisite for studying either A Level Business or A Level Economics.

Entry Requirements: A Grade 6 in Business Studies (if studied) or a Grade 6 in English Language.
Teaching Arrangements: Throughout the course students are taught by two teachers totalling 9 periods a fortnight in Year 12 and 10 periods a fortnight periods in Year 13.
Homework Guidance: In Year 12 students are assessed through short answer questions based on examination style questions. Typically these are set weekly, either in class or for homework. Homework may also involve further reading, internet research, learning key terms for a test or revising a whole topic for a class test. In Year 13 students are set a past paper question every week to develop their examination technique, therefore questions vary from data response questions to longer case study questions and essays.
Assessment Arrangements: Assessment is 100% examination. There are three examinations at the end of the second year.
Component 1: Business Opportunities and Functions: consists of compulsory short answer questions and a compulsory data response questions based on basic business topics such as types of businesses and external factors influencing businesses.
Component 2: Business Analysis and Strategy: consists of compulsory data response questions focused on analytical and decision making models and business strategy.
Component 3: Business in a Changing World: consists of compulsory high mark questions based on a case study and one essay question from a choice of three.

All three papers are 2 hours and 15 minutes in length and are equally weighted in determining the final A Level grade. Each component builds on the knowledge and understanding of the previous component/s.
Exam Specification: A Level Business: EDUQAS A510QS Topics Covered:
Year 12
  • Importance of the entrepreneur and SMEs to the economy
  • Features of different organisational structures including not-for profit organisations
  • Production: decisions influencing business location, business revenue, costs and profit; production methods and quality control, stock control, technology and lean production
  • Marketing: different types of markets, market research, market segmentation, detailed analysis of 4Ps, use of digital media, features of different types of competitive markets, demand, supply and market price, reasons for changes to market price
  • Financial topics: break-even analysis and what if analysis, role of budgeting, importance of cash flow forecasting, income statement and sources of finance
  • Human resources: workforce planning, recruitment and training, appraisal, measuring workforce performance, organisational design, motivation and leadership styles
Year 13
  • Data analysis such as index numbers
  • Sales forecasting, both quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Analysing budget variances
  • Interpreting the Balance Sheet and calculating financial ratios to assess business performance
  • Aims and objectives of organisations
  • Types of strategy and management responsible for implementing
  • Types of growth: internal and external
  • Usefulness of Ansoff matrix theory and SWOT analysis
  • Decision making models: critical path analysis, decision trees and cost-benefit analysis
  • Investment appraisal methods
  • Management of change and risk
  • PEST factors: political, economic, social and technological
  • Ethical, legal and environmental factors
  • International trade including free trade and protectionism
  • Globalisation and strategies to achieve global growth/global brands

Due to the demands of the quantitative topics, students should feel confident in their numerical ability. Students should also possess strong literacy skills as they will be required to answer high mark questions as well as planning and writing essays.

Students are encouraged to read a quality newspaper daily, the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) subscribes to the Financial Times. The Business Review is also highly recommended and again a copy is available through the LRC. Further advice on extended reading, such as textbooks, recent non-fiction books, websites and blogs can be found on Sharepoint.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto: Students may wish to pursue a degree course in Business or a specific area of the subject that they have enjoyed. For instance, many students go on to study marketing, economics, accounting, law, politics and business management. Alternatively, students may consider opting for a combined course such as business with a language, business with sport studies or the psychology of business.
Careers that Business may lead onto: Students who decide to enter the workforce will find that a detailed understanding of how a business operates will stand them in good stead. There are many suitable industries to enter such as finance, retail, marketing and manufacturing. Alternatively, some may wish to start up their own business and knowledge of Business A Level would be of great help when writing and implementing a business plan.
"I really enjoyed the variety that came with studying Business, covering a range of subjects involving various business departments and the external environment. The teachers at Rich's delivered very interesting classes by including real life examples. I put my knowledge from Business Studies to use by taking part in Young Enterprise, which as a team we found to be a fun and rewarding project. I enjoyed Business Studies so much that I decided study International Management at university and enormously appreciate the base of knowledge that Business Studies has given me."
- Hayden Lefley, studying Business Management at Bath University
Associated Clubs / Societies / Trips:
  • Young Enterprise
  • BASE Challenge (Accounting and Finance Competition)
  • Shares for School Competition
  • Trips are organised every year but vary from year to year. Recently we have attended:
    • Your Green Future Conference
    • Ethical Business Conference
    • Land Rover talk and tour
A Level Economists Will, Sam and Lawrence present the case for remaining in the EU during our Euro Debate.