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GSO Test


The Business department is a small department within the school and is staffed by one teacher.

The department’s main aim is to prepare students for their working life by giving them an insight into what is involved in running a small business, or working as part of an existing business. Many students will continue to study Business when they move on to College while others will study linked subjects such as Economics, Hospitality or Travel and Tourism. Business is open to all students and is a popular choice in this school.

The Business classroom is well resourced with a whiteboard and projector. There are textbooks and other paper resources linked to the course and students use the school computers to carry out additional research. As part of the Business course students undertake a research project into a small business of their choice. During year 10 work experience they also gain practical experience of working in a local business.

While studying Business students develop a number of life skills which they can use in the future: preparing and presenting from a PowerPoint, working as part of a team, communication, time management, personal organisation, action planning, problem solving, and target setting.

Students enjoy their Business lessons and are keen to engage and be successful in this subject.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE we follow the Edexcel specification for Business. This is a well-regarded qualification which enables students to progress to A level or BTEC at college.

The GCSE course involves studying a number of topics around a common theme. Firstly students look at starting a small business – spotting a business opportunity, developing enterprise skills, basic concepts in finance, dealing with customers and staff and the economic environment. The second theme revolves around building the business – marketing, meeting customer needs, financial management, managing people and interacting with the wider world.

The course is assessed through two exams and a controlled assessment task. The first exam (worth 25%) is multiple choice and tests subject knowledge and key terms, the second (worth 50%) involves longer answers and requires student to apply their knowledge to specific businesses. The controlled assessment is a research project about a local small business. Students carry out independent research and then write up their project to analyse and evaluate their findings.

The course comprises of two themes;

Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business.  It provides a framework for students to explore key concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business.

Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase.  It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources.  It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.  

The course is delivered using practical and engaging case studies.  It also draws on real and relevant business examples, using local knowledge where applicable. Both papers are 90 minutes, 90 marks and have three sections. Students will develop skills such as data analysis, team work and presentation skills, together with an in-depth knowledge of business terminology and key business concepts that will assist them in achieving their potential on the course.

 There are numerous careers which draw on business knowledge; it could be argued that all careers have elements of business.  Business qualifications are relevant and applicable when working within Human Resources, Construction, Design, Banking, Business Administration, Management, Accountancy, Law, Teaching and many other professions.

Exam Board

For more information on the subject and to review the current GCSE specification from the exam board please click here