Business Gcse Coursework Help Desk

Economics and business are hot topics and affect all our lives every day. Students will gain the opportunity to study and investigate real life business and economic issues and apply them to all aspects of their academic and personal lives.

Our aim is to provide all our students not only with the core understanding of business and economics, but instil a passion and interest that continues outside of the classroom. We have incredibly high expectations and we encourage all our students to think independently, be challenged and achieve highly.

Students flourish in our dynamic department and develop understanding of knowledge and skills which can be used across the curriculum and in their own lives.

We welcome visitors and speakers to all our courses so if you would like to be involved please get in touch by tweeting us or email

Meet the Staff

All members of the Business and Economics team were industry professionals before pursuing a career in teaching.

Mrs A Wickson: Acting Assistant Headteacher

Ms N Oliver: Business, Economics and Computing Teacher

Follow our business and economics teachers on Twitter!

Mrs Wickson @bizatthebox

Business Studies & Economics at KS3

Business and Economics is currently not offered at KS3. Students have to opportunity to study money management through our PSHE programme and take part in the KS3 Dragon Den competition which is run throughout the summer term.

Business Studies & Economics at KS4

GCSE AQA Business Studies

Outline of course

The course introduces students to the world of setting up and operating small and large businesses.  In Year 10 students focus on start-up and small businesses. In Year 11, the focus is on more established businesses and the way businesses can grow and be competitive in an ever increasing global marketplace.

In both years students study the four main organisational areas of marketing, finance, human resources and operations management.

Projects/topics covered in the course

A range of topics are studied including:

  • Starting a business enterprise

  • Setting business aims and objectives

  • Business planning

  • Choosing the right legal structure

  • Choosing the correct location

  • Using the marketing mix

  • Recruitment and selection

  • Cash flow

  • Profit and loss analysis

  • Balance sheets

  • Production methods

  • Customer service

  • Kaizen and TQM

  • Motivation

Organisation of assessment

There are two hour long exams at the end of Year 11 worth a total of 75%. At the end of Year 10 students complete a controlled assessment, based around Witney businesses worth 25%. Previous assessment topics have included investigating the effectiveness of current promotional methods and investigating the quality of customer service provided.

Students are also regularly assessed each term. All students will have key terms tests to check understanding of core knowledge and end of unit assessment. Class teachers will set additional questions, designed to build up capability and confidence for the essay based exam papers.

Homework requirements

Students will be set at least one hour of homework each week.  Homework tasks include:

  • Key term revision

  • Practice questions

  • Investigations, research

  • Analysis and evaluation tasks

  • Individual and group projects

  • Creating quizzes, questions and tasks

A revision guide is avalible here.

Business Studies KS5

There are changes to A levels at the beginning of 2015.  Both Economics and Business Studies will follow the Edexcel specifications. For further information, please use the following links:

Economics (A)

Business Studies

Outline of course

The AS Units focus on small to medium sized businesses.  At A2 students investigate more complex business scenarios and focus on strategy as opposed to tactics.

AS Business Studies

  • Unit 1 (BUSS1) – Planning and Financing a Business – covers the issues involved in business start-up such as researching and planning as well as the factors that determine success.

  • Unit 2 (BUSS2) – Managing a Business – focuses on how established businesses might improve their effectiveness by making tactical decisions at a functional (departmental) level.

  • Unit 3 (BUSS3) – Strategies for Success – focuses on larger businesses and how managers might measure performance.  This unit considers functional strategies larger business might adopt to achieve their objectives.

  • Unit 4 (BUSS4) – The Business Environment and Managing Change – assesses the external factors that can act as catalysts for change and considers this in a variety of business contexts.

Economics KS5

Outline of course

The AS Units focus on an introduction to micro and macro economics and the A2 units provide further detail on both these types of economics as well as a synoptic overview.

  • Unit 1 (ECON1) - Markets and Market failure - this module will cover the economic problem, the allocation of resources in competitive markets, production and efficiency, market failure and government intervention in the market.

  • Unit 2 (ECON2) - The national economy - this module will cover the measurement of economic performance, how the macro economy works (the curricular flow of income and related concepts) , economic performance and macroeconomic policy.

  • Unit 3 (ECON3) - Business Economics and the distribution of income - this module will cover the firm; objectives, costs and revenues, competitive markets, concentrated markets, the labour market and government intervention in markets.

  • Unit 4 (ECON4) - Economics: The National and International Economy - this module will cover macroeconomic indicators, managing the national economy and the international economy.


A-level students have the opportunity to compete in regional and national competitions and visit businesses for lectures on occasion.


We offer extensive enrichment opportunities for all students. At KS3 students have the opportunity to compete in a Dragons Den competition.

At KS4, business students’ learning is enhanced by regular projects based on real life business in the Witney area and globally. Workshops and talks are also given by business people from a wide range of backgrounds and topics including digital printing, logistics and retail. In Year 10, learning is based around creating a business plan, culminating in a presentation event of their business plans in the summer term.

At KS5, business students learning is also based around real life businesses both locally and globally. Students also take part in a Dragons’ Den competition in December, which complements their first unit of study, BUSS1. Every year we take two teams to take part in the ICAW BASE Accounting Competition and students are given the opportunity to take part in the IFS Investor Challenge.

Our economists’ learning is also based around current affairs and at A2, students compete in the Bank of England Target 2.0 where a team of students assume the role of the Monetary Policy Committee and have to make a presentation of what The Bank of England should do with the current interest rate using up to date economic knowledge and data.

All our A2 students are regularly invited to take part in workshops and lectures which are crucial in their final units which are based around their application to real life business and economic conditions. Recent lectures and workshops have included Hunts Printing, Hegele Logistics, Charles Stanley Investment Bakers, Supergroup, Rooster UK Retail Consultancy and Coaching, Siemans and Handelsbanken.

After School Clubs offered

All teachers provide one to one support with students when required and there is a clinic once a week to help with homework or any other issues. Revision workshops and clinics are run before summer exams where students are expected to complete extension work at home in preparation.

Useful links

Mrs Wickson has a scoop-it page to support, challenge and extend all business and economics students’ learning

Useful websites

Business Studies

Head of Department: Mr S Grimes


The department is housed in a dedicated Business Centre which is furnished and decorated to business standards. Each classroom is fully equipped with computers, flat-screen monitors, an interactive whiteboard and ceiling-mounted ICT projector; the department also has a set of laptops.

The department offers a wide range of courses at Key Stages 4 and 5, offering students continuity and progression.  Teachers in the department have a good mix of teaching and industry experience.

The department offers the following courses:

GCSE Business

BTEC Level 2 Business

GCE A level Economics

GCE A level Business

BTEC National Extended Certificate Business

Curriculum Enrichment

The Business Studies Department is proud of its curriculum enrichment programme. The curriculum is enhanced by visits to businesses, competitions and visiting speakers. Recent visits include:

  • Chelsea Football Club – The business of football
  • Thorpe Park – Marketing of a tourist attraction
  • Coca Cola – The operation of a manufacturing and distribution plant.
  • Calloway Golf – Product innovation and production
  • House of Fraser – Customer service and retail merchandising
  • The Bank of England – Interest rates and the economy

This year sees the department’s 10th anniversary visit to New York. Students soak up the cultural side of life in the Big Apple and receive business presentations by key personnel from Macy’s, Madison Square Gardens, Madame Tussaud’s, the Federal Reserve Bank and JoMart Chocolates, an independent “Candymaker” in Brooklyn.

The department enters students into several regional and national competitions.

  • A level Business students take part in a marketing challenge organised by Surrey County Council.
  • GCSE and A level students take part in the IFS Student Investor Challenge.
  • Year 12 Economics students take part in the Bank of England Target 2.0 Interest Rate competition.

We have links with the Speakers for Schools organisation, who provide visiting speakers covering a range of topics in a range of subjects.

The department offers Enterprise to year 12 students as part of the Sixth Form Wednesday afternoon enrichment programme. Students set up and run a social enterprise either selling products or running events. All “profits” generated are donated to a local charity. Last year’s enterprise, The Giving Gift Company, made and sold gifts for both the Christmas and Easter markets, raising over £400 for The Lily Foundation.   

Year 12 students also act as Business Advisors to local primary school students during the Card Shark days in the summer term.

GCSE and BTEC Course 

GCSE Business Studies 
GCSE Business Studies is a challenging and engaging subject that gives students the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the world in which they live. The students learn how to apply business concepts and theories to specific businesses in a real-world context.

GCSE Business (New 9-1)

Theme 1: Investigating small business (Paper code: 1BS0/01)

● Enterprise and entrepreneurship

● Spotting a business opportunity

● Putting a business idea into practice

● Making the business effective

● Understanding external influences on business

Theme 2: Building a business (Paper code: 1BS0/02)

● Growing the business

● Making marketing decisions

● Making operational decisions

● Making financial decisions

● Making human resource decisions

Assessment overview

Both papers will be in the form of a written examination of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Each paper will consist of a range of questions totalling 90 marks and will be worth 50% of the qualification.

Each paper is divided into three sections:

Section A: 35 marks

Section B: 30 marks

Section C: 25 marks.

The paper will consist of calculations, multiple-choice, short-answer and extended-writing questions.

Questions in Sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper

BTEC Business
The department offers an alternative level 2 qualification, which is assessed through a mix of coursework and examination. This course, known as BTEC Business, is equivalent to one GCSE at grades A* - C.

Students complete units including:

  • Enterprise in the Business World (coursework)
  • Finance for Business (examination)
  • Principles of Marketing (examination)
  • Principles of Customer Service (coursework)

The students investigate real businesses, producing assessments covering a range of styles including business reports, business presentations, guidebooks, leaflets and role playing exercises.   

Useful Websites for Key Stage 4

Students should also utilise the CORPORATE websites of local, national and international businesses, where they will often find information relating to the businesses aims and objective, business strategy, and finances.

Exam Boards Used

GCSE Business Studies - Edexcel

BTEC Business - Edexcel

A Level Course(s) Overview

Business Related Courses at Key Stage 5 
The Business Studies Department offers a range of courses to suit students with a range of skills and areas of interest. At Advanced level the department offers GCE A’ level Economics,  GCE A’ level Business and BTEC National in Business.

GCE in Economics 

Economics is about choice and the impact of our choices on each other. It relates to every aspect of our lives, from the decisions we make as individuals or families to the structures created by governments and firms.

The A Level is structured into four coherent themes to support teaching and learning:

• Theme 1 introduces students to markets and market failure.

• Theme 2 introduces students to the UK economy, focusing on performance and policies.

• Theme 3 explores business behaviour and the labour market.

• Theme 4 considers a global perspective.

Through their studies students will be encouraged to think like economists. This will involve identifying the problem; analysing it organising, absorbing, building, analysing and evaluating both qualitative and quantitative data; criticising the data by looking at its real-life context; and finally suggesting solutions for the problem, realising the limits as well as its productivity.

Assessment Format

The A Level is assessed by three externally-marked, written papers. Each paper comprises 100 marks and is two hours in duration. Questions range from short answer (including multiple-choice), data response and extended open response.

Students with Advanced GCE Economics have access to a wide range of possible careers and higher education opportunities. Students will learn and use a variety of transferable skills throughout the course, including analysing and evaluating business and economic information from different sources, developing written communication skills and learning how to solve problems. Such skills are in great demand and are recognised by employers, universities and colleges as being of great value. This subject combines well with a range of social science and humanities subjects to lead to higher education courses in areas such as law, business, accounting, geography or politics.

GCE Business

In A level Business students get introduced to key business areas: marketing, operations, finance and human resource management. There is a special focus on students becoming good decision makers and students learn the techniques that help them become analytical problem solvers. These skills are highly sought after and valued in a wide range of careers.

Year 12 Topics:

1. What is business?

2. Managers, leaders and decision making?

3. Decision making to improve marketing performance

4. Decision making to improve operational performance

5. Decision making to improve financial performance

6. Decision making to improve human resource performance

Year 13 Topics:

7. Analysing the strategic position of a business

8. Choosing the strategic direction

9. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies

10. Managing strategic change

Assessment format:

The A level has three two hour written exams and is taken at the end of year 13. Each exam is worth a third of the A level qualification. All three papers draw on material from the whole course, and feature a range of question styles including multiple choice questions, short answer questions, essay questions, data response questions and case studies.

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Business

The BTEC National is a practical, work-related course that is equivalent to one A level. Students learn by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations and activities. Employers and higher education establishments (universities and colleges) value BTEC National Awards.

To take this course students will normally need to have at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C (or four and a level 2 BTEC at merit or distinction grade).

The students complete four units of study, including:

1. Exploring Business

2. Developing a Marketing Campaign

3. Personal and Business Finance

4. Recruitment and Selection Process

Assessment Format

The BTEC is assessed through assignment (set and marked internally), through a controlled assessment task (set and marked by the examination board) and through a written examination (set and marked by the examination board).

With a BTEC National Extended Certificate, students can work in a range of different industries and occupations. Alternatively, students can go to university or college and take a degree in a business-related subject.

Exam Boards Used

GCSE – Pearson (Edexcel)

BTEC Level 2 – Pearson (Edexcel)

A Level Economics – Pearson (Edexcel)

A Level Business – AQA

BTEC Business – Pearson (Edexcel)

September 2017




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