Business Studies allows students to understand more about the business world which includes businesses ranging from small enterprises to large multinationals and businesses operating in local, national and global contexts.
Key Stage 4
We teach Pearson Edexcel Business linear spec where the full GCSE will be attained through students sitting two exams in the summer at the end of year 11. Paper 1 is Investigating a small business markets and Paper 2 is Building a business.
Studying GCSE Business Studies, students apply knowledge and understanding to different business contexts. The course also helps students apply knowledge and understanding in business decision making, including the interdependent nature of business activity, influences on business, business operations finance, marketing and human resources, and how these interdependencies underpin decision making. Students develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behavior, and themselves apply business concepts to familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
Learning outside the classroom
You should prepare yourself by watching the news and following current business news and historic business actions that has led to failure and success. Watching or following pages such as Business Insider or BBC Business will be helpful towards knowledge and understanding the reality of the business environment.
American economist Thomas Sowell provides defines economics as: “Economics is the study of cause-and-effect relationships in the economy.” It is the study of the world around us from a social, financial and cultural perspective, gaining an understanding of economic theories and interrelationships between macro and micro economic issues. Students will learn about microecononics which is the study of individuals and firms and learn how they make decisions about what to make, what to buy, and at what price. They will learn about macroeconomics where you would be looking at the bigger picture. What happens behind the news headlines in the economy? What does recession, austerity and inflation mean and why are they important? Should governments aim to make their countries richer, or aim to make their people happier.
We teach AQA exam board for Economics and is taught linearly. You would sit two summer exams at the end of year 12. Paper 1 is focused on microeconomics and Paper 2 is focused on macroeconomics. To attain the full A level, you would sit three exams in the summer at the end of year 13. Paper 1 is Markets and market failure. Paper 2 is The national and global economy. Paper 3 contains both microeconomics and macroeconomics. There is a mixture of shorter questions, data response and essay questions. There is no coursework in economics. The A level grade would be attained purely on the 3 papers you will sit in year 13.
Learning outside the classroom
You should prepare yourself by watching the news, current affairs programs and following pages/magazines The Economist. Practice coming up with and explaining your own opinion. This is a fundamental skill in Economics. Recommended reading material:
- The Undercover Economist, Tim Hartford
- Superfreakonomics, Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner
- Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
Geography is one of the most dynamic and arguably one of the most relevant subjects to students today. Young people can make a valuable contribution to wider society by learning and challenging the world in which they live. Geography teaches pupils about the factors which shape the physical environment and the interaction which humans have on the world. It aims to make pupils responsible citizens who are environmentally and culturally aware.
Key stage 3 Geography
This provides all students with the foundations of geographical learning. Traditional topics such as Map Skills and Plate Tectonics are mixed with more contemporary themes such as Sustainable Cities and Dangerous Places. Attainment levels are high with all pupils achieving Level 6 or above by the end of Key Stage 3 and around 80% gaining Level 7 or better.
‘I’ve always been interested in different word regions and now I know how the world, economically and physically works.’ Year 9 student
‘It’s enjoyable and widens general knowledge. It lets you discover there is more to a beach than just sand!’ Year 11 student
Geography is a popular choice and now forms part of the governments new Baccalaureate. Last year 100% achieved A*-C with 69% A/A*. The GCSE examination is currently linear. This means that pupils complete all their examinations in the summer of year 11. The OCR course at GCSE includes a four main themes; population and settlement, rivers and coasts, natural hazards and economic development. Controlled assessment takes place during the summer term of year 10 following a fieldwork day in March. Pupil’s creative learning is stimulated through enquiry, interactive debates, role play, presentations, group work, modelling, video and the use of thinking skills. Pupil’s are encouraged to ask questions yet develop resilience in their quest to become an independent learner.
At A level the WJEC course offers a broad and innovative experience for all students. AS comprises two modules. One develops understanding of physical themes such as hydrology, tectonics and climate change and the other investigates human issues of population, migration and settlement. Both modules deepen pupil’s enquiry skills through human and physical practical investigations. A physical geography fieldwork day takes place in the Autumn Term with a further day for human geography during the spring term. Exams are taken in the Summer Term of year 12.
At A2 students embark on contemporary themes such as Emerging Asia, Coastal Management and Sustainability and well as a further Personal Investigation. Both modules are taken in the summer of year 13.
‘I like Geography because of the lively and interesting discussions. Geography is all around us, wherever we go, and for that reason I chose the subject, it helps to gain a better understanding of my surroundings.’ Year 12 student
‘I chose Geography because of the mix of physical and human geography and the interesting fieldtrips.’ Year 12 student
Learning outside the classroom
Learning outside the classroom is an essential component of geography education. It is invaluable for increasing awareness about the real world, developing skills and improving achievement in geography.
Year 9 pupils enjoy an enriching day in Stratford investigating the Sustainability of East Village. This trip provides an excellent foundation to develop their deeper understanding of urban geography at GCSE. In Year 7 pupils use smartphone technology to collect data in Barkingside Park. This data is used to investigate tranquillity in the local area.
As well as trips to support learning in Key Stage 3, Controlled Assessment at GCSE and examinations at A level the department endeavours to offer learning experiences for pupils to inspiring geographical locations outside the UK such as Iceland and China.
History is an exciting subject which enables students to understand human societies and equips them with the skills to be active and engaged citizens. Through the study of both British and non-British units, students develop their knowledge of change and continuity throughout history and an understanding of why the present is as it is. In addition, History teaches the vital skills of evidence analysis and communication, allowing them to both express themselves effectively and reflect critically on the information they encounter, both in the classroom and beyond.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 Students are given a solid foundation in historical skills including source analysis, chronology, and written communication, which will be important for their future study. Across Key Stage 3 a range of units from medieval England to transatlantic slavery, India and the world wars of the 20th Century are taught.
History is a popular choice at GCSE and attainment is consistently high.
The Edexcel History GCSE consists of four components: Germany 1918 -1939, Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941 – 91, Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 1588 and Medicine through Time c1250 – present. Assessment is by three exams in Year 11. Learning is facilitated through a range of approaches including enquiry, competitive debate, presentation, role play, group work and extended writing. Students are encouraged to develop an enquiring mind and to build confidence and resilience as learners.
At A-level students encounter a broad programme of study including Britain 1930 – 1997, Russia 1645 – 1741 and the history of warfare 1792 – 1945. In year 13 students also complete a coursework unit which provides the opportunity for them to frame their own research question and carry out independent research using a range of primary and secondary sources. The exam board is OCR. Exams are taken in the summer term of Year 13.
Philosophy and Ethics
Philosophy and Ethics is not just an exploration of world religions. Faith and beliefs, as well as the impact they have on individuals, communities and cultures, are explored and discussed. However, throughout their academic career it is also provides opportunities to discuss and explore different responses, both religious and non-religious, to more philosophical and ethical issues such as the meaning and purpose of life. Through their studies we aim is to teach promote tolerance and understanding, preparing and giving students the skills needed to flourish and participate in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society.
Key Stage 3
The aim in Key Stage 3 is to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills to then succeed at GCSE. Students study a mixture of discreet religions and thematic units such as Rites of Passage and Evil and Suffering.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Religious Studies is a compulsory subject for students to sit at GCSE. Currently we have 2 different courses running as we transition from offering a short course with Edexcel to a full course with Eduqas. Both courses are linear and assessed by 100% exam.
Students begin their GCSE journey in Year 9. As of this year we are following the Eduqas GCSE Religious Education Route A course. In Year 9 students start with a study of Christian beliefs and teachings followed by a unit on Christian practices. Over the course of the GCSE they will also study Buddhism, looking at the beliefs, teachings and practices. Students will also study Buddhist, Christian and non-religious views on a number of different moral and ethical issues such as when does life begin.
Our current Year 10 students, who are the last year on the Edexcel short course route B specification, study the beliefs and teachings of their second religion of either Islam, Sikhism or Hinduism. They also explore the topic of crime and punishment and the views of their chosen religion alongside non-religious views on areas such as capital punishment and how criminals should be treated.
There has never been a better time to study Politics. The study provides an insight into political beliefs central to an understanding of the modern world. It also develops analytical and evaluative skills in relation to interesting topics prevalent in the turbulent political climate of today.
Key Stage 5
Plato, the 5th century philosopher, said that Politics concerned the conflicting interests of different parts of society that could be harmonised. The best, rational and righteous, political order, which he proposed, would lead to a harmonious unity of society and allow each of its parts to flourish, but not at the expense of others. Students will learn about democracy, civil liberties, the role of judges and Parliament in law-making as well as the UK constitution, the role of pressure groups, voting behaviour and the media. They will look at how our adversarial system of politics allows the country a greater choice during elections and that political parties pledge to stand for what they believe in producing manifestos promising to improve the lives of the UK electorate.
We teach Edexcel Politics. It is taught in a linear fashion with two summer exams at the end of year 12. Paper 1 is focused on UK Politics and Paper 2 is focused on the UK government. To attain the full A level, you would sit three exams in the summer at the end of year 13. Paper 1 is UK Politics and the core ideologies of Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism. Paper 2 is The UK Politics and the non-core ideology: Anarchism. Paper 3 is comparative politics in which you would study global politics. There is a mixture of short essay questions, source questions and longer essay questions. There is no coursework option in Politics. The A level grade would be attained purely on the 3 papers you will sit in year 13.
Learning outside the classroom
Year 12 students can visit the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court as part of their studies. We also have opportunities to discuss pertinent local and national issues with local MP Wes Streeting.
Watching the news, current affairs programs e.g. Newsnight and BBC Question Time as well as reading broadsheet newspapers will help in providing an in-depth analysis of the issues studied.
Recommended reading material:
- Marr, Andrew, Ruling Britannia
- Hutton, Will, The State We’re In
- Squashed Philosophers (http://sqapo.com/)