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Devonport High School for Girls

Name of Head of Department

Miss D McMahon, BBs, PGCE

Introduction to the department

Introduction to the department

Business  is an interesting and challenging subject that is constantly changing due to the diverse nature of the business environment. The operation of business impinges on virtually everything that we do, from the products and services that we buy, to the places where we work. Everyone is affected by the activities of businesses and their impact on society, the environment and the economy.

In any study of the way that business operates, students must make themselves aware of what is going on around them by keeping up to date with business news, reading the quality press, watching TV news and current affairs programmes etc. Recent events in the world economy have certainly brought the subject to life and Business Students are in a position to understand the significance of events and why they have taken place. Students are expected to show initiative, develop the skills of analysis and evaluation whilst applying this to real business scenarios.

Courses promote the development of a range of important and transferable skills:

  1. Data handling – interpretation and manipulation of data in various forms, including numerical and graphical.
  2. Presenting arguments and drawing reasoned conclusions.
  3. Problem solving and decision-making, both individually and as part of a team.
  4. Planning and research.
  5. Challenging assumptions and developing a critical perspective.

Key stage 4 (Year 9, 10  and 11) 

Year 9 and 10

Paper 1 - Theme 1: Investigating small business

Written exam: 90 minutes, 90 marks, 50% of the total GCSE

Multiple choice, calculation, short-answer and, extended-writing questions.

There are three sections in the paper. Each section is ramped, starting with multiple choice questions, moving to short answer questions and ending with extended writing. Sections B and C are based on real life, relevant business contexts and examples.

Overview of Content

Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship

Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity

Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice

Topic 1.4 Making the business effective

Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business

Paper 2 - Theme 2: Building a business

Written exam: 90 minutes, 90 marks, 50% of the total GCSE

Multiple choice, calculation, short-answer and, extended-writing questions.

There are three sections in the paper. Each section is ramped, starting with multiple choice questions, moving to short answer questions and ending with extended writing. Sections B and C are based on real life, relevant business contexts and examples.

Overview of Content

Topic 2.1 Growing the business

Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions

Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions

Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions

 Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the Edexcel website Business GCSE (Year 9 and 10)

Year 11

Edexcel Business Communications 5BS04

GCSE in Business Communications: Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 4

Unit 1 Introduction to Small Business *Unit code: 5BS01

  • Compulsory unit
  • Externally assessed – 25% of total GCSE

Overview of content

This unit contains five topics:

  • spotting a business opportunity
  • showing enterprise
  • putting a business idea into practice
  • making the start-up effective
  • understanding the economic context.

Unit 2 Investigating Small Business *Unit code: 5BS02

Compulsory unit

Internally assessed - 25% of the total GCSE

Unit 4 Business Communications *Unit code: 5BS04

  • Externally assessed - 50% of the total GCSE

Overview of content

This unit contains four topics:

  • Communication
  • Communication with stakeholders of a business
  • Business communication tools
  • Communicating via the web.

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the Edexcel website Business Communications GCSE (Year 11)

Extra-curricular activities 

  • Coca Cola Real Business Challenge
  • Young Enterprise Competition
  • You’re Hired
  • IFS Student Investor
  • Essay Competition in conjunction with Plymouth University
  • Numerous enterprise Days