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Business & Economics

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GBHS Students Study Business Studies and Economics to… 

  • develop future entrepreneurs, economists and leaders while ensuring all students gain life skills to become financially, commercially and economically aware.  

Transferable Skills

Critical Thinking 


Business Strategy 

Data Analysis 

Commercial Awareness 

Extracting Important Information 

Ability to Plan 

Expressing Ideas 

Research Skills 

Written Communication 



Problem Solving 

Meet Deadlines 

Persuading Others 

Forecasting and Predicting 


Key Stage 4

The KS4 curriculum is designed to give students life skills, entrepreneurial competencies and the ability to make effective decisions and problem solving both as consumers, prospective workforce and future employers. 

Business is a very popular option.  Students may choose the pathway which most appeals to them, with Edexcel GCSE Business and BTEC Enterprise available as options for study. 

Edexcel GCSE Business 

Studying GCSE Business will give students a real insight and comprehensive understanding the ways businesses operate in an ever-changing, internationally competitive and dynamic environment. Students will study a variety of topics and real business scenarios, examining the various factors impacting on business activity and their behaviour.  

Course Content: 

  • How to set up a small business 

  • Finance 

  • Marketing 

  • Human Resources 

  • Investment Appraisal 

  • The Economy 

  • Enterprise skills 

Course Assessment: 

This is a linear course with all examinations taken in Year 11. 

  • Theme 1: Investigating Small Business, worth 50% of final GCSE mark 

  • Theme 2: Building a Business, worth 50% of final GCSE mark 

Both 1 ½ hour papers consist of calculations, multiple-choice, short-answer and extended-writing questions. 

BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Enterprise  

The qualification is the same size and level as a GCSE and is aimed at everyone who wants to find out more about business. Enterprise is all about how to work as an entrepreneur and begin a new, successful business idea from nothing. Students examine a range of real-life enterprises as well as planning and implementing their own entrepreneurial ideas.  

Course Content: 

  • Component 1: Exploring enterprises, looking at the skills and characteristics needed to start a business. 

  • Component 2: Planning and running an enterprise, students pitch and plan their own business idea. 

  • Component 3: Promotion and finance for entrepreneurs, students explore promotion and advertising for their chosen business idea and use financial documents to help them succeed. 

Course Assessment 

Students may achieve a Level 1 or Level 2 Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. The course has two internally assessed components, and one that is externally assessed: 

  • Component 1 is coursework worth 30% of overall grade. 

  • Component 2 is coursework worth 30% of overall grade. 

  • Component 3 is an exam worth 40% of overall grade 

Progression Routes 

The knowledge and skills you will acquire in either GCSE or BTEC, support progression to a broad range of Level 3 study, whether academic or vocational, including those offered by the ITBS Faculty at Great Baddow Sixth Form. 

Key Stage 5

The KS5 curriculum is designed to enable students will understand the concepts of Business and Economics, be able to make analytical decisions and evaluate the reasoning behind those decisions so that they can demonstrate technical skills, increase their employability and widen their horizons. We therefore offer a broad curriculum within the department to make the subject offering comprehensive and accessible.  

In Sixth Form, Edexcel Business Studies and Edexcel Economics are offered at A Level and Level 3 Cambridge Technical Business; which is a double A Level equivalent. These subjects are among the most popular chosen subjects in the whole Sixth Form.  

Business A Level 

Business syllabuses are designed to encourage students to think and act like business people and from their very first lesson they will actively participate in a variety of situations designed to stimulate their imagination and to encourage them to make decisions based upon their knowledge and understanding of the subject. Students will learn about how businesses are developed and discover how businesses promote themselves and keep their customers happy. Students learn how businesses manage both their finances and the people who work for them.  

Students studying A Level Business Studies cover the following topics: 

  • Theme 1. Marketing and people: meeting customer needs; the market; marketing mix and strategy; managing people; entrepreneurs and leaders. 

  • Theme 2. Managing business activities: raising finance; financial planning; managing finance; resource management; external influences. 

  • Theme 3. Business decisions and strategy: business objectives and strategy; business growth; decision-making techniques; influences on business decisions; assessing competitiveness; managing change. 

  • Theme 4. Global business: globalisation; global markets and business expansion; global marketing; global industries and companies; multinational corporations. 

Course Assessment 

  • Paper 1 - Marketing, people and global businesses- 2 hour written exam - 35%. 

  • Paper 2 - Business activities, decisions and strategy - 2 hour written exam - 35%. 

  • Paper 3 - Investigating business in a competitive environment - 2 hour written exam - 30%. 


Edexcel A level Economics 

Economics is a really relevant, useful and interesting subject that helps students to explain the world that they live in and decisions that are made by economic agents by exploring current and historic economic thinking and analysis. Students of Economics at Great Baddow HIgh School develop an inquisitive mind and an eagerness to embrace complex ideas and differing views of the world. The curriculum aims to give students the confidence to defend their beliefs and the ability to be open-minded about the beliefs of others, approaching economic ideas with an objective but critical eye. 

Students studying A level Economics cover the following topics: 

  • Theme 1: Introduction to markets and market failure - nature of economics; how markets work; market failure; government intervention. 

  • Theme 2: The UK economy - measures of economic performance; aggregate demand and supply; national income; economic growth; macroeconomic objectives and policy. 

  • Theme 3: Business behaviour and the labour market - business growth and objectives; revenues, costs and profits; market structures; labour market; government intervention.   

  • Theme 4: A global perspective - international economics; poverty and inequality; emerging and developing economies; the financial sector; role of the state in the macroeconomy. 

Course Assessment 

  • Papers 1 - Markets and Business Behaviour - 2 hour written exam - 33%. 

  • Paper 2 - The National and Global Economy - 2 hour written exam - 35%. 

  • Paper 3 - Microeconomics and Macroeconomics- 2 hour written exam - 30%. 

 OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in Business 

OCR Technical’s are recognised by both employers and universities and are highly regarded. This course is designed with the workplace in mind and provides a high-quality alternative to 2 A Levels. This vocational course provides students with the knowledge and skills required for employment, develops the behaviours and attributes needed to progress and succeed in further education and in work. Students undertaking this course need to be self-motivated and able to work on extended research projects. Organisation and presentation skills are important as is an enthusiasm to learn about business.   

Students studying Cambridge Technical Diploma in Business cover the following topics: 

  • Unit 1: The Business Environment 

  • Unit 2: Working in Business 

  • Unit 3: Business Decisions 

  • Unit 4: Customers and Communication  

  • Unit 5: Marketing and Market Research 

  • Unit 6: Marketing Strategy  

  • Unit 7: Marketing Campaign  

  • Unit 15: Change Management  

  • Unit 16: Principles of Project Management 

  • Unit 22: Delivering a Business Project  

Course Assessment 

The assessment criteria is extremely stringent with an emphasis being placed on students working independently and adhering to strict deadlines. Although the majority of this course is made up of coursework, there is also an exam element.  

Internally Assessed 

Much of the qualification content will be internally assessed through coursework. Units take between 60 -120 hours to complete.  

  • Units 4, 5, 6, 7, 16 and 22 – worth 58% of overall grade 

Externally Assessed 

External assessment will be set and marked by OCR; there are two opportunities for students to sit these exams, in January and June, so these are taken during Year 12 and 13. 

  •  Units 1, 2, 3 and 15 – 2 or 2 ½ hour written exams worth 42% of overall grade 

Progression Routes 

The knowledge and skills you will acquire in any KS5 course, support progression to a broad range of further study, whether at university or vocational. Most students opt for university courses in Business Management, Marketing, Economics, Finance and Banking. Others go onto Degree Apprenticeships or employment including roles in administration, accountancy, banking and finance, and retail sales and customer services. 

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development


Students in Business studies are expected to research the needs of local business, they are encouraged to engage with the impact of competition and targeting on those businesses in order to identify solutions for small business in a difficult economic environment. 


Students explore the use and misuse of advertising techniques by companies in relation to their use of music, images, personal opinions and statistics. Students are then able to develop their own morals by viewing the impacts of advertising. In Economics students are exposed through real life case studies to the morality of specific economic models. They research the effects of taxation, inflation and unemployment and examine how those policies have external effects on the population as a whole 


Business students study various models for business success including the not for profit or charity sectors. They research motivational factors that enhance the social aspects of working life and gain an understanding of how entrepreneurship can make a difference in real people’s lives. 


The students are encouraged through participation in events held by the local CBI to involve themselves in the different promotional opportunities that are relevant to local businesses.  This can involve social networking and the explosion of access to global markets through the internet. 

Beyond the Classroom

Business and Economics at Great Baddow High School are all about reality and so learning resources are based on "real" organisations and applying theory within those situations. Being such vibrant subjects means that what we study can also be continually updated and made more relevant. We regularly take students on trips to different organisations as diverse as The Bank of England to Ford Motor Company.  Outside speakers from local businesses engage with students to highlight the real nature of the subject.   

The department has strong links with Anglia Ruskin University where students have had the opportunity to participate in lectures, simulations and competitions with other students from across Essex.  This included our Year 12 team winning the highly competitive ARU Investment League 2020 competition.  

The department has supported students to attend summer schools and taster days at top Russell Group Universities and participate in the prestigious Oxbridge Mentoring Programme. Students have had the opportunity to participate in work experience preparing them for future careers in the world of Business, Banking and Finance.