Back to Subjects

We have designed our curriculum using the KS3 National Curriculum and it is delivered under the framework of the IB Middle Years programme. We have also referenced the KS2 Programmes of Study in our initial planning.

Studying Business provides students with a robust foundation in essential skills and knowledge that are highly valued in today’s dynamic job market. It fosters a comprehensive understanding of key concepts such as marketing, finance, operations, human resources and entrepreneurship, which are applicable across various industries. Every lesson students will apply their knowledge and understanding by engaging in real-world case studies, taking into consideration the potential external factors that could have an impact and therefore how this impacts the business’s decision and objectives. Students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. Additionally, the subject nurtures an entrepreneurial mindset, encouraging innovation and creativity through discussions and group tasks set within the lessons. Through studying Business, students will not only be prepared for higher education in business-related fields but also equip them with the versatility to pursue diverse career paths, making them well-rounded and competitive candidates in the global economy.

KS4 business

Exploration of the dynamic nature of Business and why and how new ideas come about. Exploration of risk & reward, the role of Business & Enterprise and the role of business for employment. Developing an understanding of adding value. Exploration of the role of entrepreneurship : Labour market information- reasons or options for starting business and discussing business ideas for potential future business startups.

Development of understanding what the customer needs. Exploration of market research, market segmentation and market mapping. Understanding the competitive environment.

Exploration of business aims & objectives. Introduction to revenues, costs & profits, break-even and margin of safety. Understanding the importance of cash, cash flow forecasts

And sources of small Business finance.

Exploration of ownership & liability: business start up limited and unlimited liability, franchisor and franchisee. Understanding the importance of business location: what influences location, and the type of business due to location. Introduction to the Marketing Mix: 4 Ps. Understanding Business Plans: why are they important , how do they reduce risk and attract better finance.

Introduction to Stakeholders: their impact & needs. Exploration of Technology & Business: payment systems & marketing. Developing an understanding of Legislation: impact on business both positive & negative. Introduction to the economy: GDP, unemployment, inflation and sales. External Influences: effect of exchange rates (SPICED), legislation & technology.

Introduction to Business Growth – internal/external, PLC’s and understanding the changes in business aims & objectives. Exploration of Business & globalisation.

Exploration of the product and the product life cycle. Understanding price-strategies and promotion strategies and the use of technology. Introduction to place-methods of distribution. 

Revisiting and understanding marketing mix & business decisions and how they all influence each other.

Introduction to business operations and working with suppliers. Understanding Procurement: working with suppliers and managing stock and quality. Exploration of the sales process.

Understanding business calculations and business performance.

Introduction to organisational structures and effective recruitment. Exploration of 

effective training and  development and motivation.

KS5 business

Mass markets and niche markets: characteristics: market size and market share, brands, Dynamic markets: online retailing. How do markets change, innovation and market growth,adapting to change? How competition affects the market, the difference between risk and uncertainty? 

Market research a) Product and market orientation b) Primary and secondary market research data (quantitative and qualitative) used to identify seven anticipate customer needs & wants, quantify likely demand, gain insight into consumer behaviour, c) Limitations of market research, sample size and bias, d) Use of ICT to support market research: websites,  social networking, databases, e) Market segmentation.

Market positioning:  a) Market mapping, b) Competitive advantage of a product or service, c) The purpose of product differentiation, d) Adding value to products/services.

Demand – Factors leading to a change in demand: changes in the prices of substitutes &

complementary goods, changes in consumer incomes, fashions, tastes & preferences, advertising & branding,demographics,external shocks,seasonality.

Product/service design :  Design mix: function, aesthetics, cost. Changes in the elements of the design mix to reflect social trends: concern over resource depletion: designing for waste, minimisation, re-use and recycling ethical sourcing.

Branding and promotion:  Types of promotion, types of branding,the benefits of strong branding: added value, ability to charge premium prices, reduced price elasticity of demand.

Ways to build a brand: unique selling points (USPs)/ differentiation, advertising, sponsorship, the use of social media. Changes in branding and promotion to reflect social trends: viral marketing,social media,emotional branding. 

Pricing strategies:  Types of pricing strategy: cost plus (calculating mark-up on unit cost), price skimming, penetration, predatory, competitive, psychological.

Factors that determine the most appropriate pricing strategy for a particular situation: number of USPs/ amount of differentiation, price elasticity of demand, level of competition in the business environment, strength of brand, stage in the product life cycle.

Approaches to staffing :  Staff as an asset; staff as a cost. Flexible workforce: multi-skilling, part-time and temporary, flexible hours & home working, outsourcing.  Distinction between dismissal & redundancy,  employer/employee relationships. Individual approach collective bargaining.

Recruitment, selection and training : Recruitment and selection process: Internal versus external recruitment, costs of recruitment, selection & training. Types of training: induction, on-the-job, off-the-job.

Organisational design: Structure: hierarchy chain of command, span of control, centralised & decentralised. Types of structure: tall, flat, matrix, impact of different organisational structures on business efficiency and motivation. 

Motivation in theory and practice:  The importance of employee motivation to a business. 

Motivation theories: Taylor (scientific management), Mayo (human relations theory),

Maslow (hierarchy of needs) and Herzberg (two factor theory).

Financial incentives to improve employee performance: piecework, commission, bonus,profit share, performance-related pay.

Non-financial techniques to improve employee performance: delegation,consultation, empowerment, team working, flexible working, job enrichment, job rotation ,job enlargement.

Leadership: the distinction between management and leadership. Types of leadership style:autocratic, paternalistic, democratic, laissez-faire.

Internal finance : Owner’s capital: personal savings, retained profit, sale of assets. 

External finance: Sources of finance:  family and friends, banks, peer-to-peer funding, business angels, crowdfunding, other businesses.

Methods of finance: loans, share capita, venture capital, overdrafts, leasing, trade credit, grants.

Liability – Implications of limited and unlimited liability, finance appropriate for limited and unlimited liability businesses.

Planning: Relevance of a business plan in obtaining finance, interpretation of a simple cash-flow forecast and calculations based on changes in the cash-flow variables; use and limitations of a cash-flow forecast.

Sales forecasting: Purpose of sales forecasts, factors affecting sales forecasts: consumer trends, economic variables, actions of competitors, difficulties of sales forecasting. 

Sales, revenue and costs: Calculation of sales volume and sales revenue, calculation of fixed and variable costs.

Break-even : Contribution: selling price – variable cost per unit. Break-even point: total fixed costs + total variable costs = total revenue . Using contribution to calculate the break-even point. Margin of safety . Interpretation of break-even charts. Limitations of break-even analysis.

Profit: Calculation of: gross profit, operating profit, profit for the year (net profit).

Statement of comprehensive income (profit and loss account): measuring profitability: calculation of gross profit margin, operating profit margin, and profit for the year (net profit) margin :ways to improve profitability. Distinction between profit and cash.

Liquidity : Statement of financial position (balance sheet): measuring liquidity: Calculating current ratio and acid test ratio. Ways to improve liquidity. Working capital and its management: the importance of cash.

Business failure: Internal and external causes of business failure: financial factors, non-financial factors.

Production, productivity and efficiency: Methods of production: job, batch, flow, cell.

Productivity: output per unit of input per time period: factors influencing productivity – link between productivity and competitiveness. Efficiency: production at minimum average cost: – factors influencing efficiency – distinction between labour and capital intensive production. 

Capacity utilisation: Capacity utilisation: current output (divided by) maximum possible output (x 100).  Implications of under- and over-utilisation of capacity. Ways of improving capacity utilisation. Stock control :Interpretation of stock control diagram, buffer stocks. Implications of poor stock control. Just in time (JIT) management of stock . Waste minimisation. Competitive advantage from lean production.

Quality management: Quality: control, assurance,circles, Total Quality Management (TQM)  continuous improvement (Kaizen). Competitive advantage from quality management

Economic influences: The effect on businesses of changes in: inflation (the rate of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index), exchange rates (appreciation, depreciation) interest rates, taxation and government spending,the business cycle. The effect of economic uncertainty on the business environment . Legislation :The effects on businesses of: consumer protection,employee protection, environmental protection, competition policy, health and safety. The competitive environment: Competition and market size. AS level planning and preparation.

Corporate objectives:  Development of corporate objectives from mission statement/corporate aims. Critical appraisal of mission statements/corporate aims. 

Theories of corporate strategy:  Development of corporate strategy: Ansoff’s Matrix, Porter’s Strategic Matrix:  Aim of portfolio analysis. Achieving competitive advantage through distinctive capabilities. Effect of strategic and tactical decisions on human, physical, and financial resources.

SWOT analysis  SWOT analysis: internal considerations: strengths and weaknesses, external considerations: opportunities and threats. 

Impact of external influences: PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental).  The changing competitive environment  Porter’s Five Forces. 

Business growth a) Objectives of growth: to achieve economies of scale (internal and external): increased market power over customers and suppliers: increased market share and brand recognition: increased profitability.  Problems arising from growth: diseconomies of scale :internal communication :overtrading.

Mergers and takeovers –  Reasons for mergers and takeovers, distinction between mergers & takeovers, horizontal and vertical integration, financial risks and rewards, problems of rapid growth. 

Organic growth:  Distinction between inorganic and organic growth, methods of growing organically, advantages and disadvantages of organic growth. 

Reasons for staying small –  Small business survival in competitive markets: product,differentiation and USPs,flexibility in responding to customer needs,customer service,e-commerce. 

Quantitative sales forecasting: Calculation of time-series analysis & moving averages (three period/four quarter) – Interpretation of scatter graphs and line of best fit – extrapolation of past data to future. Limitations of quantitative sales forecasting techniques. 

Investment appraisal – Simple payback – Average (Accounting) Rate of Return. Discounted Cash Flow (Net Present Value only). Calculations and interpretations of figures generated by these techniques. Limitations of these techniques.

Decision trees: Construct and interpret simple decision tree diagrams – Calculations and interpretations of figures generated by these techniques, limitations of using decision trees. 

Critical Path Analysis – Nature and purpose of Critical Path Analysis – Complete and interpret simple networks to identify the critical path – Calculate: earliest start time, latest finish time 

total float, limitations of using Critical Path Analysis.

Corporate influences – Corporate timescales: short-termism versus long-termism . Evidence-based versus subjective decision making. 

Corporate culture: Strong and weak cultures. Classification of company cultures: power, role, task, person. How corporate culture is formed. Difficulties in changing an established culture. 

Shareholders versus stakeholders – Internal and external stakeholders, stakeholder objectives, stakeholder and shareholder influences stakeholder: that the business considers all of its stakeholders in its business decisions/objectives shareholder: that the business should focus purely on shareholder returns (increasing share price and dividends) in its business decisions/objectives. The potential for conflict between profit-based (shareholder) and wider objectives (stakeholder).

Business ethics – Ethics of strategic decisions: trade-offs between profit and ethics – Pay and rewards – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Interpretation of financial statements . Statement of comprehensive income (profit and loss account): key information, stakeholder interest. Statement of financial position (balance sheet), key information, stakeholder interest. 

Ratio analysis: a) Calculate: Gearing ratio. Return on capital employed (ROCE). b) Interpret ratios to make business decisions. c) The limitations of ratio analysis. 

Human resources: a) Calculate and interpret the following to help make business decisions: 

labour productivity, labour turnover and retention, absenteeism. b) Human resource strategies to increase productivity and retention and to reduce turnover and absenteeism: 

financial rewards, employee share ownership, consultation strategies and empowerment strategies.

Managing change: Causes and effects of change a) Causes of change: changes in organisational size, poor business performance, new ownership, transformational leadership 

the market and other external factors (PESTLE). b) Possible effects on: competitiveness, productivity, financial performance, stakeholders. 

Key factors in change: a) Organisational culture, b) Size of organisation, c) Time/speed of change, d) Managing resistance to change. 

Scenario planning: a) Identifying key risks through risk assessment, natural disasters, IT systems failure, loss of key staff, b) Planning for risk mitigation, business continuity, succession planning.

Growing Economies: China vs India. Business Potential in Africa. International trade and business growth. Factors contributing to increased globalisation. Protectionism.Trading Blocs. Assessment of a country as a market. Assessment of a country as a production location.

Reasons for global mergers or joint ventures. Global Competitiveness. Global Marketing. Global Niche markets. Cultural and social factors in global marketing.

Conditions that prompt trade. Assessment of a country as a market. Assessment of a country as a production location.

The impact of multinational corporations. Ethics in global business. Controlling multinational corporations.