We follow the WJEC GCSE Business Studies specification.
The course offered at this level is GCSE Business Studies (4080) – WJEC examination board.
The course is designed to deepen candidates’ understanding of the way in which businesses operate in a dynamic, changing and competitive environment. This understanding is rooted in current business theory and practice and reflects the integrated nature of organisations and their decision-making processes. Information Technology is seen as having a key role in the modern business environment. The integration of IT in to the study of Business Studies familiarises the student with a comprehensive range of business software, which is used in a variety of situations as an analytical and presentation tool.
The course comprises of six areas of study:
The Business Framework
This section looks at why and how businesses start – the functions of the entrepreneur. Pupils will examine the objectives of businesses, the changing business environment and the criteria for judging success. The focus in on the importance of clear business objectives and on how the business environment provides opportunities for, and imposes constraints upon, the pursuit of those objectives.
Businesses and their Customers
This section looks the importance and power of customers. In order to be successful businesses must identify customer needs and market their products and services effectively in a dynamic and competitive environment.
Producing Goods and Services
This section focuses on how businesses operate and provide quality products at optimum locations.
Human Resource Planning
This section focuses on how businesses recruit, manage and motivate their staff.
The External Environment
This section looks at the dynamic and often uncertain environment that businesses operate in. Success is considered in relation to a variety of different stakeholders.
Business Finance and Control
This section focuses on the need for businesses to raise finance, operate and expand. In addition financial statements are considered.
Method of Assessment
Assessment for GCSE Business Studies is untiered, i.e. all components cater for the full range of ability and allow access to grades A*-G.
Written Examination Paper (75% of the final mark)
This paper will be of two hours’ duration and will consist of short-answer questions and longer, stimulus response questions. Some questions will require extended writing and will assess the quality of written communication. The examination paper will be presented in the form of a question-and-answer booklet.
Controlled Assessment (25% of the final mark)
The controlled assessment is a compulsory component of GCSE Business Studies.
It complements the external examination by offering a distinct means of assessment.
It is important for a number of reasons.
It enables candidates to:
- carry out primary and secondary research;
- analyse and evaluate evidence in business in the context of an investigation;
- investigate and understand, if appropriate, business issues in a local context;
- engage with business decision-making and problem-solving.
The combination of coursework and terminal examination is intended to provide students of all abilities opportunities to display positive achievement in a variety of ways; orally, practically, graphically and in writing. It must be emphasised that there is a constant need for a high standard of work – inside and outside school, and often lunch hours – plus a high attendance level, along with a reasonable standard of English, numeracy and IT competence. In return,
candidates have found this course to be both satisfying and enjoyable in its approach to Business Studies.