The Business Studies department is a successful, innovative and popular department, with four groups in each year of the Sixth Form.
The Business Studies course develops pupils’ understanding of business activity in the public and private sectors, and the importance of innovation and change. Pupils learn how firms are established, financed and run, and how their activities are regulated. Factors influencing business risk-taking and decision-making are considered, as are the essential values of cooperation and interdependence. Through their studies, pupils not only learn about business concepts and techniques but also enhance related skills such as numeracy and evaluation. Many pupils use the course as a stepping stone to Business higher education. We currently have pupils reading a selection of Business Studies, Finance, Marketing, International Business and Business Management at universities such as Newcastle, Southampton, Manchester, LSE, The European Business School, Warwick and Exeter.
Our main aim is to create a rewarding and stimulating learning experience for pupils, providing a broad range of transferable skills and useful knowledge in preparation for further study and working life.
The department follows the Cambridge International syllabus for Business Studies. This specification has been designed to provide candidates with a critical understanding of the following:
- the internal functions of contemporary business organisations of all types
- the dynamic external environment within which businesses operate and the effects this can have upon decision-making within a business
- major topical issues that can generate change for business organisations and the ways in which businesses respond to these issues
- the range of stakeholder perspectives that can be taken on business activities.
For the IB Diploma the business management course is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of business management theories, as well as their ability to apply a range of tools and techniques.
Pupils learn to analyse, discuss and evaluate business activities at local, national and international levels. The course covers a range of organisations from all sectors, as well as the socio-cultural and economic contexts in which those organisations operate.
The course covers the key characteristics of business organisation and environment and the business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing and operations management. Links between the topics are central to the course. Through the exploration of six underpinning concepts (change, culture, ethics, globalisation, innovation and strategy), the course allows students to develop a holistic understanding of today’s complex and dynamic business environment. The conceptual learning is firmly anchored in business management theories, tools and techniques and placed in the context of real world examples and case studies.
The course encourages the appreciation of ethical concerns at both a local and global level. It aims to develop relevant and transferable skills, including the ability to: think critically; make ethically sound and well-informed decisions; appreciate the pace, nature and significance of change; think strategically; and undertake long term planning, analysis and evaluation. The course also develops subject-specific skills, such as financial analysis.
The aims of the business management course at Higher Level and Standard Level are to:
- encourage a holistic view of the world of business;
- empower pupils to think critically and strategically about individual and organisational behaviour;
- promote the importance of exploring business issues from different cultural perspectives;
- enable the student to appreciate the nature and significance of change in a local, regional and global context;
- promote awareness of the importance of environmental, social and ethical factors in the actions of individuals and organisations;
- develop an understanding of the importance of innovation in a business environment.
Trips have included visiting the Brown and co Farming day, Kettle foods factory and numerous visits to companies for the IB Business Management IA. We have also been running Gresham’s Enterprise for the past 4 years, where pupils get the chance to invent products, source them and sell them in order to generate profit for the school charity.
Mr A Coventry
Ms K Higashi