Economics and Business

Introduction:

In both Economics and Business (formerly known as Business Studies) we aim to engage interest and independent learning skills amongst our students. The subjects are clearly enjoyed by the pupils, who sometimes (by their own admission) admit to having chosen them with limited understanding of what they entail, and many pursue them beyond A Level at university. We like to encourage discussion and debate, and are particularly keen that pupils keep up to date with the very latest news stories. These might include the controversial HS2 rail network, Heathrow runway expansion or the launch of the new iPhone 6S by Apple.

Facilities/resources:

Two specialist rooms are used which are suited to teaching small groups of up to a dozen students. One teaching room has a fully networked AV projector system with surround sound and wifi. The other teaching room has recently had its AV facilities upgraded. Given the nature of the two subjects, resources are very up to date (often on the news websites that day!) and naturally topical.

What we do:

We follow the A Level AQA courses for both Business and Economics.

Economics involves an appreciation of the entire economic environment, with a focus on consumers, firms, workers and government. The ‘Economic Problem’ is essentially one of scarcity, and this can, for example, help us explain the need for rising rail fares, eye watering Premiership footballing salaries, and fluctuating oil prices. The new A Level course will include a great deal on the fascinating area of ‘Behavioural Economics’ including the currently fashionable ‘nudge theory’.

Business naturally focuses more on how business organisations are run. The key areas include Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, the External Environment and Operations. The early parts of the course now look more closely at smaller companies and start up, and towards the end of the course we consider ‘the bigger picture’ in terms of business objectives and corporate strategy.

Both subjects are very interesting, incredibly topical and allow students to engage in real debate. We like to take students to relevant conferences and on local visits (see above) and make increasing use of visiting speakers who can share their expertise. In recent years we have welcomed guests from Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Expedia and JLR. Four years ago a former pupil, Laura Moore who appeared in ‘The Apprentice’, spoke to a packed Drama Studio, demonstrating the power of celebrity status.

Over the last eleven years, Year 12s across the school have taken part in the Young Enterprise Scheme, forming companies to learn the practical aspects (and pitfalls) of running a business. The modest profit made is perhaps secondary to the learning gained, and the need for teamwork. The 2014/15 company ‘ Retro’ was our most successful to date, ‘up-cycling’ old vinyl records into clocks and bowls. The company claimed four out of the five awards at the Coventry Area final.

The school also enters a team for the prestigious Bank of England target 2.0 competition, and an IFS Share dealing competition.

Year 8 Enterprise Week over the last seven years has had considerable departmental involvement in terms of visiting speakers and judges.

Staff:

Head of Department:  Mr N Meynell
Teaching staff:  Mr N Tingle (Economics), Ms S Ridley, (Business)

 

Trips

Since February 2005 we have conducted annual European visits, often with the ICT Department, to Holland, Krakow (Poland), Prague, Munich (twice) and Barcelona (twice). Additionally we have visited Berlin on four occasions in collaboration with the History Department, and are currently planning a visit there for February 2016. Closer to home we have recently visited FANUC Robotics and the Genting Arena.

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