Business Studies is taught as a GCSE option from Year 10 and at ‘A ’Level in Years 12 and 13. It is a well-established and popular subject and there are typically three GCSE classes each year. Students can choose to take Business Studies at ‘A’ Level, even if they have not taken the subject at GCSE, and around forty students do so each year.
Staff and facilities
The Business Studies department is led by Mr Brooks who is supported by two further members of staff. one of whom is responsible for the Young Enterprise teams each year.
The department is housed in two new classrooms within the languages block, with access to a suite of computers that provide the department with excellent information technology facilities.
National Young Enterprise Scheme
For the past fifteen years Business Studies students in Year 12 have taken part in the National Young Enterprise Scheme. The scheme allows students to form their own company, decide upon the production of a specific good or service and market their output to customers. Each Young Enterprise company has advisers from within the local business community who assist and support. They take part in workshops covering business planning, sales and marketing and compete against teams within Oxfordshire at trade fairs.
IFS Student Investor Challenge
Students also participate in the IFS Student Investor Challenge http://www.studentinvestor.org alongside schools from the United Kingdom and International Schools abroad. Through this they gain experience of the stock market, trading on a daily basis to increases the value of their shares and win a place in the final and the prize of a trip to New York.
ICAEW Business, Accounting and Skills Education Competition
In recent years teams from Burford School have taken part in the ICAEW Business, Accounting and Skills Education competition in Oxford. Students are provided with information about a hypothetical business and teams work together, with professional assistance, to plan in detail how the business should proceed. They then present their findings to an audience who have the opportunity to ask questions and challenge ideas.
Key Stage 4: OCR GCSE Business Studies
In Year 10 students become familiar with the meaning of Business, the objectives of different businesses and various options to achieve growth. The different forms of business that exist within the United Kingdom are considered as well as various methods for the recruitment and motivation of staff. Controlled assessment is completed and this key piece of work involves the topics of marketing and enterprise.
In Year 11 students study production, finance and the external business environment. This is a broad field of study that familiarizes students with different production methods, a range of accounting measures, the importance of international trade and the ethical nature of modern production.
Key Stage 5: AQA ‘A’ Level Business Studies
No prior knowledge of Business Studies is assumed for this ‘A’ Level course so students begin by becoming familiar with what businesses are, as well as their organisational structures, leadership and decision making potential. Particular focus is applied to considering business performance in the areas of marketing, operational management, finance and human resources.
In Year 13 students deepen their understanding by analysing the strategic performance of businesses and evaluating which specific strategic path a business should follow. A range of options for pursuing a chosen path are considered as well as alternative ways to assess performance and manage change.