Business 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 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 and Tenner 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
Students in Year 10 have taken part in the Young Enterprise Tenner Challenge over the past two years. They have enjoyed considerable success and the project has given them a valuable insight into the world of business.
For the past fifteen years Business 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: EDEXCEL GCSE Business
In Year 10 students become familiar with the meaning of business, the objectives of different businesses and the various options to achieve growth. Students become familiar with the different types of businesses that exist within the UK as well as the external influences that affect how well they are able to perform.
In Year 11 students study the issues that influence how effectively a small business can grow into a large business. These include the marketing decisions that must be made, as well as operational decisions and human resource decisions.
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.