The Business and Economics department at Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College is dedicated to developing a long-lasting and purposeful partnership between business teachers, students, and the local business community. We strive to provide the opportunities, support, and an applied learning experience that encourages students to become lifelong learners - seeing every way of life as a business and learning opportunity. Through a caring and nurturing environment, and with determined and forward-thinking teachers, we set challenging individual targets for each student; to give them the best opportunity to unlock their full potential and go on to apply their business knowledge and skills to further education, the workplace, and be well equipped leaders of the future.
Gareth Bashford GBashford@Sandbachhigh.co.uk
Students have the opportunity to study a range of Business related courses across Key Stage 4 and 5.
Level 2 Cambridge National in Enterprise and Marketing
Not only does this course enable students to achieve a good grounding in business, but as a ‘hands on’ course, it develops students’ independent learning skills, and all the skills associated with applied learning that help to equip students to become life-long learners. It has many practical elements that not only help to prepare them for further education, but also for the world of work. In addition to the core practical skills of time management and organisation, students will also develop their interpersonal, communication, and pitching skills. Students who like to apply their learning to the real business world, who like to use their imagination and creativity skills, and who seek to build a competitive edge in finding employment will particularly enjoy this course.
Students cover the following units over 2 years:
The first unit (R064) underpins this whole qualification. Students develop essential knowledge and understanding of enterprise and marketing concepts, which can be applied to the other units within the qualification. Through the first topic, students will understand the main activities that will need to happen to support a start-up business and the key factors to consider when starting up a business.
The second unit (R065) students develop the skills to design a business proposal to meet a specific business challenge. Students will identify a customer profile for a specific product, complete market research to generate product design ideas, and use financial calculations to propose a pricing strategy, and determine the viability of their product proposal.
The third unit (RO66) students develop the skills to create a brand identity, and promotional plan for their specific business product proposal developed in the second unit.
Students have a real time understanding of how they are progressing in this qualification. In R064, at least one main homework is set per fortnight, and students sit an end of topic test after each Learning Objective (six in total L01-L06). Students are given feedback as successes and next steps, and they have the opportunity to reflect on their performance through the use of their purple pen in class. This course is ultimately assessed as 1 examination (50% of the qualification) and 2 units of coursework (each 25% of the qualification).
We as a department are proud of the nationally competitive results that our students achieve on this Level 2 course. By the end, students will have built their confidence, as they deal with local entrepreneurs, communicate with a number of different people, and present their work in a number of different ways. Students are in a strong position to progress onto studying Business or Economics in our College.
Level 3 BTEC National in Business
Our Level 2 Cambridge National course, dovetails into the Level 3 BTEC National in Business at Key Stage 5. This course develops highly specialist, work-related skills, and ultimately provides students with the knowledge and understanding they need to prepare for higher education and the world of work. It is a practical course where students develop their ability to learn independently, research actively and methodically, and give presentations and be active group members. Students will develop their literacy, analytical, and creative skills.
Students will gain an overview of the key ingredients for business success, how businesses are organised, how they communicate, the characteristics of the environment in which they operate. Students will look at the importance of innovation and enterprise to the success and survival of businesses, with the associated risks and benefits.
Students will learn accounting terminology, about the purpose and importance of business accounts and the different sources of finance available to businesses. Students will analyse profitability, liquidity and business efficiency. It will also give students the knowledge and understanding to manage their own personal finances.
Students will examine the marketing aims and objectives for existing products/services, and they will understand the importance of relevant, valid, and appropriate research in relation to customers’ needs and wants. Students will use given market research data and other information to make recommendations about the type of marketing campaign that a business should undertake.
Students will learn about communication and interpersonal skills, and building effective relationships when dealing with customers, and they will understand the importance of having good product, or service knowledge. Students will examine how businesses monitor and evaluate their level of customer service through obtaining feedback, and they will see how this helps inform improvements to the level of service provided.
Students have a real time understanding of how they are progressing in this qualification. It is assessed in a number of ways. There are externally assessed units, internally assessed units, and synoptic assessment. To support learning in both the coursework and exam units, at least one main homework is set per fortnight. For the exam units, students will sit an end of topic test after each Learning Objective. Students are given feedback as successes and next steps, and they have the opportunity to reflect on their performance through the use of their purple pen in class.
We as a department are proud of the nationally competitive results that our students achieve on this course. By developing relevant business knowledge and understanding, this qualification helps students to progress to employment, higher apprenticeships, or higher education.
AQA A Level Business Studies
For students that prefer exams, we provide the opportunity for students to study A Level Business at
Key Stage 5. This is an extremely relevant course, where students use business models, theories and
techniques to support decision-making and develop appropriate strategies. It is designed to engage
students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society, such as, digital technology
and business ethics, and globalisation. The course relies heavily on a variety of topical material from
the world of industry and commerce, and offers a useful introduction to management concepts. A
Level Business is multi-disciplinary, involving both numeracy and literacy skills. The ability to perform
basic calculations is needed, as well as being able to formulate a balanced and reasoned discussion
in a given scenario.
In the first year of the course, students will develop a sophisticated knowledge around business aims
and objectives, leadership and management, marketing, finance, operations and human resources,
allowing them to make justified decisions to improve business performance. In the second year of
the course, students will develop their analytical and evaluative skills, taking into consideration the
external environment, internal pressures and the businesses overarching aims, so that students can
ultimately manage and lead strategic change.
This qualification is assessed by three examinations at the end of Year 2. The exams use a variety of
assessment styles including multiple choice, short answer, data response, essay and case studies so
that students can feel confident and engage with the questions. At least one main homework is set
per fortnight. Students will sit a class assessment at the end of each topic, and students will get
timed practise of exam questions in the classroom. Students are given feedback as successes and
next steps, and they have the opportunity to reflect on their performance through the use of their
purple pen in class.
The course is an excellent grounding for students applying for a business related degree. With its
relevance to today’s business arena, it also prepares students for entering the business environment
through an apprenticeship or employment. We are delighted that our department achieves results
that are above national average in this A Level.
AQA A Level Economics
It’s the world and everything in it.
Economics is an exciting and dynamic A Level for students who crave the ultimate in academic
rigour. As a social science, Economics sits neatly between the arts and the sciences, and it is
attractive to students from both backgrounds.
Economics explores the concept of scarcity and the problem of resource allocation. There is a strong
theoretical component to Economics, but the subject is driven by a need to explain the real world.
Economics has been high-profile since the banking crisis and credit crunch. Examples of questions
that students consider include, was Royal Mail floated too cheaply? How does a rise in interest rates
affect both firms and individuals? Has the progress made towards free trade brought significant
economic benefits, both to the UK, and to the rest of the world? Is government borrowing a cause
for concern? Economics continues to be in the media with social issues, such as, the impact of
BREXIT, and Covid-19. We provoke students’ logical and critical thinking, at the same time as
developing their confidence.
Economics falls into two distinct areas, Microeconomics (the study of individual markets, e.g.
explaining why house prices are currently increasing?) and Macroeconomics (the study of the
economy as a whole, e.g. why is unemployment increasing?).
In Microeconomics, students look at how markets work and why they fail, along with studying the
different types of market structure. Students also learn about labour markets to explain, for
example, why footballers earn more than nurses and, developing this theme, how the distribution of
income and wealth affects poverty. A new addition to the micro side of the course is, ‘Behaviour
Economics’, where students learn about the reasons behind consumers’ decisions, and how they can
be ‘nudged’ into making different ones.
Macroeconomics looks at the big picture of the national and international economy. Students will
critically evaluate the effectiveness of government intervention to improve, for example,
employment levels. Recent additions to the macro side include, ‘Financial Markets’ and the part they
play in the wider economy.
This qualification is assessed by three examinations at the end of Year 2. The exams use a variety of
assessment styles including real-life case studies and data exercises to better prepare students for
further study and employment. At least one main homework is set per fortnight. Students will sit a
class assessment at the end of each topic, and students will get timed practice of exam questions in
the classroom. Students are given feedback as successes and next steps, and they have the
opportunity to reflect on their performance through the use of their purple pen in class.
Students will become well-rounded and open-minded, and they will develop skills to think critically
about the impact of their recommendations.
Level 2 Cambridge National Enterprise and Marketing
Level 3 BTEC National Business
AQA A Level Business
AQA A Level Economics
- Cadbury World
- Jaguar land Rover
- Tutor2U Revision Workshops - Students have the opportunity to participate in revision workshops held each autumn and spring by some of the best economists in education.
- Interest Rate Challenge – students have the opportunity to take part in an interest rate challenge, which involves a team of students adopting the role of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee determining the UK’s interest rate.
- Student Investor – the Student Investor Challenge, is a premier investment competition which provides students with an experience of what it's like to invest in stocks and shares. Teams, consisting of four members aged between 14 and 19 invest £100,000 of virtual money. Students review and analyse market information to help them make judgements on when to buy and when to sell with a goal of maximising profit. Progress can be monitored on the national league table and the winning team gets an all-expenses paid education trip to New York!
- Tenner Challenge – the Tenner Challenge is an interactive programme that helps students to develop key employability skills including, creativity, resilience, and problem solving, with the goal of making as much profit as possible.
- Enterprise days are a way that young people prepare for a world which is rapidly changing. The department recognises this, and plans these days for whole year groups in Year 7, 8 and 9. Students have the chance to develop skills for learning, life and employment in a dynamic and fun way. These days have helped students to become confident individuals and responsible members of society.
Ways you can help your daughter at Key Stage 4
Always be on the lookout for articles, tweets, TV news pieces that give you contextual examples to add to your class notes.
Encourage your daughter to:
- Take part in the Tenner Challenge.
- Visit businesses in the local area and observe how they operate.
- Be inspired by reading about the success of famous entrepreneurs.
- Regularly read BBC News especially the Business and Economics section
Ways you can help your daughter/son at Key Stage 5
Encourage your daughter/son to “Show a genuine interest in the subject added to consistent hard work.”
Thoughts from tutor2u:
Encourage your daughter/son to:
- Always be on the lookout for articles, tweets, TV news pieces that give you contextual examples to add to your class notes.
- Read the Deloitte Monday Briefing written by Ian Stewart – a superb, concise resource that covers some important ground.
- Read journals with an economics / business / financial slant that offer free access to readers.