It is likely that all our students will be undertaking some form of managerial responsibility post-Gordonstoun. As a result the Business Studies Department, through the study of up-to-date issues, aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature of problems faced by business, both internal and external.
The iGCSE Business Studies course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the environment within which business activity takes place, and the way in which changes in that environment influence business behaviour. This also provides a good introduction to Economics so that students are able to make informed A level subject selection.
Students will consider the various types of business organisation, both in the private and public sectors, and the way they operate including decision-making on objectives, company structure, production, finance, marketing and human resources management. All these topics are studied and discussed with reference to a wide range of different business examples.
It is not only important for students to have an understanding of the business world with which they will come into contact, but also to develop the ability to communicate accurately and effectively using knowledge and ideas in verbal, numerical and written ways.
Students will learn these skills along with the techniques of enquiry, selection, application and evaluation of information from a variety of sources.
Candidates are prepared for the iGCSE in Business Studies offered by Edexcel. The syllabus is examined by means of one two hour written paper. There is no controlled assessment which allows students to benefit from considerably more actual teaching and learning time in the classroom.
The course is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society, such as digital technology, business ethics and globalisation. Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to analyse data, think critically about issues and make informed decisions; all skills that are needed for further study and employment.
Business Studies is a dynamic subject which requires constant observation of current business activities and it is in this light that the content of the A-Level syllabus is studied. The aim is to provide candidates with a critical understanding of enterprise and entrepreneurs, a variety of business organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value.
The skills underpinning the course include carrying out numerous calculations, interpreting and analysing mathematical and textual data, applying knowledge to unfamiliar situations, developing arguments and making judgements and decisions, identifying problems and proposing solutions, recognising that a problem exists, conducting research and challenging assumptions.
Continually stressed throughout the course is the interdependent nature of business activity, both internally between the various business sections and externally with the social and economic environment. Frequent use will be made through the course of case studies and calculations. The course does require sound mathematical ability and we would highly recommend students have at least a good grade in GCSE Maths.
Our approach to Economics is to apply economic theory to support analysis of current economic problems and issues, encouraging students to appreciate the interrelationships between microeconomics and macroeconomics. The course content takes into account fundamental advances and changes in economic ideas such as behavioural economics, importance of financial markets and development economics, so that students can relate what they are learning to the world around them.
Economics at Gordonstoun is taught in a spirit of enquiry and challenge, through debate and argument backed by rigorous analysis. The ability to build a case, hold an argument and defend it robustly from firm foundations of knowledge and empathy lead to the capacity to produce powerful solutions to problems.
Economics focuses on the present and future, although study of recent economic history and trends does help further understanding. As a predictive science we analyse and assess the impact of policies and events on local, national and international well-being. This requires an enquiring and challenging approach to ideas, a willingness to use models and data to reach conclusions and a confidence to make judgements verbally and on paper. This needs a real understanding of current affairs, of the human condition and of the methods available to improve these.
It is not necessary to have studied Economics previously but mathematical ability is essential; without a good grade in GCSE Maths you are likely to find Economics extremely challenging. Students will also need to be confident in writing evaluative essays.