Business and Enterprise Curriculum

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Due to the current situation, departmental curriculum plans are not currently available.

Here is the Cowley COVID resuming plan as an interim guide.

Curriculum aim

The aim of Business is provide a coherent introduction to study of the business sector from a local to global scale.  By studying Business students will broaden their experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

The Business courses require applied learning that brings together knowledge and understanding with practical and technical skills.  This is achieved through students performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of appropriate vocational behaviours and transferable skills as students progress to a wide range of higher education courses and ultimately to employment in the business sector.  The mandatory and optional content of both Level 1/2 and Level 3 courses provides a balance of breadth and depth, while retaining a degree of choice for individual students to tailor content relevant to their own interests and progression choices.  As the business sector and employment is dynamic content will remain current.

The staff’s commitment and enthusiasm for the subject ensures that high standards are set which fuel students’ aspirations through their own conduct, support of the Cowleian values and the expectations of all students.  Ultimately students will enter the employment market and therefore the final role of the department and the available courses is to provide students with a real understanding of the employment options available to them both in the present and the future and the importance of developing employability skills.

Curriculum structure

Students are able to access the subject at Level 1/2 and Level 3. As an option subject available in Y9 students compete the new Pearson BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Enterprise.  As a three year course students will develop a foundation understanding of 9 key topics essential to the second and third year of the course.   The formally assessed aspects will take place during Y10 and Y11 and will consist of three components.  Component 1 and 2 are worth 60% in total and are assessed internally through coursework.  Component 3 is worth 40% will be assessed through a synoptic 2 hour examination.  Students will have the opportunity to retake all three components once.  As a two year option delivery of key essential topics will take place in the first term in Y10 followed by the assessed components.  This course allows students of all abilities to access the course.  At Level 1 students are able to achieve at either a Pass or Merit level.  At Level 2 students have the opportunity to achieve at four different levels: Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*.

As a Level 3 option students complete the latest Pearson BTEC Extended Certificate in Business. This course incorporates four units: two units are externally set, including a 2 hour examination and account for 58% of the course and the second two units are internally set coursework making up the remaining 42%.  Students have the opportunity to retake all 4 units once.  The course is accessible for all students as it is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*.  There is also the opportunity for students to gain a Near Pass grade in external assessments which gains credit towards the final grade. The BTEC National course attracts UCAS points.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies/activities are used in order to provide pace and challenge within the subject to engage students to achieve their potential whilst enjoying the subject and their experiences.  There are clear teaching and assessment phases during the Level 1/2 and Level 3 courses.  Both courses provide students with the opportunity to develop high level literacy skills as research, analysis and evaluation tasks will be completed.  Students will cultivate report writing and business planning skills alongside a strong level of computer literacy.  Numeracy skills are will be gained through consideration of personal and business finance topics at both key stages.  Creativity will be encouraged through the chance to students gain to develop their own business enterprise or marketing campaign. Communication skills will be fostered as well as students will be involved in activities such as business pitching/presenting or recruitment and selection role plays.  Time management will also be essential as students will have regular deadlines to meet as well controlled timed assessments.  These transferable skills are ones which highly valued both higher education and the workplace.  Students will also be encouraged to keep up-to-date with the latest business/economic news stories and share their knowledge in lesson.

Throughout both courses students will be expected to complete work outside of lesson, through designated homework tasks in order to meet stringent deadlines.  Using the remote log on system will allow this to take place.  There will also be the chance for students to choose which businesses they would like to focus on.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
Business students are always welcome to use the Business rooms and resources for independent study.

Local entrepreneurs and their businesses are used at Level 1/2 and these relationships are in the early stages of being fostered.  This is also the case with the new BTEC National course at Level 3 as it lends itself to guest speakers, trips, work experience and further support from local businesses.  There is also the opportunity for building in trips – under consideration are a team building exercise in Y12 and event planning such as organising a trip to Alton Towers in Y13.

Currently links have been established with Cadbury’s who have supplied samples for product testing and the NHS through the support of a senior management consultant who has observed Y12 marking presentations.  Governors have also been involved and will continue to do so through the use of a governors business as a local enterprise case study and their support of Y10 new product presentations.  This will be built upon as their support will be given for Y11 students in their formal business enterprise assessed pitches.

Subject Expertise
The department comprises two full time and one part time, highly experienced, Business specialists, plus the support from a new vocational teacher who is also a Business specialist.  The members of the team have experience of teaching the subject across several different types of courses such as GCSE, Applied BTEC, BTEC First, BTEC National, A Level and International Baccalaureate.

The subject leader is a member of the Economics, Business and Enterprise Association and of the official BTEC Business Facebook group administrated by the Pearson subject advisor for Business.  The advisor is also followed on Twitter as are key entrepreneurs.

The newest member of the team has various relevant experience:  team leader and examiner for Pearson BTEC National Unit 3 and examiner only for Unit 2 and has worked for Tuor2u (business) as a resource writer for GCSE, A Level and BTEC National, student workshop resource writer and presenter and CPD presenter for BTEC National.

The department maintains links with the Business department with Haydock High School across the established Soft Federation.

Within the department the progression routes for the subject are regularly referred to and discussed through the nature of the topics covered such as recruitment and selection.  At Level 1/2 students are also made aware of the progression routes available in the subject at Level 3 and not just during the option choice process.  As the department are also experienced or key members of the Sixth Form pastoral team, the subject, as a higher education choice, is regularly flagged up with students. Also staff regularly receive the latest information about new courses and work experience and employment opportunities which are passed on to students as potential progression routes.  Help will be offered to students with the inquiry/application process as required.