Business

Pupils will learn about how the business environment provides opportunities and imposes constraints on the pursuit of short-term and long-term objectives. 

In the Sixth Form, Business can be studied at both A Level (Business Studies) and Higher (Business Management).

The course is set within the context of local, national and international constraints on business structure, objectives and environment. Pupils will learn the main principles of business and their application in industry.

Marketing, Operations including Human Resource Management and some Accounting and Finance will also be studied so that pupils develop an understanding that for a business to be a success in a dynamic and challenging environment, decisions have to be taken in the context of both the organisation’s wider objectives and its resources.

Head of Department - Mr Jeremy Robinson

Mr Jeremy Robinson, BA, PGCE
Mr Peter Golden, MA, BSocSc, PGCE

Jeremy Robinson is an experienced Head of Department having taught at independent boarding schools in Bristol; at Canford School in Dorset and The King’s School, Parramatta, Sydney, Australia, before being appointed to Glenalmond. Mr Golden moved from Felsted School, Essex when appointed to be the Housemaster of Goodacre’s. A textbook author and I.B. Assessor, Peter provides a wealth of Business Studies and Economics teaching experience within the Department.

The AQA Business syllabus to be studied from September 2017 will introduce the main principles of business and their application.

 

The AQA Business course will comprise of the following subject content:

  1. What is business
  2. Managers, leadership and decision-making
  3. Decision making to improve marketing performance
  4. Decision making to improve operational performance
  5. Decision making to improve financial performance
  6. Decision making to improve human resource performance
  7. Analysing the strategic position of a business
  8. Choosing strategic direction
  9. Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  10. Managing strategic change

 

This content considers the way in which businesses operate. In particular, pupils will learn about how the business environment provides opportunities and imposes constraints on the pursuit of short-term and long-term objectives. The content is set within the context of local, national and international constraints on business structure, objectives and environment. Emphasis will also be placed on the integrative nature of the subject. Marketing, Operations including Human Resource Management and some Accounting and Finance will be studied in detail so that pupils develop an understanding that for a business to be a success in a dynamic and challenging environment, decisions have to be taken in the context of both the organisation’s wider objectives and its resources.

 

Four key assessment objectives [AO] are sought by examiners in A Level Business. These are:

  1. AO1 – Demonstrate knowledge of terms, concepts, theories and models and show an understanding of how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to business issues.
  2. AO2 – Ability to apply knowledge and understanding to various business contexts to show how individuals and organisations are affected by and respond to issues.
  3. AO3 – Analyse issues within business, showing an understanding of the impact on individuals and organisations of external and internal influences.
  4. AO4 – Evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make informed judgements and propose evidence-based solutions to business issues.

 

Recommended Entry Requirements

Business is not offered at GCSE so all pupils taking the course will be starting a brand new subject. In order to attain high marks, and top grades in A Level Business, pupils will need to write with clarity and fluency and will be expected to submit coherent, well-structured written answers which meet the Assessment Objectives. These written skills will be developed throughout the course but a strong grade in GCSE English will be beneficial. A relatively high grade in GCSE Mathematics is also recommended for those starting Business because pupils will need to be confident in handling a considerable amount of financial and accounting data [quantitative skills will comprise 15% of the marks available] which has to be understood, calculated and analysed.

 

Subject combinations, Careers and Higher Education

Business will combine well with a range of A Level options. The AQA Business A Level course taught at Glenalmond will act as a highly suitable introduction for any Accountancy, Business, Commercial, Financial or Managerial course at University, and be widely recognised by any future employer.

Purpose and aims of the course

Business plays an important role in society. We all rely on businesses to create wealth, prosperity, jobs and choices. Therefore it is essential for society to have effective businesses and business managers if they are to sustain this role.

The purpose of the SQA Business Management Higher course is to highlight the ways in which large organisations operate and the steps they take to achieve their strategic goals. This purpose will be achieved by combining theoretical and practical aspects of learning through the use of real-life business contexts. The skills, knowledge and understanding will be embedded in current business theory and practice and reflect the integrated nature of large organisations, their functions and their decision-making processes.

A main feature of this course is the development of enterprising and employability skills. Learners will be able to understand and make use of business information to interpret and report on overall business performance in a range of contexts. The course therefore includes the study of large organisations in the private, public and third sectors.

The course explores the important impact businesses have on everyday life, thereby giving learners experiences which are topical. It develops skills for learning, life and work that will be of instant use in the workplace. It supports personal financial awareness through developing learners’ knowledge of financial management in a business context.

 

SQA Higher assessment structure

The SQA Higher Business Management course has three mandatory Units.  The learner must pass all of the Units as well as the Course Assessment. Course assessment will provide the basis for grading attainment in the course award. The three units are internally assessed against the requirements shown in the unit specification. The course assessment must demonstrate added value that will focus on breadth, challenge and application via a Question [Exam] paper and a business related assignment.

 

Three mandatory units

Understanding Business – Learners will carry out activities that highlight the opportunities and constraints of private, public and third sector organisations as they pursue their strategic objectives.

Management of People and Finance – This unit allows learners to carry out activities that will extend their grasp of relevant theories, concepts and procedures used in planning for an organisation’s success, including leadership, motivation [human resources] and finance.

Management of Marketing and Operations – activities focus on how organisations improve their quality and competitiveness to satisfy both internal and external customers’ needs.