Business, Economics, Computing & Vocational Subjects

Intent

  • To enable students to learn and master computing skills and business acumen fit for modern day society.
  • To develop academic and vocational skills that they can confidently use both in lessons and outside the classroom.
  • To emphasise digital literacy in Year 7 which involves login, email, cloud storage and remote learning by using Microsoft Teams.
  • To encourage students to believe they are capable of achieving success in areas of Business and Computing.
  • To develop skills in order to devise algorithmic solutions to computational problems.
  • To apply computer theory in a variety of different contexts.

With a strong emphasis on real world business concepts, students follow a well-designed curriculum which gives them exposure to both academic theory and real life application. The sequencing of topics ensures that the department and students have rigorous and measurable assessments that allow for strategic conversations and intervention, if necessary. As a result, the department elicits opportunities to shape and personalise the teaching and learning to enable students to develop their confidence and resilience as well as their subject knowledge and understanding

Implementation

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 the main focus is digital literacy, leading to an introduction to programming in Year 8 (Microsoft Small Basic), ending their KS3 journey with Python coding in Year 9. Intermittently, we also cover business modules, e-safety, careers and PSHE to give the students a fully comprehensive education which ultimately helps with their decision making for GCSE options.

We are a rapidly growing department with approximately 200 students opting for Business (AQA) and/or Computer Science (OCR) at GCSE. Often students will carry on this journey by choosing either Business, Computer Science and/or Economics (Edexcel A) at A level.

Below is a brief outline of what is covered in each year group. In Key Stage 3 students are allocated one lesson per week for computing.

Year 7

  • Digital Literacy (email, accounts & passwords, Teams)
  • E-Safety
  • Microsoft Office
  • MSW Logo
  • Entrepreneurs
  • How to start a business

Year 8

  • Computer Theory
  • Introduction to programming
  • Recruitment and Selection (Business)
  • E-Safety

Year 9

  • Python
  • Wired and wireless networks
  • Business Finance (Business)
  • E-Safety

Key Stage 3 HOMEWORK

Students receive around 30-40 minutes’ homework a week, and may take the form of written work, research, investigations and presentations.

GCSE Business

In Year 10, students who have chosen either Business and/or Computer Science begin the GCSE syllabus. They are allocated three lessons per week and in Year 11 they are allocated two. Therefore, the majority of syllabus coverage will occur in Year 10.

AQA (8132) Specification link

  • Business in the real world
  • Influences on business
  • Business operations
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Finance

GCSE Computer Science

OCR J277 (2020 -) Specification link

  • Computer systems
  • Computation thinking
  • Algorithms
  • Programming

BTEC Level 1 and 2 Child Development

Specification link

Key Stage 4 HOMEWORK

Students receive around 45-75 minutes’ homework a week, and may take the form of research, planning, revision and exam preparation exercises.

A-level and BTEC

In Key Stage 5, we give students the choice of studying Economics, Business or Computer Science at A level or BTEC Business Level 3. In year 12 and 13 students are allocated five lessons per week for each A-level choice. BTEC are given 720 guided learning hours over the course of 2 years which equates to approx. 9 lessons per week allocated for BTEC Business.

Economics A Edexcel (9EC0) Specification link

Edexcel AS and A level Economics A 2015 | Pearson qualifications

  • Introduction to markets and market failure.
  • The UK economy – performance and policies.
  • Business behaviour and the labour market.
  • A global perspective.

Business AQA (7132) Specification link

AQA | AS and A-level | Business | Specification at a glance

  • What is business?
  • Managers, leadership and decision making.
  • Decision making to improve marketing performance.
  • Decision making to improve operational performance.
  • Decision making to improve financial performance.
  • Human resource performance.
  • Analysing the strategic position of a business
  • Choosing strategic direction.
  • Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies.
  • Managing strategic change.

Business BTEC NQF Level 3 Specification link

BTEC Nationals | Business (2016) | Pearson qualifications

  • Unit 1 Exploring Business.
  • Unit 2 Marketing campaign.
  • Unit 3 Personal and business finance.
  • Unit 4 Managing an event.
  • Unit 5 International Business.
  • Unit 6 Principles of management.
  • Unit 8 Recruitment and selection.
  • Unit 22 Market research

Key Stage 5 HOMEWORK

In Years 12 & 13, students can expect to spend approximately 3 -4 hours per week doing exam practice essays, research, and revision.

Impact

GCSE & A-level Uptake & Results:

  • In 2019, 89% of GCSE Business students achieved a grade 4 or above, with 39% achieving a grade 7 or higher.
  • In 2019 we entered 28 students for GCSE Business (Year 11). In 2022 we will be entering 72 students and by 2024 we’ll be close to 100.
  • 2022 will be the first year we enter a Year 11 group for GCSE Computer Science. 2023 we will have two groups entered for this exam.
  • Summer 2023 will see the results of our first A-level Economics group and by 2024 we hope to be in a position to have our first cohort of GCSE Economics sit their exams.

The overall impact is noticeable in that this faculty is rapidly growing in popularity as an option for GCSE and A-level. We are very proud that we provide an excellent provision for educating young people in the business, economic and computational world around us.

Students benefit from guest speakers, who are often working in the financial services sector such as bankers, accountants, economists. Quite often these are ex students who have already been on the journey of studying business/ economics and come back to share their own experiences and suggestions about how to be successful in a business related career with current students.

Annually we run a very successful activity day in the summer term where we get the chance to teach a whole year group about a business topic of our choice. Here are some examples of student’s work about financial scams where students had to understand scam techniques such as phishing and hacking. Some students designed their own examples of phishing and hacking attempts and presented these to other students to raise the awareness of financial scams.

 

Computer Science & Careers@Loreto

On completing a qualification in Computer Science, students will have developed a range of skills they will be able to use in many different areas of adulthood. This ranges from the confidence in using digital literacy and IT in the workplace to increase effectiveness to using computational thinking to resolve challenges.

Students who complete a Key Stage 4 qualification in computing may consider further study in areas such as web design, graphic design and software engineering at Key Stage 5.

With further training or study students may progress into Computer Science related careers such as IT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator and software applications developer.

If a student seeks further advice on a Computer Science related career they should speak to a member of the computing department as well as use the website below to find out more information: National Career Service.

Want to find out more about Computer Science work skills, then check out this infographic poster, which can also be found in the canteen.