THE GCSE SYLLABUS IS DIVIDED INTO FIVE MAIN AREAS:
PRACTICAL BUSINESS STUDIES
Concerned mainly with the development of computerisation and the pupil’s ability to use computers in an appropriate manner.
EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE BUSINESS
This is concerned with the relationship we have with bodies such as INVEST NI, Banks etc and the problems faced by business in dealing with such measures as Fair Trading Act, Sale of Goods Act, Equal Opportunities and Fair Employment legislation. There is also an evaluation on the impact of technological change on the workplace.
ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT
This area is concerned with looking at the differences between differing forms of business organisation - sole traders, partnerships, private limited companies, public limited companies and the public sector with regard to ownership, control and sharing of profits between differing types of businesses. There are also the areas of:
- factors which affect the growth or decline of a business;
- how employees are trained, rewarded and appraised etc;
- the need for effective and the importance of, communications within a business and between businesses.
This area is concerned with how and why production takes place, with particular reference to different methods of production - batch, flow production etc. It is also important to develop an understanding of the chain of distribution and the reasons why firms merge and integrate. The major emphasis in this section, however, is Marketing and the important role that it plays in all our lives.
This area of the syllabus is concerned with the pupils being made aware of the sources of finance available to a business when it requires extra money to enable it to expand. There will also be a development of the ability of pupils to be able to look at and interpret simple Profit and Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets. The importance of Cash Budgets and the idea of forward planning is also developed in this area.
There is one piece of coursework required to be completed for Business Studies GCSE. This involves a study on a particular aspect of the syllabus of no more than 2000 words in length. Part of the coursework must be completed on the computer. The coursework is worth a maximum of 20% of the total marks for the GCSE exam. It is completed by January in Year 12.
USE OF BUSINESS STUDIES FOR CAREERS
Auctioneer, Banking, Building Society Worker, Buyer, Clerk, Farm Manager, Funeral Director, Hotel Manager, Insurance Work, Personnel Officer, Retail Trade, Sales Rep., Secretary, Teacher, Travel Agent and many more in the world of Business.
BUSINESS AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Business Technology)
This subject involves knowledge and understanding of aspects of Office Organisation and Environment and of the use of Computers to complete certain Office Applications.
Aspect of Office Organisation and Environment
Within this section of the course students will cover such areas as:
- different kinds of office environment - eg open plan and cellular;
- the way the working environment may influence work performance;
- the importance of Health and Safety issues in the Office Environment;
- methods of internal and external recruitment of staff;
- interview techniques;
- on-the-job and off-the-job training;
- wages and salaries.
The major part of the course will be spent covering the computer aspects of the course. These areas are listed below:
- Word Processing and Desktop Publishing;
Use of Business Technology for Careers
Business Technology will be most useful for any office based job but it will be of great value in a very wide variety of occupations.
This course has been set up to enable pupils to study ICT and gain a qualification at GCSE level. It builds on the CCEA ICT Accreditation Scheme at Key Stage 3 and also provides a foundation for pupils who may wish to study ICT at a higher level.
Successful completion of this course means that pupils are exempt form the external test in the Key Skill of Information Technology.
The full range of GCSE grades (A* - G) are available in this subject.
The key subject content in this subject is:
- Knowledge, Understanding and Skills in communicating, handling information and modelling. This includes use of a web browser, email, word processing, powerpoint and graphics, as well as spreadsheets and databases.
- Understanding of ICT Systems in everyday life. This includes different types of network (WAN, LAN), online services and electronic monetary processing (ATM).
- Implications of ICT for Individuals, Organisations and Society. This includes understanding of the impact of ICT on education, employment, home and leisure and knowledge of the 1998 Data Protection Act as well as the 1990 Computer Misuse Act.
There are 4 pieces of coursework required for this subject which account for 60% of the final mark at GCSE.
- Produce a booklet/report
- Using the internet
- School Trip (database)
- School Trip (spreadsheet)