This year we have two new year 10 classes who so far have completed the first section of the course - The Business Framework - and are now starting to look at marketing. Year 10 have all formed teams and invested a virtual £100,000 on the stock exchange! They're all competing against each other and teams throughout the UK to win monthly prizes until the competition ends in January 2016.
Year 11 have just completed financial accounting, so all are now budding accountants! We've just started the piece of controlled assessment work, which involved 6 weeks researching three businesses, leading to writing up a business report for three hours under exam conditions in December. We're following a 'chocolately' theme this year, and will visit Wickedly Welsh towards the end of November. The work is worth 25% of the overall GCSE grade, so attendance is really important in lessons between now and the end of term.
Year 12 are the first cohort to study the new AS level exam specification with the WJEC exam board. So far, they have looked at entrepreneurship, market structures, supply and demand and market research. After half term, they will be taking part in an 'entrepreneurs' workshop, giving them the opportunity to work with a local business owner and take part in some business decision-making challenges!
Year 13 have made a great start to the year. They are working on a unit entitled 'Strategies for Success' and have so far looked at marketing strategies such as Ansoff's Matrix and Porter's Generic Strategy. They have also used techniques such as three-month moving averages and extrapolation to analyse marketing data. Year 13 have just embarked on the Financial Accounting section of the course and are using ratio analysis methods to analyse company accounts. They are also carrying out independent research on e-commerce - an ongoing research project on which half of the Unit 4 exam in June 2016 will be based.
We're also welcoming a student teacher to the department this term - Mr Murtadha. He will be working with years 10 and 11 in particular and will be with us until Christmas.
In other news...
We're all watching the new series of The Apprentice and will talk about it in class when we cover the recruitment process later on in the term. We're also waiting patiently for the first viewing of the Christmas adverts - particularly John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Debenhams... who will get the 'Top Christmas Advert' prize this year, and can John Lewis top Monty the Penguin? Watch this space to find out...