Published on Mar 2, 2015
Our aim is to encourage each pupil to nurture his or her business and enterprise skills, whilst appreciating the social and economic contexts within which firms operate.
Most pupils start with little if any business awareness, but we seek to set the right tone immediately. Consequently, teaching is based in a dedicated classroom furnished in a 'boardroom' style with appropriate interactive whiteboard facilities. Furthermore, within the first few months pupils will have gone beyond the syllabus by taking part in a Dragon’s Den type team activity involving a genuine business problem on which they are judged by local business leaders.
In Year 10, the module studied is ‘Introduction to Small Business’. This involves a wide range of topics from ‘creative thinking’ to ‘adding value’; from ‘basic accounting’ to ‘marketing’ and from ‘limited liability’ to ‘recruitment.’ Finally, the context of the wider economy is picked up by considering the impact of changes in interest rates, exchange rates, taxation and the like.
In Year 11, each pupil prepares a controlled assessment set by the exam board (worth 25% of the GCSE) and the module studied is entitled ‘Introduction to Economic Understanding’. Issues include pricing strategies, government involvement, monopoly power, sustainability and international trade. The course involves the use of two double-lessons a week, supported by one or two homework activities, each normally designed to take about half an hour and to foster skills that are essential for exam success. The external exams, taken at the end of Year 11, involve multiple-choice and more detailed short answer and short essay questions.
Of the 370 students since 2004, our A*-C pass rate figure is nearly 95%. All those who opt for the subject are automatically enrolled as members of the Entrepreneurial Society at Plymouth College which offers further voluntary activities beyond the classroom.
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