Business Studies

Head of Business Studies Mr S Halstead
Business Studies Teachers Mr J Beadle, Mr G Nolan
Curriculum Support Mrs W Coggins



Why study Business options?

In a rapidly-changing and volatile world economy – skills specific for the workplace are incredibly important. Business Studies at Chelmer Valley is focused on increasing understanding of the world of work and are vital to accompany other traditional courses and options that are available.  These career and work-related full GCSE and BTEC subjects have a blend of coursework and examinations and are based around real-life companies and skills required in industry and the workplace.

In the Business department we feel that learning and studying brand new subjects, based around “the real world” is an excellent opportunity that would really benefit students in terms of helping them to develop a more, well rounded overall education.

In making these courses more exciting, interesting and vibrant – a variety of fieldtrips, visits and excursions (see link – Business visits and activities) are organised annually, alongside visiting speakers, competitions and events. Taking learning “out of the classroom” and giving chances for students to experience business and enterprise is considered crucial within the area and a vital element of our learning approach.


Mission statement of the Business Studies department

To give our students a head-start in the workplace and enable them to succeed in employment”



“Its good kind of knowledge for when you leave school and start working – I liked finding out about the minimum wage and how much I should be paid legally!”

“Business is great - I’m thinking of becoming an accountant after doing Business finance!”


The course on offer within this area is GCSE and is available to choose once a student enters Year 9, approaching the end of KS3.  There are no specific entry requirements for any of the Vocational subject, however, a basic level of literacy and numeracy is required.

A Business GCSE is a nationally recognised work-related qualification designed to provide you with a choice of routes into further education or employment. It is made up of two/three vocational units in a particular subject.


Edexcel GCSE Business Studies

At GCSE students study the following;

Unit 1; Investigating Small Business (assessed by an exam, 50% of the total qualification)

The first unit studied allows students to explore the theory behind starting up a small business and covers a range of introductory topics relating to a new, small business. Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business. In this theme, students will be introduced to local and national business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. Local contexts refer specifically to small businesses or those operating in a single UK location and national contexts relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK

Unit 2; Building a business (assessed by an exam, 50% of the total qualification)

Students are targeted with applying some of their earlier understanding to a larger, growing business. Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Theme 2 also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows. In this theme, students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. National contexts build on those in Theme 1 and relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK. Global contexts relate to non-UK or transnational businesses.

Unit 3; Building a Business (assessed by a written exam, 50% of the total qualification)

Developing their knowledge from Unit 1, Unit 3 looks at the challenges that are part of developing from a small firm into a medium-sized company. This comprises of the following topics; marketing, meeting customer needs, effective financial management, effective people management and the wider world.


Edexcel Business (9-1) for GCSE by Ian Marcouse, 

Revision Guide (revision guides will be available for purchase on wisepay at the start of the school year)

Revise Edexcel GCSE Business, Revision Guide

Websites to Aid Learning in Business:


Key Stage Five

One of the great things about studying Business Studies at Chelmer Valley High School is that students learn about real life markets/ businesses; many of which they are already familiar with. There is a continual focus on explaining theory in the context of actual business situations and within the wider economy. Students will be expected to do research using newspaper and journal articles and relevant websites. The aim within both of the subjects is to encourage an interest and understanding within a wider, real world context. There are regular classroom discussions, which encourage students to verbalise their knowledge and opinions. Classes have an enjoyable mix of independent and group work alongside exam focus, so that students have a variety of assessment methods that they can work towards. Visits will also be arranged to see both of these subjects in  action and to help showcase and apply what learnt within the classroom.

Beyond KS5 for Business Studies Students

Students of Business Studies can go on to a range of related courses at university and college such as Business Administration, Business Management, Marketing or Finance. They may pursue related careers or even feel they have the basis for setting up their own business.

Do you need to have studied it at GCSE?

Simple answer is no! A good awareness of current affairs and an interest in the business world would potentially make you suitable for this course. A good grasp of English for producing portfolio units, and Maths to produce and comprehend financial statements would stand you in good stead however more importantly, is a good “can-do” attitude, organisational skills and an ability to meet deadlines….. Similar to life in a real business!

Business Studies options at Key Stage 5

We offer two courses at Key Stage 5; A Level in Business or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business. The main difference between these two options is how the courses are assessed with the A Level being 100% exam assessed and the BTEC mainly coursework assessed. In order to be accepted onto the A Level course students are required to have a minimum of a grade 6 in English at GCSE.

A Level

Edexcel A Level Business

What themes do we study?

Students study the following 4 themes;

Theme 1: Marketing and people

In this theme, students are introduced to the market, explore the marketing and people functions and investigate entrepreneurs and business start-up.

Theme 2: Managing business activities

In this theme, students explore the finance and operations functions, and investigate external influences on business.

Theme 3: Business decisions and strategy

In this theme, students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 2 and explore influences on business strategy and decision-making.

Theme 4: Global business

In this theme, students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in Theme 1 and explore business activity in a global context.

How is the course assessed?

The course is 100% exam assessed with all exams to be taken at the end of Year 13. There are 3 exams comprising of the following;

Paper 1: Marketing, people and global businesses (35% of the total qualification)

Paper 1 will assess marketing, people and global businesses. Questions will be drawn from Themes 1 and 4, and from local, national and global contexts.

Paper 2: Business activities, decisions and strategy (35% of the total qualification)

Paper 2 will assess business finance and operations, business decisions and strategy. Questions will be drawn from Themes 2 and 3, and from local, national and global contexts.

Paper 3: Investigating business in a competitive environment (30% of the total qualification)

Paper 3 will assess content across all four themes. Questions will be drawn from local, national and global contexts.


Edexcel Business A Level Year 1 by Ian Marcouse, Andrew Hammond and Nigel Watson

BTEC Business at Key Stage Five

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business

What units do we study and how are they assessed?

Students study the following 4 units;

Unit 1; Exploring Business (internally assessed coursework)

In this unit, learners study the purposes of different businesses, their structure, the effect of the external environment, and how they need to be dynamic and innovative to survive.

Unit 2; Developing a marketing campaign (externally assessed coursework)

In this unit, learners will gain skills relating to, and an understanding of, how a marketing campaign is developed.

Unit 3; Personal and Business Finance (externally assessed exam)

In this unit, learners study the purpose and importance of personal and business finance. They will develop the skills and knowledge needed to understand, analyse and prepare financial information.

1 optional unit from a choice of the following;

Unit 8; Recruitment and Selection Process

Unit 14; Investigating Customer Service

Unit 22; Market Research

Unit 23; The English Legal System

Unit 27; Work Experience in Business

All of the above are internally assessed.


Pearson BTEC National Business Student Book 1



Within the Vocational Area, Business Studies has a variety of enrichment activities open to students from Y10 through to Y13. As a vibrant, continually developing subject there are always competitions, events and other opportunities for students to put into practice what they have learnt within the classroom.

Tycoon Challenge

At the start of the KS4 course, students are in groups given the opportunity to produce a business idea and then submit this to the Peter Jones Enterprise Foundation. If successful – students can bid, from their business plans, for a maximum of £1000 to get their businesses of the ground. After applications in September-October, students can begin to get the business ideas started in November. Sessions on Tuesday lunchtimes/ after school will be run to support and help guide the students with their business decisions.

Aimed at: Y10/Y11 students

Location/ Time: Tuesday lunchtime & after school (November onwards) in T8

Student Investor Programme

Within the GCSE, A-level Business and the Economics courses – a good understanding of the workings of companies and markets is paramount. To this end, each year – students are entered into the annual IFS Student Investor competition which allows groups of students to spend a fictional £100000 on the stock market. The aim within the competition is to generate a profit on the investment and look to develop the value of their portfolio between November and February.

To this end, lunchtime sessions aimed at delivering more advanced theory on asset price markets and trading will be taught to the students to help stretch their understanding. We will also look to purchase shares for real (on a limited basis!) to help further their knowledge and awareness on such issues. Understanding reasons for share price falls and increases is key within both subjects and the element of competition is an additional benefit for the students!

Aimed at: Y11/Y12 Business and Economics students

Location/ Time: Friday lunchtime in T7


Trips & Activities

In the Business department, we feel it is essential to be linking what has been studied within the classroom, to real life businesses. Therefore we have a clear focus within the area to take advantage of opportunities and links with businesses locally and nationally.

Recent business visits and links include;

  • Cadburys World factory and education centre, Birmingham
  • Tenpin, Chelmsford
  • Stock Exchange, Mango Design Factory, Badalona Liquer Factory (All Barcelona)
  • Bodysense, Chelmsford ( Nutrition & Fitness company)
  • ARU Stock Market Challenge (in conjunction with 10 Lane Learning)
  • Virgin Active, Chelmsford
  • Nuffield Health and Fitness, Chelmsford
  • Subway, Chelmford ARU Franchise
  • ICAEW BASE Accounting Challenge, ARU Chelmsford
  • Colchester Zoo, Colchester
  • Tycoon schools competition
  • Westfield shopping Centre, Stratford
  • BMW Motorbike factory, Newspaper Factory, Berlin

If you know of any other links with businesses, that may want to partner with the school, please contact Mr A Hemmings on 01245 440232 or via email at to discuss further.

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Business Studies Curriculum Intent Download
Business Studies Curriculum Map Download