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Business Studies


The world in which we live is dominated by businesses big and small. Business Studies and the array of subjects this umbrella term can cover is an exciting and interesting way which can help young people to understand the world in which they live and will work eventually. Indeed, ‘Business Studies’ helps prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

The Business Studies Department in Parkhall Integrated College provides students with an insight into the constantly changing business world. Students discover how businesses operate and learn about their key elements and essential business functions.

The Business Studies Department offers a range of courses to reflect the diverse nature of the subject and the possible future careers which could be followed by the students.

Key Stage 3

Within the Key Stage 3 curriculum a ‘taster’ course is offered to all Year 10 students. This course is not only necessary to allow students to make informed decisions for subject choices in Key Stage 4 but to build upon the enterprising skills students have already developed and which will be of use in both further study and/or employment. Pupils have the opportunity to participate in the Young Enterprise Programme, Project Business which is a business simulation experience in which pupils manufacture a product and compete with other groups to sell and maximise their profit. It is a highly competitive experience reflecting the real life business world.

Key Stage 4

Students who study within the Business Studies Department from Year 11 onwards will study for a GCSE/Occupational Studies Qualification. It is the policy of the Department to continually review existing provision to ensure it effectively meets the needs of our students and is inclusive. All students are given the opportunity to take courses most suited to their ability.

The subjects offered are:

GCSE Business and Communication Systems - Business and Communication Systems gives students the opportunity to learn about businesses and at the same time develop ICT skills. It helps students understand the important role of ICT in business. It also examines how businesses are changing because of ICT, for example the rise of e-business.

Level 2 Occupational Studies in Office and Retail - This practical course in Office and Retail Course will develop a student’s knowledge and skills useful for working in an office environment or a retail environment requiring good customer skills.

The knowledge and skills gained are also transferrable to other work areas.

OCN Level 2 Business Enterprise - The OCN Level 2 in Business is designed to provide learners with skills and knowledge required for working in a range of jobs within the business sector. During this course, pupils will learn how to develop a business idea by setting up and running their own business. Pupils will have the opportunity to learn about the business world while developing enterprising and practical skills such as communication, team working and problem-solving. Overall, pupils will learn about business by doing business!

Key Stage 5

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Business is for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment in the business sector. The qualification is equivalent in size to one A Level and aims to provide a broad introduction to study of the business world.

This course covers the following areas:

  • business environments
  • marketing
  • finance
  • recruitment and selection

After studying BTEC Business career possibilities within business include accounting, finance, banking, marketing, human resources, retail and event management to name but a few.

Business Links

It is one of the aims of the Department to ensure that teaching and learning is relevant for the pupils and that full use is made of outside agencies and resources of the local community to develop their confidence and interpersonal skills in addition to providing a fuller understanding of the business world.

Teachers will make use of business resources wherever possible in their teaching to enhance the understanding of students. Having access to up-to-date industry information is vital for students who are completing research and assignments. Visiting speakers and industrial visits are of great importance for topics such as customer service, web design, recruitment and selection and health and safety.

The Young Enterprise Company has the support of Business Advisers from the local community. Their support and expertise make the delivery of the Young Enterprise Quickstart and Company Programmes possible and indeed enhances the learning experience of pupils. This support may be offered online or in-person.

Enrichment Programme

As part of the Year 13 and 14 Enrichment Programme to complement Sixth Form study, students have the opportunity to participate in the Young Enterprise Company Programme. This programme empowers young people to set up and run a business under the guidance of a business volunteer and link teacher.

Facilities and Resources

Rooms: The Business Studies room is located on the second floor of the building and is one of number of ICT rooms which are also used for delivery of business subjects when access to the Business Studies room is not possible.

Equipment: A list of equipment in the Department includes:

  • A Digital Camera
  • An i-Pad
  • A Laminator
  • A Scanner
  • A Shredder

Books: There are a range of textbooks for Business Studies and Business and Communication Systems available within the Department. A small reference library has been established within the Department for pupils to access for research.

Extra Curricular

The Business Studies Department offers subject specific revision or support classes for assignment or portfolio work from 3.05-4.00pm on Monday to Wednesday throughout the year for the following subjects:

  • BTEC Level 3 Business.
  • GCSE Business and Communication Systems
  • Level 2 OCN Business
  • Level 2 Occupational Studies in Office and Retail

These have proven beneficial to pupils who wish to boost their subject grade.

Parkhall Integrated College Vision Statement

‘To provide an inclusive, caring learning environment where we all feel valued and respected and are empowered to reach our full potential’