Business Studies

Our curriculum intent: why we teach what we teach in Business Studies

  • Students will learn the fundamentals of business, including an understanding of complex systems, market forces, entrepreneurship and the theory and praxis of business.
  • Students will be able to engage meaningfully in the world of business through developing their confidence with innovation, driving ideas, marketing products and learning to make informed judgements on quality and efficiency.
  • Students will become morally responsible as they learn about integrity in the workplace, and that businesses are no less morally accountable than individuals, and should be driven to contribute positively to society. Through studying business, we seek to form the character traits of determination and honourable purpose.

    IT / Computing

  • Students will learn about the functions and applications of computers. This includes understanding both hardware and software, and how this can be helpfully manipulated and developed. Students will also learn about both the risks and opportunities that a hyper-connected world presents.
  • Students will be able to both use and create computer systems to make life and work more efficient and effective. Students will draw on and develop their problem solving skills to find efficient IT solutions for a variety of applications.
  • Students will become wise, mature and discerning through learning about online behaviour. Students will think critically about information and interactions online through an understanding computer algorithms, and ensure that their own behaviour is driven by honourable purpose and a pursuit of truth.

Business Studies curriculum intent


Year 7
Year 7 Autumn Term, Half Term 1 Autumn Term, Half Term 2 Autumn Term, Half Term 2 & Spring Half Term 1
Unit Title Digital Literacy Computer Systems Algorithm Design and Constructs
Key Question(s)?

How do we ensure our data, physical and personal safety when using a networked computer?


What does a Computer System do and what equipment enables this?

What are the main components of a computer and what do they do?

What is Binary representation and why and how is it used in Computing?

What is a network, how are they classified and what equipment is needed to network a computer over the Internet?

What is an algorithm and what is the difference between it and a computer program?

What tools can we use to give an algorithm?

Which constructs are used when creating an algorithm?

How do these translate to a program?

Threshold Concepts

A password is the way the computer validates that the user who is trying to log on is who they are claiming to be. A secure password is one that only the user knows and is difficult for anyone else to predict.


There are a number of health risks associated with regularly using a computer at a workstation including back pain and eye strain.


Personal information is information which relates to a living individual who can be identified from this information, be that on its own or in combination with other information.


Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology

A computer system consists of hardware components that have been carefully chosen so that they work well together and software components that run in the computer.


A computer system takes data in from the environment (called inputting), processes these in some way and then outputs the resulting information into its environment. Input and output devices enable computer systems to do this.


Computers are electrical devices; they use switches to represent data. Switches can be on or off we represent this information as binary, a single digit that can only be: 1 for switch on or 0 for switch off. To store useful amounts of data we group switches, and hence bits, together.


A network is two or more computers or devices that are linked together. Networks can be Local or Wide Area depending on their geographic scope. The devices on networks can be joined together in different topologies including bus, star, and ring. In order to use the Internet to network a computer certain equipment and services are needed: Modem, Router, ISP.

An algorithm is a sequence of steps to perform a particular task. Algorithms are created by people for people. Algorithms can be given in paragraphs, bulleted lists, diagrams, flow charts, or Pseudocode. Algorithms written in special languages so they can be performed by a computer are called computer programs. Both algorithms and programs employ the same constructs and concepts.


Algorithms include multiple individual instructions, how we (or a computer) move from the instruction we have just completed to the next that needs can take place in one of 3 ways: Sequence, Selection or Repetition.


Algorithms need to be able to include facilities for Output, Input and the use of Variables.


It is often useful to know, or specify, the type of data an algorithm will be dealing with: integer, float, string.


Algorithms often employ mathematical operators: +, -, *, /, %, //. Though they don’t always behave in the same way as in mathematics!


Algorithms often employ comparison operators: ==, !=, >, <, >=, <=, so that they can compare data.


Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT allow combinations of caparisons to be carried out on the same, or multiple, data.


If…then…else statements are used to perform selection and employ comparison and/or Boolean operators.


Counted loops and Conditional loops are used to perform repetition. Counted loops make use of comparative operators and conditional loops make use of conditional and/or Boolean operators.



Link to Prior Learning


Students prior use of computers is used for illustrative purpose to help them apply the terminology and information they are developing. Students prior use of computers is used for illustrative purpose to help them see how constructs and concepts are employed in the software they have used.
Knowledge and Sequence Rationale All the work students complete on computers in College, and the vast majority of their activity on computers out with College, will take place on networked computers so it is essential they can use these appropriately and safely, from the very outset of their time here at Emmanuel. In order to be informed user of computers able to adapt them to our needs rather than adapt to their demands we need an understanding of what they are and how they operate. This unit is the first step on this journey to informed and enabled computer user,

All computer systems are controlled by software that outlines the tasks we can complete on a computer and how this must be done. Understanding this and the concepts that underpin algorithms and programs is the first step in being able to create an algorithm and then turn it into a computer program. Writing programs is one way students can demonstrate their Computer science knowledge.




Year 7 Spring Term, Half Term 2

Summer Term


Unit Title Coding a Website with HTML Data Data Everywhere: Introducing databases
Key Question(s)? What is HTML and how can it be used to create a web page??

What are databases?

How are databases structured?

What tools do database programs offer?

Threshold Concepts

HTML stands for Hypertext Mark-up Language which is a mark-up language used to construct webpages.


HTML uses Tags to create the structure of a webpage. These tags tell the web browser how to display the text or graphics in the document. Tags can be container or empty and the four primary tags, <HTML>, <HEAD>, <TITLE> and <BODY>, should always be included.


HTML documents are divided into two main parts: the head and the body.

Unprocessed Data can take many forms including number, text, dates.


A database gives structure to data so that it can be processed to give us meaningful information.


A Database is made up of tables that holds records that are made up of fields. These records can then be sorted maintain the information in a logical or useful.


Datatypes are applied to every field in a database and allow the computer to understand what the value of each field is. Datatypes also ensure that the data entered is valid.


Queries can be used to locate information from the database that matches certain criteria.


Reports are used to output data from a database in a way that makes it easy to read and protects other items of data that are contained in the database.

Link to Prior Learning


Students have used a number of web resources up until this point on the course, some of which can be used for illustrative purposes when introducing the various tags.
Knowledge and sequencing rationale HTML shows students the need for precision when using text based language but without having to build up complex logical or computational statements as is necessary in the programming languages they will meet later in the KS3 course. It also can give instant feedback on the success of your code which is motivational in our early experiences of using languages. Databases are central to the operation of most organisations so an understanding of how they can help in storing, sorting and searching the vast amounts of information in circulation is important. The concepts of searching and sorting are key in computing and this unit introduces them in a concrete manner. Building searches, or filters, allows students to employ comparative and Boolean operators without having to concern themselves with as much syntax as they will when producing programs later in the KS3£ course which will mean they are familiar with their operation when they do need to employ them later in the course.

If you would like more in depth information about the Year 7 Business and Computing department curriculum, please click here.

Year 8
Year 8 Autumn Term, Half Term 1 Autumn Term, Half Term 2 Spring Term
Unit Title Digital Literacy Computational Thinking Spreadsheets
Key Question(s)?

What are the main online threats and how do I protect myself?

What is our digital footprint, how can it impact me and how can I control mine?

What do we mean by algorithmic thinking?

How do selected search and sort algorithms operate?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the selected search and sort algorithms and which types of data sets are they best employed with?

What are spreadsheets and what re they used for?

What spreadsheet tools and operations make them so powerful?

How do I use these tools and operations?


Threshold Concepts

It is important to keep your personal information safe because if people have access to your personal information they can use it to mislead you or others.


Sexting is sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos, images, text messages, or e-mails, primarily between mobile phones. Sexting is illegal if it involves people under 18.


Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking or other inappropriate or abusive behaviour.


A digital footprint is the internet data trail relating to an individual. It contains anything they post, anything posted about them and any information they have entered onto a website as well as any sight they have visited.

Computational thinking you to be able to solve big and complex problems by employing certain skills and techniques. It can be employed in ANY situation when you face a large or complex task and is employed to better understand real world problems are approach them in a way that makes it easier to develop programs to help manage them.


Computational thinking involves employing the skills of abstraction, decomposition, pattern spotting, algorithmic thinking and generalisation, among others.


Computer programs often have to search through information they hold or sort this information into a different order. By using pattern spotting, algorithmic thinking and generalisation it is possible to employ established search and sort algorithms rather than having to work out how to program our own. These established algorithms include linear and binary searches and insertion and bubble sorts. Each algorithm operates in different ways and is more effective for certain types of data sets.



Spreadsheets are applications software programs used to store information and data, usually that is predominantly made up of numbers. Once information is in a spreadsheet we can run powerful calculations, make graphs and charts and analyse patterns.


A spreadsheet file is made up of one workbook and multiple worksheets. Worksheets appear as tabs at the bottom of a workbook. Each worksheet is a large grid of rows and columns, rows are numbered, columns are lettered. Each cell in the grid has a unique cell reference, the column it is in followed by the row e.g. B17.


Cells can hold 3 types of information data, labels and formulas.

  Data – values, usually numbers but can be letters or a combination of both.

  Labels – headings and descriptions to make the spreadsheet easier to understand.

Formulas – calculations that update automatically if referenced data changes


Formulas are usually simple calculations, e.g. adding the contents of two or more cells. They always start with an equals sign (=) e.g. =A3+C3+E3


Functions can carry out more complex mathematical operations, e.g. calculating the mean, finding the highest value in a list. Functions contain words to show what operation they are carry out on the cell contents, they too have to start with an = e.g. =AVERAGE(C2:E45), =MAX(D3:D127)


Charts and graphs provide a visual representation of data, which can often be easier to understand.


Link to Prior Learning


This unit builds on the Year 7 Digital Literacy unit This unit builds on knowledge acquired in the Computer Systems and, to a lesser extent, the Algorithm Design and Constructs units from Year 7. This unit draws from the Year 7 Algorithm Design and Concepts when considering data types, constricting formulae, functions and graphs. It also draws on the computational thinking skills developed in the previous Year 8 unit.,
Knowledge and sequencing rationale As students mature new threats emerge regarding the use of the internet and we need to be more specific about these threats so that they can understand and protect themselves both now and as adults. Understanding how to employ computational thinking to solve complex problems is a ability that is useful way beyond the Computing curriculum so familiarising students with the skills to enable them to do so is vital. Becoming familiar with some key searching and sorting algorithms helps students to develop algorithmic thinking and identifying best use scenarios demonstrates generalisation, as does the appreciation that programmers do not construct every element of their program from ground level but can employ algorithms and methods used in prior programs. Spreadsheets are a commonly used application in business and can be useful as an individual to manage household budgets and estimate repayments etc. Many of the functions introduce conditions that give instant feedback and do not require the volume of syntax knowledge needed when employing them in a programming language, hence, being a useful, low risk, way for students to familiarise themselves with them. Hence the scheduling of this unit prior to the programming one.



  Summer Term  
Unit Title Programming  
Key Question(s)? What constructs are employed in programming languages and how do they operate?  
Threshold Concepts

All programs need to have the facility to: output information to the screen, accept data input by the user, employ variables to store information that can change during the execution of the program.


Most programming languages need data to be specified by its type. Common datatypes are string, integer, float and Boolean. The data type of a piece of data or variable can be specified at the beginning on the program or will be the default type. The data type of a piece of data can be converted (changed) through casting.


Programs are written instruction by instruction; each instruction is carried out one after the next i.e. in sequence, unless selection or repetition are employed.


Selection allows the program to make decisions and then execute different instructions based on the outcome of this decision. Programs employ If..Then..Else statements to carry out such decisions.


The If… element of an If…Then…Else… statement is a logical expression that can only return a value of true or false, i.e. a Boolean value.


To construct the condition employed in the If… element of an If…Then…Else statement comparative operators (==, !=, >, >=, <, <=) are needed. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) may also be employed to combine conditional statements (conditions)


Repetition allows programs execute the same line or, or lines, of code more than once. Repetition is carried out by using loops. Loops, like If…Then…Else… statements are controlled by conditions that produce a Boolean output.

There are two types of loop: counted and conditional.

A counted loop is employed when we know in advance how many times we want to repeat the line(s) of code. The For… is usually the instruction employed to carry out a counted loop.

A conditional loop checks the result of conditional statement and keeps repeating the instruction(s) while this is true. Each time through the loop it checks the condition. Conditional loops are carried out by using While… or Repeat…Until statements.


In order to make it clear which instructions are to be carried out in selection or repetition commands we group them together.

Another thing we do to make it easier to see what the program does is use comments.




Link to Prior Learning


This unit builds directly on the Algorithm Design and Constructs unit covered in Year 7 giving students the opportunity to employ the constructs using a programming language suitable to their ability and prior learning, ideally text based such as Python, but could be block based, e.g. Scratch.    
Knowledge and sequencing rationale All computer systems are controlled by software that outlines the tasks we can complete on a computer and how this must be done. Writing programs is one way students can demonstrate their Computer science knowledge. It also gives the opportunity for students to learn in the most suitable environment text based such as Python, or  block based, e.g. Scratch, or even different technologies PCs, BBC MicroBits, Raspberry Pis.    


If you would like more in depth information about the Year 8 Business and Computing department curriculum, please click here.

Year 9
Year 9 Autumn Term

Autumn/Spring Term


Summer Term
Unit Title

Computing Component:

Introducing Computer Science

Information Technology Component:

User Interfaces

Business Component: Introducing Business
Key Question(s)?

1 What are the purpose and components of the CPU?

2 What factors affect the speed of a CPU?

3 How does the CPU operate?

4 What is memory, how are the main types of memory employed ad what are their features?

5 What is a computer system?

6 What are the key components in a computer system?

What is a user interface?

What are the issues impacting on the choice of user interface?

What are the types of user interface?

What are the software and hardware requirements for different user interfaces?

What are businesses?

How do new business ideas come about?

What makes businesses successful?

What questions should an entrepreneur ask when starting a business?

What are the wants and needs of customers?

Why is market research important?


Threshold Concepts

1 The purpose of the central processing unit, more commonly referred to as the CPU is to process data.

The CPU is made up of three main components, the control unit, the immediate access store and the arithmetic and logic unit. Each carries out a different role in the operation of the CPU.

2 There are three main factors that affect how quickly a CPU can carry out instructions: clock speed, cores, cache

multiples cores in terms of cost and complexity.

A cache is a tiny block of memory built right onto the processor. The most commonly used instructions and data are stored in the cache so that they are close at hand. The bigger the cache is, the more quickly the commonly used instructions and data can be brought into the processor and used.

3 The basic operation of a computer is called the ‘fetch-execute’ cycle. The computer fetches the instruction from its memory and then executes it. This is done repeatedly from when the computer is booted up to when it is shut down.

A single command of program code might require several instructions.

4 A computer system is an information processing machine. Computers systems process data to produce information. There are a number of reasons for using computer systems.

There are two over-riding classifications of computer system; general purpose and dedicated.

Data on its own has no meaning, or context. It is only after processing by a computer that data takes on a context and becomes information.

The three stages of computing are input, processing and output. A computer works through these stages by ‘running’ a program.

5 The sets of instructions that humans give computers systems are called programs or software.

Hardware is the name that is given to any piece of equipment in a computer system. An individual piece of hardware is called a device.

An input device is any piece of computer hardware used to provide data to a computer system.

An output device is any piece of computer hardware used to communicate the results of data that has been processed.

A storage device is a piece of computer equipment which can be used to store data.

A computer stores data using several different methods. Memory, also referred to as primary storage, typically refers to storage that is directly accessible by the computer’s CPU. The two classification of memory are ROM or Read Only Memory and RAM or Random Access Memory. Each has different features and uses.

The amount of RAM available within a computer system is a significant indicator of the systems performance.



User Interfaces


1.         Accessibility needs

2.         Skill levels

3.         Demographics

4.         Menus

5.         Forms

6.         Voice

7.         Intuitiveness

8.         Error reduction

9.         Productivity


Types of user interfaces

1.     Command Line Interface

2.     Menu Interfaces.

3.     Graphical User Interfaces (GUI).

4.     Sensor Interfaces.


Choosing an interface

1.         Performance

2.         User requirements

3.         Ease of use

4.         User experience

5.         Accessibility

6.         Storage space


The impact of hardware and software on choice of interface


Method of user input


Interface design principles



Why do we need businesses and what part do they play in our society?


The role of business enterprises and the purpose of business activity which is to:

  1. to produce goods or services
  2. to meet customer needs
  3. to add value: convenience, branding, quality, design, unique selling points.


The three main questions to ask about new businesses and new business ideas are:


·      Why?

·      Who?

·      How?


What are customers wants and needs?


·      Price

·      Quality

·      Cost

·      Convenience


Market research is how we find out about what our potential customers want and need.

Link to Prior Learning


This unit expand on material covered in the Year 7 Computer systems unit and to a lesser extent the Computational Thinking unit from Year 8.    
Knowledge and Sequencing Rationale The components of a computer system have a huge impact on what and how it performs. Understanding this , why it happens and how it can be modified will make students more informed users of computer systems able to modify and adapt the systems they work with rather than just adapt to them.

This unit starts by looking at what user interfaces are.  Students then look at the different types of interfaces and why different interfaces are used.  Students then look at the hardware and software requirements for different interfaces.  Finally, students consider the design of different interfaces.


The component starts with what is a business and what businesses do the students come into contact with on a daily basis.

This is followed by what makes a business successful. The students will research what they consider the be a successful local business and reflect on the factors that they feel has contributed to its success.

The next step will be about the importance of meeting customers wants and needs.

Students will learn that businesses find out about their potential customers wants and needs by conducting research.


Students will come up with a business idea and then prepare a questionnaire for potential customers. They will conduct the questionnaire and then conduct a report presenting and interpreting their findings.


Year 9 – GCSE Business Summer Term, Half Term 2
Unit Title Investigating Small Business
Key Question(s)? How do new business ideas come about? How are successful new businesses set up and developed?
Threshold Concepts

Businesses have to respond to changes in customer wants and to changes in the environment in which they operate. Challenges and changes can lead to the creation of new business ideas.


New business ideas come about because of:

changes in technology (e.g. online shopping)

changes in what consumers want

products and services becoming obsolete. (Obsolete: product or service with sales that have declined as customers find something new).


New business ideas can create a competitive advantage – a feature of a business that helps it to succeed against rivals.


Starting a business carries both the potential of rewards (both financial and none-financial) as well the risk of failure.


Introduction to types of business ownership e.g. sole trader, partnership and private limited company (Ltd).

Link to Prior Learning


This is a new subject for all students.  Although students will have an awareness of businesses around them an assumption is made that students do not know any business theory.



If you would like more in depth information about the Year 9 Business and Computing department curriculum, please click here.

Year 10 & 11 GCSE Business

Year 10

GCSE Business

Autumn Term, Spring Term, Half Term 1



Unit Title

Theme 1: Investigating Small Business


Key Question(s)?

What is enterprise and entrepreneurship?

How do new business ideas come about?

How are successful new businesses set up and developed?

How can new businesses become successful?

How do external influences affect businesses?



Threshold Concepts

Business enterprise and the purpose of business activity includes the following:


to produce goods (products that can be touched and held) or services (invisible and can’t be touched or held)

to meet customer needs

to add value (difference between bought in price and selling price)


An entrepreneur organises resources, makes business decisions & takes calculated risks.


Businesses need to identify and understand customer needs.  These are often identified by market research.  Businesses need to understand the market segment that they are targeting and the importance of market segmentation.


Business need to understand their competitive environment including the strengths and weaknesses of competitors based on: price, quality, location, product range and customer service and the impact of competition on business decision making.


Businesses need to have a clear sense of purpose. To allow this to happen they need to set aims and objectives. Aims are defined as a general statement of where is businesses is heading. Objectives are defined as clear, measureable goals, so success or failure is clear to see.


How to calculate and evaluate business revenues, costs, profits and cash flow.


Short-term sources of finance for business are an overdraft and trade credit. Long-term sources include personal savings, venture capital, share capital, loans, retained profit and crowd funding.


Business’ can be started as sole trader (one owner, unlimited liability), partnership (more than one owner, unlimited liability) or private limited company (owned by shareholders, limited liability).


The importance of limited liability.


The option of staring up and running a franchise operation.


The importance of business location and the factors influencing the location of a business.


All business need to understand and communicate with their customers effectively. One way that businesses can do this is through their marketing mix.  The elements of the marketing mix and how they work together.  The significance on business strategy of the marketing mix.


A business plan is a document setting out the business idea and showing how it is to be financed, marketed and put into practice.


The role of business stakeholders and potential conflicts between different stakeholder groups.




Link to Prior Learning


In year 9 students learnt:

How and why business set up.

Why do we need businesses?

The role of entrepreneurs.

Basics of types of business ownership.

Knowledge and sequencing rationale


The course starts with the question of what are business for and why does our society need them?

We look at how new business ideas come about and what events can trigger new businesses to set up.

Students learn about the role of entrepreneurs in setting up businesses.

They consider the decisions and strategies that entrepreneurs face when they are considering how to make a business successful.

This leads to the importance of customers and how to target the correct customers.

The next issue is the importance of financing and financial control on a business.

The type of ownership and its impact on business success is considered next.

All of the above information is needed to produce a business plan.

The final issue is the conflict between the different stakeholder groups in the business and the impact that potential conflict can have on the businesses success.



  Spring Term, Half Term 2 & Summer Term Half Term 1
Unit Title

Theme 1: Investigating Small Business


Key Question(s)?

How are successful new businesses set up and developed?

How can new businesses become successful?

How do external influences affect businesses?



Threshold Concepts


Technology affects businesses though both products and processes. The product is what the customers buys and the process is how businesses use technology to make themselves more efficient.  An emphasis here is the impact of e-commerce and social media on businesses.


Legislation That impacts on businesses.  This is covered in two main categories.  Firstly, legislation protects consumers from harm when the supplier knows more than the customer, when the consumer is lied to or misled or when the consumer is exposed to unhealthy foods or other unsafe products.  Secondly, legislation that protects employees from being exploited at work.


The economy can be defined as the collection of business transactions that take place throughout the country, throughout the year and the economic climate can impact businesses in multiple ways.


The external influences on business and how business respond to factors such as changes in technology, legislation and the economic climate.



Link to Prior Learning


Students have already considered how changes in technology lead to new business ideas, methods and processes.

The need to meet consumers want s and needs.

External influences and the impact of the competitive environment on businesses.

Knowledge and sequencing rationale

This work builds on the students’’ knowledge of how new ideas, products, customer wants and processes are affected by changes in technology.

The concept of external influences and their impact on businesses has already been considered.



Summer Term Half Term 2


Unit Title

Theme 2: Building a Business


Key Question(s)?

How do businesses grow?

How do marketing decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do operational decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do financial decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do human resource decisions support the growth and success of businesses?




Businesses can grow either internally through new products or markets, or externally through merger or takeover.


Business aims and objectives can change in response to: market conditions, technology, performance, legislation, or internal reasons.


The impact on business of increasing globalisation. This presents businesses with both risks and opportunities.


Link to Prior Learning


Types of business ownership.

Aims and objectives of businesses.

Reasons for new product development / business change.

Concept of risk and reward.


Knowledge and sequencing rationale

The course has moved from how do businesses become established to how to they grow.

In Theme 1 (Investigating Small Business) students looked at business aims and objectives now they look at how these change as the business develop and grows.

Theme 1 tended to focus on small local businesses now we look at business on a national global scale.





GCSE Business Year 11 Year 11 Autumn Term
Unit Title

Theme 2: Building a Business


Key Question(s)?

How do businesses grow?

How do marketing decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do operational decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do financial decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do human resource decisions support the growth and success of businesses?


Threshold Concepts


The impact on business of increasing globalisation. This presents businesses with both risks and opportunities.


The impact of protectionism on business activity.


The increasing use of technology to work with suppliers and customers in other parts of the world.


Ethical considerations influence business activity by presenting possible trade-offs between ethics and profit. Environment considerations influence business activity by presenting trade-offs including between sustainability and profit.


The importance of product function, aesthetics & production cost.


The product life cycle. This describes the length of time a product is expected to endure. It can be extended by making changes to its appearance or function.


Promotion & pricing strategies must be appropriate for different market segments and can be either online, in retailers or through other methods.


Methods of distribution, both physical and electronic.


The use of the marketing mix to promote business success.


The business production process for both goods and services.  Methods, advantages and disadvantages of production methods.  Relevance of quality and product type on production method.


When working with suppliers businesses must consider how to manage stock and the procurement process.


The importance and relevance of quality to different businesses.


The sales process and how it should be managed.



Link to Prior Learning


Trade-offs between stakeholders.

Types of business ownership.

Business aims and objectives.

Methods of business growth.

The competitive environment.

Marketing strategies, including how to meet the needs of customers.

How market research data can support business decision making.

Market segmentation.

The marketing mix.

Methods of promotion.

Impact of technology on distribution, production and marketing – focus on social media.

The role and importance of quality.

Business calculation skills.


Knowledge and sequencing rationale

The half term students are looking at the use and impact of theory that they learned in Theme 1. For example, the use of marketing when the businesses grow which builds on the theme one theory on understanding customer’s needs.

The term focuses on strategies for business growth i.e. how businesses can use the concepts learned in unit 1 to help business to grow.

Theme 1 looks at how new business come about and why some are and some are not successful.  This term we are considering successful businesses that are looking to expand and grow. The methods and planning for this grows builds on theme 1 theory, for example, the importance of recognising and delivering customers’ needs. The risks and rewards associated with growth are the same as theme 1.  The types of business ownership may need to change as the business grows and the significance of the types of ownership was dealt with in theme 1.



  Year 11 Spring Term Half Term 1
Unit Title

Theme 2: Building a Business


Key Question(s)?

How do financial decisions support the growth and success of businesses?

How do human resource decisions support the growth and success of businesses?


Threshold Concepts

The need and ability to perform business calculations to assess the financial success of a business.


Relevance of financial and non-financial data on monitoring business performance.


Businesses have a range of organisational structures including hierarchical or flat and centralised or decentralised.


The role that effective recruitment plays in business success.


Good employers train their employees through a range of formal and informal strategies.


The methods and importance of business leaders being able to motivate their employees.



Link to Prior Learning


Business revenues, costs and profits.

Business calculations skills.

Cash and cash-flow.

Sources of business finance.

Types of business ownership.

The importance of quality, including customer service.



Knowledge and sequencing rationale

The basics of finance and business calculations were taught in Year 10. This element uses these concepts to look at using the financial data of businesses to assess their performance and to develop strategies for future implementation.

Non-financial data such as market research findings was covered in unit one. Here this knowledge will be used to assess performance and again inform future strategies.



  Year 11 Spring Term Half Term 2
  Unit 1 Investigating Small Business & Unit 2 Building a Business

How do the aspects of the course covered interact and link together?

How should exam questions be structured to allow students to effectively use the knowledge that they have learned?

  Focus on Revision and exam question technique.

If you would like more in depth information about the Year 10&11 Business curriculum, please click here & here.

Year 10 & 11 GCSE Computer Science

Year 9

GCSE Computer Science

Autumn Term, Half Term 1/2 Autumn Term, Half Term 1
Unit Title Units, Data Representation and Compression Boolean Logic
Key Question(s)?

Why do computer systems use binary?

How is real world data represented in binary?

How are files made smaller for storage and transmission?

What are logic gates?

How do computers employ logic gates to complete their processing of data?

Threshold Concepts

Binary represents the two states of the transistors that comprise a computer.


Single binary digits cannot represent much so they are grouped into standard units to allow them to represent more complex data.


Decimal numbers can be represented by and converted to binary numbers


It is possible to perform calculations with binary numbers.


If we can represent real world data using numbers we can represent it in binary. There are a number of systems currently employed to do this for numbers (hexadecimal), character (ASCII and Unicode), images (vector and bitmap), sound (sampling) and instructions.



Large file sizes need to be reduced in size to ensure storage and transfer does not become disruptive, this can be done through lossy or lossless compression.


A check digit is a digit acts as a check that data has been copied or transferred correctly, there are a number of ways check digits are employed.


Logic gates are electrical devices that can be used to alter the electrical sate of an input.


Logic gates can be combined into logic circuits to complete simple processes and transformations as instructed by a program and which are at the heart of all computers operation.

Link to Prior Learning


Logic gates can be used to alter binary inputs. Logic circuits can be used to complete calculations and transformations on binary numbers.
Knowledge and sequence rationale.

All operations within a computer system are merely alterations between two electronic states, binary represents this and is the lowest level of abstraction from the computers operation. Hence it is fundamental to understand how data is represented in order for it to be processed by a computer system.


Due to this being how everything is performed within a computer system it is important for students to understand this to make sense of later knowledge

All operations within a computer system are merely alterations between two electronic states, Logic circuits execute these alterations in response to the commands within a program.


Appreciating that all instructions a computer is given, ultimately, have to be broken down into transformations that a logic circuit can perform enables students to appreciate the need for decomposition, precision, rigour and standards that permeates the whole Computer Science course so is best met at the beginning of the course.




Year 10

GCSE Computer Science

Autumn Term, Half Term 1/2 Autumn Term, Half Term 2/ Spring Term Half Term 1
Unit Title Computational Thinking Systems Architecture
Key Question(s)? How are complex real world programs analysed and interpreted so they can be solved by/using computers? What processes and components are involved in the execution of a command in a computer system?
Threshold Concepts

Computational thinking is NOT how computers think but how people have to think/approach problems in order to produce computerised solutions.


Computational thinking involves employing a number of skills including abstraction, decomposition, pattern spotting, generalisation and algorithmic thinking.


Computational thinking is not only employed to solve problems involving/to be solved by computers but can be employed to solve any complex problem in any subject or situation.

The purpose of the CPU is to execute the instructions given in a program. To perform this, it carries out the fetch, decode, execute cycle.

The function of the CPU is to fetch and execute instructions stored in memory.

The most widely used computer architecture is the Von Neumann architecture. In the Von Neumann architecture both data and instructions are stored in the same area of the memory.

Registers hold specific items of data as the fetch, decode, execute cycle is carried out. A register is very small, can only hold one item of data or instruction, very fast memory located in the processor. Registers include Program Counter (PC), Memory Address Register (MAR), Memory Data Register (MDR), Accumulator, each of which has a specific, non-varying, role in the FDE cycle.

The CPU has three main functions Arithmetic Logic Unit, (ALU), Control Unit, (CU), Cache, each of which has a specific, non-varying, role in the FDE cycle.

A CPU’s performance is affected by three of its attributes: clock speed, cache size, number of cores

An embedded system is a computer system embedded in another device. They carry out one function, to control whatever device they are installed in. They generally smaller, more robust, quicker to start up and cheaper than multi-purpose devices which is why they are used.


Link to Prior Learning


Computational thinking is the reason computer scientists can  break down data in ways that can be represented in binary and specify processes that can be performed by logic circuits which all computer solutions ultimately need to be.

Program instructions, as processed by the CPU are represented in binary.

Operations performed by the CPU are completed by logic circuits.

CPUs have been developed and improved over the years through the employment of Computational thinking

Knowledge and sequence rationale.

Computational Thinking is at the core of computer science and permeates the creation and modification of every computer system, program, standard, protocol etc.


Hence it is essential that students appreciate what it is, its significance and how to employ it at the beginning of the course.

The CPUs operation influences how the computer system is constructed, how it transfers data with other computers and users and how programs are constructed and executed.


As other units are introduced referring back to the operation of the CPU will explain why things happen in the way they do so this needs to be studied earlier in the course.



  Autumn Term, Half Term 2/ Spring Term, Half Term 1 Spring Term Half Term 1/2/Summer Term, Half Term 1 Spring Term,  Half Term 1/2
Unit Title Designing, creating and refining algorithms Programming Fundamentals Memory
Key Question(s)? What tools and techniques are employed to try to ensure effective and efficient algorithms ate produced, prior to converting them to a program? What constructs are employed to create effective and efficient programs?

What is memory and why is it essential in modern computer systems?

What different types of memory are there and what are their features and uses?

Threshold Concepts

Identifying inputs, processes, and outputs for a problem helps to abstract the key information and constructs


Structure diagrams help decompose a large task into its component parts.


Algorithms can be given in: pseudocode, flowcharts, and reference language or high-level programming language, choosing and employing the appropriate one of these will assist in creating, interpreting, correcting, completing, and refining algorithms.


Trace tables can be used to help run through the operation of an algorithm and hence identify and remove common errors prior to coding.

Data used in computer programs needs to be classified. Data types are integer, real, Boolean, character and string. In some cases, data can be converted from one type to another, this process known as casting.

A variable is a named location in memory the contents of which changes each time or as the program executes.

A constant is a named location in memory the contents of which stays the same each time the program executes.

Operators denote a process to be carried out on data. They include mathematical operators such as +, -, *, /, Div and Mod; comparison operators: >, >=, <, <=, =; logic operators: AND, OR, NOT.

Every programming language needs to provide a facility to input and output data so it can be processed by the program and passed back out.

Assignment is the process of allocating a value to a variable or constant.

Programs use three basic programming constructs to control their flow: sequence, selection, iteration.

String manipulation is a term use to describe various operations available to modify how strings look or access specific elements of strings.

An array is a named set of locations in memory used to store a set of data on related items. Arrays can be one dimensional – just a set off single items of data, or two dimensional – a set of arrays.

File handling operations allow programs to permanently store, retrieve and modify data. The basic file handling operations are open, read, write, amend, and close.

A record is a data structure that contains a collection of data items arranged for processing by a program.

Structured query language (SQL) is a standard language for storing, manipulating and retrieving data in databases.     

A subroutine (sub-program) is a sequence of program instructions that performs a specific task, packaged as a unit. The main types of subroutine are procedures and functions.

Random element generation is often employed within algorithms and programs.

The role of memory is to hold data and instructions prior to them being carried out.

There are two types of memory: Read Only Memory (ROM) and Random Access Memory (RAM); each has a different role and different characteristics.

Virtual Memory is used when RAM gets full.


Link to Prior Learning


This unit introduces tools that can be employed to support computational thinking and ensure the processes of computational thinking produce effective algorithms. Students will employ computational thinking in order to produce their programs and will understand the precision needed due to their previous study of data representation and Boolean logic. Use of memory expands the capabilities of the CPU. Modern computer systems could not operate without memory.
Knowledge and sequencing rationale Employing Computational thinking involves developing the skills which require the use of tools and standard approaches hence these need to be formally taught prior to employing CT to develop algorithms and programs.

Writing code is a one of the ways students can demonstrate their understanding of the principals of computation.

Teaching programming after Ct ensure they have access to the skills and tools needed to effectively produce programs and prior study of Boolean logic and data representation will help them appreciate and work to the precision needed.

Though the CPU carries out all the operations of a computer these would be incredibly limited without the ability to store information prior to and after processing. Hence, it is important that students both understand how memory is essential to the operation of modern computer systems and the classification, role and operation of memory.

Students need to understand the operations of the CPU in order to appreciate the role and operation of the different types of memory.

  Spring Term, Half Term 2 Summer Term, Half Term 1/2 Summer Term,  Half Term 2
Unit Title Storage Networks and Topologies Wired and wireless networks, protocols and layers
Key Question(s)?

How does storage differ from memory?

What are the most widely used storage types employed in computer systems?

How can you select the most appropriate type of storage for your situation?

What is a network and why are they employed?

What different ways can computer networks be set up and controlled?

What are the key pieces of equipment needed to enable computers to be networked?

What transmission media can be used in a network and how do these operate?

How is encryption employed to protect data that is sent across a network?

How are individual devices on a network identified?

How are large data files prepared so they can be sent across a network?

How can different makes of computers on different tupes of network, in different geographical locations communicate?

Threshold Concepts

Secondary storage is needed to store programs and data for retrieval at a later date. It is often external to the computer.


There are three common forms of storage: Optical, Magnetic and Flash; each operates in a different way and has different performance on a variety of factors including capacity, speed, portability, durability, reliability, cost. These factors must be considered when identifying the most appropriate storage type for a given situation or system.

A network is one or more computers or devices connected together. This allows the sharing of peripherals, such as printers, and software. Networks can be classified as local or wide area.


Bandwidth and Network latency are key measure of the performance of a network..


Networks can be set up as Client-Server or Peer-to Peer and the roles of individual networked machines varies depending on which type of network it is involved in.


To connect a computer or device to a network, a number of hardware components are required: A network interface controller (NIC), a hub or switch, a wireless access point (WAP) , a router, a modem, and transmission media. The operation and specification of each of these components will have an impact on the overall performance of a network, it generally only being as efficient as its least effective component.

A network’s topology is the arrangement, or pattern, in which all nodes on a network are connected together; there are a number of topologies including star topology all nodes indirectly and mesh. The topology of a network will impact its cost to set up, its ease to set up, its efficiency and its ability to handle node failure.


The internet is a global network of computers that any computer can join. It is a WAN which is a series of connected LANs. Each resource you can access over the Internet has a unique Uniform resource locator (URL).


Hosting allows individuals or companies to store the files and applications on a server that is owned by another organisation.


Networks can be classified as wired or wireless. A wired network uses cables; wireless network uses wireless Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals to connect nodes. The transmission media used will impact the cost of connecting the devices, the efficiency of the network and the protocols used to transmit data over the network.

Encryption is the process of disguising a message so that it cannot be understood by anyone but its intended recipient. There are many methods of encrypting data.


Devices on a network are identified via addressing. Each device on a network will have both an IP address and a MAC address which operate in different ways and serve different purposes.


Data transmitted over a network is split into packets prior to submission. Packet switching allows these packets to travel across the network using different routes which can speed up the overall transmission speed of the data.


A protocol is a set of rules that governs transmission of data across and between networks.


Layers enable protocols to be built up making their development, employment and modification more effective and flexible.



Link to Prior Learning


The CPU and Memory form the foundation of a modern computer system storage expands the capabilities of the system beyond the programs and data currently in use to store previously created information and programs not in use that can be transferred to memory when required.


The functionality of a computer system, CPU, Memory and storage, can be further enhanced by joining with other devices or computer systems. This unit moves on from the previous unit’s networks and how to establish one to look at the standards and procedures used to enable them to operate.
Knowledge and sequencing rationale

Though a modern computer system is viable with just a CPU memory, many systems including general purpose ones need the ability to store data and programs not currently in use but that can be retrieved and processed at a later date, this is the role of memory.

The role of storage is to expand the capacity and capabilities of memory hence it is studies after memory.

The use of networks devices is ubiquitously and ever expanding. Understanding the fundamentals of what a network is and can be classified, the equipment needed to establish it, the ways it can be arranged, both physically and hierarchically and the use of Internet technologies is essential to the understanding of how computers are employed in our society.

Students need an understanding of what a computer system is and the standards and mechanisms (computational thinking, data representation and Boolean logic) before they can understand how they are linked and why network standards are needed.

Understanding how networks operate, crucially the concept of layers and related protocols, is a concrete example of decomposition, abstraction and generalisation in operation to solve a physical computing problem. Therefore, studying this is not only essential information for knowing how networks operate but also in recognising the way computational thinking permeates every aspect of computer science.

Due to the fact this unit demonstrates CT in operation within a network it has to follow the CT and networking units.



Year 11

GCSE Computer Science

Autumn Term, Half Term 1 Autumn Term, Half Term 1 Autumn Term, Half Term 2
Unit Title Producing robust programs Network Security Programming languages and integrated development environments
Key Question(s)?

How do we design programs that stand up to deliberate, or accidental, misuse?

How do we ensure that programs operate effectively regardless of the data they receive?

What vulnerabilities are there in a networked computer system?

What measures can be put in place to reduce the vulnerabilities in a computer system?

What different types of programming language are common in use?

What are the features of each of these?

How are programs written in programing languages converted into binary for execution by a computer?

What facilities are available to support a programmer when producing their programs?

Threshold Concepts

Defensive design ensures we consider that programs will not always be used by careful users in an appropriate manner and we have taken this into account from the beginning. It should endure that programs don’t crash or allow individuals to misuse them. Techniques include: input sanitisation, validation, planning for contingencies, anticipating misuse and authentication.

To ensure programs keep on working and doing what users expect of them we need to consider their maintainability. To ensure a program is maintainable we need to use sensible variable, constant and subroutine names, comments, and indentation.

To ensure programs work as expected they must be tested. The purpose of testing is not to show they work with typical data but to prove they will not ‘break’ if atypical data is entered and to ensure all options work as expected – destructive testing.

Test data is data that is identified prior to the writing of the program. A range of test data must be used including normal, boundary, invalid, erroneous.

Syntax errors occur when the program is written in a way that breaks the rules of the programming language. Logic errors means the code executes but produces unexpected results.

A network attack is an attempt to gain access to, steal, modify or delete data on a network. Such attacks distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks and eavesdropping.


There are a number of techniques that pose a threat networks including: (viruses, worms  – Trojans, spyware, ransomware


Other threats include: phishing, brute force attacks, DOS/DDOS attacks, data interception and theft, structured query language (SQL) injection, poor network policy, social engineering


There are many techniques that can be used to help keep a network safe, including: penetration testing, anti-malware software, firewalls, user access levels, passwords, encryption, physical Security


There are different levels (generations) of programming languages: machine code (first generation), low level (second generation), high level (third generation), declarative (fourth generation); each level has a different purposes and characteristics in terms of speed of execution, file size, ease of use for programmer, need for translation,



An assembler is a program that converts assembly language into machine code. It takes the basic commands and operations from assembly code (the source code) and converts them into binary code (the executable code).


Interpreters translate and execute source code line by line, statement by statement.


Compilers translate entire source code all in one go from a high level language into the object code (machine code) that can be executed. This is stored in a separate file, the executable file, and cannot be edited.


An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software suite that brings together a set of tools developers need to write and test software. These tools typically include: an editor, error diagnostics, a run-time environment, and translators

Link to Prior Learning


Previously students have learnt how to employ CT to design and build a program. However, creating a program is not the end point, creating an effective and unbreakable program is. This unit build on these prior units to demonstrates the importance of design to build in features and test for misuse of a program. The networking of computers has bought many new risks., hence this unit is a logical and essential post requisite to the networking units. In initial units in Year 9 and 10 students came to appreciate that computers process binary. They have since developed their own programming skills in a high level language. This unit links these two by investigating how programming languages are classified and converted to binary ready for execution.
Knowledge and sequencing rationale

Programs are not created for the programmer to operate; they are usually created for others to use. These others will often, intentionally and unintentionally, misuse the program and it must withstand this misuse without crashing. Robust design methods, including pre-planned testing, are the first step in ensuring this, hence their inclusion.

Until students have enough functional programming skills to develop complex programs it is difficult to make a convincing argument for the need for robust design methods, hence this unit is taught after students have completed and practiced their functional programming skills and are ready to start to create and implement more complex programs that need such an approach

As members of a networked world it is essential that we all, and especially computer science students, recognise the main treats that networking computers brings, and the tools, including personal vigilance, that can be employed to minimise their occurrence and impact.

This unit is a natural follow-on to the two prior networking units.

The way programming languages are classified translated and is another concrete example to CT in action over progressive years within Computer Science. It is also beneficial for students to appreciate what is happening as programs they have written are executed and have an appreciation of the implications of the choices of programming language and translator.

Students need to have studied data representation and programming before they appreciate the need for translators, as this unit is later in the course they will have also been exposed to other forms of language, assembly SQL, which will be beneficial in appreciating the difference between diffident classifications of language.

  Autumn Term, Half Term 2 Autumn Term, Half Term 2/Spring Term, Half Term 1 Spring Term, Half Term 1/2
Unit Title Systems software Searching and sorting algorithms Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impact
Key Question(s)? What software is needed to enable a computer system to run effectively?

Why are standard search and sort algorithms employed?

What are some standard search and sort algorithms?

How do these algorithms operate?

What are the ethical, legal and cultural concerns created by the use of complex computer systems?
Threshold Concepts

A computer is controlled by systems software. Operating systems provide this control, while utilities help to maintain the system.


An operating system is a collection (or suite) of programs that manages and controls the computer. In incudes: a user interface and enables multitasking, memory management, peripherals control.


A computer is controlled by systems software. Operating systems provide this control, while utilities help to maintain the system.


Utilities software include:      encryption software, defragmentation, data compression

Many computer systems and programs need to search or sort information. Rather than have to write an algorithm to do this from scratch it is more efficient to use, or modify, one that already exists.


Different search or sort algorithms are more effective data set scenarios, hence the need for multiple algorithms for each.

Ethics are moral principles, or rules, which govern a person’s attitudes and behaviour. The ethics of an industry or organisation are often set out in a documented form.


Ethical issues in computing include: privacy, equality of access to technology (the digital divide), the impact and responsibilities of social media.


Legal issues include: ensuring public safety, protecting individual’s intellectual property, protecting individuals’ and businesses computers systems, and security of data. Various legislation has been introduced to ensure these including the Computer Misuse Act, The Data Protection Act, The Copyright, Designs and Patent Act and software licensing.


Cultural issues include the rise of working from home, video communications, social media, and the digital divide between countries.


Environmental concerns consider the environmental impact of producing, running and disposing of technology.


Different stakeholders will have a different perception of these issues.


Link to Prior Learning


This unit draws on understanding developed in the data representation, systems architecture, memory, storage, networking, system security.  This unit draws on CT, algorithm design and programming units. This unit links to issues covered in the system security unit though its scope goes way beyond these.
Knowledge and sequencing rationale

The majority of how a computer system operates is dictated by the software that controls it, The CPU and other devices are merely machinery inert and inactive without this software. It is therefore essential that students appreciate the role of the key pieces of this systems software in the operation of both dedicated and general purpose systems.  The way these different pieces of systems software interact with each other and with other applications that may be run on the computer system is a further example of the application of CT methods to enable modern systems to operate.

As systems software has such impacts, and is impacted by, so many of the preceding units a position later in the curriculum has been adopted.

Many computing applications require data or information to be searched through or sorted. The use of standard algorithms to do this is another example of the application of CT skills, predominantly pattern spotting and generalisation. So this unit is important both because it provides students with algorithms they can employ to search and sort but also because it helps them realise the benefit of CT and using established algorithms in new contexts.

 In order to be able to understand, interpret and complete the search and sort algorithms involved in this unit students need to have as much prior programming experience as possible, hence the locating of this unit at the end of the course.

Computers are entirely embedded within our world, we use them hourly, if not more regularly, and need to understand that their use is not without impact on our society, at a national and global level, and our environment. This unit gives the opportunity to discuss how computer use impacts different groups, how current systems try to mitigate negative impacts and whether that is enough.

It is intended that students’ knowledge of computers, their use and impact developed during this course will give them a broad appreciation of some initial issues pertinent to this unit which can be analysed, evaluated and responded to with the increased maturity they will now have as Year 11 students.

If you would like more in depth information about the Year 10&11 Computing Science curriculum, please click here & here.

Year 10 &11 BTEC Enterprise

Year 10

BTEC Enterprise

Autumn Term & Spring Term, Half Term 1
Unit Title Component 1: Exploring Enterprises.  (Assessed by coursework).
Key Question(s)?

What are the key features of successful enterprises?

What are the skills needed by entrepreneurs?


Threshold Concepts

What is an enterprise?


Types and characteristics of Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Type of ownership including; sole trader, partnership and private limited company (Ltd).


Enterprises need to attract and keep customers happy and often face difficulties in capturing and retaining customers in comparison to their competition.


The purposes of enterprises.

Enterprises have several aims including making a profit, surviving, expanding, maximising sales, providing a voluntary or charitable service, being environmentally friendly, being ethical.


Why do entrepreneurs start their own business?

What are the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur?

What skills do entrepreneurs need?


The importance of anticipating, identifying and meeting customer needs.


Using market research to understand customers.

Quantitative v’s qualitative research.

Primary v’s secondary research.


Identifying and understanding competitors.

How do SMEs stand out from their competitors?


Link to Prior Learning


This is a new topic subject. However, if they have followed the Year 9 unit on Business they will have considered what makes a successful small business. They will also have considered the questions that entrepreneurs need to ask when thinking of starting a news enterprise.

Finally, students will have been introduced to the basics of market research.


Knowledge and Sequencing Rationale


Students start by discovering why selected small business are a success and the skills of the entrepreneurs behind them that contribute to their success.


The importance of customer focus is then learnt. Students will then consider the importance of market research in contributing the enterprises understanding of their customers and their needs.


The final step is to look at factors impacting on the success of the businesses that business can and cannot control.  This leads on to a consideration of how to analyse factors impacting on success and using this analysis to develop strategies to try and ensure further success in the future.


  Spring Term Half Term 2 & the Summer Term
Unit Title Component 2: Planning for and Pitching an Enterprise Activity.  (Assessed by coursework).
Key Question(s)? How do you plan for and develop a realistic micro-enterprise activity?
Threshold Concepts

Generating ideas for a micro-enterprise activity.


What factors need to be considered when selecting the final enterprise activity?  This includes, financial and physical resources.  A skills audit of the student will also be undertaken to select the suitable business idea to match their skills.


Develop a plan for a successful; micro-enterprise activity.  Tis plan will include:

·      Aims of the enterprise, both financial and non-financial.

·      Product of service to be sold.

·      Methods of communication with the customers.

·      Resources requited.

·      Risk assessment and contingency plans.


Students will repent their business plan to an audience.


Students will respond to feedback and reflect on both their plan and their pitch.  Students will evaluate to see how they could have improved both their plan and their pitch.




Link to Prior Learning


In this component students will use the research knowledge gained from Component 1 to consider a number of ideas before developing a plan for a realistic micro-enterprise activity.  For example:

·       Types of enterprise

·       How to fund businesses

·       Characteristics of successful enterprises and entrepreneurs

·       Skills needed by entrepreneurs

·       The importance of meeting customer needs.

·       Market research

·       Identifying competitors

·       Target markets



Knowledge and Sequencing Rationale

This unit applies the knowledge that’s students learnt in component 1.

The unit starts with identifying very general ideas.

Students have to evade these ideas and select the most likely to be successful for them.

Students then conduct market research to identify what customers want and what competitors already provide.

Once this has been done students can plan the financial and non-financial resources that will be needed. Next is the marketing strategy.

Students will identify skills that they will need to improve and evaluate their business idea.

The pitch and final evaluation helps students reflect on their business planning decisions and what they could have done better.



BTEC Enterprise Year 11 Autumn term and first half of the Spring term. 

Component 3: Promotion and Finance for Enterprise (Assessment by external examination).


Key Question(s)?

How can the performance of an enterprise can be affected by both internal and external factors?

How can an awareness of the impact of these factors and the strategies that businesses can use help to make the most of opportunities and help minimise any threats?

How can analysing financial information in an enterprise context help to monitor the performance of an enterprise and help the enterprise to develop strategies to improve its performance?

How can the different elements of the promotional mix help to identify target markets and be used to put forward strategies that enterprises can use to increase their success in the future?


Threshold Concepts







Section A Promotion


What are the different methods of promotion used by enterprises?  This includes a consideration of their suitability for different sizes of enterprise, including the factors enterprises consider when choosing the most appropriate methods of promotion.

How is advertising used to persuade and inform?


Why does an enterprise target its market, and what impact does this have on promotion?

What are the different types of market: Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C)?

Why does an enterprise segment the market to identify which customers its promotions will target?  How is segmentation carried out?


What are the factors affecting the choice of promotional method for an enterprise?



Section B Financial records


Students will need to be able to complete, interpret and check the information on financial documents and statements.


What are the different types of financial documents?


What is the importance to a business of accuracy when these documents are being used?


What are the different payment methods?

What is the impact on customers and enterprises of using different methods?


What are the sources of revenue and costs?


What is the terminology in financial statements?


Students will learn to complete and interpret a statement of comprehensive income using given figures, and suggest appropriate actions.


Students will learn to complete and interpret a statement of financial position using given figures, and suggest appropriate actions.


Students should be able to categorise total assets and liabilities using a statement of financial position.


Students will learn to interpret statements of comprehensive income and of financial position to

calculate ratios.  This includes profitability and liquidity financial ratios.



Section C Financial planning and forecasting


Students will learn to complete cash flow forecasts, and investigate the effects of positive and negative cash flow on an enterprise.


What are the purpose of a cash flow forecast?


Analysis of cash flow information – considering changes in inflows and outflows over aperiod and how this affects the enterprise, considering differences between predicted andactual cash flow.  This includes consideration of how to improve cash flow problems.


Students will learn how to construct and interpret a break-even chart, and recognise its limitations.


Students will consider why enterprises may plan different sources of finance for different purposes or at different stages and the relevance of each source.



Link to Prior Learning



Component 3 is a synoptic unit and is designed to build upon the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired and developed in both Components 1 & 2.  The main focusses previously considered are summarised below.


In Component 1 students learnt about:


•        The importance of anticipating and identifying customer needs.

•        Identifying customer expectations.

•        The ways in which different products can be linked to different kinds of customers.

•       Using market research to understand customers

•       Different methods of market research.



In Component 2 students learnt about:


•       Financial forecasts.

•       Costing and pricing.

•       Cash flow

•       Break even

•       Financial aims.

•       Methods of communication and promotion.

•       Identifying potential customers.

•       Identifying the target market.

•       Market segmentation.

•       How the product or service will reach the market.

•       Establishing and sustaining sales to the target customers.

•       Methods of communication with the customer.

•       The design of promotional materials.



Knowledge and Sequencing Rationale




There are really two sections to this component.  It starts with looking at marketing and promotion and how that impacts the success of a business.  This leads on to a discussion of the audit trail involved in the sales process and the flow of financial documentation. These documents lead to the production of financial statements – income statement & statement of financial position.


Cash flow and break-even are also considered leading onto the identification of problems.  This links back to the marketing and promotion strategies and how they can be improved as well to financial strategies to improve the financial position of a business.




If you would like more in depth information about the Year 10&11 BTEC Enterprise curriculum, please click here & here.

Year 10 & 11 BTEC Digital Information Technology

Year 10 & 11

BTEC Digital Information Technology

Unit Title Exploring User Interface Design Principles and Project Planning Techniques
Key Question(s)? What are the key features of different types of user interfaces and where can they be appropriately applied? Autumn term year 10


Threshold Concepts


A user interface is the means by which a person is able to interact with a computer system.


Software features facilitate human-device interaction by;


Intuitiveness – prompts for input and clear output improves ease of-use.

Error Reduction – identifies what you can/can’t do to prevent mistakes.

Productivity – simpler interaction makes tasks quicker to perform.


A text based interface uses simple text on a plain background. A menu based interface presents the user with a list of options and the user navigates sub-menus by choosing relevant options.


A graphical user interface uses windows, icons, menus and pointers where the user clicks on object with pointer to input commands.


The right user interface depends on your individual needs. Different factors must be considered including performance, ease of use and accessibility. The type of display, as well as size & resolution, can also affect your choice of interface.


A range of user accessibility needs should be considered when choosing a user interface including visual, hearing and speech impairments.


Users will have different levels of experience with IT. | This will affect their ability to use new interfaces. Experience ranges from those considered ‘experts’ to ‘novice’.


Demographics and individual characteristics impact on interface design and selection. These include age, belief, cultural context and background.


Key Question(s)? What is effective project management? Spring term year 10
Threshold Concepts

Project management requires entrepreneurs to plan carefully for the implementation of their product. The waterfall method is the most common approach but some favour the ‘agile’ model.


An effective project plan includes achievable targets and a clear awareness of the intended audience and purpose of the project.


The Design Specification is a detailed document that describes the system being developed and how the system meets the aims and objectives of the project.


The continuous review and modification of a plan is essential to a positive project outcome.

Unit title Collecting, presenting and interpreting data
Key Question(s)? What is the role and impact of using data on individuals? Summer term 2 year 10
Threshold Concepts

Data is a collection of numbers or text that is stored and processed by computer systems.


Information is data that has been processed.


Data modelling is a computer model that simulates a real-life system. It uses complex formula to analyse the data entered & project future data.


All data should be validated – checked to ensure that data entered is sensible & reasonable and verified – checked to ensure that data entered matches the original source.


We can present data in a range of ways so that it can be interrogated for trends, patterns, anomalies and errors.

Key Question(s)? How can data dashboards be used to draw conclusions and review data presentation methods? Autumn term 1 year 11
Threshold Concepts

A data dashboard is a display of important information, using visual and other methods of presentation.


Dashboards rely on data; in many situations that data comes from a secondary source and needs to be imported into the spreadsheet that feeds the data to the dashboard.


Spreadsheets use formulae to do a wide range of calculations, including simple arithmetic through the complex statistical and engineering functions.  Including:

·      Cell referencing

·      Decision making functions

·      Lookup functions

·      Count functions

·      Logical operators

·      Sorts and Filters

·      Macros

·      Validation and verification


Presenting the data on the dashboard clearly and effectively is important so users can understand and interpret the data.



Unit title Effective digital working practices
Key Question(s)?

How do modern technologies impact on organisations?

What threats exist to digital systems and how can they be managed?

What constitutes responsible, legal and ethical use of data?

Autumn term 2, Spring term 1 and 2 year 11
Threshold Concepts

Cloud storage is where files created and used on one or more computers or devices are stored and managed remotely.


There are many different platforms available for organisations employees and stakeholders to use.  Crossing platforms to use cloud based technologies is sometimes difficult.


Many services use cloud technologies to store important data, which can be synchronised between different devices.


Factors that organisations should consider when choosing cloud technologies include:

·      Disaster recovery

·      Data security

·      Compatibility

·      Maintenance


Collaborative technologies enable staff within organisations to work together more effectively by allowing them to communicate and share information and documentation effectively.


The ways that modern technologies impact on organisations include:

·      Infrastructure

·      Security

·      24/7 access

·      Collaboration

·      Inclusivity

·      Accessibility

·      Working practices


The ways that technology impacts individuals include:

·      Wellbeing

·      Flexibility and working style


Cyber security is the combination of policies, procedures, technologies and the actions of individuals to protect from threats both internal and external.


External threats to organisations include:

·      Hacking

·      Phishing

·      Pharming

·      Man in the middle attacks


Internal threats to digital systems and data security include:

·      Untrustworthy websites

·      Downloads from the internet

·      Disclosure of data

·      Stealing or leaking information

·      Use of portable storage devices

·      Overriding of security controls


Organisations cane protect against threats by using Firewalls, intelligent interface design, biometrics, passwords, anti-virus software, ethical hacking and penetration testing.




Link to Prior Learning


There is some link to KS3 computing with regards to the use of spreadsheets to complete calculations and present information in different ways.
Knowledge and sequencing rationale

The understanding of the ways that we, as humans, interact with computer systems is the basis of the course.  Therefor it is important to have a grasp of this knowledge before attempting to apply it to the set assignment brief where learners will be asked to explain the rationale behind their choice of user interface.  From here the different design features must be known to be able to apply them once again to the assignment and develop an appropriate interface.


Once learners have the knowledge of user interfaces and have grasped key design concepts they must then be able to plan and execute a project in which they will select, design, bud and review a user interface to meet a set assignment brief.  They cannot appropriately do this without the underlying interface knowledge.


In order to understand the importance of validation and verification learners must understand what data modelling is.  This will allow them to see the benefit of and reason for having data that is valid and has been verified.  Likewise, without an understanding of the importance of validation and verification learners may struggle to be able to create a data model that can be interrogated for trends, patterns, anomalies and errors with confidence.


With a understanding of these concepts learners will then be able to once again combine them with the project management concepts and knowledge to complete the second assignment brief and plan, create and review a data model to support decision making.


The above knowledge and skills are then combined with the effective working practices knowledge in preparation for the examination at the end of year 11.  Gaps in the timeline are there to accommodate the completion of coursework elements of the course.


If you would like more in depth information about the Year 10&11 BTEC Digital Information Technology curriculum, please click here.

A Level Course

Discover more in our A Level options booklet click here 

Business Studies Staff