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Aims & Philosophy of the Economics & Business Department

The Economics & Business Studies Department aims to provide an insight into the business world, and develop the skills necessary for girls to form judgements on the current issues of the day. Girls need no special qualifications for these courses apart from an interest in the way the world works and how industry affects lives.

The department primarily adopts a problem solving approach to teaching. There are few correct answers to many of the questions that we examine. Girls are encouraged to form opinions based upon the evidence they have accumulated, and to argue their viewpoint cogently. These are skills-based subjects, with an emphasis on using a range of media to develop the knowledge and understanding required.

There are subtle differences between the two subjects. Economists develop models to help understand why things are the way they are and why change happens; it enables students to understand the decisions of households, firms and governments. Business Studies is more practical, and investigates the internal workings and external influences on a business. It is taught using a predominantly case-study driven approach, with content and theories developed by using real world evidence.

The department is keen to integrate speakers and visits into the curriculum and participates in a variety of competitions and challenges including the IFS Student Investor Challenge. Our school’s Enterprise Challenge, as part of the Prince’s Trust Million Makers, has raised more than £35,000 over the past 8 years.

Overview of Key Stage 5 Curriculum

Economics is the study of how societies allocate their scarce resources in the face of unlimited human wants. Through studying Economics at AS and A-level, girls develop an understanding of current economic issues, problems and institutions that affect everyday life, learn to explain a variety of real-world phenomena from an economic perspective and learn to analyse, explain and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the market economy and role of government within it. The main skills that a good economist needs is the ability to analyse economic data, to interpret graphs and tables, to identify trends and to explain these using economic theory. This requires a clear mind and the abilities to think logically and write clearly and concisely.

Business Studies aims to encourage a critical understanding of business organisations, the markets they serve and the process of adding value. This subject at AS and A-level requires and develops a range of skills including decision-making and problem-solving in the light of evaluation and, where appropriate, the quantification and management of information. Business Studies provides an excellent introduction to the key functional areas of the business and an insight into areas of further study or careers.

What makes thedepartment unique from those at other schools?

We incorporate innovative approaches to teaching without losing academic rigour, resulting in excellent results. This modern approach to teaching prior to higher education is an exciting blend of theory, applied in the context of the real world, whilst developing a variety of skills that prepare students of any discipline for life beyond school.

Many of our girls who found they enjoyed the subjects have gone on to study business related topics at University level. Applications to read Economics at Oxbridge are common with the Economics and Management course at Oxford proving to be an excellent option. Other universities that attract frequent applications include LSE, Durham, Bristol, UCL and Warwick. Our termly visits and links with local businesses have proven to be a valuable link between theory and the business world and have allowed girls to benefit from work experience.

To learn about the Economics & Business Department
curriculum in other Key Stages please choose a link