at Cockermouth School


Business is available as a GCSE and BTEC Level 3 option subject. In both courses the key aspects of Marketing, Finance, Production and Human Resources are studied. The courses encourage students to use and develop a range of transferable skills including discursive and analytical techniques.

The department uses a range of printed and electronic resources along with courses, competitions and organizational links to provide a diverse range of relevant and current stimuli. Business is a ‘real world’ subject that require students to engage with examples, case studies and news, and also to work effectively as individuals, in groups and with a range of other sources.

Business is a popular course option at both GCSE and Post-16. We are based in the new building and have two dedicated ICT equipped classrooms. Students are taught by a highly qualified and experienced staff.

Our successful uptake is probably driven by the appreciation by students of the importance of knowing about how and why businesses operate. The jobs and careers marketplace is becoming ever more competitive and it is essential that applicants understand the world in which they will be working, and competing for work.

All our courses are well resourced and work well with other subject options.

Key Stage 4


This is the final year of the legacy GCSE, and contains two elements of study: Unit 2 Investigating Small Business and Unit 3 Building a Business. Unit 2 is a controlled assessment completed during the 1st half of the spring term, and is an individual research study based on an exam board supplied context. Unit 3 is a written exam completed in May, and assesses the content learned during year 11.

The key topics covered in year 11 are Marketing (including product life cycle, marketing mix etc), Production (including quality, stock etc), Finance (including cash flow, breakeven etc), Human Resources (including recruitment, organisational structure etc), and Economic World (including trade, ethics etc).

In addition, Unit 1 Introduction to Small Business, which was studied during year 10 is assessed by multiple choice exam at the end of year 11. This contains topics including Generating ideas, Meeting wants and needs, Raising finance, Competition and Risk & reward.

Formative assessment is carried out through the use of in class tests after each of the topic elements listed above.

Key Stage 5


This year has two units of study: Unit 1 Exploring Business and Unit 3 Personal and Business Finance. Unit 1 requires the completion of a research based portfolio following the study of a local business. The key knowledge content in this is features and purposes, competition and stakeholders, pricing and output decisions, and external influences. This unit comprises 25% of the final course grade.

Unit 3 is assessed through an exam at the end of Year 12. The learning content contains managing personal finance (including bank accounts and debt), financial sector (including banks and building societies), accounting (including revenue and capital), finance sources (including internal and external), financial planning (including breakeven and cash flow), and financial position (including income statements, balance sheets and ratios).

Each topic is assessed on a formative basis before moving onto the next. The end of year exam comprises 30% of the final course grade


This year has two units of study: Unit 2 Marketing and Unit 22 Market Research. Unit 2 requires the completion of a time constrained controlled assessment, based on an exam board supplied content but a case study of the school’s choosing. The key theory content includes segmentation and branding, marketing mix, and budgeting. This units comprises 25% of the final course grade and is completed by May.

Unit 22 requires the completion of a research driven portfolio based on a context and scenario supplied by the exam board. Prior to the research, topic learned include aims and objectives, research methods, piloting and sampling, and use of research agencies. This unit comprises 20% of the final course grade and is completed by Easter.

Outside the Classroom

As a department we offer a range of opportunities including Young Enterprise, Student Investor and other competitions. Learning is further supported through attendance at revision workshops and by engaging with speakers and business visits. Within school, we produce a weekly department newsletter to stimulate wider reading and to help students manage their workload. We also have a very wide range of additional resources to help students develop their appreciation and understanding of what is, for most, a brand new subject.