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Vocational Education


Business Studies is a subject which has become increasingly popular in recent years - possibly because of its relevance to modem society with its rapid economic changes. Business Studies is obviously a useful qualification for anyone contemplating a career in business or a business or management course in higher education. It combines well with many other A Level subjects. Darrick Wood’s Business Department has been recognised as one of the best in the South East.

Key Stage 4

Course Content

The content of the course is split into six units covering the following areas, designed to give a broad introduction to the way that businesses operate:

  • Business in the Real World
  • Influences on Business
  • Business Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Finance

Content is delivered through a wide variety of activities, always with reference to a real business context. Students will spend some of their time using ICT to research, prepare and produce their work.


Students are assessed via two assessment opportunities:

  • Paper 1 - Influences of operations and HRM on business activity. This is an externally assessed one hour 45 minutes examination paper worth 50% of the overall GCSE grade. This paper will cover the areas of Business in the Real World, Influences on Business, Business Operations and Human Resources.
  • Paper 2 - Influences of marketing and finance on business activity This is an externally assessed one hour 45 minutes examination paper worth 50% of the overall GCSE grade. This paper will cover the areas of Business in the Real World, Influences on Business, Marketing and Finance.

There is only one tier of entry which means that students can achieve a GCSE with grades from 9 to 1.

Sixth Form

Course Content

The course aims to provide a general introduction to Business, drawing on study of the main functional areas of Business - Marketing, Finance and Accounting, Managing People and Operations Management in the first year of the course before expanding perspective to consider more strategic issues in the second year. The course’s underlying theme is the consideration of business decision-making in businesses of all sizes, from the smallest local retailer to the world’s largest multinational organisations. Above all, the course is designed to develop problem-solving skills and equip students with effective decision-making skills. Your examinations, and indeed classwork, will detail a business scenario situation and ask you to solve the problems with which you are presented.

Course Structure

Year 12 Units

  • Section 1 What is business?
  • Section 2 Management, leadership and decision making
  • Section 3 Decision making to improve marketing performance
  • Section 4 Decision making to improve operational performance
  • Section 5 Decision making to improve financial performance
  • Section 6 Decision making to improve human resource performance

Year 13 Units

  • Sections 1-6 as above, plus:
  • Section 7 Analysing the strategic position of a business
  • Section 8 Choosing strategic direction
  • Section 9 Strategic methods: How to pursue strategies
  • Section 10 Managing strategic change

There are three written examinations at the end of the A level course. Each examination is two hours long and is worth 33.3% of the A level. All 3 papers will test content from all 10 sections of the specification. The examinations contain data response, case study, essay and objective test questions.

BTEC Business

Course Content

This practical, work-related course will enable you to learn about business, customer relations and financial control. The qualification enables learners to develop their technical skills, such as market research skills, planning, promotional and financial skills using realistic work scenarios and personal skills (such as monitoring own performance, time management and problem solving).

Students who complete the course will achieve either a Level 2 Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass, equivalent to GCSE passes from 8 to 4 or a Level 1 pass, equivalent to a GCSE grade 1.

Course Structure

We will be studying three components of work:

  • Component One: Exploring Enterprises: This component introduces you to the language and terminology used in business. It explores what businesses do, trends that affect them, how they operate and the factors that influence their set-ups. You will be asked to look at two very different businesses and give your opinions on what makes them successful.
  • Component Two: Planning for and Pitching an Enterprise: In this component you will use the research knowledge you gained from Component One to develop a viable small enterprise idea. You will plan how best to set up the enterprise and how to fund it. You will then have the opportunity to pitch your developed idea and comment on the ideas of others. Finally, you will work with others to set up and run a small enterprise activity, using your knowledge of entrepreneurial characteristics and qualities.
  • Component Three: Promotion and Finance for Enterprise: This component will assess and analyse financial information in an enterprise context to monitor the performance of an enterprise and strategies to improve its performance. You will investigate cash flow forecasts and statements, exploring the effects that positive and negative cash flow can have on an enterprise and suggest ways to improve these. You will consider the different elements of the promotional mix in order to identify target markets and put forward strategies that enterprises can use to increase their success in the future.

Two of the three units are assessed via coursework – you will produce a portfolio of evidence demonstrating your ability to perform the required business functions. Component Three: Promotion and Finance for Enterprise, is assessed via a written examination at the end of Year 11.

Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care is designed to recognise and enhance skills, knowledge and understanding of the health, social care and early years sector including the settings, job roles, principles and values involved. It is a vocational qualification, assessed by coursework only, which contains both theory and practical components. It is useful for anyone who wants to work in the health and social care sector.

Students learn a variety of subjects based around health, social care and early years settings e.g. psychology, sociology, science, health and safety, food technology, government initiatives and policies. It prepares students for further training, higher education and moving into employment within the health and social care sector.

Career opportunities with a Health and Social Care qualification are: dietician, medical secretary, teacher, nurse, midwife, nursery nurse, doctor, paramedic, occupational therapist, activities organiser, physiotherapist, radiographer, psychologist, police officer, social worker, medical research.

Sixth Form:

BTEC in Health, Social Care (Level 3)

Other Activities:

  • British Red Cross First Aid Course
  • Complementary Therapies visitors
  • Health and Social Care Conference
  • Pembury Hospital Maternity Visit
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