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Charles Darwin School

Business Studies & Financial Studies

Course Overview

Business Studies is offered at Key Stages 4 and 5, with Financial Studies offered at Key Stage 5. The department has developed and expanded over the last few years and now offers a range of courses to meet students’ needs. The department's success is demonstrated by the sustained improvement in students’ outcomes each year.

At KS4 we offer the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Business which begin in Year 9. At KS5 we offer the Edexcel AS/A Level Business and the LIBF Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies in year 12 that leads to the Diploma in year 13; all of our level 3 qualifications attract UCAS points and are recognised by universities as well as employers.

Within all courses we have a high success rate which is a result of a commitment of delivering high quality teaching which in turn leads to high quality learning. There is a strong emphasis on flip learning, where students learn the basic terms and theories, and then the teacher can develop, manage any misconceptions, and then enhance the students’ exam technique, helping students to achieve and exceed their potential. For students to exceed their potential and their enjoyment of the courses it is essential that they take an interest in the ‘real world’; watching business programmes such as Inside the Factory, Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares etc and understanding what is happening in the business news, both from a business and financial perspective.

The department is made up from three members of staff who are all passionate about the delivery of the subject which helps to facilitate a high level of progress, and offering intervention and support classes where needed. Our aim is to promote independent learners who have a passion for the world of ‘business’ in a range of disciplines.  Many of our A Level students go on to study business related degrees at University.

Topics covered within business and finance include business ownership, business aims and objectives, stakeholders, location factors, finance, people, processes and context, motivation, marketing, communication, and customer service.

Click here for curriculum mapping Finance 2022-23

Click here for curriculum mapping Business 2022-23

Click here for curriculum mapping Business 2023-24



Topic 1.1 Enterprise and entrepreneurship

Topic 1.2 Spotting a business opportunity

Topic 1.3 Putting a business idea into practice

Topic 1.4 Making the business effective

Topic 1.5 Understanding external influences on business


Topic 2.1 Growing the business

Topic 2.2 Making marketing decisions

Topic 2.3 Making operational decisions

Topic 2.4 Making financial decisions

Topic 2.5 Making human resource decisions


2 Written exams, one on each Theme (50% each paper) – 3 sections in each paper, Essay questions with 10% maths based questions, a total of 90 marks per paper.



Students will develop an understanding of:

  • Meeting customer needs

  • The Market

  • Marketing mix and strategy

  • Managing people

  • Entrepreneurs and leaders.


Students will develop an understanding of:

  • Raising finance

  • Financial planning

  • Managing finance

  • Resource management

  • External influences.


This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 2. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • Business objectives and strategy

  • Business growth

  • Decision-making techniques

  • Influences on business decisions

  • Assessing competitiveness

  • Managing change.

THEME 4: Global business

This theme develops the concepts introduced in Theme 1. Students will develop an understanding of:

  • Globalisation

  • Global markets and business expansion

  • Global marketing

  • Global industries and companies (multinational corporations).


3 Essay style exam papers at the end of the 2 years. 2 hrs per paper. Paper 3 is based on a pre-released theme.


LIBF Certificate (AS)
Unit 1: Financial Capability for the immediate and short term
Unit 2: Financial Capability for the medium and long term

LIBF Diploma (A2)
Unit 3: Sustainability of an individual’s finances
Unit 4: Sustainability of the Financial Services system


Why choose the subject? 

• Learn about the basics of business
• Understand the wider economy
• Identify how to carry out market research
• Investigate why some businesses are a success and why others are not
• Analyse the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
• Establish how to seek sources of finance
• Identify the importance of location factors
• Understand the importance of international business
• Learn and develop your entrepreneurial skills
• Have fun whilst developing an understanding of the importance of business within our economy

Common Questions 

Q.  Is there any coursework
A.  At both KS4 and KS5 all the courses that we provide have no coursework in them – they are all exam based.

Q.  Will there be any trips or work related learning?
A.  Trips are arranged to reinforce learning


Who will teach me? 

Mr Manchester, Miss Allum, Miss Gillespie or Mrs Mathieson

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