Business Studies at Thirsk embraces the subject’s significant natural advantages; most students have awareness or even experience of commercial activity such as retail, cloud or streaming services, and the work-related stories and experience of adults in their home. Many come from homes associated with family businesses, or have clear aspirations to be entrepreneurial, or to manage and lead in organisations in the future. We tap into this knowledge and the expectation that this subject has very direct relevance to our students’ futures.
Business Studies explores the rich landscape of organisational behaviour; from small sole traderships to global multinationals. These organisations have goals, they make, they employ, they buy and sell, they innovate, they compete and they change. In doing so they are affected by and have effects upon society – in no small part they contribute to our culture, our wealth, our opportunities and sometimes our threats. We study the detail of HOW organisations pursue their goals. We study what influences their decision making and how their context, and circumstances, make a difference. We look at the idea of STRATEGY, and the processes of research, analysis, implementation and evaluation in the strategic cycle. A good business student recognises that choice of strategy depends upon the context of the business – and analysing and judging this successfully requires knowledge. So at both GCSE and A Level we look closely at a wide range of business activities broadly arranged under the functional areas of business – human resources, finance, operations and marketing. We examine how decisions in these areas are influenced by the external environment for business. Where it further supports understanding we look at business models generated from research, for instance theories of motivation, or the product lifecycle or the Boston Matrix.
Knowledge is then brought to life through multiple ‘real life’ stories and case studies. By using current business experiences we reflect the state of our economy, society and culture and can provide a unique perspective on moral and ethical thinking. By discussing global businesses we can teach about markets, and people, in other countries. At Thirsk we try to ensure that this ‘umbrella’ subject borrows from the study of politics, media, law, statistics and accounting and in doing so helps students layer up their understanding of their world.