Business, Computing and ICT

At Tuxford Academy we recognise and value the role ICT and business can play in enhancing the teaching and learning across all subjects.  Cross-curricular links allow the students to see the wider applications of the skills and concepts learned.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

– Steve Jobs

Regardless of ability, ICT is an accessible subject that affords individuals greater access to education and the jobs market in the future. We encourage students to showcase their creative talents as they build up skills in software as it would be used in real world environments. For example, students develop websites, use sequencing programmes to create animations and games, and utilise media applications to make movies.

Business studies is a dynamic subject which allows students to gain an understanding of organisations and the environments in which they operate. It also gives students the opportunity to develop their enterprise skills. Since most of our students will eventually either run their own businesses or work in other businesses, this subject has relevance for all individuals. Budgeting and personal finances are essential skills, benefiting everyone.

Our course offer is reviewed regularly to ensure we continue to meet the curriculum needs of students.

Extra-curricular activities include:

  • educational visits such as trips to Cadbury World, Alton Towers and a range of local businesses
  • support sessions
  • revision clinics
  • typing club

GCSE

Exam board: Pearson
Qualification: 1BSO
Contact: Mr Grand | kgrand@tuxford-ac.org.uk

GCSE Business is a qualification that is engaging and inspiring, and which reflects the demands of a truly modern and evolving business environment. It is a qualification that enables you to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individual and helps you to succeed in your chosen pathway. The engaging themes will spark your imagination and inspire commercial thinking as you develop your business knowledge.

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • know and understand business concepts, business terminology, business objectives, the integrated nature of business activity and the impact of business on individuals and wider society
  • apply knowledge and understanding to contemporary business issues and to different types and sizes of businesses in local, national and global contexts
  • develop as enterprising individuals with the ability to think commercially and creatively to demonstrate business acumen, and draw on evidence to make informed business decisions and solve business problems
  • develop as effective and independent students, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • use an enquiring, critical approach to make informed judgements
  • investigate and analyse real business opportunities and issues to construct well-argued, well-evidenced, balanced and structured arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of business
  • develop and apply quantitative skills relevant to business, including using and interpreting data

What will I study?

Theme one: investigating small business (paper code: 1BS0/01)

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Spotting a business opportunity
  • Putting a business idea into practice
  • Making the business effective
  • Understanding external influences on business

Theme two: building a business (paper code: 1BS0/02)

  • Growing the business
  • Making marketing decisions
  • Making operational decisions
  • Making financial decisions
  • Making human resource decisions

How will I be assessed?

Theme one: investigating small business (paper code: 1BS0/01)

  • Written examination – 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • 50% of the qualification
  • 90 marks

The paper is divided into three sections:

  • section A: 35 marks
  • section B: 30 marks
  • section C: 25 marks

The paper will consist of calculations, multiple-choice, short-answer and extended-writing questions. Questions in Sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper.

Theme two: building a business (paper code: 1BS0/02)

  • Written examination – 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • 50% of the qualification
  • 90 marks

The paper is divided into three sections:

  • section A: 35 marks
  • section B: 30 marks
  • section C: 25 marks

The paper will consist of calculations, multiple-choice, short-answer and extended-writing questions. Questions in sections B and C will be based on business contexts given in the paper.

Exam board: NCFE
Qualification: 601/0048/5
Contact: Mr Grand | kgrand@tuxford-ac.org.uk

The NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Business and Enterprise is a Level 2 vocational pathway that covers the key knowledge and skills needed in an ever changing business world. It is a qualification that enables you to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individual and helps you to succeed in your chosen pathway. The engaging units will spark your imagination and inspire commercial thinking as you develop your business and enterprise knowledge.

The course gives students the practical skills and applied knowledge they will need in business. Practical elements build on theoretical knowledge so that students can put their learning into practice while also developing valuable transferable skills.

What will I study?

Students must complete the four mandatory units.

Introduction to business and enterprise

This unit aims to give students an introduction to business and enterprise. It gives learners an introduction to start up projects and helps them to identify risks and rewards.

Marketing for business and enterprise

This unit aims to give students an insight into market research, and different marketing opportunities and techniques.

Finance for business and enterprise

This unit aims to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of business finance for a new business or enterprise.

Plan, develop and participate in a business or enterprise project

This unit aims to develop a project plan and implement the project. The students will then go on to evaluate the overall success of the project.

How will I be assessed?

Introduction to business and enterprise – internally assessed portfolio of evidence.

Marketing for business and enterprise – externally assessed assignment.

Finance for business and enterprise – internally assessed portfolio of evidence.

Plan, develop and participate in a business or enterprise project – internally assessed portfolio of evidence.

To achieve the Level 2 Certificate, students must successfully demonstrate their achievement of all learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the units as detailed in the qualification specification.

As well as the external assessment, each unit of the qualification is graded using a structure of Not Yet Achieved, Pass, Merit and Distinction. Due to the synoptic nature of this qualification, the knowledge, understanding and skills developed are equally important throughout each unit, and therefore all units are weighted equally.

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: J276
Contact: Mrs Davis | rdavis@tuxford-ac.org.uk

During the course, students develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies. They will use this knowledge to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make  informed decisions about the use of and implications of different technologies. They will acquire and apply their understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming. Students will acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts.

Syllabus content:

  • systems architecture
  • memory
  • storage
  • wired and wireless networks
  • network topologies, protocols and layers
  • system security
  • system software
  • ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
  • algorithms
  • programming techniques
  • producing robust programs
  • computational logic
  • translators and facilities of languages
  • data representation
  • Python programming project

Students are examined by:

  • two examinations
  • a programming project

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: Level 2 Cambridge Nationals J817
Contact: Mrs Davis | rdavis@tuxford-ac.org.uk

Digital media is a key part of many areas of our everyday lives and vital to the UK economy. Production of digital media products is a requirement of almost every business so there is huge demand for a skilled and digitally literate workforce.

The Cambridge National Certificate in Creative iMedia will equip you with a range of creative media skills and provide opportunities to develop, in context, desirable, transferable skills such as research, planning, and review, working with others and communicating creative concepts effectively. Through the use of these skills, you will ultimately be creating fit-for-purpose creative media products.

The examined unit looks at the planning of media products.  Planning is an essential part of working in the creative and digital media sector. The unit enables students to acquire the underpinning knowledge and skills needed to create digital media products and gain an understanding of their application.

The following units use and build upon this knowledge through the study and creation of a number of different digital media products, starting with the basics of digital graphic creation.  This leads on to the creation of more complex media products (currently animation and interactive multimedia products) which utilise a wide range of different software skills.

What will I study?

Pre production skills

  • Understanding the purpose and content of pre-production
  • Planning pre-production
  • Producing pre-production documents
  • Reviewing pre-production documents

Digital graphics

  • Understanding the purpose and properties of digital graphics
  • Planning the creation of a digital graphic
  • Creating a digital graphic
  • Reviewing a digital graphic

Creating a digital animation

  • Understanding the purposes and features of animation
  • Planning a digital animation
  • Creating a digital animation
  • Reviewing a digital animation

Creating interactive multimedia products

  • Understanding the uses and properties of interactive multimedia products
  • Planning interactive multimedia products
  • Creating interactive multimedia products
  • Reviewing interactive multimedia products

How will I be assessed?

  • A written paper (1hr 15min)
  • Three additional centre-assessed units, moderated by OCR

Exam board: Pearson
Qualification: 603/2740/6
Contact: Mrs Davis | rdavis@tuxford-ac.org.uk

IT offers essential skills for life beyond school. To quote the Marketing Director of one of the largest UK insurance companies, “as an employer we look for a good mix of IT, maths and English… communication, project management, data handling and analysis skills, vital for digital growth”.

The government talks about a ‘huge digital skills gap’. People with a knowledge of cyber security, big data, project management and emerging technologies are in demand. IT careers are fast-moving with plenty of chances of promotion, and demand for IT professionals is surging.

In this digital age, the ability to use IT is paramount. In every walk of life, the way we work, learn and socialise has been affected by the digital revolution. Whichever path you decide to follow when you leave school, you will need IT skills for your future education and employment.

Information technology is an ever-changing, fast paced practical subject – equipping you with the skills to take on new and unknown problems, and design answers to new challenges, due to the speed at which the industry is evolving.

BTEC Digital Information Technology allows you explore user interface design and development principles, investigate how to use project planning techniques to manage a digital project and discover how to develop and review a digital user interface.

You will also explore how data impacts on individuals and organisations, how to draw conclusions and make recommendations on based on data intelligence. You will develop effective, user friendly dashboards using data manipulation tools, explore how modern information technology is evolving, consider legal and ethical issues in data and information sharing and understand what cyber security is and how to safeguard against threats.

What will I study?

  • Exploring user interface design and planning techniques
  • Collecting, presenting and interpreting data
  • Effective digital working practices

How will I be assessed?

  • One written examinations (1hr 30min)
  • Two coursework units

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: 603/0646/4
Contact: Mr Grand | kgrand@tuxford-ac.org.uk

The OCR Cambridge National in Marketing and Enterprise is a Level 2 vocational pathway that covers the key knowledge and skills needed in an ever changing business world. It is a qualification that enables you to develop as commercially minded and enterprising individual and helps you to succeed in your chosen pathway. The engaging units will spark your imagination and inspire commercial thinking as you develop your marketing and enterprise knowledge.

This course gives students the practical skills and applied knowledge they will need in business. Practical elements build on theoretical knowledge so that students can put their learning into practice while also developing valuable transferable skills.

What will I study?

Students must complete three mandatory units.

Enterprise and marketing concepts

By completing this unit, students will understand the main activities that will need to happen to support a start-up business and what the key factors are to consider when starting up a business.

Students will understand how and why customer segmentation is used and how to target a customer market. They will also develop an understanding of how to attract and retain customers, the techniques to use when developing products and how to investigate what makes a product viable.

Marketing for business and enterprise

This unit aims to give students an insight into market research, and different marketing opportunities and techniques.

Design a business proposal

This unit will provide students with the skills and knowledge to design a product proposal to meet a business challenge scenario. Students will be able to identify a customer profile for their own product design, develop market research tools and use these to complete market research for their product.

Students will use their research outcomes to generate product design ideas, assess their strengths and weaknesses and work collaboratively with peers to gain feedback to inform final design decisions. Students will complete financial calculations to select a pricing strategy and determine whether their proposal is viable.

On completion of this unit, students will have gained some of the essential skills and knowledge required when considering starting a business, but also the transferable skills of self-assessment, providing and receiving feedback, research and evaluation. The skills and knowledge developed by completing this unit will also be transferable to further learning in related areas and will be required by students when completing the next unit.

Market and pitch a business proposal

This unit will provide students with the skills and knowledge to create a brand identity and promotional plan for their product proposal, developed in the previous unit. They will be able to pitch their product proposal to an external audience after completing a practice pitch, and complete a review of both their pitching skills and product proposal, using their learning from this qualification, self-assessment and feedback generated.

By completing this unit, students will know how to use a combination of branding and promotional methods that complement each other and appeal to a specific customer profile. They will gain the crucial skills of professionally pitching to an unknown audience. This will help to prepare them both for employment situations such as interviews and for starting up a business in the future, while also developing the transferable skill of presenting information to others in a clear and persuasive way.

How will I be assessed?

Enterprise and marketing concepts – external exam that lasts 1.5 hours.

Design a business proposal – internally assessed through an assignment that will be sent to OCR for moderation.

Market and pitch a business proposal – internally assessed through an assignment that will be sent to OCR for moderation.

All results are awarded on the following scale:

  • level 2 – Distinction* (*2), Distinction (D2), Merit (M2), Pass (P2)
  • level 1 – Distinction (D1), Merit (M1), Pass (P1) and Unclassified

 

To achieve the Level 2 Certificate, students must successfully demonstrate their achievement of all learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the units as detailed in the qualification specification.

As well as the external assessment, each unit of the qualification is graded using a structure of Not Yet Achieved, Pass, Merit and Distinction. Due to the synoptic nature of this qualification, the knowledge, understanding and skills developed are equally important throughout each unit, and therefore all units are weighted equally.

Tuxford Academy