Economics and Business Studies Curriculum Department

Economics and Business Studies Curriculum

Age Range: 14-18

Vision statement

The Economics and Business Studies department at School 21 envisions empowering students aged 14-18 with a profound understanding of economic principles and business dynamics. Our ambition is to foster critical thinking, analytical skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset, preparing students to navigate the complexities of the global economic landscape.

Big Ideas

Market Dynamics Understanding the forces of supply and demand, market structures, and the impact of competition on pricing and resource allocation.
Economic Decision-Making Analysing the factors that influence individual and organisational choices, considering trade-offs, risks, and opportunity costs.
Global Interdependence Recognising the interconnectedness of economies worldwide and the implications of international trade, finance, and geopolitical factors.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exploring the role of entrepreneurship in economic development, innovation as a driver of growth, and the impact of disruptive technologies.
Socioeconomic Inequality Investigating the causes and consequences of economic disparities, addressing issues of poverty, wealth distribution, and social justice.
Government Intervention Understanding the role of governments in shaping economic policies, regulating markets, and addressing market failures.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Examining the ethical responsibilities of businesses, the impact of corporate decisions on society, and the pursuit of sustainable and socially responsible practices.
Monetary and Fiscal Policy Understanding the tools and strategies used by governments and central banks to influence economic activity, manage inflation, and respond to economic downturns.
Macroeconomic Stability Exploring the factors that contribute to a stable macroeconomic environment, including inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
Consumer Behaviour Analysing the factors that influence consumer choices, preferences, and the impact of advertising and marketing on purchasing decisions.
Financial Literacy Developing skills and knowledge related to personal finance, investments, budgeting, and understanding the broader financial system.
Business Strategy and Operations Analysing how businesses formulate and implement strategies, manage operations, and respond to competitive challenges.
Innovation and Disruption Understanding how technological advancements and changes in business models impact industries, employment, and economic growth.
Labour Market Dynamics Examining the determinants of wages, employment trends, and the influence of labour market policies on workforce outcomes.
Environmental Sustainability Investigating the economic impact of resource use, environmental degradation, and the role of businesses in promoting sustainable practices.


As a department, we believe in:

  • Holistic Understanding: Economics and business learning should extend beyond surface-level understanding to a deep and holistic comprehension at every educational stage.
  • Success through Mastery and Fluency: Success is achieved through the mastery of key concepts and fluency in applying them. We prioritise providing suitable feedback and consolidation, emphasising depth over superficial coverage.
  • Conceptual Understanding as Core Aim: The core aim of our curriculum is to foster a conceptual understanding of economic principles and business dynamics, ensuring students grasp the underlying theories and their practical applications.
  • Foundation for Future Learning: Fundamental knowledge, skills, and understandings serve as the foundation, enabling students to access more advanced concepts and continue their learning journey in higher education and beyond.


We aim for students to:

  • Embrace Challenge: Encourage students to see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth within the dynamic realms of economics and business.
  • Redefine Success: Shift the perception of success from merely “getting things right” to a continuous process of becoming successful by embracing challenges, learning from mistakes, and persisting in the face of difficulties.
  • Articulate Economic and Business Concepts: Enable students to articulate their understanding of economic and business concepts, explaining the relevance, implications, and practical applications of the theories they encounter.
  • Value Economics and Business Studies: Instill in students a deep appreciation for the fields of economics and business studies as disciplines that contribute to understanding and navigating the complexities of the economic and business world.
  • Find Joy in Creativity: Foster an environment where students take joy in exploring economic and business ideas, encouraging creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Feel Supported: Ensure that every student feels supported, regardless of their starting point, emphasising that the study of economics and business is accessible and beneficial for everyone. The department is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment that caters to diverse needs and backgrounds.


Subject Design Principles:

The curriculum for Economics and Business Studies is designed around key overarching concepts that shape students’ understanding of the subject. These big ideas serve as foundational pillars, guiding the exploration of complex economic and business phenomena. The curriculum is structured to foster deep insights and critical thinking, allowing students to apply these ideas across diverse contexts.


Design Principles for A Level Economics:

  • Conceptual Depth and Progression: Prioritise deep understanding, progressing from concrete to abstract representations, and interweave topics for interconnected learning.
  • Mastery Focus and Interconnected Learning: Emphasise mastery, interleaving topics to reinforce connections and gradually incorporating problem-solving opportunities.
  • Mixed Attainment Groupings and Differentiated Support: Use mixed attainment groups, providing support without simplifying content and offering stretch activities for depth.
  • Collaborative Learning and Oracy Development: Encourage collaboration with embedded oracy skills, communicating concept development and linkage to big ideas.
  • Continuous Embedded Assessment: Integrate ongoing assessment to react and build on students’ knowledge, using misconceptions as learning opportunities.
  • Mathematical Literacy and Precision: Focus on developing mathematical literacy and accurate use of language in context and abstract forms.


Design Principles for GCSE and A Level Business Studies:

  • Applied Conceptual Learning: Foster applied conceptual learning with real-world business examples for enhanced understanding.
  • Integrated Mastery and Interdisciplinary Connections: Prioritise mastery, integrating business concepts with interdisciplinary connections for holistic understanding.
  • Adaptive Groupings and Individualised Support: Use adaptive groupings, offering individualised support that focuses on comprehension.
  • Collaborative Inquiry and Communication Skills: Promote collaborative inquiry, developing effective communication skills for articulating business concepts.
  • Continuous Assessment Integration: Embed continuous assessment to gauge progress and adapt teaching strategies, addressing misconceptions.
  • Business Literacy and Communication Precision: Stress business literacy, ensuring clear communication of concepts in practical and theoretical contexts.


Phase Specific Journey:

Developing a Strong Business Foundation and Building Business Fluency
Year 10 Understanding fundamental business principles.
Building foundational knowledge of key business concepts.
Exploring the components of the business environment.
Year 11 Securing understanding of core business elements.
Developing fluency in fundamental business operations.
Laying the groundwork for more advanced business studies.


Exploring Advanced Business/Economic Concepts and Nurturing Future Business/Economic Leaders
Year 12 Developing abstract business/economic concepts.
Achieving finesse and fluency leading up to the apex point (A Level exams).
Gaining confidence in applying knowledge to various business scenarios.
Year 13 Building a secure foundation for real-world challenges.
Preparing for academic or practical applications in business/economics.
Exploring the beauty of abstraction and its role in business/economic thinking.