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Business Studies is a subject that has been offered at Auckland Grammar School as a relatively new subject. Business studies focuses on knowledge and understanding of the environment within which business activity takes place, the roles and purposes of business activity in both the public and private sectors, how the main types of business and commercial institutions are organized, financed and operated.
Digital Learning – Piazza
All students in all Business Studies classes are automatically enrolled on free virtual classrooms offered free through Piazza, a digital learning platform that is used by all teachers in the Commerce department. It allows all students to access course notes, past examination papers (internal and external) and all links, notes, videos, images, attachments and any homework provided by their teacher. It has essentially replaced the need for physical textbooks in most classes.
Piazza also allows students to ask and answer questions (in a forum style) in real time. There is a free smartphone app which allows students even easier access. Students can effectively ask and/or answer questions 24 hours a day, from the start of the course until the morning of their final examination. Staff receive notifications in the same way as students when questions appear or edits are made, allowing them to respond promptly.
Form 4 (Business Studies / Economics / Accounting)
This course is an introduction to some of the basic concepts in Business, Economics and Accounting. It is not a prerequisite for study at Form 5, but will help students interested in Commerce make a more informed decision about subjects to study in Form 5.
Course description/aims: Topics covered in economics include the basic economic problem, introductory micro economic analysis including market theory (demand and supply), consumer economics including financial literacy topics such as insurance, budgeting and consumer rights and obligations in the market place. Students also complete a unit on Business Studies, covering some of the main issues such as marketing, business organisation, business success and failure. There is also a unit on Business Accounting and a business management simulation.
Economics/Consumer Financial Literacy
- Basic economic problem: scarcity and exercise of choice
- What, how and for whom
- Economic systems
Market Equilibrium – Demand, Supply, Equilibrium
Financial Literacy Part 1
- Personal budgeting
- Financial Records and ID Theft
- Why business activity is needed
- How business activity is organised and financed
- How to start a business
- Business objectives
Accounting for Sole Traders
- Financial information
- Accounting equation
- Debits and Credits
- Transactions and Trial Balance
- Income Statement
- Assets and Liabilities
- Trading Statement
- Statement of Financial Position
- Accounting Cycle
- Accounting Analysis
Financial Literacy Part 2 – Consumer Laws and Insurance
- Market Segments
- Market Research
- Marketing Mix – the 4 P’s
Methods of Assessment:
- 1 x 1-hour examination – end of Term 1
- 1 x 2-hour examination – end of Term 2
- 1 x 2-hour examination – end of Term 4
Special equipment/costs: None
Continuation of course: This course will provide good background and preparation for Accounting, Business Studies and Economics.
Commerce – Form 5 (NCEA Level 1):
Prerequisites: None, although it is an advantage to have studied Accounting/Business Studies (4ABS) or Economics/Business Studies (4EBS) in Form 4. This course is for students in 4P and 4R in 2021 who will study a full NCEA course at Form 5.
Course description/aims: This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts and theories covered in the Commerce subjects of Economics, Business Studies and Accounting. The course aims to give students a basic understanding of:
- Microeconomics: market theory (demand and supply), scarcity and exercise of choice in economic decision-making
- Macroeconomics: sectors of the economy, money flow, and interdependence between households, producers, government and other sectors
- Business marketing and success and failure of businesses
- The principles and purposes of accounting for individuals and businesses and making a financial decision
Successful completion of this course provides an appropriate base for study of Accounting, Business Studies or Economics at NCEA Level 2 in Form 6.
Course outline: The proposed course outline is designed to cover the following NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards:
- 90983 – Demonstrate understanding of consumer choices, using scarcity and/or demand [4 credits, External]
- 90985 – Demonstrate understanding of producer choices using supply [3 credits, External]
- 90988 – Demonstrate understanding of the interdependence of sectors of the New Zealand economy [3 credits, Internal]
Business Studies: 90840 – Apply the marketing mix to a new or existing product [3 credits, Internal]
Accounting: 90981 – Make a financial decision for an individual or group [3 credits, Internal]
Methods of Assessment: Students complete a mix of NCEA Level 1 internally-assessed and externally-assessed Achievement Standards (as in the Course Outline above). Students will also be assessed by in-class tests and the School examinations which take place in Terms 1, 2 and 4.
Continuation of subject: Successful completion of this course provides an appropriate base for study of Accounting, Business Studies or Economics at NCEA Level 2 in Form 6.
Business Studies – Form 5 (Pre-Q):
Prerequisites: None, although having studied BEA (Business, Economics and Accounting) is considered advantageous to students who wish to study this subject.
Course description/aims: The course is a challenging and wide-ranging course which aims to develop understanding of how businesses operate within dynamic environments and how they respond to changes within the environment. The aims of the Pre-Q course are to develop knowledge and understanding of:
- The environments within which businesses operate and how they operate
- How businesses are structured and the roles of businesses within sectors of the economy
- Business objectives and the effect of major groups upon business objectives
- How businesses are financed and how their relations with other organisations, consumers, employees, owners and society are regulated
- How inputs are transformed into outputs and the forces which help to determine and control them
- The Business Environment: The Purpose of Business, Classification of Business and Business Growth
- Business Organisations: Structure and Type of Business, Business Objectives and Stakeholder Groups
- Economic Influences on Businesses
- Human Resource Management
- Operations Management
- Business Finance
- Government Intervention and Business
Methods of Assessment: School examinations:
- 1 x 1-hour examination – end of Term 1
- 1 x 2-hour examination – end of Term 2
- 1 x 3-hour examination – end of Term 4 (Pre-Q). The total mark available is 120. Candidates answer three compulsory short answer questions (20 marks per question, weighted at 50% of total available marks). Candidates also answer three compulsory long answer questions (20 marks per question, weighted at 50% of total available marks), which requires them to interpret and analyse previously unseen data relevant to a business context.
Special equipment/costs: Three workbooks for $18 (cost is approximate and subject to change).
Continuation of subject: Successful completion of Pre-Q Business Studies provides an excellent foundation for further study at both Cambridge AS and NCEA Level 2. It is also a very useful foundation for study at both Cambridge A Level and NCEA Level 3.
Business Studies – Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):
Prerequisites: None, although studying Form 5 Business Studies or Economics is considered advantageous to students who wish to study this subject, as is having good English language skills.
Course description/aims: Business contributes to the development of an enterprising culture in New Zealand and supports our efforts to improve economic and community wellbeing. Studying business creates opportunities for students to:
- Understand the integral role of business in society and the economy
- Explore enterprise culture
- Further develop their key competencies such as initiative, resilience, and resourcefulness, and skills such as problem-solving, cooperation, decision-making, negotiation, and communication
- Gain knowledge and understanding of good business practice and of business as a productive activity
- Acquire greater financial capability
- AS90843 – Business Internal Operations [4 Credits, External]
- AS90844 – External Factors of Business [4 Credits, External]
- AS90845 – Critical Problem Solving [4 Credits, External]
- AS90848 – Refining Business Activity in the community [9 Credits, Internal]
Methods of Assessment:
- Three externally and three internally-assessed Achievement Standards
- Three School examinations, held at the end of Terms 1, 2 and 3
- Internal Assessments will occur throughout the year
Special equipment/costs: Computers will be used on regular occasions throughout the course. Students who do not own a computer will not be disadvantaged, as the School has a number of computers available for individual use when required and a workbook for $26.
Continuation of subject: NCEA Level 3.
Business Studies – Form 6 (AS):
Prerequisites: None, although studying Form 5 Business Studies is considered advantageous to students who wish to study this subject, as is having good English language skills. Students who studied NCEA subjects in Form 5 must have approval from the Associate Headmaster – Academic.
Course description/aims: The aim of this course is to enable students to:
- Understand and appreciate the nature and scope of business, and its role in society
- Develop critical understanding of organisations, the markets they serve and the process of value added. This should involve consideration of the internal workings and management of organisations and, in particular, the process of decision-making in a dynamic external environment
- Be aware that business behaviour can be studied from a range of stakeholders including customer, manager, creditor, owner/shareholder and employee
- Be aware of the economic, environment, ethical, government, legal, social and technological issues associated with business activity.
- Develop skills in decision-making and problem-solving in the light of evaluation, the quantification and management of information and effective communication
Course outline: There are five major themes for the course as follows:
- Business and the environment in which it operates
- Business structure, organisation and control
- Business activity to achieve its objectives
- People in business
- Regulating and controlling business activity
Methods of Assessment: Candidates must sit two external examination papers:
- Paper 1 – four short answer questions and one essay (choose one of three), maximum marks 20 each, total weighting 20% each [1 hour, 15 mins]
- Paper 2 – two data response questions with a maximum mark of 60 and a weighting of 60% [1 hour, 30 mins]
Special equipment/costs: Calculator
NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance: At the end of the Cambridge AS course, students can pursue the following pathway or combination of pathways – the Cambridge Pathway (Form 7 A Level Business Studies) or the NCEA Pathway to Level 3 Business Studies and Level 3 Accounting.
Business Studies – Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):
Prerequisites: None, although studying Form 6 NCEA Level 2 Business Studies is recommended for students who wish to study this subject. Having good English language skills is very important, due to the level of written coursework expected.
Course description/aims: Analyse how and why New Zealand businesses operating in global markets make operational and strategic decisions in response to interacting internal and external factors. Plan, take to market, review, and then refine an innovative, sustainable business activity; analyse the activity and its success in the marketplace.
- Evaluate and recognise strategic improvements to a business plan
- Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and evaluate how it contributes to a business’ global success
- Analyse the importance of quality in business success
People in Business:
- Analyse the role of cultural intelligence in global markets
- Analyse the human resource process from a strategic perspective
- Evaluate methods used by business to manage change effectively
- Evaluate a business’s need for assistance
- Use investment appraisal methods and evaluate for decision-making
- Analyse factors affecting business location.
- Analyse the role of intellectual property in the global marketplace
- Evaluate sustainable (social and cultural) business expectations and practices
- Evaluate the impact of changes in the global marketplace on businesses
- Evaluate the role of multinational businesses in the global economy and analyse their impact on the host country
Course outline: This course comprises five Achievement Standards, covering two internal and three external forms of assessment.
- AS91379 – Internal factors within a global business [4 credits, External]
- AS91380 – Strategic response to external global factors [4 credits, External]
- AS91381- Complex problem(s) solving [4 credits, External]
- AS91382 – Develop a marketing plan for a new or existing product [6 credits, Internal]
- AS91385 – Investigate the exporting potential of a New Zealand business in a market, with consultation [3 credits, Internal]
Methods of Assessment:
- Three externally and two internally-assessed Achievement Standards
- Three School examinations held at the end of Terms 1, 2 and 3
- Internal Assessments will occur during Term 1 and 2
Special equipment/costs: Computers will be used on regular occasions throughout the course. Students who do not own a computer will not be disadvantaged as the School has a number of computers available for individual use when required and a workbook for $26.
NCEA Level 3 and University Entry: Business Studies was added to the list of approved subjects in 2012 for students to use the qualification for University Entrance.
Business Studies – Form 7 (A2):
- Students who gain an A to a good C grade in Cambridge AS Business Studies will be admitted to this course
- Students who gain a D grade in Cambridge AS Business Studies must consult with the Head of Business Studies to enter this course
- Students who gain an E grade or ungraded result in Cambridge AS Business Studies will not be able to enter this course
Course description/aims: The Form 7 Business Studies course follows on from the Cambridge AS course and builds on the topics studied previously. The Cambridge AS course covers core topics with extension material offered for A2.
Analytical skills become increasingly more important in the A2 course and marks are awarded for the candidate’s abilities to discuss, evaluate and synthesise the core topics developed in Form 6.
Although the cases used in the examination will be fictitious, the increasing use of business case study examples will try to instil in the student the need to discuss a business problem in an integrated manner. Some contemporaneous issues could be:
- How can Apple Mac maintain their market share in the face of such strong competition from PC?
- Is the traditional music market doomed with the advent of online, streaming music services and other downloadable music forms?
- Evaluate the action that the government is taking to improve the economy in relation to NZ businesses, given recent events
Students will be encouraged to discuss and formulate ideas of their own and try to conclude that there are no perfect answers.
This approach will be very useful for students to enable them to confront the additional examination assessment mechanisms for the A2 course.
Methods of Assessment: A case study for 100 marks will be the only paper for A2. It will incorporate five questions and one essay to be selected from a choice of two.
Special equipment/costs: Calculator
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.