Choosing a course: which GCSE?

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					     The New GCSE Courses                                                                       CAROL SUMNER

     Choosing a course: which GCSE?
     Though I was initially tempted to just cast          On the other hand, perhaps this would be too
     my eye over the new GCSE specifications              repetitive for students and a better grounding
     and then stay with the same awarding                 on all of the basic elements of business studies
     body, I soon found that there were marked            might be preferable, in which case I should
     differences. Realising that perhaps the task         choose OCR.
     of choosing a new specification needed
     more careful thought, I drew up the chart                  Next is the issue of content, which now
     which summarises some key differences                places far greater emphasis on small to medium-
     between the English awarding bodies’                 sized businesses, and business start-ups and
     courses.                                             entrepreneurship. So, what level of importance
                                                          should I place on entrepreneurship? If low, then
     First of all, there is the issue of progression to   I should choose OCR which simply includes it in
     consider. If using AQA for AS then the AQA           Unit 1. If high, then Edexcel would be my choice
     GCSE provides a better fit, with Units 1 and 2 on    as each unit is about starting up and building a
     each specification having considerable overlap.      new business.

                           AQA                            OCR                           Edexcel
      Unit 1       Setting up a Business        Marketing and Enterprise         Introduction to Small
                           (40%)                         (25%)                       Business (25%)

                    Short and extended           Controlled assessment       Multiple-choice and objective
                   answer data response                60 marks;                     test questions
                         questions                 10 hours research;                   40 marks;
                         60 marks;                  6 hours write-up                  45 minutes
                        60 minutes

      Unit 2      Growing as a Business           Business and People         Investigating Small Business
                         (35%)                           (25%)                           (25%)

                    Short and extended           Two compulsory short-           Controlled assessment
Description: First of all, there is the issue of progression to consider. Here's a final thought: with all the enterprise and entrepreneurship in the specifications, should schools make business studies at GCSE compulsory and thus ensure that Year 10 students have their enterprise entitlement?
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