The Economics Department is totally committed to promoting our pupils’ interest and enthusiasm for these real-world subjects which are increasingly recognised as being invaluable disciplines in understanding the world in the 21st century. Whether it is explaining why wheat prices are rising, the impact of low interest rates on households and firms or understanding how we can best help countries to develop, decisions in Economics and Business have an impact on our everyday lives.

As well as offering the three exam courses of GCSE Economics, A Level Economics and A Level Business Studies, the department runs a full programme of support for exam pupils and organises the lower school ‘Millionaires’ Club’ for budding investors in Years 7 and 8! Overall, the aim is to provide pupils with the skills and understanding to enable them to intelligently understand the world in which they live.

> GCSE Economics

In this course, pupils gain an introduction to many of the Economic principles which govern our lives – from how issues such as scarcity of raw materials determine market prices to how governments attempt to respond to unemployment, inflation and broader international issues such as globalisation.

Given that this is an entirely new subject with no-one studying Economics before Year 10, it provides an opportunity for pupils to apply new concepts and theories to the real world around them. Whilst undeniably an academic subject, this course appeals to those who may be interested in what is going on around them or simply to those who want to study something new. There is no coursework, with assessment by examination at the end of Year 11.

> A Level Economics

AS Economics offers a broad introduction to economic principles which are then applied in a real world context. Whilst we cover a range of core economic theories we also stress the application of these. In the AS course pupils will discuss a range of topics such as whether ‘green taxes’ are the best way to tackle pollution and environmental damage as well as looking at what policies the government should use to reduce unemployment.

The A2 course applies the concepts studied at AS in more detail. Pupils take two modules: Transport Economics (which includes fantastic applied economics, such as how best to solve road congestion!) and also the Global Economy module which, amongst other things, discusses the impact of globalisation on the UK and other world economies.

Whilst pupils are not required to have any prior knowledge of Economics, an interest in current affairs and in the world around them is certainly helpful for this course! There is no coursework with the subject being examined by two modules at AS and a further two at A2 level.

> A Level Business Studies

Pupils of Business Studies are given the opportunity to gain real-life experience and knowledge of the world of work, commerce and industry. As the course progresses pupils chart the development of a variety of businesses from their own start-up, through to the management of multi-national corporations. An emphasis is placed on the four main functional areas of the business (marketing, finance, operations and management) and how these contribute to the success of the enterprise.

Throughout the course the effect of how the wider world impacts on businesses is examined. The economic, social, technological and competitive environments in an increasing fast-changing world are discussed. This course provides pupils’ with a critical understanding of the world in which they live.

> Co-curricular

Millionaires’ Club: a society run by Sixth Form pupils which is designed to encourage lower school pupils to take an interest in the subject area.

‘Target 2.0’ competition: this competition, organised by the Bank of England, aims to stretch our Upper Sixth Economists in a professional, business-like environment. The competition involves the pupils giving a presentation on the state of the economy, culminating in their recommendation as to whether the base rate should be changed!

> Trips

The Department has run three very successful Economics trips to New York – in 2004, 2009 and 2012. In our most recent trip, we were fortunate enough to see a trading floor in operation whilst visiting a bank in Times Square! This was a remarkable experience which few of us will forget. We hope to run a similar trip again in the future as well as visiting some destinations a little closer to Hereford!

In the past, GCSE pupils have visited the Bank of England, and Upper Sixth pupils interested in studying Economics at Cambridge have been to visit different colleges.