The department aims to provide students with an understanding of how markets work and why they might fail and so require government intervention. This involves study of the price mechanism model and different forms of government intervention including taxation, subsidies and regulation. The department also aims to provide students with an understanding of performance indicators for the UK economy, including economic growth, employment, inflation and the balance of payments. Some emphasis is also placed on the global economy, particularly emerging markets.
Economics A Level is an extremely popular subject which many of our students choose to go on and study at university. This includes straight economics courses and also modules on various business or finance-related degrees. We offer the Pearson Edexcel option A course which, in the first year, focuses on how markets work and the performance of the UK economy. In the second year more emphasis is applied to the behaviour of businesses and the impact of competition in an increasingly globalised world. Some 20% of assessment involves quantitative skills such as percentages, percentage change, index numbers, ratios and different types of averages. A mixture of teaching and learning styles is applied, including lectures, student-led seminars, paired work, class discussion and independent learning. Lessons often include use of the internet including the BBC news and newspaper websites. Students are expected to keep up to date with current affairs.
Students are taught in small groups with eight lessons a week. These eight lessons are evenly split between macroeconomics and microeconomics which are taught in parallel from the start of Year 12.
Students are offered the opportunity to partake in competitions run by the Royal Economics Society and Institute of Economic Affairs that involve undertaking independent research projects on a choice of topics and writing and submitting an extended essay. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in a national business strategy competition run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
We also offer the ‘Student Investor Challenge’ which involves teams of students trading with £100,000 of virtual money on the UK Stock market. This online challenge is a realistic trading competition that provides students with an insight into how the stock market actually operates.