ICT and Business
Students will experience the use of ICT as a tool to aid them in their studies in all subject areas. Importantly, pupils will also learn to recognise where and when it is appropriate to apply ICT and aspects of E-Safety. During their time at The Priory Academy, students will learn to use Microsoft Office, i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. They will also get the opportunity to explore their creativity and develop their graphics skills using software such as Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash. ICT is studied in Key Stage 3 and 4 with the option to continue in Key Stage 5.
All students will have the opportunity to develop their programming skills as part of the Technology carousel in Key Stage 3. They can then choose to study this at GCSE level and A-Level.
As an approved centre, the ICT department offers the sought after professional Cisco qualifications as part of the Key Stage 4 and 5 curriculum. If the students opt for Computing in Key Stage 4, then they will also study for the Cisco IT Essentials qualification. In Key Stage 5, the students will study for the various CCNA levels as part of their Level 3 BTEC in ICT.
Through a range of theoretical and practical learning activities, students are armed with the knowledge and skills to make tactical and strategic business decisions. Exploring real life case studies enables our students to assess the impact of such decisions, while gaining an in-depth understanding of the challenges and successes arising from the beginnings of an entrepreneurial idea through to the rise of well-known multinational corporations. Students also have the opportunity to visit particular businesses in order to gain first hand experience of how businesses operate. The Business Studies Department also encourages students to take their learning beyond the classroom and to engage in extra-curricular activities such as The Tenner Challenge and Young Enterprise; which have seen past teams succeed on a regional and national level. Such activities enable future entrepreneurs to put their skills into practice and assess and provide fun and challenging opportunities for those who simply enjoy the subject. We believe it is for these reasons that many GCSE students continue to study Business Studies at A Level.
The course enables students to discover the world through a different perspective; the eyes of an economist. Students are given an economist’s toolkit of skills with which to analyse and evaluate the basic economic problem of scarcity in a world of unlimited needs and wants. This involves using real life data and theory in order to explain how markets function, including discrepancies, ultimately in order to assess how those scarce resources ought to be best allocated; not a straightforward undertaking by any means. Essentially this means students take on the role of an economist and adviser to the UK Government when addressing this topical issue. As a consequence, students develop a vast range of competencies including: problem solving, written analytical and evaluative skills, and interpretation of data both numerically and graphically. Students are encouraged to read and watch the news and documentaries in order to enable them to apply the theory taught to real life occurrences as they happen. They also have the opportunity to participate in a stocks and shares trading game which is run by the Institute of Fiscal Studies as a national competition, as well as an educational visit to institutions such as the Bank of England in order to develop their understanding of economic issues further. Economics is growing in popularity as an A Level course and many of the GCSE students continue their study onward into the Sixth Form.
At A-Level students have the option to study Accounting. Throughout the course students develop their knowledge of a variety of financial accounting and management accounting practices. Within financial accounting students are directed through the whole system from being able to produce source documents to creating complex income statements and balance sheets. Within management accounting students are to apply a variety of tools available to managers such as cash budgets, break even analysis and investment appraisal methods. Through studying Accounting students develop financial knowledge that is appreciated by all firms. Over 90% of company directors within the UK have an Accounting qualification and the doors opened by having a knowledge of company finances cannot be underestimated. It is encouraging to see many students currently studying the subject going on to study it further at AAT Level or at university.