Economics and Business are interesting and exciting subjects with many real-world implications.
Economics is the science of choice. Through the study of decision-making by consumers, businesses and governments, students gain a fantastic insight into the world around them.
Business involves the study of how firms carry out their various functions (marketing, finance, human resources, operations), as well as the impact governments, competition, demand, and ethics have on businesses.
Students have the opportunity to take Economics as an IGCSE option in the Fifth Form, and Economics or Business Studies in the Sixth Form. The Department is well-resourced, with six specialist teachers and three dedicated teaching rooms. Student numbers have increased rapidly in recent years and results are amongst the best in the School.
We have several key aims as a department: to provide a stimulating environment through which all pupils strive for excellence and maximise their potential as academic students, and as emerging adults in a technological society; to provide an opportunity for all students to develop a keen interest in, and an in-depth understanding of, the subjects, through core lessons and co-curricular opportunities; to encourage independent study, and thought, in preparation for further education; and to inculcate positive values of mutual respect, tolerance and self-esteem, fostering an informed and critical awareness of society.
The Department offers a range of courses to pupils throughout the School, from Lower Fifth to Upper Sixth.
With over 150 pupils at IGCSE Level and 130 studying Economics or Business in the Sixth Form, Economics and Business are popular choices amongst Whitgiftians.
The enthusiasm demonstrated by the Department’s staff is infectious, and, with many teachers who have worked successfully in the world of commerce, Economics and Business at Whitgift is both challenging and contemporary.
We know that each student learns differently, and we encourage a variety of different teaching methods to make lessons accessible to everyone in the School. This involves interactive teaching, with role-plays and games, as well as more formal lessons based around projects and exam revision. Public exam results in the Department are excellent, and student feedback is very positive about our approach to lessons.
Schemes of Work
Our schemes of work are designed to offer flexibility for teachers to go more in depth in areas of particular interest to students, and to maximise their exam performance. They are reviewed each year and kept up-to-date with changes in the economy and exam specifications.
In recent years, there have been a number of very talented students studying Economics and Business at Whitgift, and their achievements speak for themselves. The Department was awarded the 2009 Good Schools Guide for Best Results at GCSE, for boys taking Economics at an English School, and the Young Enterprise Croydon Achiever of the Year, in 2011. In March 2014, the Whitonomics team won ‘Best Magazine Cover’ at the Shine 2014 School Media Awards, and teams regularly qualify each year for the IFS Student Investor Challenge Regional Finals.
Launched in September 2013, Whitonomics provides a platform for students to explore the subject beyond the syllabus, by designing and publishing their own economics magazine. Students write articles, design and edit the magazine, which is published twice a year. Students who have an interest in current affairs or journalism are encouraged to contribute. Please see the bottom of the page for the latest issue of Whitonomics Magazine.
We are regular participants in the Bank of England Target 2.0 national schools’ competition. This competition challenges pupils to demonstrate their understanding of the UK economy, and how monetary policy impacts upon it. Participants (in teams of four) analyse the UK and global economy, presenting their findings to a judging panel from the Bank of England.
Both Economics and Business provide good opportunities to explore the subject outside the classroom. Previous trips have included a visit to the Fuller’s Brewery, as well as lectures at the Royal Economic Society and the LSE. The flagship trip is the annual tour to China, where Lower Sixth Form students are exposed to the wide variety of cultural, economic, political and social elements that make up this fast-developing country. The boys have the opportunity to visit the financial hubs of the country, Shanghai and Hong Kong, while also experiencing life in rural China – visiting the paddy fields and stunning scenery of Yangzhou, while learning to cook traditional Chinese food.
The Department prides itself on the support that we give to students during the university application period. A large number of Whitgift boys go on to study Economics, or Business-related subjects, at university, with a good number gaining offers from Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and other Russell group institutions.
Inspiring an interest in the subject is an important part of education, and something that visiting speakers contribute significantly towards. In the Michaelmas Term, the Department host an IEA Students Conference, welcoming visiting schools to listen to economists explain recent developments in the field. In the Lent Term, the Department organise a panel event, hosted by students, on a topical issue. In 2015, the School welcomed Nigel Campbell (HM Treasury) and Alex Cole (Deloitte), to discuss the future of the UK economy.