Economics

Overview

Economics is a social science in that it studies the economic behaviour of both individuals and groups of people, and the economic relationships between individuals and groups – more specifically, it is the study of how people make choices and about what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce in a world in which most resources are limited or scarce. Global warming, international trade, the credit crunch, sustainable development and inequalities between societies and countries – these are all issues to which economics can be applied to provide solutions to society’s problems. Many students who take Economics at A level go on to study Economics, Philosophy Politics and Economics, Economics and Finance, Economics and Management and related courses at university. These courses can lead to employment in areas such as financial management, accountancy, investment banking, government, regulation and journalism.

The Economics Department is well-placed to support students both in and beyond the classroom. All lessons are taught by subject specialists and there is a strong emphasis on a student centred approach to learning. Individuals are encouraged to pursue opportunities beyond the taught specification.

The Economics department is also committed to our continued professional development – maintaining close and regular contact with recognised professional, trade and educational bodies.

Curriculum

Students who choose to study Economics at A level will follow the AQA specification. This combines technical theory with an understanding of the economic problems which face individuals, firms and governments on a local, national and global level in real world contexts.

The course content is split into two broad areas of study; Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of the economy’s performance as a whole (economic growth, unemployment, inflation, international trade) and the government’s policy tools to improve this (taxation, government spending, interest rates, legislation). Like all the economies of nation states in the world today, most of the UK’s goods and services produced are traded or exchanged. In the Upper Sixth students explore how the UK’s national economy fits into the global context, the structure, function and regulation of the UK’s financial markets and the operation of the international economy. In Microeconomics the focus is on the workings of specific markets within the economy, why they fail and the importance and the role of the government in correcting for failures within these markets. Within this, the study of behavioural economics explores how psychological, social and emotional factors impact economic decision making and how this branch of economics influences government policy.

Students are taught by two teachers over ten periods per week.

See AQA A level Economics

Lessons are designed to encourage students to foster an enquiring, critical and thoughtful approach to economic models and methods of enquiry. Paired and group work are used regularly and there is a strong emphasis on use of both quantitative and qualitative evidence to support informed judgements relating to economic issues. Class debates are used to enable students to use their understanding of different economic concepts in a variety of different contexts and help develop employable skills. Homework will test a range of research, analytical and evaluative skills and can include note taking, exam style essays, investigations and preparation for debates.

Students are provided with a core textbook for each year of study plus additional department resources.

The course is assessed through three public exams sat in June in the Upper Sixth and takes a variety of forms including; multiple choice questions, data analysis and essay writing.

Trips, activities and clubs

In addition to our teaching there are a range of opportunities to support the development of their knowledge including:

  • Economics Society – this is run by Sixth Form students and supported by departmental staff
  • Interview practice sessions for prospective Oxbridge candidates as well as preparation for the ELAT pre-interview examination at Oxford.
  • Visiting guest speakers – to address students on wider economic issues.
  • Public lectures – including those run by the London School of Economics.
  • Essay competitions – Including the Royal Economics Society Young Economist of the Year Essay Competition and the Corpus Christi Essay Prize for Economics.
  • Support – we run weekly structured and drop-in clinics for those who find certain economic models, concepts and/or essay writing skills challenging.
  • Extension – we set regular extension work including, essays and synoptic research tasks.

We also organise and facilitate trips to public lectures at the Royal Economics Society.

Staff

  • Miss D Ellis BA (Hons) (Head of Economics)
  • Mrs S Potter BA
  • Mrs K Evans BSc
  • Mr S Milne MA (Assistant Head Sixth Form)