Latest update for A level and GCSE Business teachers | Pearson qualifications

February 2024 Business update

1 February 2024

Welcome to this February 2024 update.

The 2025 provisional timetables are available in this update.  Please send any feedback on these provisional timetables to timetables@pearson.com by 23 February 2024.

For GCSE and A level we have new FT case studies available as well as more after-school network events.  There are also links to our examiner recruitment pages if you are considering becoming an examiner this year.

February is generally the month for getting your exam entries to your Exams Officer.  If you teach International GCSE, please be particularly careful to select the correct codes as there are many more to choose from this year.

I hope that you are able to enjoy a rest at half-term.

Read more

Key dates

Date Activity
6 February GCSE network: classroom tips for topic areas
7 February 4.30pm Accounting cafe drop in (Accounting clubs in schools)
21 February GCSE and A level entry deadline for UK centres
28 February A level network - from C to A* answers
29 February GCSE network: Tackling the 9-mark question
7 March Results day for IAL January series
21 March International GCSE entry deadline for UK centres
21 March GCSE, International GCSE, A level and IAL entry deadline for international centres

Our four qualifications

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For help with:

  • free support and networking
  • free resources
  • paid-for resources from Pearson
  • paid-for resources from Hodder
  • other paid-for resources

For help with:

  • recorded feedback training
  • building your own question papers (examWizard)
  • the key command verbs
  • grade boundaries and statistics

GCSE Business network events

The dates and links to sign up for the 2023-2024 GCSE network events are below.

6 February

Classroom tips for topic areas

Prior to this session we will ask for areas of the specification that you as a teacher would like to discuss how others teach it. We will look at practical teaching ideas and will adopt a collegiate approach to share best practice.

Register for this event

29 February

Tackling the 9 mark Justify question

In this session we discuss how best to structure responses to this question type. In doing so, we will look at the common errors that students make that limit access to higher levels.

You will be provided with examples, which will be talked through and marked, giving you examples to use in the classroom.

Register for this event

20 March

Paper 2 Mock Marking Live!

As teaching of Theme 2 nears completion, we will live mark a Theme 2 paper, so that you can see how to accurately apply the mark scheme.

The session will provide you with material to use with your students in order to help best prepare them for their summer examination.

Register for this event

24 April

Top tips for reaching grade 9 and raising attinment in lower attainers.

This final session of the year will focus on those light minute tips and hints that can be passed onto your students to help them attain the higher grades.

There will be three distinct sections.

The first will focus on how we can best help lower attainers improve their exam performance.

Then we will consider how students can access Grade 9 before considering how we can differentiate for EAL students, by involving the expertise of staff that work solely with these students.

Register for this event



FT case studies for GCSE Business

This year the case studies have a slightly different format which includes suggested answers.

  Case study Topic areas - Theme 1 Topic areas - Theme 2
29 Mars 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.5.1 Business stakeholders
2.1.4 Ethics, the environment and business
2.3.2 Working with suppliers
2.4.2 Understanding business performance
30 Deliveroo 1.2.4 The competitive environment
1.4.2 Business location
2.1.1 Business growth
2.1.3 Business and globalisation

31 Legoland 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.1.3 The role of business enterprise
1.2.1 Customer needs
1.2.3 Market segmentation
1.4.4 Business plans
1.5.2 Technology and business
 
32 IKEA 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.5.4 The economy and business
1.5.5 External influences
2.1.1 Business growth
2.1.3 Business and globalisation
2.2.2 Price
2.2.4 Place
33 McDonald’s 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.3.2 Business revenues, costs and profits
1.4.3 The marketing mix
1.5.4 The economy and business
2.2.1 Product
2.2.2 Price
2.2.5 Using the marketing mix to make business decisions.
2.4.1 Business calculations
34 Shein 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.1.3 The role of business enterprise
1.2.1 Customer needs
1.2.3 Market segmentation
1.2.4 The competitive environment
2.1.1 Business growth
35 Mortgages 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.2.4 The competitive environment
1.5.4 The economy and business
1.5.5 External influences
 
36  Sainsbury's 1.1.1 The dynamic nature of business
1.1.3 The role of business enterprise
1.3.2 Business revenues, costs and profits
1.4.3 The marketing mix
2.2.1 Product
2.2.2 Price
2.2.3 Promotion
2.2.4 Place
2.2.5 Using the marketing mix to make business decisions

Examiner recruitment

We  are seeking to employ examiners for GCSE Business.


Free teacher access to Pearson’s online GCSE revision

Pearson Revise Online gives every student the same access to all their revision guides for Pearson Edexcel and AQA subjects. All in one place online, with quick quizzes and knowledge checks to help them prioritise their learning.

This year, teachers can get free access to the platform to use in front-of-class revision lessons in the run-up to mocks.  


May/June 2024 exam series

The entry deadline for UK centres is 21 February 2024.

The entry deadline for international centres is 21 March 2024.

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May/June 2025 provisional timetables

Please send any feedback on these provisional timetables to timetables@pearson.com by 23 February.

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For help with:

  • free support and networking
  • free and paid-for resources

For help with:

  • the key command verbs
  • grade boundaries and statistics
     

Onscreen mocks

Onscreen mocks are now available for International GCSE Business


Onscreen exams rollout

International GCSE Business will have the first onscreen assessment available from 2024.

Make sure you’re signed up for the latest onscreen assessment news to find out how to register your school.

The Pearson onscreen sandbox (test environment) gives students all the practice they need to explore the platform’s functionality and build their confidence before they sit their exams onscreen.

It’s easy to register for an account: just click on Register for an account and enter your email address as your user ID.

The materials are digitised in the same platform as the mock and high-stakes onscreen exams and are a good opportunity for teachers and students to get to know the platform and functionality available.

Whilst the user experience mirrors what can be expected from the mocks and high-stakes assessments, please note that any solutions submitted through the sandbox environment by candidates will not be saved.


Modular International GCSE

International GCSE Business is in the last group of subjects to make a modular route available to learners from September 2025.

This means that we will have both a modular and a linear route to achieve this qualification for centres outside the UK.

If you are happy with the linear approach, there is no need to move to the modular route; our linear International GCSEs will continue to be offered and taken widely by learners around the world. ​

However, if you believe the modular route will be of benefit to your learners, this will be available from September 2025 with the first exams in May/June 2026.


Examiner recruitment

We  are seeking to employ examiners for International GCSE Business and Commerce.


November 2023 exam series

May/June 2024 exam series

The entry deadline for UK centres is 21 February 2024.

The entry deadline for international centres is 21 March 2024.

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November 2024 provisional timetable

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May 2025 provisional timetable

Please send any feedback on these provisional timetables to timetables@pearson.com by 23 February.

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Exam entry codes.

4BS1A = the traditionally assessed linear papers

R - Regional papers - Pearson requires the following countries to use the alternative R option codes: Australia, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India,  Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

C = Onscreen assessment

CR = Regional and onscreen papers

Entry Option Title
4BS1 A Business (Papers 1 & 2)
4BS1 R Business (Papers 1R & 2R)
4BS1 ZA Business (Papers 1C & 2C)
4BS1 ZB Business (Papers 1C & 2)
4BS1 ZC Business (Papers 1 & 2C)
4BS1 ZD Business (Papers 1CR & 2CR)
4BS1 ZE Business (Papers 1CR & 2R)
4BS1 ZF Business (Papers 1R & 2CR)

For help with:

  • free FT case studies
  • free resources
  • paid-for resources from Pearson
  • paid-for resources from Hodder
  • other paid-for resources
     

For help with:

  • introduction to assessment
  • building your own question papers (examWizard)
  • the key command verbs
  • grade boundaries and statistics
     

A level Business network events

The dates for the 2024 A level network events are below with the links to sign up. 

Wednesday 28 February

From C to A* grade answers

This session will look at a number of student response to see how these responses can be improved, by identifying the key areas of the marking grid that should be maximised to reach the top level or marks on each question

Register for this session

Tuesday 5 March

Developing effective conclusions

This session will look at the different ways to approach a conclusion on a 10,12 and 20 mark question. It will look at common errors that students make when attempting a conclusion and good examples of when they have reached top marks.

Register for this session

Tuesday 30 April

Revision (learn to learn) strategies

This session will be focussed on learning strategies for A Level Business, in particular topics that students often confuse or get wrong. There will be opportunities to network with other teachers and share best practice in the classroom to support the students with their revision

Register for this session

Recordings of previous network events


FT case studies for A level Business

This year the case studies have a slightly different format which includes suggested answers.

  Case Study Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme 4
29 Sony 1.3.5 Marketing strategy 2.5.1 Economic influences 3.1.4 Impact of external influences  
30 Canada
 
2.4.1 Production, productivity and efficiency   4.2.2 Assessment of a country as a market
4.2.3 Assessment of a country as a production location
31 Directline     3.4.3 Shareholders versus stakeholders
3.6.1 Causes and effects of change
 
32 Aldi 1.5.3 Business Objectives     4.3.3 Cultural and social factors
33 Airbus 1.2.1 Demand
1.2.2 Supply
     
34 Spotify 1.3 Marketing mix and strategy
 
2.5.3 The competitive environment    
35 Social media     3.1.4 Impact of external influences  
36 Spotify 1.4.1 Approaches to staffing
1.4.4 Motivation in theory and practice
2.4.1 Production, productivity and efficiency    

Examiner recruitment

We  are seeking to employ examiners for A level Business.


May/June 2024 exam series

The entry deadline for UK centres is 21 February 2024.

The entry deadline for international centres is 21 March 2024.

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May/June 2025 provisional timetable

Please send any feedback on these provisional timetables to timetables@pearson.com by 23 February.

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For help with:

  • free support and networking
  • free resources
  • paid-for resources
     

For help with:

  • the key command verbs
  • grade boundaries and statistics
     

October 2023 exam series

May/June 2024 exam series

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October 2024 exam series

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January 2025 exam series - provisonal timetable

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May/June 2025 provisional timetable

Please send any feedback on these provisional timetables to timetables@pearson.com by 23 February 2024.

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An informal 45-minute session. providing an opportunity to pop in for a chat with course host, Toby York, during which he will answer questions about Accounting Clubs in Schools. He will also introduce the free Accounting Cafe series of courses, Teach Accounting with Confidence (relevant to Theme 2 on the A level).

Come along to talk to us and meet with other teachers. You’ll hear from others who’ve been through the courses. They will share their experiences and those of their students.

If you are already using the materials and have feedback, please let us know. We continually seek to improve the courses and can only do that with your help.

There will be time to ask technical questions and get tips for effectively delivering specific syllabus content.

Our drop-in sessions are not recorded.

Assessment news

There is a new support page for you to bookmark – General qualifications assessment support. Here we’ll share news information and updates from Ofqual, the Department for Education (DfE), the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and Pearson, relating to the exams and assessments for our GCSE, AS and A level qualifications.

We’ll be updating it regularly so you know you’ve got all the latest announcements, news, support materials and updates to enable you to teach our qualifications, help your students with their assessments and post-results support, to enable them to progress.

How to submit an appeal from 01 January 2024

From 1 January 2024, we are pleased to confirm that there will be a new web form for centres and private candidates to use when they wish to submit an application to appeal or request a review of an administrative decision. Using this web form will help to guide centres and private candidates in the information that needs to be provided in an application to appeal. This will help us to ensure we can process all applications promptly.

The web form will be available on our main Post-results web page and on our Post-results services web page for T levels, and will be operational by 1 January 2024. From that date onwards we will no longer accept appeal applications that are made directly to our appeals email inbox. Appeals submitted to the inbox prior to 01 January 2024 will be processed. We will return any applications to appeal that are sent to our appeals inbox from 01 January 2024 to you with a request to submit them using the web form.

Centres and private candidates must use the web form to submit appeals related to:

1. the outcome of reviews of marking/moderation (within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision)
2. the decisions made in relation to student or centre malpractice (within 14 calendar days of the date of the decision)
3. the decisions made in relation to access arrangements, special consideration, reasonable adjustments (within 14 calendar days of the date of the decision)
4. the outcome of a preliminary appeal in any of the areas above. An application for an appeal hearing must only be made once a preliminary appeal has been conducted and must be made within 14 calendar days of the date of the preliminary appeal decision.

Centres and private candidates must also use the web form to request the review of an administrative decision in areas such as decisions made in relation to very late arrivals and where we have issued an aegrotat (estimated grade).

Further information on the appeals process can be found in the JCQ Appeals Booklet 2023.

Further information on appeals, including fees, can also be found on our website. Our website will be fully updated by 1 January 2024 to refer centres and private candidates to our webform.

General queries about issues that are not appeals should not be submitted on the appeals webform as we will not be able to process them. If you need help with a matter that is not an appeal, please contact our customer services team for assistance. This will ensure your query can be routed to the appropriate team without delay.

On 21 September 2023, Ofqual published the resilience guidance for centres delivering: GCSE, AS and A levels, Project Qualifications and Advanced Extension Award in maths (AEA). We’ve put together a summary of this guidance on our new support page with links through to the full information from Ofqual.

The link to the Ofqual page allows you to read this guidance in full.

On 15 September 2023 the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) updated its ‘Instructions for the Conduct of Qualifications’ document for the 2023/24 academic year to provide more clarity to candidates, exam officers and teachers given recent changes in technology.

In particular, the use of calculators in exams has been updated in Section 10 ‘Using calculators’. The use of calculators applies to a number of different subjects so please do pass this information to all who need to read it.
Full details can be found in the in the booklet Instructions for conducting examinations 2023-2024 and a set of FAQs about using calculators on the JCQ website.


Other updates

If you teach any of our Economics or BTEC qualifications, you may wish to check out the monthly updates.

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