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News from the Business and Economics department.

This is a particularly busy time in the academic life of secondary students. There are a number of coursework deadlines and looming examinations for many of our students to consider. This is certainly the case for our IB Economics, IB Business and Management and our IGCSE Business Studies students.

The Year 13 IB Economics students are currently working on their third and final Internal Assessment. The students have to write a commentary on a newspaper article. This basically involves highlighting the economic theory in the article and evaluating the issues and government interventions covered. The focus on the current assessment is on international economics. Amongst a variety of stories covered have been issues on the value of the Chinese Yuan, Australian Free Trade Agreements and the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy. Four students are nearing completion of their Extended Essay. Nicole Majska has investigated the importance of Slovakia’s adoption of the Euro on Foreign Direct Investment into the country. Peter Sokol has investigated market structure of Slovakia’s television companies. Veronica Rollova has similarly investigated the market structure of Slovakia’s major retail banks. Adam Vajda has investigated the market forces shaping office development in Bratislava. It is interesting to note that all these students have chosen to further their studies in business and economics at university. The research they have completed is highly recognised and welcomed by all the top business and economic institutions. 

Year 12 Economics students have recently been studying Market Failure and are completing an in depth study of a notorious pollution case in the Ivory Coast. Their first Internal Assessment on Microeconomics will be started next term.

The Year 11 IGCSE Business Studies students are currently studying production and will shortly move on to marketing. As part of this the students will present a marketing plan to outside guests. Students are also currently working on a report examining the impact of new technology on all aspects of business. A very enjoyable recent activity was an employer/Trade Union wage negotiation role play. The students adopted their positions with some gusto and there was some very hard bargaining. Nearly all the negotiations ended with a settlement although one negotiation broke down and strike action was threatened!

In Year 10 students have been studying entrepreneurship and business types. They are using this knowledge to produce a business plan which they are to present in the hope of raising finance. Some excellent ideas have already been presented using the ‘Dragons’ Den’ platform.   Hopefully, this will encourage some entrepreneurs of the future. A very recent topic covered has been structure and finance of Public Limited Companies. This will lead into students participating in a shares buying competition. All the students in Year 10 recently visited the Volkswagen factory near Devinska Nova Ves. The Business Studies department would like to extend our thanks to the Languages Department for organising the trip. Many year 10 students are also involved in the Young Enterprise scheme run by Mr Warmington. They are applying their knowledge and skills to a business proposal ‘El Mustashio’ and then marketing their ideas.

Next year will see the launch of IGCSE Economics. This is a very interesting course which will develop a student’s knowledge of world events and introduce them to a variety of new skills that will be transferable to a number of different subjects. There are inevitably overlaps between Economics and Business Studies and students and parents often ask about how they differ. Please see the article which follows this.

In conclusion we would very much like to extend our contacts and connections with the Bratislava and Slovak business communities. We have had guest speakers visit us in the past and our students very much value the opportunity to put their studies in a real world context. If you feel that you can come in to speak to our students or would be able to accommodate a visit from them, then we would very much like to hear from you. My contact details are given below. Thank you very much for the offers already received; we will be in touch!

Norman MacRury

Head of Business and Economics