GCSE Business and Communication Systems Specification 2009

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Version 1.1: 1107 General Certificate of Secondary Education Business and Communication Systems 3126 2009 Material accompanying this Specification • Specimen and Past Papers and Mark Schemes • Reports on the Examination • A Teacher’s Guide SPECIFICATION The specification will be published annually on the AQA Website (www.aqa.org.uk). If there are any changes to the specification centres will be notified in print as well as on the website. In the case of any difference between the printed and the website version of the specification, the version with the highest number, as currently published on the AQA Website, is the definitive one. │Vertical black lines indicate a significant change or addition to the specification published for 2008. Copyright © 2007 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT AQA retains the copyright on all its publications, including the specifications. However, the registered centres for AQA are permitted to copy material from this specification booklet for their own internal use. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 3644723 and a registered charity number 1073334. Registered address AQA, Devas Street, Manchester M15 6EX. Dr Michael Cresswell Director General. AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 - Business and Communication Systems Contents Background Information 1 The General Certificate of Secondary Education 5 2 Specification at a Glance 6 3 Availability of Assessment Units and Entry Details 7 Scheme of Assessment 4 Introduction 8 5 Aims 9 6 Assessment Objectives 10 7 Scheme of Assessment 11 Subject Content 8 Summary of Subject Content 13 9 The Business Environment 13 10 Workplace Organisation 14 11 Human Resources 15 12 Communication 16 13 ICT in the Business Environment 17 14 Computer Applications in the Business Environment 18 hij 3 Business and Communication Systems – AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 Key Skills and Other Issues 15 Key Skills – Teaching, Developing and Providing Opportunities for Generating Evidence 21 16 Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social, Cultural and Other Issues 27 Awarding and Reporting 17 Grading, Shelf-Life and Re-Sits 28 Appendices A Grade Descriptions 29 B Overlaps with Other Qualifications 30 4 hij AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 - Business and Communication Systems Background Information 1 The General Certificate of Secondary Education Following a review of the National Curriculum requirements, and the establishment of the National Qualifications Framework, all the unitary awarding bodies have revised their GCSE syllabuses for examination in 2003. 1.1 Introduction Key Skills All GCSE specifications must identify, as appropriate, opportunities for generating evidence on which candidates may be assessed in the “main” Key Skills of Communication, Application of Number and Information Technology at the appropriate level(s). Also, where appropriate, they must identify opportunities for developing and generating evidence for addressing the “wider” Key Skills of Working with Others, Improving own Learning and Performance and Problem Solving. Spiritual, moral, ethical, All specifications must identify ways in which the study of the subject social, cultural, can contribute to an awareness and understanding of these issues. environmental, health and safety and European Issues ICT The National Curriculum requires that students should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT skills through the use of ICT tools to support their learning. In each specification candidates will be required to make effective use of ICT in ways appropriate to the needs of the subject. Tiering In most subjects the scheme of assessment must include question papers, targeted at two tiers of grades, ie A* - D and C - G. A safety net of an allowed Grade E will be provided for candidates entered for the higher tier who just fail to achieve Grade D. The questions will still be targeted at A* - D. Citizenship From 2002, students in England are required to study Citizenship as a National Curriculum subject. Each GCSE specification must signpost, where appropriate, opportunities for developing knowledge, skills and understanding of citizenship. hij 5 Business and Communication Systems – AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 2 Specification at a Glance Business and Communication Systems This is the only specification in this subject offered by AQA. There are two tiers of Assessment: Foundation (C-G) and Higher (A*-D). GCSE 3126 Theory Paper 33% of total marks Foundation Tier (3126/1F) 1 hour Higher Tier (3126/1H) 1 hour Questions requiring short answers and extended writing – to be answered on the question paper testing the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the Subject Content. Foundation Tier Controlled Test 67% of total marks Foundation Tier (3126/2F) 2 hours 3126F Higher Tier (3126/2H) 2 hours An externally-set controlled test requiring the use of computers. Higher Tier Requirements of Centres 3126H Centres will need to provide: Appropriate computer hardware and software to meet the requirements of the Subject Content + One or more printers to produce hard copy Subject Content The Business Environment, Workplace Organisation, Human Resources, Communication, ICT in the Business Environment, Computer Applications in the Business Environment Additional Information AQA will provide confidential Teachers Notes prior to the controlled test for teachers to key in data to create files. Candidates will retrieve these files during the controlled test. 6 hij AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 - Business and Communication Systems 3 Availability of Assessment Units and Entry Details 3.1 Availability of Assessment Examinations based on this specification are available in the June Units examination series only. 3.2 Entry Codes Normal entry requirements apply, but the following information should be noted. The Subject Code for entry to the GCSE award is 3126. 3.3 Classification Codes Each specification is assigned to a national classification code, indicating the subject area to which it belongs. The classification code for this specification is 7460. 3.4 Private Candidates This specification is available for private candidates. Private candidates should write to AQA for a copy of the “Supplementary Guidance for Private Candidates”. 3.5 Access Arrangements and AQA pays due regard to the provision of the Disability Discrimination Special Consideration Act 1995 in its administration of this specification. Arrangements may be made to enable candidates with disabilities or other difficulties to access the assessment. An example of an access arrangement is the production of a Braille paper for a candidate with a visual impairment. Special consideration may be requested for candidates whose work has been affected by illness or other exceptional circumstances. Further details can be found in the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) document: Access Arrangements and Special Consideration Regulations and Guidance Relating to Candidates who are Eligible for Adjustments in Examination GCE, AEA, GCSE, GNVQ, Entry Level & Key Skills This document can be viewed via the AQA web site (www.aqa.org.uk) Applications for access arrangements and special consideration should be submitted to AQA by the Examinations Officer at the centre. 3.6 Language of Examinations All assessment will be through the medium of English. Assessment materials will not be provided in Welsh or Gaeilge. hij 7 Business and Communication Systems – AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 Scheme of Assessment 4 Introduction 4.1 National Criteria This AQA GCSE in Business and Communication Systems complies with the following: • the GCSE, GCE, GNVQ and AEA Code of Practice April 2007; • the GCSE Qualification Specific Criteria; • the Arrangements for the Statutory Regulation of External Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: Common Criteria. 4.2 Rationale A course based on this specification will introduce candidates to various aspects of the world of business and encourage them to consider the impact of the business environment, workplace organisation, human resources management and effective communication on the running of businesses. The recent rapid advances in the use of ICT have given businesses access to a wealth of information, enabled more efficient communication and reduced the time and effort required for many administrative tasks. Candidates will be encouraged to reflect on these benefits, as well as issues such as the need for safe use of ICT equipment and the importance of the security of data. Students will acquire useful practical skills in a wide range of computer applications in business contexts. This course of study will be of practical use and personal value in building a foundation of knowledge, understanding and skills, which could form a basis for further study and assist in future employment. The majority of the Key Stage 4 programme of study in ICT is covered, with the exception of points 2c and 4c. 4.3 Prior level of attainment and No prior learning or level of attainment is necessary for candidates to recommended prior learning undertake a course of study based on this specification. However, candidates will be expected to demonstrate skills of literacy and numeracy commensurate with having followed a programme of study at Key Stage 3. 4.4 Progression This qualification is a recognised part of the National Qualifications framework. As such, GCSE provides progression from Key Stage 3 to post-16 studies. It lays an appropriate foundation for further study of Business Studies, ICT and/or other related subjects, and for the world of work. In addition, a course based on this specification will be of practical use and personal value to candidates of various ages and from diverse backgrounds in terms of general education and lifelong learning. 8 hij AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 - Business and Communication Systems 5 Aims A course based on this specification should enable candidates to develop: a. knowledge and broad understanding of aspects of workplace organisation and the business environment; b. knowledge and broad understanding of a range of information and communication systems and their applications in the workplace and an understanding of their capabilities and limitations; c. the ability to choose, design and use information and communication systems to carry out a range of tasks and solve business problems in a variety of contexts, eg communicating with customers and suppliers, storing and processing financial data, storing data about staff and existing and potential customers; d. communication skills, by composing, in good English, appropriate and coherent responses to business problems from given outline information; e. capacity for making reasoned judgements about the selection, presentation and interpretation of data so as to ensure the effective communication of information; f. awareness of the importance of layout and design in the workplace and their implications for health and safety. Pupils will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in using information and communication systems to carry out tasks and solve problems under examination conditions. hij 9 Business and Communication Systems – AQA GCSE Specification, 2009 6 Assessment Objectives 6.1 Assessment Objectives Candidates will be required to: 1. demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of the specified subject content, using appropriate terms, concepts and methods effectively; 2. use, design and implement appropriate information systems to organise and present outcomes which are fit for their purpose; 3. select, organise, interpret and use information from various sources to analyse problems and issues; 4. reflect critically on their own and others’ use of ICT and other business and communication systems and their wider implications and effects, and make reasoned judgements, presenting conclusions accurately and appropriately; 5. present relevant information in a form that suits its purpose, ensure text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate, so that meaning is clear, and use specialist terms appropriately. 6.2 Quality of Written Where candidates are required to produce extended written material in Communication English, they will be assessed on the quality of written communication. Candidates will be required to: • present relevant information in a form that suits its purposes; • ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate, so that the meaning is clear. Quality of written communication will be assessed in both the theory paper and the controlled test. 10 hij Document Outline
  • Contents
    • Background Information
      • The General Certificate of Secondary Education
      • Specification at a Glance
      • Availability of Assessment Units and Entry Details
    • Scheme of Assessment
      • Introduction
      • Aims
      • Assessment Objectives
      • Scheme of Assessment
    • Subject Content
      • Summary of Subject Content
      • The Business Environment
      • Workplace Organisation
      • Human Resources
      • Communication
      • ICT in the Business Environment
      • Computer Applications in the Business Environment
    • Key Skills and Other Issues
      • Key Skills - Teaching, Developing and Providing Opportunities for Generating Evidence
      • Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social, Cultural and Other Issues
    • Awarding and Reporting
      • Grading, Shelf-Life and Re-Sits
    • Appendices
      • Grade Descriptions
      • Overlaps with other Qualifications