Bury Grammar Schools


Whatever job any of our students undertake in the future, it is likely to be in a business, whether self employed, working for the government or in the private sector, including charities.
The content we offer in both GCSE and A Level Business is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society such as the impact of digital technology, business ethics and globalisation. Through the study of Business, students will gain many transferrable skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, numeracy and literacy, which will equip them to enter the next stage of their education or employment with confidence.

Subject Curriculum


AQA GCSE Business provides an overall understanding of how businesses work from the inside and the factors that influence short and long term decision making. From day one, students are taught and encouraged to apply their understanding of business knowledge to a whole range of different contexts from small enterprises such as local plumbers or builders, to large multinationals like Apple. Throughout the course, students will develop an analytical understanding of business behaviour and appreciate the complex nature of business in the real world.

The GCSE specification comprises of six topics;
  • Business in the Real World
  • Influences on Business
  • Business Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing & Finance.

A Level

AQA A Level Business encourages students to adopt both a tactical and holistic approach to business decision making through the study of a series of concepts, theories and techniques to support analysis of contemporary business issues and scenarios. Working independently and in small groups, students will develop an enquiring mind and the ability to analyse and evaluate a whole range of problems, making effective use of business knowledge, experience and case study examples taken from large/ small, UK focused/ global, service/ manufacturing enterprises.

Studies are introduced to the four main functional areas of business: Marketing, Accounts, Human Resources & Operations Management, excellent preparation for the world of work and undergraduate study and then build upon this in the second year as they focus on a more strategic approach to business decision making at corporate level.

Year 1

  • What is business?
  • Managers, leadership and decision making
  • Decision making to improve marketing, operational, financial & human resources performance 

Year 2

  • Analysing the strategic position of a business
  • Choosing the strategic direction
  • Strategic methods: how to pursue strategies
  • Managing strategic change

Students do not need to have studied GCSE Business to study A Level.


Head of Department

Mrs Whitlow is an Economics graduate from the University of York who has taught at Bury Grammar School for over twenty years.
After graduating, she completed her PGCE in Economics & Business Education/ICT & PE at the University of Hull and took up her first teaching post in London.
A relocation back to the North two years later brought her to Bury Grammar School where she has been teaching since 1996, primarily in Economics & Business, but also lower school ICT and PE.
Maria became Head of Economics & Business in 2007; passionate about her subjects and committed to getting the best outcome for every student in her care.
Maria is a great advocator of extra curricular provision and has had much success leading many Young Enterprise teams for over twenty years.
As a longstanding member of the Sixth Form Tutor team, Maria has successfully aided hundreds of students through the UCAS process, supporting them on their academic journey.
Maria is now delighted to takes up her role as Head of Social & Computer Science Faculty, excited to working alongside a fantastic team, retaining her role as Head of Business.