Why do we learn economics?
The study of economics addresses the ‘allocation of scarce resources’ and is concerned with
forces and factors that influence the way economies operate, from the price of a cup of coffee, proposed changes to tax rates, the causes of unemployment and the potential conflicts between economic growth and environmental sustainability.
Students are introduced to fundamental economic terms and concepts and learn how to apply these to investigate and explain how markets work in contemporary and historical economic contexts. They study the different roles and perspectives of the main economic agents and how they interact in the economy. Students develop the ability to use and interpret quantitative and qualitative data to justify economic decisions. They learn to appreciate that all economic choices have costs and benefits. This encourages them to consider the moral, ethical and sustainability issues that arise due to economic activity in a range of national and global contexts.
Economics teaches a very precise, logical and analytical method for approaching issues as well as the foundations for understanding technical economic theory. Students learn valuable life skills relating to personal finance, alongside using technical theory to analyse current economic issues.
As the skills learnt in economics are not always linear in nature, students are taught through continual re-visiting and review of theory and application, embedding learning and placing value on the benefits flowing from working to perfect practice, learning from mistakes and focusing on the bigger picture of synoptic understanding.
Our teaching consistently draws on the latest economic research and teaching methodologies (for example the more recent emphasis on behavioural economics in university teaching) as well as integrating the application of economic theory to issues in the news.
The concepts of scarcity and economic efficiency are always at the heart of our teaching. However, the nature of the subject also demands the ongoing introduction and revisiting on topics as it is only at the conclusion of teaching the syllabus that all aspects dovetail to enable truly synoptic thinking, a skill specifically addressed in the final exam paper at A’ Level.
Year 10 - Economics
• Main economic groups and factors of production.
• The basic economic problem: scarce resources, unlimited wants, opportunity cost, economics choices and impacts.
• The role of markets: primary, secondary, tertiary sectors; products, services; factor and product markets; specialisation, exchange
• Demand: demand curve, shifts and movements along.
• Supply: supply curve, shifts and movements along.
• Equilibrium price.
• Price elasticity of demand, determinants, elasticity for consumers and producers
• Price elasticity of supply, determinants, elasticity for consumers and producers
• Competition, monopoly and oligopoly.
• Production: the role of producers.
• Productivity, costs, revenue, profit and loss.
• Economies of scale.
• The labour market: interaction between workers and employers.
• Determination of wages.
• Pay and taxation.
• The role of money and financial markets.
• Interest rates.
• Revision of content to date in preparation for Paper 1.
• Economic growth: calculation, data analysis, determinants, costs and benefits.
• Low unemployment: employment and unemployment, measurement, data analysis, types, causes and consequences.
• Review of Paper 1 and reteaching.
• Fair distribution of income: income v wealth, calculating the same and consequences of inequality.
Year 11 - Economics
• Price stability: measuring inflation, calculation, data analysis, causes and consequences.
• Fiscal policy: budget surpluses and deficits, impact on economy, costs, consequences of redistribution of income and progressive taxation.
• Monetary policy: impact on economy.
• Supply side policies: types of policy, costs and impact on the economy.
• Limitations of markets: externalities, government intervention and its costs and benefits.
• International trade: purpose of trade and free trade agreements (including the EU).
• Balance of payments: data analysis, current account deficits and surpluses and causes and consequences of the same.
• Exchange rates: determination using calculations and diagrams, data analysis and the impact of exchange rate changes.
• Globalisation: measurements of development, the driving forces behind globalisation and the costs and benefits to economic agents in developed and developing countries.
Year 12 - Economics
• Economics and thinking like an economist; scarcity.
• Production Possibility Frontiers.
• Specialisation and the division of labour; function of money.
• Economic Markets; reference to economists.
• Positive and normative economics; economics as a social science.
• D&S curves; diminishing marginal returns; rational decision making; consumer behaviour.
• Price determination
• Price Mechanism.
• Consumer and producer surplus.
• Indirect taxes and subsidies.
• Market Failure.
• Public Goods.
• Imperfect market information.
• Methods of government intervention.
• Government failure.
• Circular Flow; National Income; GNP.
• Income and wealth.
• Injections and withdrawals.
• Aggregate demand.
• Investment (gross v net investment).
• Government expenditure (imp act of trade cycle on G).
• Exports – imports.
• Aggregate Demand curve and impact of components on diagram.
• Aggregate Supply (relationship between SR and LR AS); Keynesian and Classical LRAS.
• Equilibrium level of output.
• The multiplier; marginal propensities; calculation of multiplier.
• Inflation (and disinflation); including growth of money supply.
• Employment and Unemployment (and underemployment and inactivity).
• Balance of payments.
• Economic Growth; measuring GDP.
• Actual and potential growth.
• Benefits of growth; impact on current and future living standards.
• Costs of growth; impact on current and future living standards.
• Causes of and constraints on growth; export-led economic growth.
• Other measures of development; happiness and wellbeing.
• Human Development Index.
• Current macroeconomic objectives (including balanced gov’t budget).
• Conflicts between objectives.
• Demand-side policies (including quantitative easing); Great Depression and Global Financial Crisis.
• Supply-side policies; market based and interventionist distinction.
• Macroeconomic conflicts (including short-run Phillips curve).
• Types of firm & size.
• How firms grow & demergers.
• Costs, revenue and profit (max profits, revenue, sales).
• Economies & diseconomies of scale.
Year 13 - Economics
• Test on summer content.
• Market structures: perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligolopy.
• Pricing strategies & contestability.
• Labour markets.
• Government intervention.
• The impact of government intervention.
• Trade & specialisation.
• Trading blocs.
• Patterns of trade.
• Balance of payments.
• Exchange rates.
• Internationa l competitiveness.
• Poverty & measures of inequality and development.
• Factors influencing growth and development.
• Strategies to increase growth and development.
• Role of financial markets.
• Market failure in the financial sector.
• Role of central banks.
• Public expenditure (incl. taxation & govt debt).
• Macroeconomic policies in a global context.
|Revision of Themes 1-4.|