The Business and IT Course in S1, S2 and S3
From S1 until the end of S3, all pupils will experience a broad general education where they will work across the experiences and outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence.
In S1 and S2, all pupils have one period of Business Enterprise & Computing each week. A brief outline of the course is given below:
In S1 pupils follow a course split into three components:
- The first component introduces pupils to the use of IT for their secondary education - learning about the safe use of the Internet, Internet research methods, using email to communicate and effective file management.
- The second component further explores the use of different Microsoft computer applications in the context of Business Enterprise. Pupils learn IT and business decision making skills by completing a business project which covers the following areas: choosing a business location, budgeting, creating business documents, logo design, advertising, sales spreadsheets and charts, creating databases and the use of presentation software. This project develops team work, creativity and an understanding of business development.
- The final component of the course develops skills in the area of Computer Programming by giving pupils an experience of designing a computer game using Scratch programming software.
In S2 pupils extend their Business Enterprise and Computing skills further by completing a project which links the two areas of learning together:
- The Business Enterprise component requires pupils to organise a music festival for Midlothian and provides a scenario which allows pupils to collaborate and apply their IT skills to the process required for event management.
- The Computing component of the course is developed further by giving pupils experience of how to design and develop a Web Site to communicate and promote the business project they have been working on.
S2 pupils can also choose to take one extra period per week of Business Enterprise as part of Peak Performance.
In S3, pupils are given the opportunity to choose two subjects in each curricular area to allow them to gain a more in depth experience in subjects they are interested in. For full details of the choices available, see the S3 Coursing Handbook. Courses in S3 will deliver experiences and outcomes, which will prepare pupils for appropriate National Qualifications in S4.
Pupils have three Business subject options available to them across two curricular areas.
- Business Enterprise is a Social Studies Option which allows pupils to gain further experience of learning about Business topics and centres around the development and decision making required to set up and manage a small business. The course content is very practical and involves the completion of business projects using IT for research, communication and presentation purposes.
- Business and IT is a Technologies option which places a strong emphasis on the business administration side of running a business, developing greater knowledge of IT computer applications used in business – Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases, Publisher, PowerPoint, Electronic Diaries and Email.
- Computing Science is a Technologies option which places a strong emphasis on problem solving, investigative work and practical tasks and activities which relate to the use of computing in fields such as communications, science, entertainment, and the electronics industry.
Selected pupils in S3 and/or S4 are invited to apply for the Prince's Trust xl course. This provides participants with an opportunity to learn social skills and develop their confidence, making learning accessible, useful and interesting. Successful applicants follow a two year programme, being presented for a nationally recognised qualification at the end of S4.
Find about more about the XL group in the pupils' own words on the xl webpage.
Business Education courses in S4, S5 and S6
In the Senior phase, pupils work on courses that lead towards National Qualifications at the end of S4, S5 and S6.
Our S4 pupils will be following the New National Qualifications. Each course takes four periods per week. For full details of the courses available, see the S4 Coursing Handbook. The Business, IT and Vocational Education department offer the following courses as S4 options:
- Business at National 3 and 4 levels and Business Management at National 5 level
- Administration and IT at National 3, 4 and 5 levels.
- Computing Science at National 3, 4 and 5 levels
The S4 Business/Business Management course develops organisation, planning and decision making skills related to managing a business. The content of this course covers:
- Starting up a business – advice available; creating a business plan using IT; finance options
- Different types of business organisations in the Private, Public and Third sectors
- Stakeholders within and external to an organisation
- Working practices in modern working environments
- The functional areas of business – Marketing, Finance, Operations and Human Resources
- Using IT to support business decision-making – creating spreadsheets to record sales, purchasing, budgets and present financial information in the form of graphs and charts
- External and internal factors affecting the survival, success and growth of a business
The design of the course gives pupils opportunities to develop their enterprise and employability skills by partaking in business projects, using IT to present the results of investigative tasks, and developing IT skills that aid business organisation and decision making. The course content relates mainly to businesses located in Scotland, but also investigates the implications of locating and/or trading in a world-wide market, due to the multi-national nature of many large businesses today.
The course prepares pupils for qualifications in Business at National 3 or 4 or Business Management at National 5.
The S4 Administration and IT course provides the necessary IT skills to enable our young people to cope with existing and ever changing technology used in business today. The content of this course covers:
- Word Processing applications
- Spreadsheet applications
- Database applications
- PowerPoint applications
- Desktop Publishing applications
- Use of a range of media, for example, Internet, E-mail and E-diaries
- Use of specialist equipment to undertake administrative and managerial tasks
- Working practices available to employees
- The working environment, including layout/ergonomics and health and safety
This course is practical and places a strong emphasis on IT skills. This course prepares pupils for qualifications in Administration and IT at National 3, 4 or 5.
The S4 Computing and Information Science course develops skills relevant for use in the IT industry and provides an opportunity for pupils to gain an understanding of how IT contributes to the Scottish economy. The content of this exciting course covers:
- Creating Graphics using a variety of Graphics Editors
- Making and Editing Animations
- Creating Podcasts
- Making websites using Dreamweaver
- Creating computer games, by using Scratch and other modern programming environments
- Investigating current technologies
- Recording our work onto blogs
- Investigating different types of computer security threats
- Basic computer hardware
The course prepares pupils for qualifications in Computing and Information Science at National 3, 4 or 5.
Students are given the opportunity to apply for a vocational option in S4 in Hairdressing or Construction. The courses on offer not only provide an opportunity for pupils to learn about a vocational area that they may be interested in as a career, but also provide an equivalent qualification recognised by the SQA or other professional vocational awarding bodies.
The Hairdressing Skills for Work course is designed to develop employability skills in the context of the Hairdressing Industry. The focus of this course is on experiencing working in a salon environment, learning about the different roles and responsibilities in hairdressing, developing industry knowledge and important and essential employability skills. If pupils are interested in a career in Hairdressing this course gives them a taste of what is involved and develops valuable employability skills to help them follow their chosen career.
The Construction Craft Skills for Work course is designed to develop employability skills in the context of the Construction Industry. It is especially suited to pupils who have an aptitude for and an interest in practical crafts work. This course is delivered in partnership with with external providers, ACT and the Midlothian Lifelong Learning and Employability team . The units covered are Carpentry & Joinery, Plumbing, Painting & Decorating and Brick Laying. In addition, pupils will develop skills and attitudes that will help them gain employment, not just in the construction industry, but in any career they choose.
In S5 and S6, pupils can choose to take courses in the Business Education department. Each course takes five periods per week. For full details of the courses available, see the S5/6 Coursing Handbook. Courses currently offered in the Business Education department in S5 and S6 lead to awards in:
- Administration and IT at National 4, National 5 and Higher levels.
- Business Management at National 5 and Higher levels.
- Computing Science at National 4, National 5 and Higher levels.
S5/6 pupils can also choose to take one extra period per week of Business Enterprise as part of Peak Performance where they can build on their leadership skills.
Clubs available in the Business, IT and Vocational Education Department
The department offers S5/6 pupils the opportunity to participate in its Young Enterprise lunchtime club, and this is also offered as a 2 period per week option in S5/6. This involves pupils developing a business idea and setting up their own company with support from Midlothian business associates. The students are primarily responsible for the success/failure of their business and start their involvement in the company with its inception and finish it with liquidation.