Useful Links

Useful Links

GSO Test

Raising the achievement of All

Most Able - Business



The Business department shares the school’s belief that every student should achieve his or her full potential. We seek to ensure that every student gains satisfaction from the subject and attains their best possible academic result. The department has been very successful in these aims and prides itself on students’ positive attitudes and achievements, regardless of their ability. We consider the Most Able students to be an important group of learners, who require particular attention if they are to fulfil our expectations. This document outlines our strategies for ensuring that the Most Able students match their potential.

The characteristics/criteria for a MA student in Business

Most Able is the terms applied to young people who are achieving or have the potential to achieve at a level significantly beyond the rest of their peer group. As with every individual, Most Able students have their own strengths and weaknesses. A student may be very able in some areas but may be underachieving or appear on the SEND register in recognition of behavioural, social, physical, sensory or specific learning difficulties. The DfE and Ofsted define the Most Able in terms of those whose progress significantly exceeds age related expectations. Exceptionally able pupils are those who have the capacity to achieve or perform at the very highest levels.

Teachers need to consider the potential of students as well as their current performance. It is important that teachers should aim to provide frequent opportunities for able students to show their potential. Students will reveal talents at different stages of maturity and often in relation to different aspects of the subject. Identification should be through using a wide range of evidence much of which is likely to be informal. High ability does not always result in high attainment. Some able students may fail to achieve because they are not stimulated or challenged in the classroom. Others may be inclined to conceal their ability because of social pressures. It is therefore vital that we use all available means to ascertain our Most Able students. However we should always avoid the temptation of nominating a very hard working, conscious student as it is no substitution for being Most Able in Business.


The Business department at Icknield High School considers the following criteria to be important in identifying Most Able pupils in Business: 

  • Excellent performance relative to peer group as identified through the school assessment system; assessments results, classwork, homework and tests
  • High productivity in tasks with high quality of creativity e.g. in the production of marketing campaign or presentation/display work
  • Very skillful and speedy processing of information as shown through rapid response to class questioning and work, e.g. looking at organisation structures and matching roles to departments
  • Highly efficient memory and application of knowledge to solving business problems e.g. which solution should a business use to improve its profitability
  • Very curious about events and how things work as demonstrated through their background knowledge of the subject, interest in current affairs, use of relevant examples in class work and ability to ask appropriate questions about topics
  • Able to model using abstract ideas or convert abstract ideas to a simple understandable model e.g. when studying motivational theories
  • Good communicator – as demonstrated in questions and answer sessions, discussion and presentation work
  • Good mathematician – as demonstrated throughout the finance module
  • Work independently and concerted on tasks to complete them or take them to an appropriate end by making a judgement depending upon present knowledge, e.g. problem solving exercises
  • Demonstrates high order analysis and evaluative skills
  • Demonstrates high level literacy skills in written work
  • Able to make cross-curricular links

Familiarity with these characteristics can help teachers to build up a student’s profile of learning strengths. Such a profile may help to identify a Most Able student who might not be achieving at a particularly high level but who may have real ability in certain areas. However, these characteristics are indicative and not definitive. It must be noted that the Business department only begins to teach students once they reach year 9, a subject for which there is no pre-existing data. Therefore it is important to recognise the unique difficulties that staff in the Business department face in identifying Most Able students.

Despite this, the department will aim to identify and track Most Able students by using the following:

  • Quantitative assessment of skills through internal assessments.
  • Qualitative assessment through teacher assessment of class work and homework
  • Above average performance compared to other students of a similar age and experience
  • Originality and creativity in open-ended tasks
  • FFT(type D) data
  • Tracking on SIMS every full term

A register of Most Able pupils will be provided to staff at the start of each academic year. This register will be available on the staff shared area. If a teacher identifies a Most Able student using the above criteria, their name should be added to this register. The register is a fluid document and can be edited at any time of the year.

Opportunities for MA students within the curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities


Teaching and Learning

The curriculum map, Knowledge organizers and schemes of work have been written to consider the abilities of all students. In Business, there are opportunities to develop analytical and evaluative skills by applying knowledge to new situations which will stretch the most able students. Explicit differentiation should be planned for these students in every lesson, using extension tasks where possible.

In order to challenge students who are able in Business, teachers should set activities that expect students to use a range of skills, accurately and efficiently, provide for a higher level of analysis, evaluative and creative thinking that leads to more advanced thinking.

An effective classroom environment will deliver pace, breadth and depth in teaching and learning and challenge through differentiation by content, learning process and outcome. The identified Most Able student will normally work within a peer group or be given specific opportunities for them to allow extra challenge to take place


Enriching and Extending Students' Experiences

In addition to students’ subject studies, students also embark upon several additional programmes and opportunities that have been designed to challenge students further intellectually and to provide a practical and transferrable skillset in Business to enhance their wider understanding of the subject. These are as follows:

  • Fundraising activities: Students in years 7 to 10 take part in fundraising activities through their years at Icknield High School to raise money for charities and also the school prom. It is important they are able to promote their fundraising event using knowledge they have gained from the Marketing unit. Students also need to know how to budget and price their fundraising activities to ensure they make a profit and not loss, therefore linking in with the Finance unit.
  • Educational visits: Year 9 students attend a whole day business and enterprise pathways event at the University of Bedfordshire. The day offers an exciting and inspiring look at a range of career opportunities available in the world of business. Students take part in various activities throughout the day which provides the opportunity to students to assess their own attributes and capabilities in the context of entrepreneurship amongst learning and acquiring transferable skills.
  • Educational visits: Year 10 students take part in the Think Smart Drink Smart challenge, a business & enterprise event organised as part of their 16x16 programme. Students take part in a marketing workshop, working in groups to create a business and marketing plan for a smart material called Plaztazote. The event aims to support pupils in developing their team working and communication skills, as well as their understanding of the marketing field.
  • 16x16 Young Person’s programme: this forms part of the Luton Investment Framework (LIF) Skills and Opportunities Programme. This offers students the chance to display the 16 qualities, skills and experiences which employers deem most valuable for students to possess, before leaving education. This allows students to complete a number of activities in the wider school and gives them an insight and supports their future plans and education.
  • Business Projects: Students take part in real-life business projects such as the Tenner Challenge towards the end of the summer term. The Tenner Challenge provides a highly interactive way for students to develop key employability skills as their aim is to make as much profit as possible from £10.This helps students to develop an enterprising mind-set and prepare for the world of work.
  • Students are taught about recruitment processes in the People unit. Students look into job applications and what is required, students are provided with an understanding of the interview process and how each process works which is a useful skill for when they apply to college for further study or apprenticeships.


In addition to enriched and extended schemes of work, the following strategies are used to help realise the potential of Most Able students:

  • The regular monitoring and reporting of individual student performance as part of normal departmental procedures
  • Encouraging the use of alternative means of research, such as databases, online records and the internet; likewise, encouraging the use of ICT as a means of presenting those ideas, such as PowerPoint
  • Promotion of extra reading of business and economics articles and magazines such as ‘Business Review’
  • Encouraging watching business related programmes – Dragons Den
  • Recognition, celebration and rewarding of achievement of all students within the department via a recognised reward system on a termly basis
  • Continuing professional development of staff which addresses the implications of Most Able students in teaching and learning.

Reading List



  • OCR GCSE (9–1) Business Student Book (Mike Schofield and Alan Williams)
    • Build strong knowledge and skills with this Student Book from OCR's Publishing Partner for GCSE Business; fully updated by subject experts for the 2017 specification, it provides comprehensive content coverage, engaging case studies and assessment activities.
  • My Revision Notes: OCR GCSE (9-1) Business (Mike Schofield)
    • Target success in OCR GCSE (9-1) Business with effective, structured revision; key content coverage is combined with exam-style tasks and practical tips to create a revision guide that students can rely on to review, strengthen and test their knowledge.
  • GCSE Business Complete Revision and Practice - for the Grade 9-1 Course (CGP)
    • This chunky Complete Revision & Practice book is a brilliant guide to success in the new Grade 9-1 GCSE Business course — and it’s suitable for the AQA, Edexcel and OCR exam boards! It explains everything in clear, friendly style with case studies to make the theory easier to understand. The book prepares students for the real exams with plenty of exam tips, worked example questions and exam-style questions (including answers). Also included is a free Online Edition of the whole book — just use the code printed inside the cover to access it on your PC, Mac or tablet.



  • Financial Times
  • Guardian
  • Independent
  • Times
  • Telegraph
  • The Week
  • Observer
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Business Review



  • BBC Business
  • Business Studies Online
  • Financial Times
  • Guardian
  • HM Treasury
  • Institute of Fiscal Studies
  • New York Times
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Telegraph
  • Tutor2U
  • World Bank
  • Bank of England
  • Bloomberg
  • Economist
  • BBC Bitesize
  • BusinessEd
  • Times 100


What parents can do to help their MA child in Business


  • Help your child create a simple revision plan for the week. You don’t need to plan every minute however you do need to plan a week. The key principles are:
    • How many hours a day will they revise?
    • Factor in when they will start, when they will end, lunch, and then they need breaks.
    • And what will they revise?
    • A day off in the week?
    • Are they still at school?
  • Testing your child is a very effective exam revision strategy because it ‘forces’ your child to dig into their memory and recall what they have learnt. The science behind testing is undisputed and can significantly increase your child’s retention of information. You can question your child from flashcards, a revision booklet, their exercise book, their mind map…Anything that has the information
  • Extending knowledge of the world and encouraging discussion. Talk through your day and your child’s day, and encourage active family discussions. Discuss the news, current affairs and introduce an interesting fact or topic of the week
  • Developing language. Read with your children, and to them, as often as possible, even if they are already good readers. Able children enjoy learning new words – so have a new Business word of the day or week at home using the Glossary documents students have been provided with at school
  • Promote extra reading of business and economics articles and magazines such as ‘Business Review’
  • Encourage watching business related programmes such as Dragons Den
  • Take an active interest in their school work (including homework via Show My Homework)
  • Visit museums, galleries and exhibitions
  • Provide a suitable range of information/resource material to study from (use the reading list above as a guide)