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ECONOMICS - Intent, Implementation and Impact


Intent: Economics is essentially the study of decision making at different levels and how the scarce resources of society are allocated. At Archbishop Tenison’s, Economics is studied at A level where we follow the AQA specification. The objective is to equip with the key economic skills and theories to enable them to analyse areas of the society in which they live at both a macro and micro level. Whilst we would like students to study the subject further after school, if we are able to provide them with a solid foundation in economics then it will enable students to have a more informed role in society together with an ability to understand things that will impact them in life such as inflation, exchange rates and taxation.


Implementation: As most students have not studied economics before we start by looking at individual decision-making considering scarcity choice and opportunity cost before moving on to core concepts in microeconomics of demand and supply. This then moves on to considering different market structures and then what happens when markets do not allocate resources efficiently. Here we consider a range of different solutions that can be used such as taxation or regulation where real world examples are available and can be analysed and evaluated.


At a macroeconomic level, students learn about the primary objectives of governments and how the pursuit of some of these can conflict with some of the other ones. The students will learn about key macro concepts such as aggregate demand, aggregate supply, the circular flow of income, exchange rates, unemployment, inflation, monetary policy, fiscal policy, international trade and globalisation. The key to understanding macroeconomics is the realisation that many of the concepts are interlinked.


Students are encouraged to make direct links to events in the real world. To assist with this, they are directed to a range of relevant news articles with wider reading being an essential element. We use a wide variety of activities are to help students to learn and understand which include presentations, group-work, discussions, worksheets, games, and videos. The exams are predominantly based around stimulus materials and students learn how to use the information to build and support their answers.


When students move to Year 13 we consider some more advanced theories which adapt the basic theories from Year 1 to the more complex reality that exists in the real world. We use diagrams regularly to help model the theories which help students in the analysis.


As a department we have a wide range of resources to use and operate from a dedicated Business and Economics room that benefits from display materials to act as prompts for students to consider topics in more depth. The teaching staff are all passionate about the subject and bring real world experience into the classroom. We work closely with students to guide and encourage them to achieve the best possible outcome. As teachers we are in contact with the wider community of economics teachers around the country which allows the sharing of ideas and best practice. This will include providing students with an opportunity to attend a Tutor2u study day to help prepare for exams.


Impact: In 2019 we achieved 67% A*-B at A Level and 100% A*-E. Many Tenison’s economics students go on to study economics or business-related subjects at university or go into subject related professional

apprenticeships/careers. Our students develop skills that are highly prized by employers: critical thinking, analysis and evaluation of complex information, reaching a supported judgement, effective written and verbal communication

AQA Economics A-Level 


Economics explores the issues of the allocation of scarce resources. What do we mean by this?  


Think about how the Prime Minister and his team make decisions about what to spend tax revenue on! Do we need more roads, more hospitals or should more money be spent on defense? What will the ultimate impact of Brexit be on both the UK economy and the wider EU? 


It investigates how firms, consumers and government make decisions in addition to how the government responds to changes in the UK economy and global economy.  

The subject is split into two broad areas of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics with each area being studied in both year 12 and year 13. 


In Year 12 we look at basic economic theory concepts including the concept of scarcity, choice and how resources are allocated. This includes the theory of demand and supply. We will also look at scenarios when the market mechanism does not work properly and consider a range of interventions that can be made to try and correct the market failure. In macroeconomics we introduce the basic concepts of the macroeconomy considering topics such as GDP, economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, fiscal policy, monetary policy and unemployment. 


In Year 13 we move onto more complex scenarios. In microeconomics we consider different market structures that exist, and we also study labour market economics in some depth. In macroeconomics we start to consider topics such as globalisation, international trade and the financial markets as well as building on the foundations laid in year 12. 


Assessment at A level 


  • There are three papers at A-Level of 2hrs duration per paper. 

  • Each paper is equal to 33.3% of the overall grade. 


Paper 1  

  • Markets and market failure will examine microeconomic topics and is comprised of a mixture of shorter questions and longer essays. 

  • Section A questions are based around information contained within an unseen stimulus context where there is a choice of two contexts. 

  • Section B contains three, two-part essay questions where you choose one of the essays. 


Paper 2  

  • National and international economy will examine macroeconomic topics and comprised of a mixture of shorter questions and longer essays.  

  • Section A questions are based around information contained within an unseen stimulus context where there is a choice of two contexts. 

  • Section B contains three, two-part essay questions where you choose one of the essays. 


Paper 3  

  • Economic Principles and Issues is a paper that includes topics from both microeconomics and macroeconomics.  

  • Section A contains thirty compulsory multiple-choice questions.  

  • Section B is focused on an unseen stimulus which will typically have four extracts in both textual and numerical form.  

  • The exam paper consists of three questions to be answered in the style of an economist providing economic advice to a third party. 

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