Curriculum Feature: Business Enterprise

There has been fierce but friendly competition between our Business Enterprise students over the past few weeks who have been competing on a stock and shares simulator, each with a £100,000 initial investment. We recently visited a Year 11 lesson to find out more!

The stocks and shares simulator is part of the curriculum unit titled ‘Understanding external influences on business’, where students will examine how factors that are largely out of an organisation’s control can impact on share prices.

Mrs Hanton, Teacher of Business Enterprise, explains:

Mrs J Hanton
Teacher of Business Enterprise

“Year 11 are looking at a piece of coursework focussing on the external factors that affect businesses. We’ve started by looking at the PESTLE model, examining how Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors can impact on companies and their share prices. This could be something in the news and/or their reputation. We’ve also looked at how competitor movements can affect share prices.”

“I think that the students have been really engaged and have really enjoyed the experience. They have recognised the impact of how small things in the news can have a big impact on a company’s share price. For example, we have discussed when Ronaldo moved the Coca-Cola bottle in a TV interview and how this damaged the company’s share price overnight.”

Student Views

There were some fantastic investment stories in the class that showcased the ups and downs of investing, however the standout case study was definitely Henry in Year 11 who was top of the leaderboard until disaster struck.

Henry explained:

“My initial investment was really successful, increasing my savings by 8% (£108,000) in just a few days. However, I was so happy to be top of the leaderboard that I got a bit greedy and invested more. It has since dropped sharply and I have lost a lot of money, dropping down to near the bottom of the scoreboard with an overall balance of £92,000. All of this happened in just 3 days.”

When asked about the reason for the sharp drop, Henry said:

“A competitor had announced the launch of a new product/venture, and this sent my share price of my main investment/company spiralling. The experience has taught me to definitely not be greedy. Stocks change often, going up and down. The simulator has definitely been fun, but shares are very risky and you can lose a lot of money. You should only trade if you have a lot of experience and know what you are doing.”

Hollie, Year 11, is almost breaking even with a balance of £99,997. She explained that many of her shares had increased in value, but one had made a significant loss.

Hollie (left), pictured alongside classmates.

Hollie identified the trade-off between risk and reward and said:

“I’ve invested in a range of shares on the simulator, including crypto. Stocks and shares are definitely not a secure investment. If you invest in a company that you don’t know much about, then you could end up losing money that you may not be able to get back. If you feel like you know that the company is doing well then it can be a good idea to invest, but it is about risk and reward. You have to take the risk in order to have the chance of making money.”

What Next?

In the next few weeks, the Year 11 Business Enterprise will be putting together a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) which will take into consideration further factors that can affect organisations.

To find out more about what your child is currently learning, please visit our curriculum pages.

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