We follow Pearson Edexcel Economics A Level which aims to critically consider the value and limitations of economic theory in explaining real-world phenomena.
In microeconomics, pupils study markets, competition and aims of business, and the arguments for and against government intervention. In macroeconomics, pupils use aggregate demand and supply to analyse UK economic performance. The context then becomes global and analysis considers globalisation, financial markets, and development economics.
The department is pioneering the integration of the CORE Econ e-book , an open-access platform that approaches economics teaching in a way motivated by real-world problems and real-world data. This resource is used to support two independent research tasks in the Lower Eighth (Year 12). For example, in the Spring term, all pupils consider: ‘To what extent have policy makers learnt from the 1930s in their response to the Great Recession? Refer to the work of at least two schools of economic thought in your answer.’
The department organises an annual economics day with partner schools, which also includes external speakers and a trading simulation game organised by Deutsche Bank. The department also runs an annual trip to Cambridge University’s Marshall Society Conference.
All pupils are encouraged to enter the Economics Research Council’s Clash of the Titans forecasting competition. Pupils have to produce quarterly predictions for metrics such as GDP, inflation, unemployment, and the lowest point that sterling will fall against the Euro. This year’s ranking can be found here.
Students can join Polecon and Young Enterprise societies. In addition, the department organises a variety of societies, activities and trips.
Ifs Student Investor Challenge
This is the most popular extra-curricular activity in terms of participation and it is open to any year group. Teams of four are given a virtual £100,000 to invest in a set of stocks and other investment instruments and the top prize is a trip to New York. The school has won the competition once and has also reached the national finals on three other occasions.
ICAEW BASE National Business and Accounting competition
Lower Eighth students in teams of six take on the role of ICAEW Chartered Accountants for the day and are presented with a variety of business issues they need to provide innovative recommendations for. With support from a professional mentor, they have to prepare and present their recommendations to a panel of judges. Pupils entered this competition for the first time in 2015-16 and reached the national finals.
The department organises an annual economics trip for pupils in the Upper Eighth (Year 13) each October. The trip has visited the US, China, and Japan in recent years, including institutions such as the New York Federal Reserve, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, NYSE and SEC, as well as companies, such as McKinsey, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Moody’s in the US. In China, we have visited the HKEX, Peking University, Li and Fung, the FT, Bloomberg and China State Construction. The aim of each trip is help pupils better understand economic and political theory and public policy, meet business leaders, and be exposed to future career options.
CORE Schools Economic Challenge
In partnership with the Financial Times, schools around the world are asked to use CORE Econ ebook and the FT’s site for secondary schools as a resource to create a three-minute video. After coming second to the Academy at Penguin Hall (US) in 2017, St Paul’s School placed third in the 2018 competition. The theme was “Ten years on from the Global Financial Crisis” and their winning entry can be seen here. The 2019 competition’s theme is “Why is addressing climate change so difficult?”