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Junior Cycle Business is made up of three strands:
Personal Finance: students develop skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about managing their finances. This includes budgeting, saving, borrowing, insurance and taxation. They learn how to be a responsible consumer.
Enterprise: this encourages students to develop entrepreneurial skills. In second year, students complete a Classroom Based Assessment in Enterprise. This encourages students to spot a niche in the market and set up a business to fill that gap. They carry out market research by distributing questionnaires. They analyse the results of market research by designing bar charts and pie charts. They choose the correct price by covering costs and allowing for their profit. They decide where to sell the product to consumers. Finally, they reach the target market through various advertising media. Students have entered the Enterprise Competition run by the local Enterprise Office and have won several county awards as well as representing their school in the All-Ireland Final of the competition.
Our Economy: Students understand the dynamic relationship between local, national and international economic situations. Students learn about Demand and Supply of goods and services, the role of government in managing the economy, and about economic issues such as trade, employment and the EU. In third year, students give an oral presentation on any topic related to the business course. They design slides on Powerpoint to assist their presentation. They can use support materials to enhance their presentation. We visit the local bank and a business to give students the practical experience of business in the real world.
The exam is now set as a common paper. This ensures it is accessible for students of all levels of ability, while at the same time challenging the more academic students. Students have won awards for excellent results in Junior Cycle Business in conjunction with National University of Ireland, Galway.
Ms A. Fallon/Ms M. Duignan