Economics is taught in the Sixth Form at Norwich School and helps pupils to understand theories that can be applied to a range of social and political issues.
Indeed, the subject is acutely relevant to most contemporary debates about the way in which society is organised. Pupils come to appreciate the value of these theories, as well as their limitations in explaining phenomena encountered in the real world.
A-Level Economics naturally complements other social sciences. The course is word based, like History, but analytical in approach, like Physics. The mathematical component of the subject can be pursued at degree level, particularly by pupils who also study Maths.
A specialist knowledge of Economics is the natural precursor to careers in banking, finance, industry and government. It also forms a common background for those intending to enter politics, the law and public service.
Most significantly, however, it represents an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to develop a better understanding of how the world works, both on the level of individual behaviour and global organisation.
To take the subject at A-Level, a GCSE in Economics or Business is not essential. Nor are advanced mathematical skills, although the abstract nature of some of the course material favours candidates who are fluent in the handling of mathematical concepts.
Actually, the best predictor of success in Economics is a strong performance in GCSE History. The most important criteria for potential candidates are a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in current affairs and a desire to explore new ideas and to communicate them effectively.
Pupils who choose Economics work in an intellectually-rich environment that inspires them to be academically ambitious and encourages independent study. The course enables them to ‘think like economists’ and to appreciate the difficulties involved in the choices and trade-offs facing individuals and societies.
Pupils learn how to test economic theories and to evaluate policies from a range of viewpoints and perspectives. This helps them to develop an awareness and understanding of current issues and to employ information from a wide variety of sources, preparing them for study at higher levels.