We all want to lead a full and exciting life, but unfortunately find that we do not always have the money or time to do all the things we have in mind. As individuals, we have to decide how to allocate our scarce resources to satisfy our unlimited wants and needs. A body of economic principles and concepts has been developed to explain how people and businesses react in this situation. Choices must be made and the consequences of these choices for individuals, firms and the national economy are studied in the social science of economics.
Economics at NHEHS is taught as an A Level subject and the course examines a range of economic questions including:
- What are economic resources and how should we manage them?
- Should a firm cut or raise prices to make more money?
- Are consumers truly rational?
- How can the problem of pollution be tackled using economic incentives?
- What are the benefits and costs of international trade?
- Should interest rates be raised or lowered?
- Why are some countries poor and others rich?
Whether you are planning to study it at university or not, studying economics is valuable. It is well-regarded by many university departments as a cross-curricular subject because it combines social analysis with scientific method and it requires students to apply their understanding to form coherent arguments.
Current affairs form a large part of our discussions and students report a real satisfaction at feeling able to understand what they hear and read in the news. Since economics is a subject with many conflicting ideas, there are plenty of opportunities to form and defend personal views on economic matters – useful skills at any stage of life.
In order to bring the subject alive we have an annual trip to the City to visit various institutions, including the Bank of England, and further afield trips to China have enabled us to learn more about this economic powerhouse. In 2014, we visited New York to gain insights into this economically vital and vibrant city. We also aim to stretch our students beyond the confines of the syllabus and The Economics Society has welcomed a number of esteemed speakers, including Paul Ormerod and Steve Keen. We also participate in the Bank of England Target 2.0 challenge, Student Investor Challenge and a number of national essay competitions.
The department also runs the Young Enterprise scheme for sixth formers wishing to take part in this national competition to run and manage your own company and the related “Tenner Challenge” for younger students in Year 9.