Home Economics is a subject through which many skills are developed, particularly the practical skills involved in preparing and cooking food. Emphasis is placed on healthy food choices, diet and health, exploring home and family life and the acquisition of personal skills to become discerning and effective consumers.
Facilities and Resources
The Home Economics department is a modern forward thinking and vibrant department that strives relentlessly to ensure pupils achieve success in external examinations and are equipped with the skills to meet the demands of contemporary living. Pupils benefit from working in a suite of purpose built rooms which include two food preparation rooms and a well resourced room for group work and independent study.
Practical lessons are designed to inspire pupils to enjoy cooking, experiment with a range of ingredients to widen their food experiences and develop their creativity in food preparation.
The department encourages pupils to enter competitions and has in recent years enjoyed success in the school and regional heats of the Springboard Hospitality ‘Future Chef’ competition and the Mount Charles ‘Big School Cook Off’ competition.
Pupils have also had the opportunity to engage in a Shared Education competition with Aquinas Grammar School at the Forestside Cookery School. Teams of pupils comprising of pupils from both schools worked together to plan, prepare, cook and present a range of dishes showcasing food from around the world. Chef Jeffers judged the entries and selected the team whose entry demonstrates the most flair and creativity, culinary skill in food preparation in cooking and presentation.
Each June ‘The Great Wellington Bake Off’ takes place providing an opportunity for all the passionate student bakers in the College to showcase their very own Showstopper Bake with fantastic results – check out photos of previous entries in our Newsfeed.
Key Stage 3
Home Economics at Key Stage 3 develops the pupil’s ability to make good food choices and develops a range of skills in food preparation and cooking to encourage a positive and healthy relationship with food and eating.
Home Economics develops thinking skills and personal capabilities that enable students to lead effective lives as individuals and family members as well as members of the wider community.
Home Economics helps pupils explore their health in a practical context, enhancing their potential to live a healthy lifestyle and make responsible choices about their diet and food.
Home Economics gives pupils a sense of themselves as social beings and how they relate to one another; making them aware of the values and lifestyles that are different to their own and helping them make reasoned judgements in family relationships.
Home Economics increases pupil awareness of their role as consumers in a changing economy to help them become discerning and effective when making judgements in relation to the environment and personal finances.
GCSE Food and Nutrition
The course is divided into two components. The content of each component and the respective learning outcomes are as follows:
Component 1: Food and Nutrition
In this unit, students learn about the nutritional content of foods and how to meet the specific nutritional and dietary needs of different groups of people. To do this, they modify recipes and plan, prepare and cook meals and dishes that reflect current government nutritional guidelines. They also study how to be an effective consumer in relation to food choice, food safety and managing resources.
Component 2: Practical Food and Nutrition
In this unit, students carry out a coursework task that develops unique transferable skills. They research the given task title and gather various viewpoints on it. They choose and justify a practical food preparation activity using a range of criteria. They complete the food practical activity in a single 2.5-hour session and evaluate all parts of the task.
GCE Nutrition and Food Science
Students take four teaching and learning modules, two in the first year at AS level and two further modules at A2 level.
AS 1: Principles of Nutrition
The study of macro and micro nutrients and other dietary constituents. Nutritional requirements and current dietary recommendations across the life span are also studied.
AS 2: Diet, Lifestyle and Health
The study of eating patterns, physical activity, energy and energy balance and diet related disorders, to include, overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease,cancer, and type 2 diabetes
A2 1: Option 1 – Food Security and Sustainability
The study of consumer behaviour in relation to food purchasing decisions to include, food security, food poverty, food sustainability, food waste and changing consumer behaviour
Option 2 – Food Safety and Quality
The study of securing a safe food supply from the primary producer to the consumer to include, safety through the food chain, microbiological and chemical contamination, additives, allergens, controls and legislation
Only 1 option choice will be offered
A2 2: Research Project
Requires the submission of a report on a research based activity which should not exceed 4,000 words. The chosen research area should come from AS 1, AS 2 or A2 1.
The department also likes to include opportunities for out of school visits and collaboration with further and higher education establishments. In recent years Year 11 and Year 13 pupils have enjoyed cookery courses at the Belfast Cookery School to learn how to prepare a range of fish dishes.
A couple of Year 10 and Year 12 pupils attended the Junior Chef Academy programme at Belfast Metropolitan College which involved a 10 week course in food production held on Saturday mornings.
The University of Ulster’s department of Hospitality and Tourism Management visit the department regularly to speak to sixth form pupils studying GCE AS Home Economics about the undergraduate courses which follow on from a study of A’ level Home Economics.
Annually pupils are invited to attend one day courses at CAFRE Loughry College Campus in Cookstown to learn about the further and higher education courses offered by this College.
Regular speakers to the Home Economics department include representatives from the Belfast City Council Environmental Health department and the Trading Standards Service who are able to give pupils an insight into the work of these professionals who work in food and consumer safety.
Tasty Careers ambassador Geoff Lamb from Moy Park has also given talks to Year 10 pupils on Food and Nutrition related careers in the food industry.
Cookery demonstrations are also regularly incorporated into the Home Economics teaching programmes; in the past these have included demonstrations of specific culinary skills by local chefs or food demonstrations to illustrate specific topic areas in the GCSE specification, including the Livestock and Meat Commission.
The study of Home Economics has allowed many of our former pupils to go on to careers in the field of education as well as to careers in the food industry, hospitality industry and the caring professions.
In Home Economics we make reference to careers opportunities by various means:
- Schemes of work – reference a career path if studying a particular topic
- Careers noticeboard highlighting possible careers and former pupil successes
- Careers Power Points delivered at the end of KS3 and KS4 highlighting what pupils can expect from GCSE or A level Home Economics
- Visiting speakers eg. Trading Standards Service
- Talks from former pupils on their career pathway
Home Economics covers a diverse range of career paths. Career opportunities can be found with:
- Food Scientist/Technologist
- Dietetics and Nutrition
- Food Service Industry
- Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
- Hotel and Restaurant management
- Financial Management
- Product Development
- Food stylists/ Food Photography
- Home Economists in Journalism or media
- Research and Development
- Human Resource Management
- Money/debt management
- CAB/Consumer Advice
- NI Consumer Council
- Government health departments
- Health promotion and nutrition agencies
- Family and social work organisations
- Education – teacher of Home Economics
- Child Development and Education
- Family and Human Services