Home Economics is taught at Junior and Senior level, following the D.E.S syllabus in both areas. The new social andscientific course has a practical element built in with the Department of Education assignments recorded in a courseworkjournal and worth 20% of Leaving Certificate marks.
Classes are of mixed ability. The subject is taught at Higher and Ordinary level at both cycles with the majority takinghigher level. Junior Certificate students have four class periods per week, usually one double of practical work and twosingle periods. Senior cycle students have two double and one single class periods a week. L.C.A (Leaving CertificateApplied) students study Hotel Catering and Tourism and Childcare for four periods per week.
All students across each year group are given common Christmas and summer house exams. Assessment is also monitored on students’ conduct, progress and homework on a term basis for Junior Cycle students. Assessment forLeaving Certificate students takes place each month with class tests. These results are reviewed at the end of eachmonth to assess each student’s progress. All students in Fifth Year must complete a mandatory Food Studies Journal, which involves research and investigation of various culinary topics. A practical cookery class must then be completed to reinforce the topic investigated. There are four of these assignments to be completed. This journal then accounts for 20% of the Leaving Certificate grade in Home Economics.
Teaching and Learning.
- First Years: This the second year of the new Junior Cycle Home Economics course. Students explored many of thelearning outcomes of the course. They engaged in many group activities and projects throughout the year. Theydeveloped their practical cookery skills and prepared a number of dishes including apple crumble, sponge cakes andscones. First Years completed a textiles module where they enjoyed learning to stitch creatively while also appreciatingthe sustainable use of textiles. Students designed and made a small cushion which displayed a selection of hand andmachine stitches. Students also showed their creative interior design skills when designing and making their dreambedroom in a shoebox.
- Second Years: For the first time Second Years undertook the Creative Textile CBA in Home Economics. They designedand made an item for the home or an individual. The focus is on sustainability and students re-used and borrowedfabrics and material rather than buying them. Items including cushions, draught excluders and aprons were produced.Students showed the progression of their work in a creatively designed scrapbook; many of whom used ICT in itscompletion.
- Third Years: The Practical cookery exam was completed which is worth 35% at higher level and 45% at Ordinary level.Third Year students also completed the theory element of the course.
- Transition Year:Mini Company Module. This year Transition Year students took part in a Mini Company module. The challenge for this module was to designa new food product for the market. Students formed their teams, brainstormed ideas and trialled many ideas in thekitchen. They developed many new cookery skills. Students conducted market research, developed their business planand made a prototype of the packaging to be used on their product. Students developed entrepreneurial, managerial,financial and leadership skills in this project.Visit to Rediscovery Centre and Sustainability. This year our TY students visited the Rediscovery Centre in Ballybun. They explored the issue of sustainability and gainedmany ideas on how to be sustainable in school and at home. They got a tour of the site and engaged in an informativeworkshop on waste management. Students then in classes produced eco-bags made from old t-shirts that would otherwise be thrown away and end up in landfill. Students developed their textiles skills and learned how to use the sewing machines.
- Fifth & Sixth Years: Social and Scientific course is implemented over two years. The Fifth Year students completed allfour of the compulsory Leaving Certificate assignments. They completed a practical cookery class in relation to eachassignment where this year they were challenged to make chocolate soufflés demonstrating the properties of eggsand while investigating low salt diets they cooked a fragrant chicken Thai curry. We then researched diets of elderly andproduced a sumptuous stir fry and finally we studied the old art of making preserves and produced a caramelised redonion chutney. The assignment journals are sent to the Department of Education for marking in November. Sixth Yearstudents studied the Social Studies elective this year.
- Sixth Year Leaving Certificate Applied students had a very busy year with a task to complete and a practical cookingexam. For the task students were challenged to research and produce a specialty food product. A variety of differentjams were prepared and beautifully packaged and labelled by the students. Sixth years also had a two and a half hourcookery exam where they had to demonstrate their cookery skills to produce three course meals. This year O’Carolan College took on a whole new challenge and began a new subject with our LCA’s. The childcaremodule is loved by all and is a very active course. Students have four modules to complete with four key assignmentsin each module. We began with The Care of Babies and Young Children which allowed us explore the world of babiesand how best to take care of them. We then moved on to Child Development and Play. Here we researched formsof development and looked into the role of play in children’s development. They then had to make a toy for a childand had to carry out activities with a child to show development and record what they did. Overall it has been a verybeneficial and engaging course for all concerned.