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Departmental Aims

The aim of the Home Economics Department is to enable pupils to:


  • Investigate healthy eating guidelines.

  • Develop an understanding in the choice, storage, preparation, cooking and serving of food.

  • Explore Home and Family life. Research the importance of the family as a caring unit and develop an awareness and affiliation to the changing family units in society

  • Become discerning consumers and effective managers of resources.

  • Develop a range of manipulative skills in the safe, hygienic, healthy and creative use of food.

  • Manage information to investigate Home Economics issues effectively

The Home Economics Department in Dominican College provides pupils with the opportunity to explore a range of topics and develop Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities.


Every day, food choices affect our health and good nutrition plays a vital role in leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of illness.  All pupils study Home Economics throughout Years 8, 9 and 10.  Home Economics: Food and Nutrition can be studied at GCSE Level and Nutrition and Food Science is also offered at A-Level.  The Department has two fully equipped rooms for practical work and a resource room used for the preparation of ingredients and departmental resources.


Miss O Downey (HOD)

Mrs C Mazs

Key Stage 3

Home Economics seeks to empower pupils to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives.


It is about helping pupils prepare for life and work as


  • As Individuals

  • As contributors to Society

  • As Contributors to the economy and environment

Home Economics at Key Stage 3 is based on three key concepts


  • Healthy Eating


Through the exploration of healthy eating, pupils develop the knowledge, understanding and practical skills required for healthy living. Pupils learn how to plan, prepare, serve, handle and store food safely.


Good Nutrition plays a vital role in promoting and protecting health. It helps to prevent heart disease and some cancers as well as other health problems common in Northern Ireland.


Home Economics encourages pupils to think about food in a positive way, to challenge the way they choose food and to inspire a willingness to experiment and be creative with food.


  • Home and Family Life


This dimension provides opportunities for young people to understand the importance of the family as a caring unit.


In today’s society many different family structures exist. Our pupils are given an awareness of their roles and responsibilities within these changing family patterns.


  • Independent Living


Exploring Independent Living provides opportunities for pupils to understand the importance of becoming discerning consumers and effective managers of resources.

Pupils also investigate a range of factors that influence consumer choices and decisions.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE - Home Economics: Food and Nutrition

Home Economics: Food and Nutrition is a linear specification; candidates must take all the assessments at the end of the course, that is, in the second year of the course of study.

There are two components in the course:


Component 1-Food and Nutrition - 50%

This component is made up of the following areas of study:


  • Food provenance and production

  • Food and nutrition for good health

  • Energy and nutrients

  • Macronutrients

  • Micronutrients

  • Fibre and Water

  • Nutritional and dietary needs as well as priority health issues

  • Being an effective consumer when shopping for food

  • Factors affecting food choice

  • Food safety and resource management

  • Food preparation, cooking and presentation skills


Component 2: Practical Food and Nutrition – 50%


Research will be carried out on a set task.

Pupils will complete one controlled assessment task that involves the following:

  • Research and Viewpoints

  • Justification of choice of dishes

  • Planning and carrying out a practical activity

  • Evaluating all aspects of the task.


Pupils will produce a written report in accordance with guidance materials and adherence to word count.  The task title is issued on 1st September of the academic year in which the award is to be made.


Candidates who wish to improve their overall grade must retake the qualification.  They must retake all externally assessed components or reuse (carry forward) the controlled assessment marks they have already been awarded.  If candidates retake a controlled assessment component, they must complete the task set for the series in which they are seeking a new grade.

Key Stage 5 – A-level - Nutrition and Food Science

Pupils will take the “A” Level course over a two-year period. The course during Year 13 is the AS Component which comprises 40% of the total ‘A’ Level.


AS 1: Principles of Nutrition

Topics include the Macronutrients and Micronutrients, Water, Nutrition through life and Nutrient requirements.


Students answer all short questions in Section A and two extended writing questions from a choice of three in Section B.


AS 2 Diet, Lifestyle and Health

In this unit, students investigate current research on diet, lifestyle and health. Topics include Eating Patterns, Energy and energy balance, Diet related disorders and current guidelines for physical activity.


Students answer all short questions in Section A and three extended writing questions from a choice of four in Section B.


Pupils study the remaining 60% of the course at A2 Level.


Components studied are as follows:


  • A2 1: Option A Food Security and Sustainability or

          Option B: Food Safety and Quality – 30% of A-Level


Student answer a compulsory structured question in Section A and three extended writing questions from a choice of four in Section B.


  • A2 2: Research project – 30% of A-level

  • Students complete a 4000-word research based project.

  • Students submit a report on a research project of their choice. Student must take their research area from the list of topics in AS1, AS2 or A2 1

The research project is internally marked and externally moderated.


The Livestock and meat Commission visits the Home Economics Department annually.

Home Economics pupils get the opportunity to watch a series of Cookery Demonstrations

Competitions run throughout the year and the Year 11 Bake Off Challenge.



We celebrate the achievements of pupils on an ongoing basis.  We also take great pride in awarding the following cups on prize day:


St Marys Cup for Home Economics.  Awarded to the highest performer at GCE.


The Home Economics Cup for Food & Nutrition.  Awarded to the highest performer at GCSE.


The Margaret McKenna Cup for Home Economics.  This cup is awarded in memory of Mrs Margaret McKenna who was a previous Head of Home Economics.

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