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Home Economics

Home Economics is a compulsory subject at key stage 3. The subject combines aspects of science, nutrition, cooking, consumerism, parenting skills and money management. Students learn about the inter-relationships between diet, health, family, home and choice and the management of resources. It prepares them for life, as well as the world of work.

In Home Economics, pupils learn about diet and health in a practical context – through the preparation of food and the planning of meals. It also encourages pupils to think about their relationship with food in a positive way, to challenge the way they choose food, and to inspire a love for food and a willingness to experiment and be creative with food.

Home Economics gives students a valuable insight into:

  • what’s really in the food we eat every day;

  • how to plan and cook nutritious and economical meals;

  • how to choose the best food for themselves and their family;

  • the importance of good nutrition and health; and

  • the role of the consumer in society.

Home Economics delivers vital skills that enable students to lead effective lives as individuals and family members as well as members of the wider community. Pupils are encouraged to work independently and collaboratively, make decisions, manage information and resources, and to be creative.

At Key Stage 3, pupils the opportunity to study three key concepts which include Healthy Eating, Family Life and Independent Living.

At Key Stage 4 the pupils are offered three options:

  • GCSE Food and Nutrition

  • GCSE Child Development

  • GCSE Occupational Studies (Patisserie & Baking, and Contemporary Cuisine)

At Key Stage 5 we can offer:

  • A level Nutrition and Food Science

  • A level Double Award Health and Social Care

  • A level Single Award Health and Social Care

Home Economics Department Staff

  • Mrs J Ballantyne (Head of Department, Co-ordinator for Health and Social Care)

  • Mrs L Lynch

  • Ms L Devine

  • Mrs C Quigley (Technician)


GCSE Food and Nutrition


GCSE Food and Nutrition involves pupils in the study of nutrition, food choice and diet and health within the context of the home and family. It encourages knowledge and understanding of current nutritional advice, the nutritional needs of family members through the life cycle and of diet related conditions. Pupils are given the opportunity to explore issues, to develop practical cooking skills and to learn how to manage resources effectively.


External assessment

Unit 1: Food and Nutrition 

  • This examination carries 50% of the total marks for this subject

  • Allocation of time - 2 hours

  • Includes a combination of multiple-choice, short and structured questions and questions requiring extended writing. 

Internal Assessment

Unit 2: Practical Food and Nutrition

  • One controlled assessment task where pupils research and analyse viewpoints, justify chosen dishes, plan, prepare and evaluate the final outcome.

  • This controlled assessment carries 50% of the total marks for this subject

Key Stage 4 – Occupational Studies – Food

  1. Patisserie and Baking

  2. Contemporary Cuisine

Pupils will study two units, both of which fall under the occupational areas of either Business and Services or Design and Creativity.

This catering course is vocational and aims to make you employable. It will allow you to progress on to other courses, training and employment. You will be able to develop the transferable skills needed in a changing and dynamic working environment.

How is it assessed?

Learners must complete two units from the same occupational area to achieve a qualification. They carry out tasks to gather the required assessment evidence in a portfolio for each unit. Tasks include answering questions, carrying out practical activities and evaluating their own performance. The teacher assesses the portfolio of evidence (with external moderation).


  1. Patisserie and Baking - Students will prepare, cook and finish bread, scones, cakes, biscuits and pastry products to reflect industry standards. This unit will be completed in yr11.

  2. Contemporary Cuisine - Students will prepare, cook and finish four starters, four mains and four desserts. Healthy eating alternatives will be explored and consideration of environmental issues. This unit will be completed in yr12.


Part of each unit looks at careers in the food industry, safe storage of foods and recycling of packaging, as well as health and safety.

Double Award Health and social Care (Applied A level)

This qualification is worth 2 A levels, and timetabled accordingly. In the Double Award qualification students must complete 12 units: six at AS level and six at A2. Single award study 6 units in total (3 each year).

In year 13 you will study:

  • Unit AS 1: Promoting Quality Care

  • Unit AS 2: Communication in Health, Social Care and   Early Years Settings

  • Unit AS 3: Health and Well-Being (exam)

  • Unit AS 4: Safeguarding Children

  • Unit AS 5: Adult Service Users (exam)

  • Unit AS 6: Holistic Therapies 

In year 14 you will study:

  • Unit A2 1: Applied Research

  • Unit A2 2: Body Systems and Physiological Disorders 

  • Unit A2 3: Providing Services (exam)

  • Unit A2 4: Health Promotion 

  • Unit A2 5: Supporting the Family

  • Unit A2 7: Human Nutrition and Health(exam)

The AS course is worth 40% of the final grade, with the remaining 60% coming from the A2 course. It is important to note that the exam units have a higher weighting than the coursework units.

Careers and further study

This is a broad and varied qualification. Students who successfully complete this course will gain the skills and knowledge to work in a range of health care, social care and early years’ settings. Pupils have gone on to study nursing, midwifery, food and nutrition, psychology, teaching, counselling, human resource management and much more.

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