Home Economics

Home Economics


Brief overview of the subject:


The central focus of Home Economics as a field of study is achieving optimal, healthy and sustainable living for individuals, families and society. Individuals and families in every society are continually faced with new and emergent issues that can impact on their wellbeing. Such issues include concerns relating to food, nutrition, diet and health; family and social concerns; consumer issues; sustainability in the home; responsible family resource management; and textiles and clothing. In Home Economics, students learn how to address these practical, real world, perennial problems of individuals, families, households and society in socially responsible ways. Practical perennial problems or concerns are endured from generation to generation by families and require critical decision-making skills to resolve them. Home Economics education uses a systems approach to empower individuals and families with the knowledge and skills to address these real-life concerns of everyday living. Home Economics draws on diverse disciplines integrating social, physical and human sciences. It strives to solve everyday challenges using a blend of knowledge and skills acquired from multiple disciplines. Home Economics education develops students’ essential life skills and personal independence. It supports the development of students who are critical, creative thinkers and encourages students to be problem solvers capable of making ethically and socially responsible decisions.


Course Overview:

The specification for Junior Cycle Home Economics focuses on developing students’ understanding and skills to achieve an optimal, healthy and sustainable life through three inter-connected contextual strands: Food, Health and Culinary Skills; Responsible Family Living; and Textiles and Craft. Home Economics uses an interdisciplinary approach which encourages the integration of the three strands in the teaching and learning of the subject. It has been designed for a minimum of 200 hours timetabled student engagement across the three years of junior cycle.

Main areas of study:

STRAND 1:  Food, Health and Culinary Skills , Health and Culinary Skills

This strand focuses on developing students’ food, health and culinary skills. Students are enabled to develop a healthy, sustainable attitude and positive relationship with food through practical experiential learning. They apply their understanding of nutrition, diet and health principles in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle and make informed decisions that impact the health and wellbeing of themselves as individuals as well as within their families. The application of practical food and health literacy skills is integral to this strand and includes menu planning; shopping; cooking; health and safety food skills; portion control; reading food labels; dietary analysis; costing; sensory analysis; food waste.


STRAND 2:  Responsible family living

This strand facilitates students to explore, from a systems perspective, responsible family living. Students develop an understanding of the different forms and role of families as the core social unit.  They develop an understanding of the role of the family in the development of the child in a safe and nurturing environment. Students develop lifeskills to enable them to manage resources responsibly and sustainably in the home, family and community. They are facilitated to become discerning, competent consumers who are able to apply effective decision-making skills in everyday contexts in the home and community. Enabling students to become responsible and have a caring attitude towards other individuals, family members, society and the environment is integral to this strand.


Strand 3: Textiles and Craft

The students’ engagement and learning are optimised by a fully integrated experience of learning in Home Economics.  To give further emphasis to the integrated nature of learning in Home Economics, the outcomes for each of the strands are grouped by reference to four elements. Each element focuses on the goals of the learning process, that is, the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and values. As the student progresses through each of the learning strands, there will be a systematic development of their fundamental knowledge, principles and values and key skills.



Element 1:  Individual and family Empowerment

Across the strands, the learning outcomes in this element focus on a systems approach to individual and family empowerment. Students develop practical life skills that can be adapted to address practical, real world, perennial problems or concerns in everyday contexts in the home, family and society. They are facilitated to develop as critical, creative thinkers and problem solvers able to make informed decisions to achieve optimal, healthy and sustainable living for individuals, households, families and society.


Element 2: Health and well being

This element focuses on developing students’ knowledge, skills and understanding to make informed decisions that positively impact on their health and wellbeing of themselves as individuals as well as within their families. Across each of the three strands students are facilitated, using a systems approach, to address new and emergent practical concerns that can impact on the wellbeing of individuals, families and society.


Element 3 Sustainable and responsible Living

Across the strands, the learning outcomes in this element facilitate students to develop as future-oriented thinkers and environmentally-conscious citizens, committed to a sustainable and responsible way of life. Developing students’ self-efficacy, critical reflection and discernment in the choice and use of resources in the home; in technological change; in environmental issues and the impact of these on resource management in the home and in personal consumption for everyday living underpin the learning outcomes in this element across each of the three strands.


Element 4: Consumer Competence

This element focuses on developing students who have the knowledge, skills and understanding to make informed and discerning consumer choices that affect individuals, families and households in contemporary society. Students develop the essential lifeskills to become active, adaptable, consumer literate citizens able to apply effective decision making skills in everyday contexts.


The final examination will consist of a practical food skills examination and a written examination. The practical examination and the written examination will each be allocated 50% of the marks available.

Practical food skills examination

The practical food skills examination, students will be required to demonstrate the application of nutritional knowledge and practical culinary skills in the execution of one of the briefs issued by the State Examinations Commission. The practical food skills examination will be of one hour and thirty minutes’ duration with an additional thirty minutes of preparation time prior to the commencement of the timed examination. It is an individual examination and will be completed by the end of year three

Written Examination

Students will sit a written examination of one and a half hour’s duration. The written examination will take place at the end of third year. In any year, the learning outcomes to be assessed will constitute a sample of the relevant outcomes from the tables of learning outcomes. The final examination will be set and marked by the State Examinations Commission.

CBA’s and Assessment Task:

Classroom based assessment 1: Creative Textiles

This is an individual project. Students will produce evidence of the application of the design brief process to one of the following options: Make a creative textile item for an individual or the home OR Recycle or upcycle a creative textile item for an individual or the home

Classroom based assessment 2: Food Literacy Skills Brief

This is an individual submission. Students will utilise the design brief process to research, generate ideas and possible solutions for their food literacy skills brief, drawn from a list of briefs issued by the State Examinations Commission

Textbooks for Current cohort for Relevant Year groups:

Zest for Life Junior Cycle Home Economics Una Shelly, Gill.

Zest for Life Skills Book Una Shelly, Gill.

Junior Cycle Home Economics Now your Cooking Recipe and Evaluation Handbook, Julie-Anne Behan & Brenda Fallon Hyland. Gill.

Other required material:

Apron, T. towel x 2, oven gloves

Sewing box – scissors, pins, needles, pin cushion, measuring tape, sewing thread, embroidery thread, buttons, polycotton, felt.


Useful Websites and Online Resources:











Career opportunities :

1. Teaching

2. Food Industry- Chef, sensory analyst, baker, waitress, health &

safety hygienist

3. Textiles, Fashion & Design Industry

4. Tourism

5. Nutrition & Dietician

6. Hotel Management Business Management

7. Culinary Travel and Tourism

8. Social Care and childcare



Link to syllabus :



Department Members:

Ms. G Newell

Ms. M Keating