The syllabus consists of Core Areas and Three Electives:
The Core Areas
1. Food Studies - 45%
2. Resource Management and Consumer Studies - 25%
3. Social Studies - 10%
1. Home Design and Management - 20%
2. Textiles, Fashion and Design - 20%
3. Social Studies - 20%
Students opt for one Elective area only. Those choosing the Textiles, Fashion and Design elective must produce a garment which will be inspected and graded.
The Elective areas are extensions of the content contained in the Core Areas and provide students with the opportunity to study certain topics in more depth.
As part of the Core Areas, a mandatory section comprises of Practical Coursework which must be completed during the two years and will be sent to the Department of Education and Science for inspection. This is 20% of the final examination marks.
The Leaving Certificate Home Economics (Social and Scientific) revised syllabus is examined as follows:
1. Written Exam paper – 80%
The written examination consists of three sections:
12 short questions – Students answer 10. These deal mainly with all the core areas of practice. (60 marks allocated)
5 questions - Students are to answer Question 1 (Food Science and Nutrition) and any other 2 questions (from the other Core Areas). (180 marks allocated)
3 questions - Students are to answer 1. Elective question, based on which Elective was chosen to do in class. (80 marks allocated)
2. Practical Coursework - 20%
This is worth 20% of the final mark – as stated already; this is submitted in journal form earlier in the Leaving Certificate year.
It would be advisable for students opting for Leaving Certificate Home Economics to have completed the Junior Certificate course. Some of the areas covered on the Junior Cert Home Economics course are continued at Leaving Certificate level.
Those students who opt for Transition Year will be given an introduction to the Food Science and Nutrition section – an overall view of the Junior Certificate Food Section is mainly covered.
Much of the course is theory based – students are often under the illusion that “it’s all cooking” and find it quite a shock when they realise even the Practical Section has to be written up and presented – because there is no Practical Examination as at Junior Cert. Level.
It is a wide course, covering many life skills. I find students enjoy the subject but they must be willing to learn and to undertake quite a substantial theoretical subject.
There is both an Honours and Ordinary level within the subject. Students’ can opt to take the written exam at Higher or Ordinary level, however the Coursework Journal is at a general level and is corrected as such.
There is also a link with some other subjects, namely Biology, Business Studies and even Building Construction – again, this cross-curricular advantage is helpful when choosing subjects.