Home Economics

Home Economics is a fun, interactive and relevant subject which is studied by all KS3 students. Theory and practical lessons provide students with the opportunity to develop many lifelong skills for example culinary, communication and mathematical skills. Students also have the opportunity to continue studying Home Economics at GCSE and A Level (Nutrition and Food Science).

Home Economics at Key Stage 3

Home Economics combines aspects of science, nutrition, cooking, parenting skills and finance. Students learn about the inter-relationships between diet, health, family, home and choice and the management of resources.

Home Economics develops students as individuals by helping them explore their health in a practical context, enhancing their potential to live a healthy lifestyle and make responsible choices about their diet and food.

All KS3 students receive one period of Home Economics each week. This is a mixture of both practical and theory lessons

Students are introduced to simple dishes in practical lessons in year 8, and then progress to make more complex dishes throughout year 9 and 10. Students learn how to use equipment and become confident when using many pieces of large and small equipment.

The Key Stage 3 content concentrates on the main areas of:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Home and Family Life
  • Independent Living

You can download the KS3 Recipe Booklets by clicking on the links below:


Year 8

Unit 1: Food Safety and Hygiene.

Students learn about what dangers exist in the Home Economics room, how to solve safety problems which you might come across in HE and personal hygiene in the safe preparation of food.

Unit 2: Me and my Diet.

Students are introduced to the Eatwell Glate and develop an understanding of the negative impact of foods high in sugar and fat, and the positive impact of making healthy dietary choices.

Unit 3: Meal planning

Students plan and prepare their own breakfast dish, working with their partners, taking a range of factors into consideration

Unit 4: Family Fortunes

Students learn about roles and responsibilities within families and what types of families exist.

Year 9
Unit 1: Being a consumer

Students are taught about the factors that influence our choices when shopping, and their rights as a consumer.

Unit 2: Food labelling

Students gain knowledge on what information is found on food labels, the importance of food packaging and how traffic light labels are used.

Unit 3: Diet and health

Students learn about the functions and sources of the main nutrients.

Unit 4: Taste a rainbow

Students learn about the importance of eating a variety of fruit and vegetables and how creativity use them in cookery, by planning their own vegetable stir fry.

Unit 5: Special Diets

Students are taught about the diets of individuals who have specific nutritional needs and how to cater for them i.e. athletes and those with intolerances

Year 10
Unit 1: Micronutrients

Students explore nutritional requirements in more detail with a focus on the importance of micronutrients.

Unit 2: You are what you eat

Students are taught about dietary related disorders and how they can be prevented and treated.

Unit 3: Seriously safe food

Students gain knowledge on the impact which bacteria can have on food and how to prevent the effects of food poisoning through good food safety.

Unit 4: Parenting

Students learn about the nutritional considerations for pregnancy and babies


GCSE Food and Nutrition (CCEA)

The new specification for GCSE Home Economics was launched in September 2017 under a new name Food and Nutrition.

Food and Nutrition encourages students to develop knowledge and understanding of the science behind food.

They also gain knowledge, understanding and skills in areas such as:

  • food provenance
  • food processing and production
  • macronutrients
  • micronutrients
  • government nutritional guidelines
  • food safety.
  • health issues associated with dietary and lifestyle choices
  • the factors affecting how we buy food, what we buy and what we waste
  • planning meals for people with specific nutritional and dietary needs

Students also develop practical skills in food preparation, cooking and presentation.

With this qualification, students may choose to progress to our GCE in Nutrition and Food Science or other related courses. This course also provides an excellent foundation for a career in food-related industries.

The specification has two components:

  • Component 1: Food and Nutrition (Written examination)
  • Component 2: Practical Food and Nutrition. (Controlled Assessment)

Each component is worth 50% of the overall mark.


A-level Nutrition and Food Science

The new specification for Home Economics was launched in September 2016 under a new name Nutrition and Food Science.

There are four assessed modules: three externally assessed through written examination and one internal controlled assessment module.  The specification allows students to develop their subject knowledge, understanding and skills in nutrition and food science in relation to a work context.

Specification Overview

AS 1: Principles of Nutrition (External exam)

  • Study of macronutrients and micronutrients and other dietary constituents:
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fat
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fibre
  • Water
  • Nutritional requirements and dietary recommendations across the lifespan

AS 2: Diet, Lifestyle and Health (External exam)

  • Study of the current research in relation to diet, lifestyle and health:
  • eating patterns
  • energy and energy balance
  • diet-related disorders
  • alcohol
  • physical activity


A2 1 Food Safety and Quality (External exam)

Study of securing a safe food supply from primary producer to consumer:

  • food safety
  • safety through the food chain
  • microbial contamination
  • chemical contamination
  • additives
  • allergens
  • controls and legislation


A2 2: Research Project – Internal assessment (4000 words)

Student submits a report on research project of their own choice. The research area is taken from AS1, AS2 or A21.

Through this research project, students develop advanced study skills to help prepare them for higher education and the world of work. Students have the opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills and capabilities such as critical and creative thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, conducting primary research and target-setting.

Career Opportunities after studying Home Economics:

  • Food Scientist/Technologist
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Agri-Food Industry
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • New Product Development
  • Research and Development
  • Environmental health
  • Human Resource Management
  • Money Management
  • Consumer Advice for example Citizens Advice
  • Government health departments
  • Health Promotion for example Cancer Focus NI
  • Education – teacher of Home Economics, lecturer in nutrition


Special events

We regularly have the Livestock and Meat Commission into our Year 10 classes for cookery demonstrations.

The Royal Navy undertake cookery workshops to help demonstrate how careers in food can apply to any setting, all round the world.

GCSE students visit the CAFRE campus at Loughry each year to learn about food processing techniques and careers in the Agri-food industry.

GCSE students also attend the Good Food Show in Belfast to learn about local food producers and cooking techniques.

Senior students are given the opportunity to go to London to learn about food which includes cookery workshops with Waitrose, new product development sessions with Marks and Spencer and learning about new types of foo in Borough Market.

Year 14 are given a very informative session on the work of the Environmental Health Officer.