Home Economics


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.


Overview of Junior Cycle Home Economics

Junior Cycle Home Economics develops the knowledge, understanding, skills and values necessary achieve optimal, healthy and sustainable living for every person as an individual, achieve optimal, healthy and sustainable living for every person as an individual, and as a member of families and society. 

It is studied through three interconnected strands: Food, Health and Culinary Skills; Responsible Family Living; and, Textiles and Craft. 

The new Junior Cycle Home Economics specification will be introduced to schools in September 2018 with first year students.

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 of timetabled student engagement across the three years of junior cycle. 


The Strands of Junior Cycle Home Economics


STRAND 1 - Food, 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 strandand includes menu planning; shopping; cooking; health and safety food skills; portion control; reading food labels; dietary analysis; costing; sensory analysis; and food waste.


STRAND 2 - Responsible Family Living

This strand enables 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 consumerswho 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 crafts

This strand focuses on developing students’ textile skills, knowledge and creativity. Practical textile and craft skills are integral to this strand and include hand and machine sewing skills, and fabric texturing and embellishment techniques. Students are enabled to make sustainable decisions as consumers in the choice and maintenance of clothing and textiles. Students will apply the design brief process in designing and making a textile item for an individual or the home.


Overview of Assessment in Junior Cycle Home Economics


Classroom-Based Assessments are the occasions when the teacher assesses the students in the specific assessments that are set out in the specification. Classroom-Based Assessments are similar to the formative assessment that occurs every day in every class. However, in the case of the Classroom-Based Assessments, the teacher’s judgement is recorded for the purpose of subject learning and assessment review, and for the school’s reporting to parents and students. 

Over the three years of Junior Cycle students will be provided with opportunities to stimulate their curiosity and interest in Home Economics. The Classroom-Based Assessments link to the priorities for learning and teaching in Home Economics.

Classroom-Based Assessments = CBA


CBA 1: Creative Textiles

The teacher’s judgement is recorded for the purpose of subject learning and assessment review, and for the school’s reporting to parents and students. 

CBA 2: Food Literacy Skills brief 

The formative assessment related to the preparation for the practical food skills examination will be reported upon to the student and parent/guardian by the school. 


Final examination: Practical Food Skills Examination

50% Briefs will be issued annually by the State Examinations Commission. Marked by the State Examinations Commission, together with the necessary written support.


Written examination

50% Set and marked by the State Examinations Commission.


Leaving Certificate Applied


Hotel Catering and Tourism

The Hotel, Catering and Tourism course reflects the overall philosophy of the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme by helping students develop competencies of a broad personal and vocational nature. 

Emphasis is placed on social inclusion, teamwork, quality consciousness, interpersonal skills, creativity and dexterity. Progression opportunities for interested students to the Hotel Catering & Tourism industry are available through a number of routes e.g. Post-Leaving Certificate Courses, CERT Basic Skills, full-time training programmes or directly into local employment opportunities.


Overview of Modules


Eating Out the Fast Food Way

This module introduces students to the Fast Food Sector of the Hotel, Catering and Tourism industry i.e. Take Aways, Coffee Shops, Delicatessens and Pub Grub operations. Students will become aware of the markets, products, services and job opportunities associated with each operation. They will participate in planning, preparing and serving a range of related menu items and will review and evaluate their activities. 


Eating Out – Hotels, Restaurants and Institutions

This module introduces students to further sectors of the Hotel, Catering and Tourism industry. Students will build on skills introduced in previous modules and will organise meal events such as breakfast, lunch, dinners and special functions. There will also be scope for students to organise and participate in community events and to entertain visitors in the school.


Irish Hospitality

This module introduces students to Hospitality and Tourism experiences. They will research local and national travel and holiday options and investigate the types of accommodation available in Ireland. Students will also develop an appreciation of customer expectations and quality standards particularly for disabled people, and apply communication and interpersonal skills – through sourcing and presenting information using a variety of media. 


Catering for Diversity

In this module students are given the opportunity to explore the influence of culture, politics and religion on diet and eating customs. They will source, prepare and serve ethnic and vegetarian products and will learn about special dietary requirements.


Hotel Catering and Tourism - Kinsale Community School


1 Double Class- 80mins& 2 Single Classes per week. 


The subject very much encourages and lends itself to exploring the local community through the various moduels. In the past, students have gone on trips linked to the various topics e.g. local fast food outlets and restaurants, hotels and hostels as well as over-night trips as part of the tourism module. 


Home Economics Leaving Certificate Social & Scientific

The Home Economics syllabus provides students with knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for managing their own lives, for further and higher education and work. The learning experiences in home economics develop flexibility and adaptability in students, prepare them for a consumer-oriented society and provide a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in food, textiles, science, design, social studies and tourism. 

The subject is an applied subject combining theory with practice. It is concerned with the management of resources (material and human) to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and economic needs of individuals and families. The study of Home Economics emphasises the interdependent relationships that exist between individuals, families and their immediate and distant environments.


The syllabus is based on a core of three areas of study that is studied by all students and one elective area, from a choice of three:



- Food studies

- Resource management and consumer studies

- Social studies



The elective allows students the opportunity to undertake a more detailed study of one area of the core.

There are three electives, from which one may be chosen:

- Home design and management

- Textiles, fashion and design

- Social studies



Leaving Certificate Home Economics-Scientific and Social is assessed, at Ordinary and Higher level, as follows:

A terminal Examination Paper worth 80%

A Journal Assignment booklet- where students complete 4 assignments, which are assigned by the state examinations commission and corrected by external examiners. This is worth 20% of the overall grade for this subject. 

An assessment of the practical components of the programme, that is the food studies from the core area and the textiles, fashion and design elective (where applicable).


Kinsale Community School Additional Information

We strive to link core areas with everyday practice and thus allow students to explore class objectives and design links to their own lives. E.g. We organise a Social & Scientific Trip to a local Artisan Business to link with an investigation into a local business. Previous investigations include: Glenilen Farm, Drimolegue; Macroom Buffalo Farm, Macroom; West Cork Seaweed, Kinsale.