Home Economics has an important contribution to make to the whole school curriculum and at Key Stage 3 it contributes to Learning for Life and Work.

The GCSE Food and Nutrition specification encourages students to adopt a critical and analytical approach to decision making and problem solving in relation to the areas of diet and health and consumer awareness. 

The specification for GCSE Child Development is divided into three units which are: parenthood, pregnancy and the new born baby, the development of the child and an investigation task. 

The opportunity to study AS and A Level Nutrition and Food Science and/or Health and Social Care allows a platform for further study in Higher Education.  It also provides a basis for those seeking employment in a wide range of careers such as industry, commerce, education, childcare and the health and social services.


  • Mrs J Bradley (Head of Department)
  • Mrs K McClurg
  • Mrs C McMullan
  • Mrs S Corrigan
  • Mrs R Kennedy (Technician)


All pupils in years 8, 9 and 10 study Home Economics as a compulsory subject. Key Stage 3 pupils have three 50 minute periods a fortnight.  GCSE pupils have six periods a fortnight and A Level pupils have eleven periods a fortnight.


Key Stage 3 Home Economics

Year 8
  • An Introduction to HE
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Diet and Health
  • Practical Planning
  • Labelling and Food Storage
Year 9
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • Dairy and alternatives
  • Oils and spreads and other guidelines
Year 10
  • Pregnancy, baby and toddler
  • Young children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Older people

We offer both GCSE Food and Nutrition and GCSE Child Development as optional subjects in Year 11 and 12.  CCEA GCSE specifications are followed for both Food and Nutrition and Child Development.

At A Level, we offer both GCE AS and A Level Nutrition and Food Science and Health and Social Care.  CCEA GCE specifications are in operation for both subjects.

Teaching within the department is organised to incorporate ‘active learning’ wherever feasible, with the aim of pupils gaining personal satisfaction and enjoyment.  Home Economics, Child Development and Health and Social Care all encourage the development of a range of skills which have a practical application in the future lives of pupils.


GCSE Food and Nutrition

Component Content Weighting Assessment

Component 1:

Food and Nutrition
  • Food provenance
  • Food processing and production
  • Food and nutrition for good health
  • Energy and nutrients
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Fibre
  • Water
  • Nutritional and dietary needs
  • Priority health issues
  • Being an effective consumer when shopping for food
  • Factors affecting food choice
  • Food safety
  • Resource management
  • Food preparation, cooking and presentation skills

2 hour written examination


CCEA sets and marks the paper

Component 2:

Practical Food and Nutrition
  • Complete one written task
  • Part A: Research and viewpoints
  • Part B: Justification of choice
  • Part C: Planning
  • Part D: Practical Activity
  • Part E: Evaluation
  • Your teacher marks the task and CCEA moderates the results

Controlled assessment


Title issued on 1 Sept each year

Year 11 pupils attend the annual ‘Feed Your Mind’ event at Loughry College, Cookstown. This provides students with an interesting and informative look at the use of science and technology in the food industry.


GCSE Child Development

Unit Title Content Weighting Assessment

Unit 1:

Parenthood, Pregnancy and the Newborn Baby

  • The family and parenting responsibilities
  • Reproduction
  • Pregnancy
  • Diet and lifestyle during pregnancy
  • Birth
  • The newborn baby
  • Feeding the newborn baby

1 hour 15 min examination. CCEA sets and marks the paper

Unit 2:

The Development of the Child (0-5 years)
  • Dietary needs of the child (0-5 years)
  • Child health and education
  • Development of the child:
  • - physical development
  • - intellectual development
  • - communication development
  • - social development
  • - emotional development
30% 1 hour 15 min examination. CCEA sets and marks the paper

Unit 3:

Controlled Assessment. Investigation Task
  • You will carry out research based on a given title.
  • You will plan and carry out activities to produce an outcome.
  • You will evaluate all aspects of the task. (The task is split into five parts and you will have word limits to follow)
40% Controlled assessment. 100 marks. Set by CCEA and marked by your teacher. 3000 words.


AS and A Level Nutrition and Food Science

Content Assessment Weightings
AS1: Principles of Nutrition External written examination
1 hour 30 minutes
Students answer all short questions in Section A and two extended writing questions from a choice of three in Section B
Topics covered: Protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, water and other fluids, nutrition through life, nutrient requirements.
50% of AS

20% of A Level
AS 2: Diet, Lifestyle and Health External written examination
1 hour 30 minutes
Students answer all short questions in Section A and three extended writing questions from a choice of 4 in Section B.
Topics covered: Eating patterns, energy and energy balance, diet-related disorders, alcohol, physical activity.
50% of AS

20% of A Level
A2 1: Option A: Food Security and Sustainability External written examination
2 hours 30 minutes
Students answer a compulsory structured question in Section A and three extended writing questions from a choice of four in Section B.
Topics covered:
Option A: Food security, food poverty, food sustainability, food waste, changing consumer behaviour.
Option B: Food safety, safety through the food chain, microbiological contamination, chemical contamination, additives, allergens, controls and legislation
30% of A Level
A2 2: Research Project Internal Assessment
Students complete a 4000 word research-based project
Teachers mark the projects, and CCEA moderates the results
30% of A Level

Year 14 pupils attend the annual ‘Nutrition Awareness Training’ at Loughry College, Cookstown where they complete an examination validated by the Royal Society for Public Health.


AS and A Level Health and Social Care

Unit Title Content Assessment
AS 1: (Compulsory)
25% of AS
10% of A level
Promoting Quality Care This unit gives students the opportunity to examine how care workers apply values of care, how legislation impacts on the rights and responsibilities of service users and care workers. Written report.

AS 2:
25% of AS
10% of A level

Communication in Health, Social Care
and Early Years Settings

This unit gives students the opportunity to learn and practise communication skills. They observe communication skills in a care setting and carry out interactions.

Written report.
AS 3:(Compulsory)
50% of AS
20%of A level
Health and Well-Being This unit gives students the opportunity to learn about health and well-being and the factors which affect it. 2 Hour external examination.
You will be required to complete a work placement of your choice in a health, social care, or early years setting. AS Unit 1 and 2 coursework will be based on this placement.
A2 3:(Compulsory)
30% of A level
Providing Services Legislation and policy
Meeting individual needs
Barriers to service provision
Roles and responsibilities
Team working
Quality assurance
2 Hour external examination.
A2 5:(Optional)
15% of A level
Supporting the Family Family structures
Support provided
How families meet needs of vulnerable members
Family issues
Written report.
A2 4:(Optional)
15% of A level
Health Promotion Local health improvement priorities
Planning a health promotion activity
Carrying out the activity
Evaluating the activity
Written report.


Facilities and Resources

The facilities and resources within the department are excellent.  We have two main practical classrooms and two computer resource rooms.


Educational Trips, Events and Careers

Every year, a range of educational trips/events are arranged.  Examples include visits to Loughry College, Little Rays Day Nursery and McKee’s (Maghera).  Visiting speakers from Environmental Health, Health and Social Services, First Trust Bank, Livestock and Meat Commission and the farming industry enhance teaching and learning in the classroom and promote career opportunities.


Department Achievements

2022: Faith Moore won a highly commended prize in the Moy Park competition.

2018: Sarah Oliver and Lara-Jayne Tranter were regional finalists in the Big School Cook Off

2015: Lauren Kelso NEELB Key Stage 4 Winner of Dairy Council Young Cook of the Year

2015: Victoria Winter 3rd in CCEA GCSE Child Development

2013: Shania Davis NEELB Key Stage 3 Winner of Dairy Council Young Cook of the Year

2013: Emma McGrath joint 1st in CCEA GCSE Child Development


Community Links

  • Livestock and Meat Commission
  • Springboard
  • Little Rays (Day Care Nursery)
  • Environmental Health Officer (Mid and East Antrim Council)
  • Loughry College, Cookstown
  • McKees ( Maghera)
  • Local Farm Shops
  • Bank Representative from First Trust
  • Women’s Aid
  • Various professionals from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Local Food Bank


Career Opportunities through Home Economics

Food Scientist
Environmental Health Officer
Home Economics Teacher Nutritionist
Consumer Advisor
Health Promotion Officer
Financial Advisor
Retail Management
Consumer Law
Health Inspector
Food Product Development
Foodservice Management
Food/Drink Manufacturer
Hotel manager
Restaurant owner
Hospitality manager
Sports Nutrition