Home Economics



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



Home Economics is a core subject within the KS3 curriculum under one of the 4 required components Learning for Life and Work (LLW).  At The Rainey junior classes study 3 periods of Home Economics per fortnight, one of which is normally a practical lesson.

All lessons for pupils in Years 8, 9 & 10 are based upon the 3 key concepts:

  • Home and Family Life – pupils will develop an understanding of the family as a caring unit; exploring the roles and responsibilities of those within a family.
  • Healthy Eating – pupils develop knowledge about the choice, planning, storage, preparation, cooking and serving of food; considering the nutritional impact his will have on their health and lifestyle.  Progression of cookery skills should be evident throughout KS3 – Year 8 practical lessons focus more on snack type meals progressing to more complex dishes and family meals in Year 10.
  • Independent Living – pupils explore the importance of becoming discerning consumers and effective managers of resources; covering topics such as money management, ethical issues and consumer rights.


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Cupcake Club

Year 8 and 9 pupils have the opportunity to come to cupcake club at lunchtime during the winter term. Sixth form pupils help guide students through decorating and presenting a variety of different cupcake designs.




Year 10 HE Club

This afterschool club is offered to those pupils who are keen to study Home Economics GCSE; allowing them to further develop culinary skills and knowledge in preparation for KS4.




At GCSE level Home Economics is divided into three compulsory units over the two year course; it is assessed through one written paper (1 ½ hours – 40%) and two controlled assessment tasks (60%).

Unit 1: Diet and Health, and Consumer Awareness (Exam Unit – 40%)


Diet & Health Topics:
• What’s on the Plate?
• What’s in Food?
• What’s on the Label?
• Ages and Stages
• Dietary Disorders
• Special Diets
• The Facts Behind the Issues
• Keeping Food Safe


Consumer Awareness Topics:
• Being an Effective Consumer
• What Influences Shopping?
• Money Matters
• Wiser Buyer.
Unit 2: Diet and Health (Controlled Assessment – 40%)
Practical planning, preparation and evaluation – Justification of choice, preparation of a minimum of 3 dishes and evaluation/conclusion of the dishes.


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Unit 3: Consumer Awareness (Controlled Assessment – 20%)

Pupils will complete a 3000 word report on a relevant consumer issue which will cover the following areas:

  • Identification the issues in relation to the task – choose one to study in detail
  • Research-based activity – secondary sources
  • Plan and carry out a primary investigation
  • Draw conclusions and evaluate the task

Further information is available from the CCEA website http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/home_economics/gcse/index.asp


A Level

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 – 1 hour 30 minutes)

  • Study of macronutrients and micronutrients and other dietary constituents:


– Carbohydrate

– Fat

– Vitamins

– Minerals

– Fibre

– Water

  • Nutritional requirements and dietary recommendations across the lifespan



AS 2: Diet, Lifestyle and Health (External exam – 1 hour 30 minutes)

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


A21: At A2 the module studied can be selected by the class teacher in order to suit the needs and interests of their pupils; there are 2 optional modules which can be studied at A2 level (External Exam – 2 hours 30 minutes)


Option1: Food Security and Sustainability

Study of consumer behaviour in relation to food purchasing decisions and consideration of issues and implications of consumer food choice:

  • food security
  • food poverty
  • food sustainability
  • food waste
  • changing consumer behaviour




Option 2: Food Safety and Quality

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. Pupils 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.


Further information is available from the CCEA website http://ccea.org.uk/food_nutrition/


GCSE/A Level Controlled Assessment Support Clinics and Revision Classes

Additional support is provided for our students during lunch or after school clinics; these allow pupils to ask additional questions and gain individual guidance to assist with the completion of their controlled assessment tasks.


Home Economics equips pupils with a diverse range of skills and knowledge; opening the doors into many different career paths for those pupils that choose to study it at A Level or into third level education.


Career Opportunities after studying Home Economics:

  • Food Scientist/Technologist
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Agri-Food Industry
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Financial Management
  • New Product Development
  • Food Photography
  • Home Economists (Media)
  • Research and Development
  • 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
  • Family Services

Health and Social Care is also delivered within the department at GCSE and A Level – please click the link for all the required information. http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/hsc/


Rainey Endowed and Henry Brothers Cook Off


Rainey hosted a Cook Off in conjunction with Henry Brothers and Jane McClenaghan (Vital Nutrition). 4 Year 11 Food and Nutrition pupils competed against 4 Henry Bros employees to make Asian Fishcakes and Garlic & Sesame Vegetables. This was judged by Ian Henry (Henry Brothers), Charlotte Scullion (Henry Brothers), Mr McClements (Rainey Endowed) and Emma (Vital Nutrition). Congratulations to Jane and Matthew (Rainey Endowed) and Stephen (Henry Brothers) on winning the Cook Off Challenge, both pupils and Henry Brothers employees benefited greatly from participating in this initiative.  Our thanks goes to Charlotte Scullion (Henry Brothers) for organising such a fantastic event and Kenny Bradley (Kenny’s Spar) for providing the ingredients. 

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Rainey Bake Off


KS3 pupils had the opportunity to enter into the ‘Rainey Bake Off Competition during November. Thank you to all entrants, there was an exceptionally high standard of baking demonstrated across the 3 year groups. The finalists competed in the Final Heat on Wednesday 29th November, with their signature challenge to produce 6 “Afternoon Tea” themed scones in order to be crowned star baker. The following pupils were awarded the coveted title of star baker for their year group: Year 8 – Georgina McGuckin, Year 9 – Alex Hunter and Year 10 – Molly Beattie. Well done to all the Bake off finalists you were fantastic!

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