Saturday 20 January 2018

Pupils get their teeth into paper featuring chewing gum and fish fingers

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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Pretty much everything - from removing chewing gum from a school jumper, to a comparison of the nutritional value of gluten free and wholegrain fish fingers and strategies for positive mental health - appeared across the Junior Certificate Home Economics papers.

But, as teacher Margaret Kent, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) said, the syllabus covers everything from the proverbial "needle to an anchor".

She had no real quibbles, although she said higher level candidates may have been thrown by a short question featuring the British safety symbol for electrical or gas appliances, something she felt was more appropriate to senior cycle.

Students may also have been surprised by the absence of a full question on physiology. "Instead they got two short questions," she said. Ms Kent, of Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy, Co Cork, said higher level students would have especially liked question four, on the family.

It, among other things, presented an opportunity to compare the role of parents and teenagers.

Ms Kent described the ordinary level paper as very comprehensive, and she particularly welcomed the use of graphics. "Their importance is growing with the increasing percentage of students for whom English is not their first language."

The afternoon's religious education papers were "very fair", according to Stephen O'Hara, of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) and a teacher at Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Co Cork.

Students who had kept the focus of their studies broad would have been well-rewarded, he said.

Irish Independent

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