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Junior Cert: new Home Economics paper hits the spot with cycling and upcycling in one question


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The new Junior Cycle home economics paper hit the spot in the way it linked themes within questions, according to Mairéad Tompkins, a Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative

In one example, a question started on the topic of cycling activity during a family holiday, followed by a section on sunshine and Vitamin D, moving on to upcycling a t-shirt for the holiday and ending with how a family could save for the break.

Another example was a question covering dietary and water intake guidelines for a physically active teenager, followed by how he should wash his sports kit, including following environmentally friendly methods.

“The linkage in these questions was very good. It would have hit all the key skills for the new Junior Cycle” said Ms Tompkins, of Coláiste Eoin, Hacketsown, Co Carlow.

Overall, the new common level Junior Cycle paper went down well. It accounts for 50pc of the overall marks in the subject, with other assessment already completed in term time.

Online shopping, screen time, and how where clothes are made can influence consumer choice were among other topical issues to feature on the broad-ranging paper.

As with all of the new common level papers being rolled out this year, the challenge is to cater for both the traditional ordinary level students and the traditional higher level student.

Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) subject representative Margaret Kinsella, said it was “very accessible and approachable for all”.

Ms Kinsella of Enniscorthy Community College, Co Wexford, said there was plenty of opportunity for higher level students to expand on answers, with more in-depth detail.

Linda Dolan, of Mercy College, Co. Sligo, and the Studyclix.ie website, said the questions reflected the broad home economics course and drew on many different topics that are very relevant to today's society. She gave examples of protecting children on the internet, food waste, and how where clothes are made may influence a person's choice of clothing.

“Student's may have been disappointed with the lack of focus on direct nutrition questions as only two questions on vitamins appeared - a profile on Vitamin D and how to increase vitamin content in meals,” said Ms Dolan,

On the whole, she described it as ”a very straightforward, fair and positive paper with material that was interesting and relevant to the students.”

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