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Home Economics: 'Fair and strongly relevant to today'

THE recessionary theme was not as big on Leaving Certificate home economics papers as in recent years, said Maura McCaul of the ASTI and Loreto College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin.

The papers have moved on a bit and instead there was a greater focus on industries, such as agri-food, and small businesses. There was an emphasis on family finance, she said.

The papers, at both higher and ordinary level, were well received by teachers.

Ms McCaul welcomed the 12 short questions at higher level, describing these as "the most straightforward we have seen since 2004".

A Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) spokesperson described both papers as "very fair, featuring topical, modern questions of strong relevance to the Ireland we live in today and the current economic situation".

Questions covered the breadth of the syllabus in a fair and reasonable manner without seeking to "throw" the student.

At ordinary level, questions were clear and well laid out, with good use of techniques such as underlining, helping to avoid any ambiguity about what was being asked.

The TUI spokesperson said the papers were true to syllabus guidelines and all core elements of the course were addressed.

"Students and teachers can be satisfied with these two challenging but fair papers," added the spokesperson.

Sandra Cleary, home economics teacher at the Institute of Education, Dublin, was "very pleased" with the higher-level paper, which "delivered on the promise of the revised syllabus".

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She described the short questions at higher level as "very candidate-friendly" although at ordinary level some of the questions were "challenging".

Overall, she thought the ordinary level paper presented some challenges for weaker candidates, with questions that required specific detail.

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