Home Economics (H) 2016: A paper that is keeping up with the times


Comment/ analysis on Home Economics (Higher Level) from Sandra Cleary, Home Economics teacher at The Institute of Education.

For such a content heavy course this was a very fair, factual paper with no surprises. Topics that appeared such as homelessness, housing, poverty and gender are all very current and relevant and show that this is a paper that is keeping up with the times.

Short Questions:
A nice, broad selection of questions that were clearly phrased, and had no ambiguities.

Students who had studied bio-chemistry and put effort in to learning complex bio-chemistry diagrams might have been disappointed that this topic didn’t come up.

Question 2: Fish and Vitamin D
Both these topics have not featured on the paper for a number of years (Fish, 2010) and (Vitamin D, 2004), so students would not have been surprised to see them making an appearance this year.

Question3- Freezing and Packaging
A straightforward, accessible question that students would have found very manageable.

Question 4- Consumer Studies
A nice topical question that asked students to discuss how shopping patterns have changed over the past 10 years. Merchandising techniques and consumer protection also appeared.

Question 5: The Family
Nice, topical questions on the challenges experienced by parents of a child with special needs, and how changing socio-economic conditions affect contemporary families.

Elective 1:
Housing, which is a massive issue and very topical, came up in Part 1 (a). Students were asked to discuss factors that influence location and style when building a house and the procedures for securing planning permission. Specific housing requirements for people with disability and homeless people also appeared.

Elective 3:
The relevant and timely topic of poverty came up in Part 3 (a). Students were asked to discuss the social and economic reasons why poverty continues to exist in today’s society.