Home Economics (H): A topical paper, with a twist

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Reaction to the Leaving Certificate 2022 Home Economics paper (Higher Level) by Sandra Cleary, Home Economics teacher at The Institute of Education.

Mortgages, veganism and Vitamin D all appeared, making this a topical paper that reflects life in Ireland in 2022.

There was good choice in the short questions, and the long questions were clear and well phrased.

But there was a twist…

A curve ball in the compulsory part of Question 4A may have caught some students out. Two topics, vegetables and food preservation, that have appeared on the paper in very recent years, came up again.

It was also disappointing that Vitamin D was the only nutrient to appear in the long questions. Students spend so much time and effort on nutrients and they will be annoyed that this was the only reference to a specific nutrient to appear in this section.

SECTION A: SHORT QUESTIONS

As with last year, students only had to answer 5 out of 14 questions in this section. A wide range of topics appeared. There was plenty of choice and something for everyone.

SECTION B: QUESTION 1 (compulsory question)

Students will have welcomed the return of a more familiar question format this year in part A. Students were presented with a table which they had to interpret. If they had practiced with previous tables, they would have had no difficulty here.

The topical issue of the role of Vitamin D in boosting immunity appeared in part C. There was no surprise here, as it has not appeared since 2016. However, it was a little disappointing that this was the only reference to a nutrient in a long question on the paper.

QUESTION 2:

The issue of veganism came up in question 2, Section B. This is a very topical issue, but it was unusual to see it appear again, as it was last on the paper in 2018.

QUESTION 3:

Students will have been happy to see mould and enzymes come up here, as both topics have not appeared on the paper since 2015 and 2013.

QUESTION 4:

It was not surprising to see mortgages appear here, as there is so much discussion about housing in the media and the topic hasn’t been asked since 2017. This was a nice, straight forward question.

QUESTION 5:

A nice question, that was very similar to questions that appeared in previous years, came up on marriage here. This has not been asked since 2017.

ELECTIVES:

This year, most students will have opted to do Question 4 – Core. This new section, which was introduced last year for the first time, is an extension of core topics covered in sections A and B.

Question 4 – part A
The first part of the question (4A) is compulsory, and many students would have been surprised to see the combined topics of vegetables and food preservation appear here. Although the questions asked were straightforward, these food groups may not have been on everyone’s radar as they were asked in 2019 (vegetables) and 2020 (food preservation). A lot of people would have expected meat, as it has not appeared since 2014, or yogurt (2006), fish (2016) or cheese (2017).

Question 4 – parts B & C
Students had to choose between parts B and C of question 4. These questions were more straightforward.

Celiac Disease came up in part B. This topic has not been asked in a long question before, so students will have been prepared for this.

Part C was on an appliance with a heating element. This has not come up since 2004, so again students would have been prepared for this.