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Home ec - Kitchen confidential

Home economics is playing a significant role within A Curriculum for Excellence, according to HMIE's latest portrait of current practice in Scottish secondary schools.

The range of areas and variety "challenge teachers to update their knowledge and skills regularly", it says, and picks out approaches which are working well. These include:

- giving young people access to multimedia material and visiting speakers;

- in the area of health, helping young people acquire a knowledge on which they should base wise food choices, and giving them an understanding of the social dimension of eating; and

- making links across the curriculum.

As an example of good practice, it features a principal teacher of HE who carried out an audit of learning and teaching based on the question: are we giving our pupils value for money? Aiming to inspire and support teachers to deliver stimulating lessons, 150 pupils from S1-6 were asked their views on, for example, their preferred styles of learning and how their achievements were recognised. Staff went on to share best practice and extended the range of activities they provided. One included cooking outdoors as part of a Forest Schools activity and working with the technical education department to design and construct gingerbread houses.

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