Home Economics 2021-2022 Review

Covid-19 has caused numerous disruptions to school life, with the home economics department at RSA being no exception. However despite the virus, the home economics department has been able to prevail and continue to flourish despite the restrictions that we have all faced in this pandemic. The home economics department has been able to continue to teach and pass on vital cooking and diet skills to students despite remote learning, showcasing the resilience of both the teachers and the pupils of the home economics department.

As the safety of students was of highest importance, in-class practicals were an unrealistic expectation for the ‘new normal’ we have all had to face. However, whilst there may have been a lack of in-class cooking, home economics students continued to develop and nurture their cooking skills from home. An Instagram page for the home economics department was opened to all students, allowing pupils to send in and share their lockdown treats. The Instagram page sports a wide array of food and desserts, showcasing the myriad of skill that RSA home economics students possess. This included chicken dishes from the Year 10s, vegetarian meals from the Year 9s and pancakes from the Year 9s. Home economic students also utilised their remote learning time to harness their baking skills, with a multitude of cakes, cupcakes and biscuits being made across the year groups.

Despite remote learning, home economic students were able to persevere and develop their independence, with some students even beginning to take over and cook dinners for their families. Students continued to show enthusiasm and a love for cooking despite the adversity faced this year and this is heavily reflected through the level of participation on given cooking activities.

A remote Valentine’s Day ‘Bake Off’ was also held, showcasing home economic student’s culinary schools to the school and wider community. The winners of the competition were Emily Ferguson from Year 8, Hannah Ross from Year 9 and Grace Anderson from Year 10, with the amount of effort and time put into baking and decorating their cakes leaving both staff and students in awe. This talent extended to the runner up prizes, with Ellen Lindsay and Benjamin Mulligan in Year 8, Ellie Broomfield and Ellen Emerson in Year 9 and Gabriella Moore and Orrin Miskimmons in Year 10 sharing a similar high level of skill and effort. Judging the competition was difficult for staff, as all participants in the competition showed such high levels of skill and creativity. Prizes for the winners included an engraved granite stone chopping board, kindly donated by Aura Stone Kilkeel.

Before Christmas, Year 8 boarding students Zara Mason, Lucy Guttridge and Antonia-Jordanna Ryan were able to take part in the end of year zoom meeting for Brigade at the Parishes of Loughgall and Grange. Despite it being their first time cooking in home economics, the girls showed great enthusiasm and skill as they cooked and decorated gingerbread men.

Upon returning to school after Easter, Year 11 students were able to complete their first sets of practicals by closely following Covid-19 guidelines. Masks, social distancing and attention paid to sanitising allowed year 11 students to demonstrate their variety of skills, including sauce making, meringue making and piping.

Overall, Home Economics students this year have faced the adversity of Covid-19 with great enthusiasm. The Home Economics department has loved seeing all the treats students have been making at home – it is great to see Home Economic students at RSA continue to develop their skills.

By Erin Tait, 13E