Heathcote High School

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Home Economics

Home Economics at Heathcote High

Our staff

Relieving Head Teacher   Mrs J. Mullins    

                                            Mrs J. Hunter (relieving Deputy Principal)              

                                            Mrs J. Beer          

                                            Mrs M. Minett                                                          

The Home Economics faculty fosters the achievement of personal excellence and offers a rich and diverse learning environment. We seek to educate the whole person and to equip our students with values, dispositions and skills for lifelong learning and success. 

Our Teaching and Learning Programs are designed to draw upon ‘best practice' constructivist theory, providing learning experiences which, through thoughtful differentiation, cater for all students needs in an inclusive and caring learning environment. Our students play a role in developing their learning pathways.

Our teachers are leaders of learning and experts in their fields who actively participate in ongoing professional development to ensure their students benefit from the latest research and pedagogical practice. They are a collaborative team who work cooperatively, sharing skills and knowledge with their peers and their students.

Our teachers endeavour to create a learning environment which is safe, enjoyable, stimulating and motivating; they aspire to best practice and teach to individual learning needs and learning styles. They have high expectations of their students; reflect on their practice and seek ongoing professional growth and deliver feedback which supports and develops future student learning.

Our students take responsibility for their own learning and contribute to the learning of others; they are happy and motivated; are inquiring, organised, cooperative and enthusiastic and employ problem solving and critical thinking skills, are collaborative and technologically competent.

Our facilities:

Offer access to the latest equipment, ensuring our students are well prepared, trained and highly skilled for their future. The commercial kitchen boasts full stainless steel benching, commercial dishwasher, combi oven, salamanders and industry standard appliances.

The two Textiles and Design rooms are fully equipped with the latest Bernina sewing machines, an embellisher, quilting machine, overlockers and light box. Each piece of equipment is carefully chosen to allow students to be creative, encourage them to challenge themselves and embrace new technology and achieve success.

Students have access to state of the art computerised simulation babies that emulate real life infants, providing tangible experiences, material demands and immediate realisations of the future.


Celebrating student achievement

Our Food and Fashion Fair showcases our student achievement, celebrating their success across the year.

Students in Food Technology, Hospitality and Textiles & Design bring together a creative night of feast and fashion. Teams create, make and market their food stalls for the night while the textiles students showcase their original works in our Designers on Parade Showcase. The evening is an extravaganza not to be missed.

Courses offered through Home Economics

Years 7-8 (Stage 4)

Technology (Mandatory)

The Technology (Mandatory) course is studied for 200 hours, typically in Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8). Technology (Mandatory) is the foundation course for a range of elective courses in the Technology learning area.

Technology and an understanding of design processes enable people to manage, interpret, shape and alter their environment to improve their quality of life at home, school, in work places and in the broader community. The rapid rate of technological change in an increasingly knowledge-based society highlights the need for flexible technological capability, innovative thinking and effective communication skills.

Course description

Technology (Mandatory) develops in students an understanding of design and design processes and the technologies that can be employed to produce creative and innovative solutions to identified needs. It enables students to select and use materials, tools and techniques in a responsible and safe manner.

Technology education integrates both procedural and conceptual knowledge based on a holistic view of design. Students identify needs that have personal relevance, apply design theory and use design processes that encourage flexibility, resourcefulness and imagination in the development, communication and production of quality solutions.

What will students learn about?

All students will learn about the processes of designing through the development of design projects in the areas of:

  • Built Environments
  • Products
  • Information and Communications.

 They will learn about the properties and applications of a range of materials and the tools and equipment that are used to shape, form and join these materials. Students will gain an understanding of the factors that influence design including function and aesthetics. They will study the work of designers and the impact of technological advancement on society and the environment.

Thinking skills are developed experientially through the Technology (Mandatory) course as students design and make. The use of reflective, flexible and creative thinking skills are encouraged to build understanding of underlying principles that can be transferred to different project settings and applications. Study in technology develops skills in enterprise and initiative. Through practical experience it leads students to develop, select and apply technological skills involved in designing and producing. This includes processes of analysing, planning, producing, evaluating and maintaining the material and information needs of our society.

All Technology (Mandatory) courses are practical based and students will develop skills and knowledge through hands on practical experiences.




Years 9 & 10 (Stage 5) Elective Courses

Courses offered include Food Technology, Textiles Technology & Child Studies

 Food Technology

The Australian food industry is growing in importance, providing numerous employment opportunities and increasing the relevance of Food Technology for the individual and society. There are increasing community concerns about food issues, including hygiene and safety, nutritional claims and the nutritional quality of food, genetic engineering, functional food and the environmental impact of food production processes. Students will explore food-related issues through a range of practical experiences and experimentation, allowing them to make informed and appropriate choices with regards to food.

 Food habits change as a result of economic, social, cultural, technological and environmental factors. In Australia, consumers are confronted by an increasing array of food products designed to complement our changing lifestyles. Making informed food decisions requires an explicit understanding of nutrition principles in both theory and practice, and this is embedded in a study of Food Technology. This is essential to the development of sound food habits and contributes significantly to the well-being of all Australians.

 The study of Food Technology provides students with a broad knowledge and understanding of food properties, processing, preparation and their interrelationships, nutritional considerations and consumption patterns. It addresses the importance of hygiene and safe working practices and legislation in the production of food. It also provides students with a context through which to explore the richness, pleasure and variety food adds to life.

 This knowledge and understanding is fundamental to the development of food-specific skills, which can then be applied in a range of contexts enabling students to produce quality food products. Students develop practical skills in preparing and presenting food that will enable them to select and use appropriate ingredients, methods and equipment.

 This course provides for the development of relevant and meaningful learning experiences, inclusive of life experiences, values, learning styles and individual student characteristics. Through a study of food and its applications in domestic, commercial, industrial and global settings, the syllabus caters for all students' needs and interests. It contributes to both vocational and general life experiences. Integral to this syllabus is the ability to design, produce and evaluate solutions to situations involving food. These form part of a broad set of skills that are transferable to other study, work and life contexts that students may encounter.

 Students will also participate in excursions designed to bring real life experiences into and enhance their learning. These include restaurants, food manufacturing establishments as well as guest speakers coming into the school.



Textiles Technology

Textiles Technology will contribute to the overall education of students by enabling them to confidently use a range of technologies and create an awareness of related career pathways and leisure pursuits. The course encourages students to be proactive, competent, creative, responsible and reflective learners able to take part in further study, work or training.

 Textiles have played a significant role throughout human history, satisfying both functional and aesthetic needs. Textiles continue to satisfy needs in society by being a means of self-expression, by having social meaning and cultural significance, and by performing specific functions in commercial, industrial and personal settings.

Textiles Technology acknowledges and embraces an understanding of cultural diversity by examining the ways in which different groups have used textiles as an expressive and functional medium. These historical and cultural uses of textiles continue to influence contemporary designers today and students will examine design features characteristic of a variety of different cultures and use them as sources of inspiration in textile projects where appropriate.

 A study of Textiles Technology provides students with broad knowledge of the properties, performance and uses of textiles in which fabrics, colouration, yarns and fibres are explored. Project Work that includes investigation and experimentation will enable students to discriminate in their choices of textiles for particular uses.

 Workshops are an integral component of the Textiles course with students completing folio workshops, drawing and in year 8 - a Gifted & Talented one day workshop. Students and parents/grandparents can also attend the annual Stitches & Craft Show. Students are encouraged to bring members of the family who share their passion for textiles and are willing to share their knowledge and experiences with their children/grandchildren.



Child Studies

Society has a responsibility to provide a safe, nurturing and challenging environment for children in their early years, as this is crucial to optimal growth and development. Child Studies explores the broad range of social, environmental, genetic and cultural factors that influence pre-natal development and a child's sense of wellbeing and belonging between 0 and 8 years of age.

 This course reflects the multidimensional nature of child development and learning and the interconnectedness of the physical, social, emotional, personal, creative, spiritual, cognitive and linguistic domains. Students will have the opportunity to explore this interrelationship through each stage of development in the early years. Child Studies also includes study of preconception and family preparation, newborn care and the influence and impact of nutrition, play, technology and the media.

 Child Studies will assist students to understand the significant impact of the child's environment and the role that the child and others can take in the active construction of this environment. They will have the opportunity to reflect and think critically on the value of the cultural context and influence of ancestral and traditional practices. They will learn to identify, create and evaluate solutions to enhance child wellbeing. They become aware of and learn to access a range of relevant community resources and services. 

Learning in Child Studies will promote in students a sense of empathy for children, their parents, caregivers and those that have the potential to influence the learning environments. It contributes to the development in young people of an understanding and appreciation of the range of ways they can positively impact on the wellbeing of children through roles in both paid and unpaid contexts.

 The knowledge, understanding, skills and values developed through Child Studies provides a foundation for a wide range of study options in and beyond school and also a range of vocational pathways that support and enhance the wellbeing of children. Study of this syllabus will also support young people engaged in voluntary caring, supervision and child support roles and in formal work opportunities such as childcare and education.

 A better start to life creates a better future for the child. Child Studies enables young people to understand the interrelated factors that influence the early years and their impact on the next generation for successful, creative and confident learners and citizens. 

Ultimately, what will students learn in Home Economics?

Students will learn to identify and respond to needs through the development of quality design projects. They will learn to access and safely use a range of materials, tools and techniques to aid in the development of design projects and to critically evaluate their own work and the work of others. 

Students will learn to undertake research and experiments to inform the development of design projects and to evaluate, analyse and apply the results of these activities to individual projects. 

Students learn about technologies and use a range of materials, tools and techniques relevant to the personal, commercial and global areas of human activity. Technologies assume increased importance when they are applied to solve real problems and to create ideas and solutions in response to needs and opportunities for customers, clients or themselves. They can be used to add functional, aesthetic and environmental value to products. 

Students can further develop a fascination with, and enjoyment of, innovating and creating through making decisions and in their production of working solutions. They will experience a core of design processes and technological experiences. In the broader community, the application of this process can involve the consideration of factors relating to organisations, people, environments, sustainability, appropriateness, materials, machines and equipment, systems, communication infrastructures, social and ethical solutions. 

Years 11 & 12 (Stage 6) Elective Courses

 Food Technology Category A

The course provides students with a broad knowledge of food technology. The factors that influence food availability and selection are examined and current food consumption patterns in Australia investigated. Food handling is addressed with emphasis on ensuring safety and managing the sensory characteristics and functional properties of food to produce a quality product. The role of nutrition in contributing to the health of the individual and the social and economic future of Australia is explored. The structure of the Australian food industry is outlined and the operations of one organisation investigated. Production and processing practices are examined and their impact evaluated. The activities that support food product development are identified and the process applied in the development of a food product.

Contemporary nutrition issues are raised, investigated and debated. This knowledge enables students to make informed responses to changes in the production to consumption continuum and exert an influence on future developments in the food industry as educated citizens and in their future careers within a rapidly changing world.

Opportunities exist for students to develop skills relating to food that are relevant and transferable to other settings. Such skills include the ability to research, analyse and communicate. Students also develop the capability and competence to experiment with and prepare food as well as design, implement and evaluate solutions to a range of food situations. 

Our students grow into global citizens; caring, open minded, reflective and confident. They become independent in their ability to learn. Such discernment is nurtured through deliberate and explicit strategies that help students to grow into adulthood. We challenge our students to critically evaluate and appreciate themselves, others, and the world around them.

cooking seniors


Textiles & Design Category A

Textiles and Design investigates the science and technology of textiles through a study of properties and performance, allowing students to make informed consumer choices in the textiles area. Technological and practical skills are developed and enhanced through the use of textile-related technologies, including those that are computer - based. The concept of design elements and principles, as being both functional and aesthetic and as part of the creative design process, are examined within the specialised field of textiles.

This course investigates textiles in society and promotes a greater understanding of the significance of different cultures and their specific use of textile materials.

Textiles and Design develops a body of knowledge, skills and values that contribute to the overall education of students and which can provide opportunities for small business and leisure activities useful throughout life. It develops student creativity and project management skills that promote self-esteem and satisfaction. Students develop an understanding that textiles in industry, small business and in leisure activities has an emphasis on project work and students emulate this through the designing, planning and manufacturing of a Major Textiles Project.

Course content

Preliminary Course:  Design;  Properties and Performance of Textiles;  Australian Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Allied Industries. 

In Year 11 students complete two practical projects. These projects include an apparel item and a textile art item.

HSC Course :  Design;  Properties and Performance of Textiles;  Australian Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Allied Industries.

In Year 12 students spend 50% of their class time working on their major project.   How will I be assessed for the HSC?

There are two sections to the external assessment. One is a written examination, worth 50% while the other is a major textile project.  The textile item is worth 25% and the supporting documentation is about worth 25%. When selecting a project you can work in one of five focus areas: - textiles arts, apparel, costume, non-apparel and furnishings. The supporting documentation is very manageable as it can be no longer than 12 A3 pages in length.

No prior experience is necessary. At the beginning of Year 11 we complete a skills project to develop the required textile skills. Students, who have not studied Textiles in Year 10, will not be disadvantaged.   Why do Textiles and Design?

The course gives you the opportunity to learn many skills that are transferable to other aspects of life and school. The course offers students the opportunity to explore advances in technology. It develops creativity and project management skills that promote self-esteem and satisfaction.

During the completion of the course students will participate in workshops designed to enhance their skills and knowledge of the textiles industry. These include a silk painting workshop and a fashion illustration workshop, both lead by industry professionals that bring their creative expertise inside our classrooms. 

Community & Family Studies  Category A

Contemporary society is characterised by rapid social and technological change, cultural diversity, conflicting values and competitive pressures. Developing understanding about society and living in society requires a comprehensive knowledge of its complex nature. Consequently, Community and Family Studies is an interdisciplinary course drawing upon selected components of family studies, sociology, developmental psychology and students' general life experiences. This course focuses on skills in resource management that enable people to function effectively in their everyday lives, in families and communities.

As students develop into young adults they are faced by challenges of increasing complexity and there is a range of strong influences on the decisions they make. Schools complement the role of families and other social groups by helping students to make informed decisions and to take responsible action in all aspects of their lives. This includes preparing students for vocational options and acting to enhance the wellbeing of themselves and others. To this end, Community and Family Studies develops students' knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to effective decision-making leading to confidence and competence in solving practical problems in the management of everyday living.

The way in which individuals relate to others is a key factor determining their capacity to lead responsible and productive lives both now and in the future. Community and Family Studies provides opportunities for students to explore and form positive attitudes about themselves and others; to develop an understanding of their relationships within their families and other groups; to learn to work cooperatively and to appreciate the importance of effective communication.

Community and Family Studies utilises an ecological framework to investigate the interactions among the individual, family, community and society. Recognition of the interdependence of the individual and other groups is central to the framework. Consequently, this syllabus focuses the Preliminary course on the individual and their interactions with personal groups, family and community. The HSC course builds upon this by examining how the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities is affected by broader societal influences including sociocultural, economic and political factors.

Community and Family Studies can have a direct and positive influence on the quality of students' lives both now and in the future. During the school years, students are confronted with an awareness of their emerging identity as young women and young men. Community and Family Studies investigates the unique contributions of individuals, groups, families and communities in the development of effective social structures. It encourages opportunities for students to become proactive members of society as they examine both their potential to adopt a range of roles and the responsibilities they have in contributing to society.

Hospitality Vocational Education - Category B – ONE category B can be counted towards ATAR

Industry curriculum frameworks provide students with the opportunity to gain industry-recognised national vocational qualifications under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as part of their NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC). 

HSC courses within industry curriculum frameworks count as Board Developed unit credit for the HSC. Frameworks include an HSC examination which provides the opportunity for students to have this HSC examination mark contribute to the calculation of their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). 

The hospitality industry is one of the largest in Australia, predominately made up of small to medium businesses that provide a range of accommodation, food and beverage services. The inter-related nature of hospitality means that many businesses operate across sectors within the industry and across complementary industries such as tourism, travel and events. The restaurant and catering sector of the industry continues to experience growth with our increasingly time constrained society seeking the convenience of eating out.

Services industries are a major employer, supporting the skill development of younger workers who are central to Australia's economic and social development. For businesses in the service industries, employees are the most important asset. Recruiting and retaining skilled staff is fundamental for businesses. Occupations within the hospitality industry are diverse and include barista, chef, cook, front office clerk, housekeeping attendant, kitchen hand, manager, marketing and promotion officer and waiter.

Training needs to keep up with current practice, responding to changing technologies, emerging new markets and different business models. Currency of skills and knowledge provided to students is crucial to the success of the hospitality industry. www.serviceskills.com.au

 Students will complete 240 hours course work as well as a mandatory 70 hours of NESA workplacement requirements. Students currently working in the Hospitality industry may be eligible for recognition of prior learning for part of their course (including workplacement). 

Practical application is vital to the completion of the course and students are required to attend all lessons to maintain currency and be assessed as competent in the skills being demonstrated. 

Heathcote students study Certificate II in Hospitality Kitchen Operations. This requires them to wear full chef's uniform and maintain a comprehensive toolkit to industry standard.

The workplacement component of the course is completed during school hours and is organised centrally through workplace coordinators for the region. Students are given the opportunity, determined by their level of interest and ability to take part in city placements or can stay close to home with local placements

Exploring Early Childhood (CEC – content endorsed course) 2U course, NON ATAR

Our society acknowledges childhood as a unique and intense period for growth, development and learning. When members of society are provided with knowledge about childhood development they will then be able to support and encourage this development when interacting with children.

The Exploring Early Childhood course aims to achieve this by giving students an overview of development and related issues within an early childhood context. It provides the opportunity to consider a range of issues in relation to the individual student, their family and the community. As well as reflecting on the personal relevance of childhood issues, students are encouraged to consider the implications for future interactions with children, be these as a parent, friend, carer or educator.

Children and childhood are examined from a multidisciplinary perspective and students have opportunities to link theory and practice.

Students of Exploring Early Childhood bring a range of K-10 and other life experiences as background to their study. The Content Endorsed Course structure enables the selection of modules that recognise and build upon students' knowledge, understanding and skills through further and more in-depth study of this area.

The study of Exploring Early Childhood will support students in developing a commitment to, and capacity for, lifelong learning in this area. The course offers initial learning experiences that can lead to further post-school study at university or TAFE or vocational training in the context of the workplace. Learning may also continue through ongoing life experiences as an area of personal interest.



Students will be provided with the opportunity to challenge themselves beyond the classroom. Competitions and scholarships are entered and awarded each year through the Home Economics faculty.

They include:

Radisson High Flyers Competition – Hospitality

Worldskills – Hospitality

VET student of the Year – Hospitality

Whitehouse School of Design Scholarship – Textiles (2 given each year)