Background contextual information about Cardinal Hume Catholic School

Cardinal Hume Catholic School is an Academy of approximately 1459 pupils including 250 in the Sixth Form. The school is situated Gateshead which lies in the second decile of most deprived areas within the UK. The school’s catchment area is from the immediate vicinity; 28% of pupils qualify for the ‘Ever6 FSM’ figure and in the current Sixth Form 15% of students are awarded 16-19 Bursary.

The majority of Y13 are enrolled on 3 A levels or their equivalent, following the new Linear courses or new, examined, Vocational BTEC or Cambridge Technical courses. The school has both a strong academic and vocational track record at KS4 so Sixth Form courses allow for progression in both areas with 45% students combining subjects from both.

The overall points per entry in 2018 was 238; the GCE ppe was 33.3 in 2018 and Vocational ppe was 38.1 in 2018. At GCE, 49% of our 2018 Y13 cohort achieved A*-B.

Currently, 60% of Y13 are from families in which they are the first applicant to Higher Education.

We encourage our Sixth Formers to get involved in many extra-curricular activities. This gives them the chance to try something new and have fun, gain knowledge, skills and training in areas of employment and acquire information and experiences about university.
Our aim is to give them all opportunities and experiences that will help them be more prepared for the wider world as an adult.
Extra-curricular opportunities include:


Hume (31)Attending Cardinal Hume School Sixth Form has opened up many amazing opportunities for me as an individual. I have recently visited Downing Street in order to hand over our schools petitions to campaign for all children to attend school, particularly those individuals with disabilities.

The Catholic ethos of the school also opens many doors, as this year I attended the Sixth Form Festival at the Youth Village where I got given insight into the serious topic of human trafficking which is not highlighted enough to the general public but is affecting our world every day.

It is the information gained from such experiences that we can then bring back to our school community and give further information to others and see what we can do as a school to raise awareness and get involved. Thus, we are not only given the chance to gain knowledge and understand about others in need, but we then take that information and spread word in order to help the individuals affected.

There are always ways to get involved in school, especially in Sixth Form which evidently helps your development as a person, as you obtain skills which are applicable to future life.

Amy Year 12

AS Extended Project Qualification

The EPQ was offered to the entirety of sixth form and it has proved a sturdy backup for me personally. I think the main reason this qualification stood out for me was the idea that you could choose the area to study. My chosen subject is education over history in terms of whether austerity or technology was its greatest progression. By allowing me to make these decisions, it means that I can revolve my work around something I enjoy and find of interest. It is not a specified given project as you would find in a classroom, but an opportunity to express your own independent findings and create a piece of work that you are enthusiastic about and proud of. The EPQ is not only intriguing, but it offers that boost of UCAS points that just might be the difference between the gateway to university and the rejection- as well as the EPQ name itself looking great on the application. The opportunities we’ve been given- entrance to the libraries, presentations by professionals, teacher guidance, etc.-it has all proven greatly helpful and I now look forward to getting started with the project.

Helen Year 12

Oxbridge Residential

Towards the end of year 12, a group of us went on a 3 day trip to Oxford and Cambridge. This was a chance for us to see the cities and the universities. While we were there we stayed in colleges that are linked with schools in our area, Wadham College in Oxford and Jesus College in Cambridge. These colleges have a higher percentage intake of students from the north-east then any of the other colleges in the university so it allowed us to meet students that grew up near us who are now studying at one of these universities. We attended various mini lectures and workshops related to the courses that we want to study at university which gave us an insight into the way that the courses will be taught as well as having tours of the cities which taught us a little about the two historic places. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience; it was a fantastic opportunity and showed us all that studying at one of these prestigious universities is not as far-fetched as we previously thought.

Josh Y13

Sutton Trust Summer School

My classmates and I were able to spend four days at Cambridge University to gain a greater insight into university life and our subjects of choice. We attended events focused on careers after university and the application process. I was able to speak with some medical students who offered some valuable advice about studying medicine at university, and, in particular, Cambridge. I also met a woman who offered me a two week placement in University College London researching autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, which I was extremely enthusiastic about. I completed this placement in August of this year, and since then I have written an extended project of 5000 words on my medical condition of choice. The trip was very influential and it allowed me to become even more determined to go to university next year. The final event was a meal with admissions tutors and professors to gain a greater insight into the university as a whole and how to make a successful application to Russell Group universities.

I have met a lot of very inspirational and influential people on this trip, some of which I remain in contact with, and it allowed me to develop my friendships with the members of my year who came with me. I will remember this experience for the rest of my life.

Sarah Year 13

Uniq Summer School

Coming Soon

Durham Supported Entry Scheme

In Year 12, I was successful in my application to Durham University’s Supported Progression scheme. The scheme was a chance to trial my chosen course at university for two days during Easter and a week during the summer. During the stay, I stayed in university colleges and during the summer I completed an assessed piece of work. This has meant that I have received a guaranteed conditional offer from Durham, where the entry grades have been lowered in accordance to the quality of my assessment. Despite it being challenging, I loved every second of the scheme and it allowed me to try out university life and work, giving me a taste of what is to come.

Tara Year 13

Newcastle University Partners Bitesize

Hume (31)During the Summer, I was able to take part in the Newcastle University  ‘Bitesize Uni’ summer school. It was a week’s worth of fantastic experiences. The scheme offered me essential skills and information such as teamwork, public speaking, creativity and advice on university applications. All of the sessions that were available to choose from were detailed and packed with information to make you stand out from other candidates when applying for a course at University. The Bitesize Uni summer school is an event I recommend for all students in Sixth Form.

Priscille Y12

NU Entry

In preparation for choosing a university to attend, I applied for the NU Entry Scheme which was an amazing experience. The scheme was aimed at those who wished to find out more about Northumbria University in order to carefully choose future study options. Many benefits came with completing the scheme including reduced entry requirements and a free library pass. The scheme enabled me to find out more about Northumbria University and gave me an insight into university style lectures. For the assessment, we were asked to create a presentation within our groups which resulted in me making new friends which I am still in contact with. The student representatives from Northumbria University were extremely helpful and friendly which created a stress free environment to complete our presentation. The experience gave me some very beneficial skills which will be useful for future careers and university life. My confidence and team work skills have greatly improved due to the scheme which has helped greatly with opportunities such as Work Experience. The scheme was very beneficial and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to find out more about Northumbria University and university life.

Tamar Year 12

The Deloitte Project

Hume (31)Deloitte is an accountancy programme which helped me to grow and gain techniques which are vital for my A-levels and future career.

To be a part of the Deloitte programme has been a great experience, giving me an insight on what I need to do to ensure I achieve my goal to become a Primary School Teacher. Throughout the programme there were many great opportunities which I was very lucky to be a part of from being at a Budget Conference at St. James Park to a trip to Cambridge University. These have allowed me to gain more independence and to meet many important people who shared their experiences with me and offered their help. The future is never predictable and you may surprise yourself with the choices you make.

Jennifer Year 12

World Challenge

Coming Soon

Employability Week

Coming Soon

Peer Mentoring

The value of this programme in school was reported in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle S48 Inspection : ‘A culture of mutual respect pervades all aspects of school life and pupils appreciate the support offered to them by sixth form mentors’

Sports Nutrition Experiment

During my first year in the Sixth Form, myself and 6 other students took part in a Sports Nutrition experiment at Northumbria University. The experiment involved us using lots of high tech physiology equipment such as Douglas bags which we had to use up to 9 times a day. The experiment was to investigate which type of foods are the first to stimulate your hunger hormones; we ate various different foods during the day whilst getting blood samples taken to help judge which one would affect our hunger hormones first. At the end of the day we all had to eat 2 kilos of pasta until we were full, again our blood samples were analysed.

Kieran Gorman Year 12

Other Activities

Astronomy has always been a great interest to me, and due to IAG I have had the opportunity to explore this field in more detail. We have learnt not only about our own solar system, but about the known universe, watching a video that demonstrates a scale model of the universe. In addition to this, we are shown how to use and set up the telescope, with the message that it is free for us to take home and use if available at the time. Overall, astronomy has become a relaxing break from work at the end of the week, whilst still offering enough to pique your interest.

Matthew Y12

Peer Mentor Training

Every year, 20 successful Y12 applicants are selected to train as Peer Mentors. This equips them with the skills needed to mentor younger pupils in the school, supporting them to make a successful transition into secondary school life, lend an ear and provide practical help with homework, organisation and confidence.

The value of this programme in school was reported in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle S48 Inspection : ‘A culture of mutual respect pervades all aspects of school life and pupils appreciate the support offered to them by sixth form mentors’


CH_WEB_7 (2)I chose to do an activity totally out of my comfort zone, climbing. I’d seen others doing it and decided now was the time to rise to the challenge and have a go. I didn’t find it easy at first but I felt in safe hands, got good advice on how to do it and improved once I got more confident. It actually involves a lot of teamwork and trust so I also learnt other new skills as well as enjoying the physical activity involved. I don’t know whether I’ll ever take it up as a hobby and brave a rock face outdoors but at least I feel that I had a go. It was great to have the chance to do this.

Ben Y12

Culture Vultures

During Friday IAG sessions, me and my friends were given the opportunity to travel across the local area visiting various cultural sites, such as museums and galleries. Our own personal chauffer, Mr Southgate, happily takes us anywhere and it is a great end to a, sometimes very stressful, week. So far, we have had the opportunity to visit the Great North museum, better known as the Hancock, and the Centre for Life. These have been rewarding experiences, allowing us not only to gain cultural knowledge, but also a chance for a bit of relaxation and fun. The trips always lead to funny stories, such as knocking over a group of people whilst ice-skating, or putting a glove on a dinosaur. To finish the trip, we have a cup of tea in the café before heading back to school before 4pm. In the future, we plan to visit the Victoria Tunnels and The Oriental Museum. Choosing the activity for my Friday IAG sessions was a great decision.

Jennifer Y12


I really enjoyed this option as it was something totally new to me. We made pin-hole cameras and took our own photos with them and processed them to see the end results. It was all a bit different, technical and tricky to someone more used to using her phone to take selfies ! I was proud of the end result and felt I’d learnt a new skill and how to appreciate my environment more carefully. I would recommend it as it was very relaxing and good fun.

Bethany Y12


Coming Soon

Cooking on a Budget

CH_WEB_9 (2)In order to learn some vital life skills, Year 12 can opt for a 7 week course about cooking on a budget. This gives time to learn the skills needed to cooking, exactly what we would have to do when living on our own at University or in our own home and how to make healthy meals with a small amount of money. Cooking on a budget is a great fun activity to do, especially at the end of a hard school week. Not only does it make you enjoy the end of the week but it also provides you with the skills needed when leaving home and living on you own and how this part of your life could easily be managed. Not everyone has the ability to cook but also manage the amount of money which is spent but this activity opens a door in that spending very little on ingredients to cook a meal really isn’t as difficult as you would think.

Dean Year 12

Y12 Futures Day

In July, all Year 12 students take part in this whole day of taster sessions to help them make informed decisions about their career path. Here’s what they said about this year’s day:

“Talking to ex-students currently at University and young staff was very effective – a great idea! Getting first person information made it easier to relate to”

“I really learnt what University was like, got to ask questions, find out about the financial side of it all and opinions on whether to study at home or away”

“The session on Employability Skills really made me think about myself and what I can offer”

“Good to meet people that had been to Uni or were actually there at the moment, to share their experiences”

“The Finance-opoly game explained budgeting and finance to me, then the presentation on Student Finance helped me understand that I can afford to go to Uni”

“All of the activities were full of useful information and helped me resolve any uncertainties”