Background contextual information about Cardinal Hume Catholic School

Cardinal Hume Catholic School is an Academy of approximately 1437 (1450) pupils including 227 (260) in the Sixth Form. The school is situated in Gateshead which lies in the second decile (second decile) of most deprived areas within the UK. The school’s catchment area is from the immediate vicinity; 23% of students are disadvantaged in the current Y13 (In the current Year 13, 12% of students are SEN, 23% disadvantaged, 15% EAL and 28% Gifted and Talented).and in the Sixth Form 14% 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 examined Vocational 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 20 % students combining subjects from both.

The overall points per entry in 2019 was 34.6 for GCE and 39.5 for Vocational. At GCE, 76% of our 2019 Y13 cohort achieved A*-C. The equivalent 2020 scores are 40.0 for both GCE and Vocational. 91% of GCE entries were A*-C.

Currently, 76% of Y13 are from families in which they are the first applicant to Higher Education


During the lockdown period that started in March, these applicants accessed work via the school’s website using the remote Learning Portal to complete their Y12 studies. The majority did not receive any ‘live learning’ using Google Classroom or Teams; they only received 12 hours of taught curriculum time in July at the end of Y12 missing a total of 168 hours of Y12 teaching in total. In addition, each individual student had access to 4 hours of input in school towards their university application.

The school is currently in a transition period where it is developing a ‘blended learning’ approach for Y13 in case of a further lockdown or to meet the needs of individual students isolating at home. 10% of students in this year group have issues when working from home that affect their access to ICT; lack of a laptop, PC, sharing with siblings or only able to access learning through their phone.

The school itself is situated in Gateshead which from 18/9/20 has local covid restrictions in place. Many of our students have expressed concern for their own and their families well-being at this time either because they are from a socially, economically deprived area, have family who are shielding or vulnerable or have parents who are keyworkers. Increasingly Sixth Form students are spending time out of school to self-isolate and try to maintain their education remotely.


A levels: Y13 Predicted Grades at Cardinal Hume are usually based on internal Modular Assessments that happen 3 times in Y12 and in the 10th week of term in Y13. These are formal situations using past exam questions, completed under exam conditions and required to test a student’s learning in a subject from September up until that point in the school year. In this way, a student’s capacity to cope with an ever-increasing quantity of learning is built up.

With this year group only 2 of these Modular Assessments were completed in Y12: October 2019 and February 2020, and it is anticipated that we will be able to complete the first Modular Assessment of Y13 in October 2020.

This year there was no opportunity to examine A level students on the entirety of their Y12 learning prior to entering Y13 or to use the outcomes of these rigorous internal assessments as a basis to inform their UCAS predictions.

An initial assessment has been made 3 weeks in to Y13 to check their learning of ‘lockdown work’ and inform preliminary UCAS predictions. It is anticipated that this November’s full assessment of Y12 work and ongoing Y13 work taught to date, will go ahead to inform and update these predictions for the majority of applicants applying after 15th October. The usual rigorous Y13 Mock exams will take place in February 2021.

Cambridge Technical and BTEC National Vocational: These courses have externally examined units and externally moderated assessed units distributed across Y12 and Y13, depending upon the subject being studied. The results of units examined or submitted in Y12 are usually used to base predicted Grades on. This year only a handful of these students sat external examined units in January 2020. The majority of students on these Vocational courses continued to complete work during lockdown using the Learning Portal so that, with the exception of practical and skills-based evidence, they had finished units planned for completion in Y12. Departments were required to submit internal grades for all Y12 units in anticipation that they might be required for the school to generate Center Assessment Grades again if necessary for Summer 2021. These are now being used to guide staff to make their Predictions for these students.