Health & Social Care


Head of Department: Mrs E Hughes


Since its inception in 1977 Vocational Education has provided our students with knowledge, skills and confidence enabling them to progress into further/higher education and the world of work.

Health & Social Care courses in St. Catherine’s are part of a wide variety of courses which fall under this umbrella. These courses meet the needs of children who wish to follow a more vocational route or who wish to combine traditional academic subjects with those of a more vocational nature. Our courses are delivered by an experienced team of around a dozen staff who come from a variety of different departments within the school including Business Studies, ICT, Science, PE, Sociology, History and Home Economics.

In recent years we have had pupils placed top in Northern Ireland at both GCSE and A Level.

In GCSE, AS and A2 Health and Social Care courses at present, around half of assessment is examination based; the remainder comes from portfolio work which is similar to coursework. This can prove attractive to students who do better in coursework than examinations.

The courses are taught in a variety of theory rooms and ICT rooms. All students are encouraged to make use of the ICT suites in particular for research and enhancing the content and presentation of their portfolio work.

The Health & Social Care team has a long tradition of working within the community and learning from it. We make use of the expertise and skills of a wide variety of organisations and individuals on an ongoing basis in the delivery of the course for work experience placements, speakers, educational visits and in keeping abreast with recent developments in this programme area.

Health & Social Care courses are offered at GCSE, BTEC Level 3, AS and A2 and comprise:

  • GCSE Health & Social Care
  • BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care
  • AS and A Level Health & Social Care (Single Award)
  • AS and A Level Health & Social Care (Double Award)

Double Award programmes are equivalent to two A levels and Single Award programmes are equivalent to one A level.

The BTEC Level 3 in Health and Social Care (equivalent to 1 A level) is a two year course with 100% coursework assessment. This is appealing to those pupils who prefer this mode of assessment.



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