The benefits of vocational courses

When it comes to deciding what to study after your GCSEs, vocational courses can be a great option if you prefer a more hands-on approach and already know what university course or industry you want to move into.

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we offer a huge range of high-level BTEC advanced vocational courses at our Sixth Form Centres in Sidcup (CTK St Mary’s) and Lewisham (CTK Emmanuel).

BTEC advanced subjects on offer are:

CTK Emmanuel                                            CTK St Mary’s

Art & Design                                                Business

Business                                                        Health & Social Care

Engineering                                                  Media

Health & Social Care                                  Science

ICT                                                                  Sport

Media

Performing Arts

Applied Science

Forensic Science

Sport 

Plus   

Business, Law & ICT

Media, Art & Business

Criminology, Psychology & Health & Social Care

Psychology, Law & Health & Social Care

T Levels

From September 2022, CTK Emmanuel will be offering the new T Levels in Science & Health and Engineering & Manufacturing, in addition to the current wide range of advanced level courses already on offer. T Levels are two-year courses that are equivalent to three A Levels. The main difference is the industry placement and work experience you will gain within the practical side of the course.

Read on to find out some of the benefits of vocational courses and see if they could be right for you.

  1. Focus on a subject you love

Vocational courses combine practical learning with subject and theory content and are designed to meet the specific needs of employers and job sectors, so if you already have a specific career in mind, a vocational course could be better for your prospects than A Levels.

Vocational courses offer you the chance to specialise in a subject that you really enjoy, setting you up for future success. This is great news if you already have your heart set on a specific career or studying a particular degree at university. Whatever your passion – Drama, Media, Business, 3D Animation, Engineering, Forensic Science, Dance, Music, Sport – you can pursue it at CTK.

2. Progress to a top university

DID YOU KNOW… The top-grade D*D*D* for BTECs means triple distinction – and is equivalent to A*A*A* grades at A Level?

Our advanced BTEC programmes are a great route to university for ambitious students. BTECs are an increasingly popular alternative to A Levels, so it isn’t a surprise that universities are adjusting their acceptance requirements and promoting the same respect for BTECs as A Levels receive. According to an article by the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, 95% of universities in the UK accept BTEC students, including universities from the prestigious Russell Group. Even elite universities like Oxford and Cambridge state that they accept BTECs.

Recently, almost half of CTK students who were accepted to university had studied BTECs. They went onto a range of prestigious university destinations, including Nursing at King’s College, Dental Therapy at Queen Mary’s, Law and Criminology at Sheffield, Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham and Biomedical Science at Warwick, among others.

3. Get a head start in your career

At CTK, if you are studying a BTEC Level 3 course, you’ll join our Professional Graduate Programme (PGP), designed to increase engagement with your academic studies, improve your confidence and give you the edge when applying for universities and jobs. The programme is tailored to meet the needs of your individual BTEC course; ensuring skills and opportunities are related to the area of work being studied.

 You will have the unique opportunity to gain additional professional qualifications and follow a bespoke progression and careers programme, which can help give you a competitive edge when making university or job applications. Read some of our vocational student testimonials.

4. Decide what job role is right for you

Studying for a vocational qualification can help you decide whether a particular job or job sector is right for you. The practical learning involved on a vocational course may also help you figure out what specific job you want to pursue in your chosen industry.

At CTK, you will be given the tools you need to start planning your future, thanks to our strong careers programme, links with businesses and our successful alumni community. Some of our successful former students sit on the Christ the King Partnership Board, providing valuable insight into a diverse range of industries

5. Gain real life experience

BTECs can provide you with real life experience in your industry, which is very appealing for potential universities or prospective employers. A Levels generally focus on the academia of a subject, whilst BTECs focus on real-life practical tasks and sometimes even provide work placements, helping you to develop useful hands-on skills such as time management, communication, problem solving and planning – skills which are highly regarded by universities and employers.

Students at CTK will visit a range of workplaces as part of their course and receive input from many prestigious business partners. Some courses also include an extended work placement, to help you gain a better insight into your chosen career sector and develop your knowledge, skills and understanding in real life situations.

6. Fewer final exams

While academic courses like A Levels are typically assessed through one set of final exams, vocational courses are assessed both internally and externally by set tasks and examinations. Rather than testing everything together at the end of the course, BTECs give you the opportunity to show what you’ve learned in each unit and build on your achievements as you progress through the course. This means there are plenty of chances to learn, improve and succeed, which can be a bonus if you tend to perform less well in exams. It does not, however, mean they are any less challenging. BTEC courses are demanding and rigorous qualifications that open many opportunities both in employment and Higher Education.

Your final qualification grade will be awarded on the Pass, Merit and Distinction scale, and your exact grades will vary depending on the course. BTEC results in our most recent cohort of students were, once again, exceptional and our BTEC Extended Diploma students achieved a 99.6% achievement rate, with almost 90% going on to university.

If you have any questions about applying for a vocational course or need further help and advice, please get in touch with our friendly Careers team.

Ready to apply? 

We are delighted that you are considering making an application to Christ the King Sixth Forms. We welcome students of all faiths, and of none, who would like to pursue their sixth form education in a faith context and who support the ethos of this Catholic College. We are currently taking applications to join CTK in September 2021.

If you, or someone you know, would like to apply, then you can do so online – just click the button below. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to arrange an interview. Good luck!

Partnership Links at Christ the King Sixth Forms

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, a group of Catholic Sixth Forms in SE London and Kent, we have always placed a strong emphasis on careers guidance and support. 

Our Careers Service specialises in the needs of 16-19 learners and has developed over the years to meet the challenges and the needs of both of our students and that of the local community.

We are well aware, with the impact of Covid19 on employment and on Higher Education, that outstanding careers guidance for young people has never been more important. We are proud at Christ the King Sixth Forms of the strong partnerships we have formed with employers and businesses to support our students in their holistic development, gaining the skill set needed to excel in their future ambitions.

We run an extensive range of strong partnerships with employers, universities and industry to benefit our students and worked quickly to maintain these partnerships remotely during Covid 19.

For example, the CTK Annual Fast Track programme supports students in taking advantage of employer led initiatives with high profile organisations such as Barclays, Capgemini, BT and others.  This training is supported by CTK alumni, Pavita Cooper (founder and Director of More Difference a talent and career insight business) and John Perry (former senior HSBC Group executive).  In a normal year, we would offer the FastTrack programme to 50 year 12 students, however, with the move to holding sessions remotely via MS Teams, up to 110 Year 12 students can now reap the benefits of taking part.

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we recognise the importance of our alumni in acting as role models to our current students and to enable us to build strong bridges with industry links. We develop strong alumni links through our partnership with organisation Think Alumni.  Former CTK alumni Trevor Gomes has set up and runs our highly successful employer linked initiative BT Elevate.  Former CTK Student Trevor now works for BT as a Digital Analyst and has set up the prestigious, over subscribed  scheme with his colleagues. The programme equips students with the skills and experiences needed to excel in both the work place and in higher education.  The move to holding these sessions online during Covid19, too brings benefits, as Trevor and his team are now able to involve US colleagues in the initiative.

At CTK, we also partner closely with charities such as Urban Synergy, who have been able to support students with virtual mentoring at this time.  For example, as a result of taking part in the Urban Synergy scheme this year, CTK student Ava Tamabala was even selected by a panel of senior stakeholders at Refinitiv for a paid internship with them.  Ava’s mentor was the Global Head of Financial Crime & Industry Affairs at Refinitiv and as part of her internship she attended the virtual World Economic Forum at Davos and met with senior stakeholders. As a direct result of this, Ava has written a paper on green crime, which has been published by the Royal United Services Institute (the world’s oldest independent think tank on international defence and security).

CTK’s partnership with Metric Capital, results in three CTK students every year gaining a university scholarship worth £15,000 each.  This partnership is able to make a real difference to the lives of those students.

Nother highly successful partnership with industry is the CTK annual External Speaker Programme, which has an array of over 40 guest speakers taking part each year. Speakers have included Sir Ian Cheshire (Chairman of Barclays), David Thompson (film producer) and Gary Gibbon (Channel 4 News Political Editor).  An unexpected benefit of having moved to the virtual world is that many more high profile people have been able to donate their time.  It has also all allowed us to increase the diversity and range of speakers taking part, for example Judge Peter Herbert O.B.E. speaking to our students from Nigeria. We have strived to maintain diversity within our guest speaker programme, and this year our first guest speaker was Femi Bola (MBE), the first Black Scientist to work for the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom.

This year, CTK are very proud to have partnered with Eton College, in an exciting project to develop academic resilience at our A Level Centre for Excellence, CTK Aquinas.  Year 12 students have a daily tutorial, currently taking place remotely, which helps to build resilience, this covers areas such as self -efficacy and emotional regulation. At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we believe in the development of the whole student, which is enshrined in our motto ‘ut viteam habent’. With the challenges presented to us all by Covid19 it’s more important than ever that our students are able to develop the skills they need to succeed. The strong partnerships and influential mentors we can introduce our students to at CTK, gives them unprecedented access to unlock the door to the skills, networking opportunities and the support needed to succeed in higher education or employment and to flourish in their chosen career.

Private firm’s £250k funding helps disadvantaged students go to university

Since Christ the King Sixth Forms teamed up with private investment firm Metric Capital to provide scholarships to students in need, 15 young people have realised their dream to go to university. David Pearson, Director of Wider Learning, Careers and Partnerships at CTK, writes about how the partnership, which is thought to be the first of its kind between a college and a business, works…

When I first met CTK student Trevor Gomes, he was an aspirational, high-performing sixth form pupil with a promising career ahead of him. But he faced some significant barriers. 

Trevor wanted to be the first person in his family to go to university but finances were a challenge for him. Like many young people, he worked part-time to help support his family and would need to increase his hours to fund his additional costs – fees, textbooks, a laptop or computer, and the daily cost of commuting to campus from his parent’s home in south London.  

At best his university experience would be a juggling act between studying and paying for it and he would still graduate massively in debt. At worst, the financial barriers would become so overwhelming that he might be forced to give up or not go at all.

University is meant to be an exciting, challenging, fun and rewarding experience. Yet figures released earlier this year found that two thirds of universities have seen a rise in student drop-out rates. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to give up their university courses within 12 months.

Christ the King is a group of three sixth forms in southeast London. The majority of our students are from the London borough of Lewisham which is the 31st most deprived Local Authority in England and among the worst four boroughs for educational outcomes. Around 68% of our students come from a deprived area.

Yet almost 90% of our level 3 students go on to university, including Russell Group institutions. A report by The Sutton Trust placed Christ the King sixth forms in the top 6% of schools and colleges nationally for university progression.

Academic achievement is important, but in addition to this we also aim to develop our students as a whole person – to increase their ambition, opportunities and employability so that they progress to university, graduate and enjoy a successful career.

To do this we have designed a range of aspiration-raising programmes. One of our most innovative and successful to date has been our partnership with Metric Capital.

Creating new firsts

We were introduced to Metric Capital, a private capital firm, through CTK student Seni Fawehinmi. Seni met the firm’s Managing Partner, John Sinik, through an American mentoring scheme called Big Brother, which briefly set up in the UK.

They stayed in touch and five years later Seni came to study at CTK before going to university and embarking on a successful career in finance. He told John about the challenges that many of his fellow students faced. Like him, they wanted to go to university but there were a lot of economic sacrifices that they, and their families, would have to make in order to do so. When he heard this, John wanted to help.

After meeting with our Executive Principal Shireen Razey to discuss ideas, they developed the Metric Capital Scholarship Programme, to provide financial aid for academically able students from deprived backgrounds with university aspirations. It is thought to be the first partnership of its kind between a college and a business.

Every year up to three students are chosen for the programme and given £15,000 each – £5,000 a year. Since the partnership was formed in 2014, 15 students have been awarded the scholarship, totalling more than £250k in funding from Metric Capital.

The aim of the scholarship is to cover living expenses, to enable students to focus on their studies and not have to work full time while trying to achieve academic excellence. It also helps to pay for expensive items like textbooks and laptops to facilitate learning.

There is no expectation for students to work at Metric Capital after graduating. However, the firm encourages them to keep in touch and hosts regular events where current and former scholarship students can get together to share their experiences and successes.

Putting partnership into practice

Rolling out the programme was fairly straightforward and communication between the college and Metric Capital has been key to ensuring a successful partnership.

John relies on us to select the right students for the scholarship and we do this based on academic achievement, aspirations and financial background. When we introduce our students to the Metric Capital team, they already know that each one is academically strong and in need. That means that the vast majority of the students they meet are awarded the scholarship, helping to reduce the disappointment of not being chosen.

At interview, John and his team are looking to understand each student’s motivation and to make sure they know that there’s an element of responsibility attached to the scholarship. Students must achieve a certain academic standing to continue to the next year and they are expected to provide a termly report to Metric Capital.

The main challenge for us has been selecting the students. There are many who need, and deserve, support, so it can be difficult for us to choose the candidates. Ultimately, we look for students who have experienced challenges – personally, financially or both – have improved academically and have shown dedication to their studies.

Seeing the results

So far all but one scholarship student has either graduated from university or is still studying. Not only has the funding enabled them to go to university, it has helped to enrich their experience, graduate with less debt and go on to thrive in their careers, in areas such as consulting, accountancy and computer science.

It has been incredibly rewarding for us to see the progression of the students who have successfully completed the programme. One of them is Trevor Gomes.

After being awarded the Metric Capital scholarship, Trevor went to the University of Westminster to study Business Management in 2015. He graduated with a first-class degree and was the highest achiever on his course out of 500 students. He then joined BT, where he now works as a Transformation Analyst in the Transformation Project Team. He is also a 5G Transformation Leader for EE.

Trevor, now 23, is a member of Christ the King’s Partnership Board, helping to steer our partnerships strategy. In October, he launched his own skills development programme, ELEVATE, with support from BT, which aims to equip our students with the skills, knowledge and experience required for the world of work and higher education. So far 14 of our students have benefitted from the face to face ELEVATE programme and its new virtual webinar series is aiming to reach more than 1,000 students. 

Trevor’s motivation is clear – he wants to help young people, just as he was helped. 

For other colleges or sixth forms considering a similar partnership, I would say that it has been a hugely successful and rewarding programme to be involved in. My advice would be to keep in close contact with the students during the course of their studies, and to make sure someone is there to offer further support if needed.

Keep in regular contact with your partner too and provide opportunities for them to be involved in the college. For example, John is a member of our Partnership Board and attends regular meetings. This enables him to see what’s happening at the sixth form and the current challenges that our students are facing. 

Stay in touch with your alumni, encourage them to remain involved in college life and to give something back by helping current students. Our alumni sit on our Partnership Board, visit the campus to give motivational talks, offer mentoring support and provide new links to employers and this works exceptionally well to raise aspirations.

Future plans

We are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership with John and Metric Capital in the future and having the opportunity to see even more of our students achieve great things as a result of this scholarship. 

Our Partnership Board, which is made up of successful alumni, business representatives and employer partners, meets regularly to explore other ways that we can use partnerships like this to benefit our students, whether that’s financially, through developing employability skills or by providing mentoring or other support.

For example, our Fast Track Programme provides a two-day employability coaching programme and the opportunity to gain experience of a corporate working environment and forge links with leading organisations such as Santander, Barclays and BT. We also work with local charity Urban Synergy to host inspirational mentoring events which bring together a wide range of professionals to offer support and guidance.

Our Barclays RISE programme provides skills development opportunities and insight into working in professional industries. And our External Speaker Programme brings together guest speakers who are experts in their field across a range of industries.  Engaging with businesses helps to provide a breadth of excellent opportunities for students. As we have found, there are many different and innovative ways that successful partnerships can enable students to realise their dreams.

Interview with CTK student Temi who achieved AAA* and is now studying at Cambridge University.

Temi says that her last-minute decision to join CTK has really paid off – after being inspired to apply to Cambridge University and being awarded a CTK £15,000 scholarship.

Temi had originally planned to join her school sixth form along with her friends. However, on GCSE results day she was told that her school was unable to offer her the A Level subject combination she wanted, due to timetabling issues.

She explains: “Although I had planned to stay on at school sixth form, I had done some research into other options and I liked the fact that Christ the King was an independent sixth form – that the whole college – all the teaching, resources and support, was focused on year 12s and 13s.”

Making friends easily

Temi enrolled at CTK to study A Levels in Media, Sociology and English Literature. She was a little nervous as she knew she wouldn’t know anyone there, and it also meant a one-hour journey to and from college from her home on the Greenwich/Plumstead border. However, she says the fact that no one knew each other helped her settle in and make new friendships easily.

She says: “I have made a lot of good friends. There were quite a lot of us who hadn’t joined the college in existing friendship groups – everyone went in feeling the same way. We were all in the same situation and so no one felt excluded. One of the best things has been being part of the Scholarship Graduate Programme (SGP) – which is for students with good GCSE results. It was a great way for me to meet other people who were also ambitious and motivated – we all wanted to stay working on our EPQ til 5pm! It was easy to bond with other people who were just as excited about their studies.

Inspiration to apply to Oxbridge

“When I started CTK, applying to Oxford or Cambridge was something that I had thought about but I just didn’t feel like it was within my reach. On enrolment day, I was told straight away that because of my GCSE results, applying to Oxbridge was something I could look at. I brushed it aside. It didn’t feel achievable.

The moment that changed everything was when I attended an alumni evening for SGP students. It gave me the amazing opportunity to speak to past CTK students who had progressed to Oxford and Cambridge. That was the moment I realised it was something I really wanted to do and something I could achieve if I wanted to. It changed my whole mindset.

From there I went on arranged college visits to both Oxford and Cambridge which inspired me further. On the coach back from Oxford, I got talking to one of my teachers, Miss Nadori about Anthropology. Having that conversation with her made me realise how much more there is to studying as opposed to just studying to get a job. I felt taken seriously as a peer as well as a pupil.

Another key point in my journey was a summer session with two Oxford and Cambridge students. They took me through the application process – how you choose your college and accommodation, and how to write an amazing personal statement. I took so much from that session and so much from the advice from those young ladies. If I hadn’t gone to that session I probably wouldn’t have applied. They both came from state schools – so hearing from them what you can do to stand out and how it feels going in as someone from a state school was just what I needed. It felt like I could identify with them and I felt reassured that I would fit in.

I also received an awful lot of support from Miss Brack, my English teacher and form tutor, Mr Peak, the careers advisor, Miss Nadori and Mr Pearson. One of the great things about CTK is that because it is a group of three sixth forms, I benefited from support from staff across all 3 sites.

I was also part of a booster programme led by Mr Pearson. It was one of the best programmes I have ever been part of and focused on writing my CV, job applications and making yourself as appealing as possible on paper. I used those lessons in my application to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Broadening my experience with enrichment activities

Obviously, my time at CTK was very busy because of my academic work, extension activities like the EPQ and I was so invested in the Cambridge application process. Even so, I did netball and boxing as extra-curricular activities when I was able to. Both were brilliant, I learned a lot about exercise from my boxing coach and met some great friends and competed in tournaments with the netball team.

Scholarship Success

Since I found out that I received an offer from Cambridge I had been looking for a scholarship because I don’t necessarily come from a family with a lot of money and didn’t want to put too much strain on my mum. Mr Pearson and Miss Crampton nominated me for CTK’s Metric Capital Scholarship scheme, which gives 3 students scholarships of £15,000 towards their cost of living while at university.

To apply, I had to write no more than 500 words on why I felt I deserved the scholarship and any obstacles that I overcame. This got me thinking about something that held me back for a very long time. I opened up more and really dug into all the health issues that I experienced growing up and how it made me really limit the way I saw myself. My health issues were what led to me discovering a love of reading, and also made me realise that I could write my own stories.

I was interviewed by the man who founded the scholarship scheme – John Sinik, together with the CTK student who he originally mentored and is now a very successful lawyer in the city. Together, they set up this scholarship scheme five years ago.

John is a great, kind man and it was an honour to be interviewed by someone so successful with a master’s from Harvard University, who came from a background that wasn’t affluent too. It was an enjoyable opportunity for me to really open up about what I had experienced and how it strengthened my view and understanding of education and what it is worth.

My love of books and my inspiration

When I was younger, I suffered from this thing called the Atopic Triangle, which is a rare combination of allergies – asthma, eczema, food allergies, and allergies to other things like dust and grass.

For many years I had felt controlled by my medications and not in control of my own body. Discovering drama, music and dance changed that. And then I read an online novel called ‘Becoming Beautiful’ written by a teenage girl. This book honestly changed my life. It made me realise how amazing a book can be.

Before then, I felt like I was drowning and there was no way out for me. When I read this book, I had never felt so understood. That’s why I’m so interested in all the words we use, especially what is going on right now – how damaging words can be – and how much of an impact words can have over others. It’s why I want to study English Literature at Cambridge!

I am also very grateful because I have an amazing mum and two older sisters who are inspirational to me. My mum pulled me up through every situation and continues to be the most inspirational figure in my life. She moved here from Nigeria with my dad to give me and my older sisters a better life.  No matter what happened to her – what she went through, she always faces things with a kind smile. I try to take on her approach as best I can and that has inspired me and kept me going.

My sisters learned from my mum how to face difficult situations – and seeing how hard working they are has motivated me and made me see that I can do everything I set my mind to. My ambition is to inspire other young women in the future. I want to become a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, inspiring other young people to love themselves and their culture. I would also like to start my own theatre company.”

Extra-curricular activities – why are they so important?

Extra-curricular activities are a great way to learn about yourself, build new skills and meet new people. Plus, when it comes to applying for the top universities or apprenticeships with the best employers, being able to talk about your interests and activities outside of your studies can help set you apart from the competition.

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we are proud of the opportunities our students have to take part in extra-curricular activities and volunteering, develop in-demand skills and reach their academic and professional goals.

Read on to find out more about our broad range of extra-curricular activities and why they are so important.

1. Develop new interests

Life at Christ the King Sixth Forms is about more than just academic achievement. It’s also a time to discover or develop your interests, aptitudes and talents, make new friends and have fun. Whether you study at CTK Aquinas, CTK St Mary’s or CTK Emmanuel, we offer plenty of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities which allow you to learn something outside your main academic course. From debating to dance, filmmaking to music, you’ll have many chances to get involved and develop new skills that will prove useful long after you have finished your education. Who knows, you could unlock passions you never knew you had!

2. Gain ‘real world’ skills

One of the greatest advantages extra-curricular activities give you are ‘real world’, or ‘soft skills’, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Goal setting
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Prioritisation
  • Problem solving
  • Analytical thinking
  • Leadership
  • Public speaking

All these are hugely valuable skills that you will be able to use for the rest of your life. For example, at CTK, you can hone your leadership and organisation skills by being elected on to the Student Council and helping to run events throughout the year, including the Leavers’ Prom, Talent Showcase and charity fundraising events. By playing team sport you can develop your teamwork and problem-solving abilities, and by taking part in the debate society you can practice skills in public speaking. What’s more, taking part in extra-curricular activities demonstrates that you can also manage your time effectively by balancing your interests alongside your studies. 

Impress universities

As well as looking at your grades, universities want to know an applicant as a person – what you’re interested in or passionate about. Joining clubs, volunteering, or having a part-time job shows your attachment to your community and desire to help others, as well as your sense of responsibility and time management. On top of the broad range of extra-curricular activities we mentioned above, CTK students also have the opportunity to take part in fantastic field trips and expeditions, which could include locations such as Kenya, Alaska and the Tien Shan Mountains, as well as retreats and pilgrimages. Here are just some of the activities that you can get involved in at CTK:

  • Community projects, such as helping in primary schools and hospitals
  • Residential visits and overseas trips
  • Work shadowing and volunteering experiences
  • Retreats and pilgrimages
  • Expeditions
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award

All of these opportunities provide great experiences to add to your personal statement for university and could help you stand out from other applicants, especially if you are applying to more competitive universities or subjects such as Medicine.

Give back to your community

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we do a great deal to support charities and all our students take part in our volunteering programme to support our local communities in South East London and Kent. We run an annual charity day and provide many other ways for students to give back, for example by encouraging them to become mentors and ambassadors, supporting local community groups or volunteering their time to charity organisations. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to meet lots of new people and improve your social skills, as well as making a real difference to others, so it’s win-win!

Improve your wellbeing

Perhaps most importantly, extra-curricular activities can improve your wellbeing by providing a chance to relax, unwind and relieve any study pressures by spending time doing something you enjoy. And if you’re concerned that taking part in extra-curricular activities will hurt your grades you needn’t worry. It’s widely researched and proven that participating in activities you enjoy can increase your brain function, help you concentrate and manage your time better, all of which contribute to higher grades. So, go on, take that much-needed break – you deserve it!

If you have any questions about our extra-curricular and enrichment activities, please get in touch with our friendly Careers team.

Ready to apply?  We are delighted that you are considering making an application to Christ the King Sixth Forms. We welcome students of all faiths, or none, who would like to pursue their sixth form education in a faith context and who support the ethos of this Catholic College. We are currently taking applications to join CTK in September 2021. If you, or someone you know, would like to apply, then you can do so online – just click the button below. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to arrange an interview. Good luck!

How to write a great personal statement for university

Are you thinking of applying to university? If so, you might have heard about the Personal Statement, which is an important part of the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) application process. Alongside your academic grades, the Personal Statement is used by universities to decide whether to offer you a place on your chosen course.

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we are proud of our success in helping students from South East London and Kent achieve places at some of the top universities in the country. Currently, almost 90 per cent of CTK students go on to university, including “Oxbridge” (the universities of Oxford and Cambridge) and Russell Group institutions. Read on for our top six tips on writing a winning Personal Statement and give yourself the very best chance of achieving a place at your first-choice university.

1. Start with a plan

Writing your UCAS personal statement can seem like a daunting task, but if you prepare properly and plan out what you want to say before you get started, you’ll have it finished in no time. Before you start writing, it’s a good idea to briefly outline the points you want to make in your personal statement, and make sure you’re answering the questions; what, why and how

  • What do you want to study?
  • Why do you want to study it?
  • How do your skills and past experiences prove this?

The aim of a Personal Statement is to persuade your chosen university that you’re a suitable applicant for their course, so read the course description closely and identify the academic credentials, skills and experience it requires, which will help you to decide what to write about. It can help to write two lists: one detailing what you know about the course you would like to study and why you know it is the right degree choice for you, and the second focusing on why you are the ideal student for that course and university.

2. Do your research

Universities want to see from your Personal Statement that you have done a good amount of research, so make it clear that you have thoroughly researched the course (for example, we recommend attending Open Days, reviewing course literature and talking to current students) and explain why you have made the decision to study it at university. Highlight the subject knowledge you already have and emphasise why you are the kind of student the university is looking for.

At Christ the King Sixth Forms, our work starts to focus on university progression towards the end of Year 12 and our personal tutors and dedicated, in-house Careers team provide support on choosing a degree course and applying to university. Our highly experienced staff work with students on the particular challenges involved in making applications for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, and other highly competitive Higher Education and employment opportunities.

3. Show how you are unique

The best thing about writing a Personal Statement is, it’s a chance to write about YOU! This is your opportunity to show off what’s great about you, your personality and the unique skills and experience you will bring to the course and the university. Go back to the course description and provide plenty of examples of how you fit what the university is looking for. University admissions tutors often read hundreds of Personal Statements every day so try and make yours stand out by providing a couple of anecdotes linked to your experience and interests. Make it personal and try to avoid any generic statements and cliches. If you were to anonymously give your Personal Statement to someone in your friendship group to look at, could they identify it as yours? If they couldn’t, you should take another look at how you could make it more personal.

4. Talk about your extracurricular activities

Whether you study at CTK Aquinas, CTK St. Mary’s or CTK Emmanuel, we offer lots of opportunities for you to build both your academic and extra-curricular credentials. While we put great emphasis on qualifications, hard work, effort, and academic success, we’re about far more than that. From debating to dance, filmmaking to music, you will have many chances to get involved. Our students also have the opportunity to take part in fantastic field trips and expeditions, which could include locations such as Kenya, Alaska and the Tien Shan Mountains, as well as retreats and pilgrimages. All of this can provide great experiences to add to your Personal Statement and help you stand out from other applicants, but remember to relate them back to the course – if they aren’t relevant, don’t include them. You can use the ABC test to see if you are making it relevant:

  • A = Activity: This might be captaining a sports team, or being part of a drama club
  • B = Benefit: This is the skill(s) you have gained from doing the activity
  • C = Course: How the skill will help you to complete the course successfully

5. Be concise and keep it relevant

According to UCAS, a Personal Statement should be no more than 4,000 characters with spaces and needs to fit into 47 lines on the application, so don’t waste space on details that have no relevance to your chosen course. Be specific about why you want to study this degree and how it will aid your future career plans. Show genuine enthusiasm for the subject you want to study. For example, if you are applying for Veterinary Medicine, your passion for animals should be obvious from the outset. Ask yourself the question ‘so what?’ If you can’t think about a reason to talk about a particular skill, the reader will wonder why you’ve mentioned it at all.

6. Check for errors  

Once you’ve drafted your Personal Statement, be sure to check it through carefully for mistakes, then send it to a friend or family member to read through. It’s extremely easy to miss spelling and grammatical errors in your own work, even using a spell-checker, which is why it’s vital to have someone else read through it before you send it off. Ask friends, family, or a teacher to read it and give their honest opinion and try to take their suggested changes on board. Try reading it aloud too – doing this will make it very clear if something isn’t quite right.

If you have any questions about applying to university or need a bit more help and advice, please get in touch with our friendly Careers team.

Ready to apply?  We are delighted that you are considering making an application to Christ the King Sixth Forms. We welcome students of all faiths and of none who would like to pursue their sixth form education in a faith context and who support the ethos of this Catholic College. We are currently taking applications to join CTK in September 2021. If you, or someone you know, would like to apply, then you can do so online – just click the button below. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to arrange an interview. Good luck!

How to shine through the CTK application process

Are you thinking of applying to Christ the King Sixth Forms? Whether you’re applying to CTK Aquinas, CTK St Mary’s or CTK Emmanuel, you might be feeling a little unsure about what you need to do in order to be offered a place on the course of your choice.

Read on for our top five tips to help you shine throughout and give yourself the very best chance of joining Christ the King Sixth Forms – one of the top sixth form colleges for university progression in South East London and Kent.

1. Choose the right course for you

Before you start your college application, do your research and speak to your teachers and the careers adviser in your school to discuss your options.

  • Which subjects are you doing well in at school and enjoy studying?
  • Are you suited to A levels or would you do better on a more vocational course?
  • What are your predicted GCSE grades in each subject?
  • Do you have a particular career in mind, and will any specific qualifications – such as A levels in Chemistry and Biology for Medicine – be needed?

Our Open Days are a great way to learn more about different subjects and the choice of courses on offer.  They will provide you with a chance to meet staff and students, who will be able to tell you more about what it is like to be a student at Christ the King Sixth Forms. Do discuss your application with your parents or carer. Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of subjects and chosen what you want to study, then it is time to make your application.

2. Complete the application form in full

It may sound obvious, but please make sure you complete the online application form in full and don’t miss any sections. The information you provide to us on the form is very important, so take the time to make sure you have entered the details in all the relevant sections and check the form through carefully for spelling errors, mistakes and typos before you submit it.

As a high-achieving Sixth Form, your academic grades are key to achieving a place at Christ the King Sixth Forms, so check that your application meets the admissions criteria for the course(s) you would like to study. Tell us your predicted grades, or the grades you are currently working at in your assessments. This will help us to decide whether CTK could be the right place for you to continue your studies.

A good attendance and behaviour record is also essential to become a part of our CTK community, so you will need to provide a positive reference from your school and explain any special circumstances or challenges you have faced if you have any issues with attendance.

3. Write a killer Supporting Statement

Our application form includes a Supporting Statement section, which is your opportunity to tell us more about you! This is your chance to tell us why you want to join CTK and what you might want to do in the future at university or in your future career.

We also want to learn about you as an individual: your ambitions, the subjects you love, what makes you tick. And don’t forget to tell us about activities or projects you have undertaken in school or outside that weren’t part of your schoolwork. Perhaps you have been involved in a community project, organised a sports club or are a member of a sports team, dance or music group?

Expect to spend some time on your Supporting Statement and ask someone you trust, like a teacher at school or a family member, to read through your draft to provide you with some feedback. Finally, don’t forget to use a spell checker and make sure you proofread your Statement before submitting.

4. Excel in the interview

Once you’ve completed your application form, you’ll be invited to attend an interview either in person or online. As with any interview, aim to be the very best version of yourself by dressing smartly (even if the interview is done via a phone or video call), using good manners and being friendly and polite.

Read the interview invitation carefully and make sure you bring anything you need with you, such as a recent school report or a portfolio of art work if you are applying for an art course. Also, be sure to plan how you will get to the interview if it is at college, and make sure you arrive on time.

You can improve your chances of success in the interview by preparing for it in advance and making notes to use as prompts if you need them. Remember: the interview is a two-way process and is as much a chance for you to find out about CTK as it is about us finding out about you. You might want jot down some questions to ask, which also shows us that you have done some research about Christ the King Sixth Forms and are well organised.

5. Keep up the good work at school

Following your application, we will contact your school for a reference. The reference is a really important part of our admissions process so it’s important that you continue studying hard. Make sure your attendance is good, you’re on time for all your lessons and you keep on top of your homework. All Christ the King Sixth Forms are underpinned by values of mutual respect and positive encouragement, so we will also want to know that you will be able to meet our high standards of behaviour.

If you have any questions about applying to Christ the King Sixth Forms or need a bit more help and advice, please get in touch with our friendly Careers team.

Ready to apply?  We are delighted that you are considering making an application to Christ the King Sixth Forms. We welcome students of all faiths and of none who would like to pursue their sixth form education in a faith context and who support the ethos of this Catholic College. We are currently taking applications to join CTK in September 2021. If you, or someone you know, would like to apply, then you can do so online – just click the button below. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to arrange an interview. Good luck!

Tilly Franklin Launches the Annual CTK Cross-Site External Speaker Programme

CTK was delighted to have Tilly Franklin, Director of Investments at Alta Advisers, launch the annual CTK cross-site External Speaker Programme.  

Over 70 students Business students had the opportunity to listen to Tilly’s inspirational talk about her life, career and what is involved in running a private equity fund.  Tilly explained to students how she came to work in private equity despite not initially studying Business or Finance.

Tilly spoke of her path in education: from attending her local school before going to the University of Cambridge, followed by London Business School and then Harvard University. She also explained about the variety of previous roles she has held at BBC Worldwide Ltd, Virgin Management Ltd. and McKinsey & Company.

David Pearson, Director of Wider Learning, Careers, & Partnerships at CTK, said: ‘Tilly Franklin has got our External Speaker Programme off to a fantastic start. She is one of many high-profile speakers who will be coming into our colleges over the next few months.  Our students gain a great deal from hearing these inspirational, high-achieving individuals speak about their own education and career paths.’

CTK students Design an App in a Day with BNYMellon

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) students from CTK were given the chance to spend an amazing day at the central offices in London of BNYMellon to learn how to Design an App in a Day.

The Design an App in a Day workshop took key elements from the Apps for Good course, guiding pupils through an interactive development model where they began with an idea and ended with a pitch, outlining their final prototype. Students had the opportunity to hear from BNY Mellon volunteers about a real-world challenge and then had the opportunity to come up with a tech solution. Students explored user needs and features, market research and user profiling before finally, creating drawn wireframes of their app ideas and pitching them back to the class and volunteers. Collaborative working, problem solving and communication skills were are all encouraged and developed during this innovative workshop.

Many students afterwards described the day as being the most productive workshop of their studies so far!

Corporate Mentoring with Capgemini and Urban Synergy 2019

Fourteen CTK students were delighted to recently take part in a corporate mentoring programme with Capgemini and Urban Synergy. Over a number of weeks the programme helped to develop their wider skills as well as offering them an opportunity to gain experience which could lead onto a Degree Apprenticeship.

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation and is at the forefront of innovation to take advantage of opportunities in the evolving world of cloud, digital and platforms.

Urban Synergy is an award winning mentoring charity that has helped hundreds of young people between 11 and 18 years of age reach their full potential through outcome focused mentoring programmes and have supported many CTK students in the past. A highlight of the programme for students was meeting Christine Hodgson during the least session. Christine is the Chairwoman of Capgemini UK plc and the Careers & Enterprise Company. 

Christ the King celebrates another year of excellent results success

Students and staff at Christ the King Sixth Form celebrated another year of excellent examination success at all three sites. As a dedicated specialist sixth form, Christ the King offers a wide range of BTEC courses available to talented and ambitious students.

Christ the King students, across sites in Sidcup, Brockley and Lewisham were delighted with their results, which exceeded national benchmarks once again and will be progressing to universities across the country or into apprenticeship or employment opportunities.

Co Collegiate Principal Shireen Razey, said “The high volume of students achieving BTEC qualifications at Christ the King makes all of us associated with CTK very proud. Progression onto prestigious universities and employment opportunities can be truly life changing and it gives us great satisfaction to see our students benefit from such destinations. We wish each of our students every future success”.

Students who studied BTEC programmes achieved outstanding grades, with many going on to study at Russell Group Universities.  Christ the King has been at the forefront of delivering the new rigorous externally examined BTEC courses.  Students have gained places at prestigious universities to study a range of competitive courses, which in the past were often only open to A Level students.

A number of BTEC Applied Science students gained competitive places at Warwick University. Intissar Ahmed achieved D*D* D and will study Bio Medicine, Ajikh Karunakaran achieved D*D*D*and will study Biomedical Science.  He said’ I’m so happy with my result! Christ the King improves you not only academically, but as a whole person’.  Waquas Rai also gained top grades D*D*D* and will also be studying Biomedical Science.

BTEC Health and Social Care students saw great success, securing places on competitive courses.  Andreea Dobieschi studied BTEC Health and Social Care, achieving the highest grades possible D*D*D. She is going to study Psychology at Kent University.  She was delighted with her grades and said; ‘Christ the King has given me confidence in my academic ability, my smile today says everything you need to know!”. Melaine Sodje achieved D*D*D in BTEC Health and Social Care and is off to Kings College, London to study Adult Nursing.  She said’ Christ the King built my confidence up. The teachers push you to the best of your ability’.  Ronna Kay Gorden studied Health & Social Care and gained D*DD, she will be going to St George’s University to study Diagnostic Radiography.  She said; ‘The teachers have been very supportive and pushed me to give my best’.

With so many reasons to celebrate, the class of 2019 can now begin the next stage of their education life journey.

Christ the King students awarded £45,000 in Metric Capital Scholarships

This week, three Christ the King sixth form students have been awarded a scholarship from Private capital fund management firm, Metric Capital worth £15,000 each.

Each successful student was carefully selected according to their academic performance and formal interview process.  Christ the King students Veronica Marafini, who hopes to study Translation and Interpreting with Modern Languages at the University of East Anglia, Kafilat Alogba who hopes to study Law and Sociology at the University of Warwick and Chanin Peart who hopes to study Business Management at the University of Westminster, all successfully received a scholarship worth £15,000 over the course of their University degree.

The Metric Capital scholarship programme with Christ the King is in its eighth year and to date has awarded £300,000 in scholarships to hardworking, ambitious Christ the King students.  Metric Capital, worked in conjunction with Our Turn Global, a charitable organisation that uses social media to raise awareness about initiatives that have a positive impact on society to award the scholarship.

The scheme is led by Metric Capital’s Managing Partner, John Sinik.  John was first introduced to Christ the King by one of his mentees, and he was inspired to create the Metric Scholarship Programme after meeting high performing, aspirational students at Christ the King, who dreamt of going on to University, but couldn’t afford it.

Metric Capital Managing Partner John Sinik says:  “Tuition fees are only a part of the expense of going to University. There are living expenses that can be overwhelming for people and ultimately drive their decision not to go.  The scholarship plays a key role in allowing the students to pursue their dream of obtaining a University degree”.

Collegiate Principal Shireen Razey says:   “We are delighted to continue working in partnership with Metric Capital with this fantastic venture. We are so proud of our hardworking students at Christ the King and it is a great opportunity to support them in their university aspirations.”

CTK Emmanuel Evening of Celebration 2019

This month, we held the Christ the King Evening of Celebration at all three sites. Our annual Evening of Celebration provides our students with the opportunity to reflect on the friendships, knowledge and skills that they have developed whilst studying at Christ the King. The event allows us to honour all their hard work and academic and extra-curricular achievements.  

CEO of Dynamic Planner, Ben Goss spoke with great eloquence about the skillset he has developed that has allowed him to excel in his career. Ben is former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is also a previous winner of the Deloitte UK Fast 50 – an award that recognises the 50 fastest growing UK tech companies. In 2017, Ben wrote ‘Catching the FinTech Wave’ – a guide to adopting FinTech and transforming financial planning firms.

It was a great privilege to have all our guest speakers join us in celebrating the achievements of our students and Christ the King would like to extend its sincere thanks to them all for taking time out of their busy schedules to honour the occasion. The College would also like to commend all of the 2019 leavers on their tenacity and hard work and looks forward to welcoming them back on results day in August 2019. 

Christ The King Emmanuel students visit the London Zoo

On Thursday 20th June, Miss Orlowski, Ms Tapper and Mrs Geisler took a selection of Lower A level Psychology students to London Zoo.

Whilst there, the students took part in an observational behaviour study using squirrel monkeys. They were able to track the monkeys and record their behaviour using time sampling on iPads.

This links in with the Research Methods module of their course, but they were also able to strengthen their knowledge of Biopsychology and other modules through discussion in the seminar. Students also had time to explore the zoo and learn about the animals there. It was a great day!

Christ the King Acts of Charity Day 2019

Over 800 students from the three Christ the King sites in South East London took part in supporting their local communities, across London.

 Students took part in activities such as helping feed the homeless at Brixton soup kitchen and taking part in the pay it forward initiative, helping to support the homeless at Second Shot Coffee in Bethnal Green. Students from Christ the King St Mary’s in Sidcup, Aquinas in Brockley and Emmanuel in Lewisham, gave their time to help out at foodbanks in Greenwich, Eltham and Lewisham and visited a care home in Deptford to take part in activities with the residents. Students also worked in ‘The Charity Shop’ in Sidcup, which raises funds for the Canterbury Oast Trust, which supports people with learning disabilities in education and work.

The Christ the King motto is ‘Ut Vitam Habeant’ which means ‘that they may have life’ and every student in encouraged to develop as a whole person and to be actively involved in both the college and in their local community.

This year students have taken part in a number of charity events. They have donated goods and volunteered time at local food banks, taken part in sponsored walks to raise money for Second Shot coffee. At Christmas, Christ the King students created Christmas boxes, filling them with goods to donate to the Samaritan’s ‘Operation Christmas Child’ appeal’.  At Easter, students created Easter baskets, filled with treats and messages of hope for the children of local Delmelza hospice, and refugee children, who have no access to benefits, through the Revive charity.

Although the initiative is called Acts of Charity, it is not only about charity work.  Christ the King students also actively get involved in community work.  Christ the King students have taken part in litter collections in local parks, worked in care homes and primary schools and got involved in recruiting new shops to join Lewisham’s water bottle refilling scheme, which allows people to refill plastic water bottles on their premises to reduce plastic waste.

Co-Collegiate Principal Rob McAuliffe said “At Christ the King we aim for all of our students to develop into young people that will go on to make a positive contribution to society, and the charity and community work, is an important part of this.  Helping the local community helps our students to make a positive contribution to their area they live and study in.  Students find getting involved in the activities really rewarding, as well as building confidence, team building and leadership skills, which they will use to help them as they progress onto University or employment”. 

Christ The King students travel to Seville, Spain!

Last week of June students of Spanish from CTK St. Mary´s and Emmanuel traveled to Seville, Spain. This was an opportunity to support them in their academic studies but also to increase their cultural appreciation in a city where Muslims, Christians and Jews left their marks.

Upon arrival, they enjoyed a night of tapas in the busy streets of Seville. Next morning, they headed to Parque Maria Luisa to explore the beautiful gardens and buildings that hosted the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929.

Our students participated in a gymkhana contest. Congratulations to the winners!!

At lunch time we visited the Mercado de Abastos to cook our own paella and after some well deserved break we attended a student exchange in Centro Mundo Lengua. Our students had the opportunity to put their Spanish to the test and make some new friends while practicing the language.

On Tuesday, they visited the amazing Royal Alcázar Palace with its gardens, the Cathedral and the astonishing Giralda, the bell tower from which top they could see Seville from a bird´s eye view. In the afternoon, they joined a flamenco class and continued with a flamenco live show in an 18th century sevillian palace. On Friday, they enjoyed a guided tour through the Sevilla Mudéjar, the architectural pos-Islamic style that remained in Spain after the Christian  reconquest. Our final stop was the Baroque Revival church of La Macarena that gives name to many Sevillian girls and to a very famous song.

Big Idea Challenge

Over the last few months, 5 of our Level 2 BTEC Business Studies students have been competing in the Big Idea Challenge. In February, the boys went up against their fellow classmates, pitching their business idea “Enough is Enough”.

They won the first stage of the competition here at the college and were progressed to the finals. They have since visited the Natwest office in the city to refine their idea with their mentor and have had their pitch professionally recorded. Next month they will be attending the grand finale ceremony in Mayfair and need your help to win the People’s Choice Awards. Simply click on the link, watch their pitch and vote for “Enough is Enough”! http://bit.ly/2I5DlQt fff

Minister of State for Apprenticeships Visits Emmanuel

The Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP, visited Christ the King: Emmanuel on Thursday 9 May, to look at the work Christ the King is doing as part of the Centres for Excellence in Maths programme.

Christ the King was one of 21 national centres chosen from across England by the Department for Education for the programme.

 Centres for Excellence in Maths is a national programme funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and managed on its behalf by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) with a range of delivery partners, including the Association of Colleges.  The programme aims to deliver a step change in maths teaching up to Level 2 in post-16 settings to help increase the number of young people leaving compulsory education with basic maths skills, up to GCSE and equivalent level. The ultimate aim is to help improve their employability and engage with further learning.

 Centres were selected as Centres for Excellence in Maths, as organisations with the commitment, capacity and system leadership skills required to drive innovation and improvement in both their institution and beyond.  Christ the King has a history of being a research driven College, having taken part in schemes such as the Mayor of London’s London Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF).

 As part of the project, Christ the King runs networking meetings with other local schools and colleges, takes part in evidence gathering, training and development and has access to support and challenge.  The aims of the network meetings are to share best practice and develop teaching approaches which focus on teaching maths to students up to level 2.

 Anne Milton visited the Emmanuel site in South East London and met with senior management, governors, ETF representatives, teaching staff and students.  She visited maths teaching classrooms to see the teaching approaches in action.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton said; “Maths is vital for work and everyday life and we know that achieving a good level in maths increases your chances of getting a job, an apprenticeship or progressing to further and higher education.  So it was fantastic to see our Centres for Excellence in Maths programme up and running at Christ the King Sixth Form College and helping arm students with the knowledge they need to progress.  It was a pleasure to meet with the staff and students today and I look forward to hearing more about the progress they continue to make.”

 Shireen Razey, Christ the King Co-Collegiate Principal and lead for the Maths Centre for excellence said;

 “Christ the King were delighted to welcome Anne Milton to the College today.  It was great opportunity for us to discuss the work we are spearheading, as a Maths Centre for Excellence.  Christ the King are proud to have been selected as a Maths Centre for Excellence from such a large number of institutions nationally and feel the project is invaluable in driving innovation and in helping Maths students improve their outcomes in London and the South East”.

 Paul Kessell-Holland, Director of Insights at the ETF, said, “The opportunity to re-engage young people with maths learning up to level 2 through the programme’s research and evidence is nationally important. The Centres including Christ the King, the ETF and our expert partners are working together to make sure the opportunity is taken full advantage of for learners now and in the future.

 “Delivering evidence-based practice and innovation, through sector-inclusive programmes like Centres for Excellence in Maths, supports the workforce development aim that the ETF is founded on.”

Photography and Graphics A Level trip to Autograph Gallery

First year photography and graphics students from Emmanuel attended a workshop at Autograph Gallery in Shoreditch earlier this month. After photographing some of the sights around Brick Lane, we went to Autograph – a gallery whose mission statement is ‘to share the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice’. In response to the exhibition by Phoebe Boswell, students made collaborative drawings and a sound piece using their mobile phones in the workshop. The drawings were then hung up outside in a space chosen by each group.

Sir Ian Cheshire Visit

Christ the King Emmanuel was delighted to recently host a talk by Sir Ian Cheshire who is the Chairman of Barclays UK.

Ian talked to almost one hundred of our students about growing up in Nigeria and the academic challenges he faced when studying before achieving a degree in Law from Christ’s College, Cambridge

Ian spoke to students about his current role as Chairman of Barclays UK as well as his previous roles at Kingfisher and Debenhams. He also spoke about the various charitable roles he has including Campaign Chairman of Heads Together which is the mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  The key message he had for students was that there are lots of opportunities out there if they are willing to grasp them and he suggested that there are fantastic opportunities on the fraud prevention and innovations sides of the financial industry.

Basketball Round Up!

A huge congratulations to both our Emmanuel and St Mary’s basketball teams now that we have come to the end of the season. The St Mary’s team came in an impressive 2nd place and the Emmanuel team joint 3rd

 The season ran over a number of tournament events which all cumulated in a final league table. There was strong opposition in the league including Knights Academy, Folkestone Academy, LSEC Bromley and Colfe’s School.

The St Mary’s team started the season slowly, only winning 3 games over the first 2 tournaments. The team never gave up though, winning the tournament held at CTK Emmanuel and then winning 3 games at the final tournament. The Emmanuel team reversed the pattern shown by the St Mary’s team, getting off to a quick start in the first 2 tournaments (winning at CTK St Mary’s) but then only picked up 2 wins from the final 2 tournaments. The season ended with a one-off ‘cup’ tournament against some very strong opposition. Only group winners made it to the final and, unfortunately, both teams came 3rd. Still a great effort from both teams and everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

Well done to all squad members from both teams who took part this season and we look forward to the showdown at this year’s Sports Day.

Careers Conference 2019 – “Lead the Way”

The Careers Conference at Christ the King Sixth Form: Emmanuel continues to go from strength to strength.

The cross-site event comprises a variety of university and career based talks as well as a large-scale exhibition. The day provides a fantastic opportunity for our Level 3 students to start thinking about their future and to explore their options. As in previous years, a Level 1 & 2 Careers Conference was held which offered specific support to students studying a BTEC Level 1 or 2 course.

Students prepare for the Conference by pre-booking their places for the talks they wish to attend and individual timetables are created which include a visit to the exhibition, thus ensuring their time spent at the Conference is focused and productive.

Almost 100 external organisations supported the Conference by either exhibiting or providing speakers for the talks.  Many of the participants were returning, having attended the event in previous years.  The programme of talks included sessions on a wide range of careers from Medicine and the NHS to entrepreneurship, journalism, engineering, banking and many more.

Spiritual Treats at Kintbury Retreat

During the last week of February, a group of students from Aquinas and Emmanuel took part in a retreat at the Kintbury retreat house. Along with students from St Charles 6thform, they spent 3 days examining who they were as a person, searching deep their own relationship with God surrounded by the beautifully picturesque Berkshire countryside. Hosted and facilitated by the excellent Kintbury volunteers, the students had a truly fantastic experience. As one attendee said

“I think it was amazing. It was a chance to relax and take a break from your life outside of the retreat. It gave me an opportunity to make friends and meet amazing people.“

Economics Conference

Recently A level Economics students from Emmanuel and St Mary’s combined to take part in the inaugural A’ level Economics conference.

Students were treated to talks from speakers from Greenwich University, EzyEducation, Barclays and BT covering topics such as market structures and studying. Economics at university. We are grateful to the support from our external speakers who included CTK alumni. Student feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive.

The F Word Exhibition

Christ the King Emmanuel is proud to host the F Word exhibition.  The Forgiveness Project collects and shares stories from individuals and communities who have rebuilt their lives following hurt and trauma and has been showcased internationally.

Founded in 2004 by journalist, Marina Cantacuzino, The Forgiveness Project provides resources and experiences to help people examine and overcome their own unresolved grievances. The testimonies we collect bear witness to the resilience of the human spirit and act as a powerful antidote to narratives of hate and dehumanisation, presenting alternatives to cycles of conflict, violence, crime and injustice.

At the heart of The Forgiveness Project is an understanding that restorative narratives have the power to transform lives; not only supporting people to move on from harm or trauma, but also building a climate of tolerance, resilience, hope and empathy.

Mercy, Love and Forgiveness Conference

Christ the King Emmanuel was proud to host a Mercy Love and Forgiveness conference this week.  We were excited to be able to welcome distinguished speakers Reverend Jonathan Aitken, Lord Alton, Dr Lewis Herrington, Archdeacon of Hackney Elizabeth Adekunle, Jo Berry and Barry and Margaret Mizen.

This academic conference is part of a series of activities and events aimed at giving explicit effect to our mission. The conference explored and embedded key themes which stem from our college motto ‘Ut Vitam Habeant’ (That they may have life in all its fullness John 10:10), those key themes are Mercy, Forgiveness and Love.

Current global and local issues such as excesses of materialism, loneliness, religious persecution, poverty, humanitarian crisis and environmental concerns are just some of the political, social and economic questions facing us all. Drawing on gospel values we hope to begin to explore our spirituality and to examine how Mercy, Forgiveness and Love play a crucial role in transforming our communities, ourselves and leading us to greater love for all creation.

This opportunity to listen, engage and reflect would hopefully have helped to guide leaders of current and future generations to a world that is unafraid to show mercy, forgiveness and love. It will challenge us all to live a good life in all its fullness.

A Visit from David Thompson

CTK Emmanuel was delighted to recently invite David Thompson, renowned film and TV producer, to come and give an inspiring talk to over 100 Media students from across our sites.

David has produced/executive produced over 100 films and been the recipient of multiple awards, including three BAFTAs, two Golden Globes, and three Emmys.

 David spoke to students about his career as the former head of BBC Films as well as being an independent film and TV producer. He spoke in detail about many of his films including ‘Mandela’ and ‘Billy Elliot’ explaining the many challenges he had in producing them.  

 David also explained about the opportunities for students in the film industry and how best for them forge a career if this was a path they were keen to pursue. Students were delighted that he spent almost an hour talking on a one to one basis to those that remained after his talk. 

Christ the King Emmanuel Gospel Choir Singing in Lewisham Centre

Members of the CTK Emmanuel Gospel Choir sang for charity in Lewisham shopping centre prior to the Christmas break.

Fundraising for the Deptford Reach Centre for the homeless, they drew an appreciative crowd of onlookers, young and old, who thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful and joyous singing emanating from the students. Ably directed by Ms Natalie Christian-John and accompanied by her keyboardist, David, the students outdid themselves as they performed with great joy and gusto. It was a wonderful opportunity to share the hope of the Christmas Gospel message through song, combined with raising funds for a worthwhile local charity.  The New Year will see further performances of the Gospel Choir in the local community. 

Basketball Comes to Christ the King!

On Wednesday 5th December 2018 the Year 12 and 13 Basketball team hosted a KCSP Basketball competition in our St Mary’s sports hall. The boys competed in 4 pool games against our Emmanuel site, Colfe’s School, Knights Academy and Bromley South East College.

Slam dunks, three pointers and offensive rebounds abounded as all five teams demonstrated a high level of skill and dedication. The closest fought match, perhaps unsurprisingly, was between the two Christ the King sites; unfortunately for us the Emmanuel team edged the game by one basket.

After the final basket has been slammed, the Knights Academy team had triumphed; fittingly enough as their name is closest sounding to a professional team…

We would like to thank all players for their hard work and dedication in representing the college and staff in helping us prepare.

Dame Nicola Brewer Visit

CTK: Emmanuel was delighted to have Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice-Provost International, University College London (UCL), launch our annual External Speaker Programme.  

Over 100 students had the opportunity to listen to Nicola’s inspirational talk about her career as a senior diplomat at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Nicola explained to students how she came to be British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland from May 2009 to September 2013.

As Vice-Provost (International), Nicola talked about her responsibilities for UCL’s Global Engagement Strategy to achieve fair solutions to global challenges. Nicola also spoke of her work on Women’s Rights and her role as Gender Equality Champion on UCL’s Senior Management Team, something she is extremely passionate about.

Simon Spearman, Principal of CTK: Emmanuel, where the visit took place, said: ‘Dame Nicola Brewer has got our External Speaker Programme off to a brilliant start. She is one of many high-profile visitors from the worlds of academia, politics, and industry who will be coming into our colleges over the next few months.  Our students gain a great deal from hearing these inspirational, high-achieving individuals speak about their own education and career paths

Louis Howell Visit

CTK students at Emmanuel and St Mary’s were delighted to have Louis Howell, Director of Revolution Hive, talk to them about his career.

Luis explained to students that as someone with interests and experience in marketing, entrepreneurialism, sports and youth programmes, he has had to demonstrate a versatile skill set that has helped him to excel at roles in both the commercial and voluntary sectors.

Luis also told them about his array of experiences during which he has managed, co-ordinated and delivered both short-term and long-term programmes in Marketing, whilst also demonstrating a flexible and adaptive approach to everything he does.

 He stated “I am willing to give 100% in everything I do and young people need to do likewise to be a success.”

CTK Emmanuel
Belmont Grove
London SE13 5GE
020 8297 9433
emmanuel@ctksfc.ac.uk
Christ The King Sixth Forms