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!

Janet Daby MP inspires the next generation of Lewisham school leaders

Janet Daby, MP for Lewisham East, spoke to the next generation of Lewisham School leaders today at training event designed to prepare them to be role models in their schools and communities. 

The event explored topics including being an effective representative, communicating ideas clearly and exploring roles and responsibilities. Janet opened the event and spoke to students about the qualities needed to be a good leader.

“I was delighted to speak to the students today. It’s so important that they are able to access this kind of training, which will help them to be leaders in our community and access opportunities in later life.  I am so proud of these students and our local schools, who are training the next generation of Lewisham leaders,’ said Janet.

 Head Boys and Girls, Prefects and Student Leadership teams from local schools attended the event, including Bonus Pastor School, St Columba’s Catholic Boys School, St Thomas More School, Deptford Green School, Saint Gabriel’s College and St. Mary’s Catholic High School, amongst others.

David Pearson, Director of Wider Learning, Careers, & Partnerships at Christ the King, said: ‘We were delighted to be able to host this event and to welcome Janet Daby to speak with students.  Effective communication, interpersonal and leadership skills are invaluable tools which can help students during their schooling and in the future and this was a fantastic opportunity to bring students from local schools together to learn from the experience’.

The training day explored topics including, being an effective representative, communicating ideas clearly and exploring roles and responsibilities.

The event was run by the Unloc Enterprise Academy which a non-profit organisation is helping to enable schools and colleges to inspire, motivate and develop the enterprising mind-sets of their young people.  Unloc was founded in 2013 by award-winning young leaders and advocates Hayden Taylor and Ben Dowling.

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!

Annual CTK cross-site external speakers programme

Christ the King Sixth Forms were 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.’

Christ the King celebrates another year of excellent results success

Students and staff at Christ the King Sixth Forms 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 and A Level 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 A Level and 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”.

Rose Figueroa was delighted to get top grades A*AA in Sociology, History and Politics and is going to study Politics and International Studies at Warwick University. She said; ‘I’m so happy to have gained a place at Warwick, where I can spend a year abroad and use my Spanish. All my teachers at CTK were so supportive and encouraging and I would like to thank them’.

Two Christ the King students secured prestigious College scholarships, worth £15,000 each, from private capital fund management firm Metric Capital.  Kafilat Alogba achieved AAB in A Level Sociology, Psychology and History and is going to study Law and Sociology at Warwick University.  Veronica Marafini gained A level grades AAA*B in French, Spanish, Italian and Business and is off to study Translation and Interpretation at the University of East Anglia.  Veronica said’ I’m delighted with this opportunity! I would recommend anyone to come to Christ the King, because of the quality of teaching and the opportunities which are available’.

A number of students secured highly competitive places to study Law at top universities, including Priestess Bassey, who was delighted to achieve grades AAB and is going to Sheffield University.  She said; ‘the teachers have been extremely encouraging, I’m so proud of my achievements’. Chibuzo Amatoby studied Psychology, English Literature and Politics and achieved grades A AB, and will be studying Law at Nottingham University.  Kieran Reidy studied Geography, Law and History and gained grades AAB. He is going to Queen Mary’s University. ‘Christ the King helped prepare me for the level of study needed to succeed at University and the teachers are so supportive’.

As well as success for aspiring Law graduates, Christ the King students gained places on highly competitive medical science courses.  Mambo-Kien Awah Alanga achieved AAB in Maths, Chemistry and Biology, she will now study Biomedical Science at St George’s University. Mambo was delighted with her results; ‘After studying Biomedical Science I want to study Medicine and fulfil my ambition of becoming a doctor.  Since coming to Christ the King, my confidence has really grown and I’m following my dreams now!’.  Mahadi Sadejhi gained grades ABB in Chemistry, Biology and Persian and achieved a place at highly competitive Kings College London to study Medicine.  He said; ‘my tutor has been a very positive influence, she is so supportive, I can’t thank her enough’.

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 also gained a C in A Level Psychology, an achievement made all the more remarkable, given that English is Andreea’s second language and she only came to the UK three years ago.  Andreea 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 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.

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 St Mary’s Evening of Celebration 2019

This month, we held the Christ the King Evening of Celebration at CTK St Mary’s. 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.

There were a variety of keynote speakers at the 2019 Evening of Celebration. Christ the King: St Mary’s were pleased to welcome alumnus Ren Balogun who offered her congratulations to the 2019 leavers on their dedication and hard work and reflected positively on her own experiences as a Christ the King student. After completing her studies at Christ the King, she went on to study Sociology at the University of Bath, where she worked assiduously in order to achieve her BSc Hons qualification. Ren now works as a Business Development Manager at the youth employability organisation: Circle Collective.

Former CTK St Mary’s student Trevor Gomes spoke with great eloquence about how his time at Christ the King gave him the strong academic foundation he needed to excel in his career. Trevor went on to achieve a First Class honours degree in Business Management at the University Of Westminster Business School and was awarded by the Dean as the highest achiever on his course. He currently works for BT as a Business Analyst and has recently been appointed as part of a team to lead the next stage of BT’s consumer brand EE’s 5G transformation.

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. 

Students pick up Prize for Youth Centre Business Plan

A group of students from Sidcup have scooped the runner-up prize in a major business challenge.

The students from Christ the King Sixth Forms took part in the London Metropolitan University’s annual Big Idea Challenge for schools and colleges. The competition aims to raise entrepreneurial interest in teenagers across London, encouraging and supporting them to treat it as a career path. 

At the awards ceremony, held at the Royal Institution, Ayodeji Adebiyi, Lucky Aragua, Joseph Kwaw, Aliy Salako, Kimarnie Bell and Daniel Komon succeeded with their idea called Enough Is Enough. This is a youth centre that focuses on careers advice and work experience to tackle the rising rates of knife crime throughout London, as well as engaging young people in sports and music. “Our goal is to make a youth club to get youth off the street, to prevent violent and knife-related crimes,” said Aily Salako. “The next step in taking our business forward is to look for investors, and also thinking of ways we can improve our idea. We also don’t have a website or a way for people to contact us, so that is a priority to take our idea to the next level.”

The Big Idea Challenge for schools and colleges runs alongside the London Metropolitan University’s annual Big Idea Challenge, which invites students, alumni and staff to enter their idea and win a shared prize pool of £30,000 to launch their winning idea. Previous winners have gone on to launch businesses which have created hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds profit.

Toby Kress, head of the Accelerator hub at London Met, which helps start-ups, said: “This year’s Big Idea Challenge was bigger and better than ever before. “I was seriously impressed with the ideas entered this year. At London Met, we have such a diverse community and the array of ideas produced really showed me that our students and staff really can make a difference.

“At Accelerator, we put our all into supporting the winning ideas, and I am excited to see how these ideas develop next.”

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”.

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.

Trip to UCFB Wembley

CTK St Mary’s BTEC Level 3 Sport and Science students visited UCFB Wembley yesterday. Students took part in a number of workshop activities centred around the University’s many degrees in the football and sports industry. They were challenged to become an entrepreneur; working in groups to design and pitch a brand new sporting product to their peers. The most exciting part of the day was that students were then taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of Wembley stadium; getting to see the England dressing rooms, the press conference room, player’s tunnel, pitch side and the iconic Royal box. All students were an absolute credit to CTK and thoroughly enjoyed their experience.

Gary Gibbon, Channel 4 News’ Political Editor

Law and Politics students from CTK St Mary’s were delighted to hear a talk from Gary Gibbon who has been the Channel 4 News’ Political Editor since 2005.

In a highly informative talk, followed by Q & A, Gary gave students his take on the latest news and gossip from the corridors of power in Westminster and beyond.

Gary has worked on five general elections for Channel 4 News. His interview with Peter Mandelson in 2001 triggered the Northern Ireland Secretary’s second resignation from the Cabinet. In 2006, he won the Royal Television Society Home News Award with Jon Snow for the scoop on the Attorney General’s Legal Advice on Iraq.

Students left the talk with a deep insight into the world of Politics which will no doubt help them in their upcoming A Level exams.

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.

Chemistry in Action Event

Students from the Christ the King Emmanuel and St. Mary’s recently attended the Chemistry in Action event at the Emmanuel Centre in London.

It was quite impressive and extremely interesting. The students were highly engaged by the six speakers. They spoke about a range of topics from “How to discover an element” to “How to discover aliens”. The students found the A-Level revision hints and tricks particularly useful and they all enjoyed the day immensely.

Vicky Fleetwood Visit

Students at Christ the King: St Mary’s were honoured to have Vicky Fleetwood, who plays rugby for England, come and give a talk and Q&A session.

Vicky spoke about her journey through her childhood in relation to rugby and touched on different setbacks and how she overcame them. Vicky talked about her achievements in rugby and this really seemed to inspire everyone in the room, especially the girls. She also gave details on how the students could get involved with rugby in the local community even if they hadn’t played before. There were some fantastic questions asked at the end and proved the high engagement of our students. Thank you Vicky!

Lucy and Caitlin from Moore Stephens

Lucy and Caitlin from Moore Stephens came to CTK: St Mary’s recently and spoke to almost 50 Business and Economic students about apprenticeships in accounting and the financial services. 

 They explained how Moore Stephens  was founded a century ago and has grown to be one of the largest international accounting and consulting groups worldwide. Today the network comprises of 650 offices in 106 countries throughout the world, incorporating over 30 thousand people and with fees of almost 3 billion dollars.

 Lucy and Caitlin also explained how the business extends beyond the delivery of compliance services to advising on international business structures and tax planning to minimise tax liabilities.

Bexley Civic Awards

Many congratulations to our three Christ the King: St Mary’s students who recently received prestigious achievement awards by the London Borough of Bexley.

Sade Sekoni was awarded the prize for Service to the College Community through her role of Student Governor. Ben Hogan received recognition for academic achievement, and Jekaterina Jekimtseva received an award for the tremendous progress and endeavour she has displayed since joining the College in September 2017. Well done!

Bonus Pastor Maths Visit

A group of 10 students from our partner school, Bonus Pastor, visited the maths department at CTK St Marys to experience a real Maths A Level class.

These students took part in two A Level Maths lessons alongside our Year 12 students covering Trigonometry and Differentiation. They gained valuable insights on the challenge of A Level maths, building upon their existing Trigonometry knowledge with more complex and unstructured A level questions. They were able to try the new ClassWiz calculators required at A level and enjoyed taking part in group work using our MultiBoards.

A Talk From Frontier

Applied Science students at CTK St Mary’s where delighted to hear a talk recently by Laurie and Anesilina from ‘Frontier.’ 

‘Frontier’ are an organisation which supports a great number of environmental conservation efforts. They work all over the world in exotic locations such as Costa Rica, Madagascar, Belize, Fiji, Tenerife and many others and they explained how our students can become involved with their valuable efforts. 

Laurie and Anesilina also explained how ‘Frontier’ go beyond conservation and research. Teaching & Community Development, Journalism & Media and Medical & Healthcare are all a part of Frontier’s global work and it is designed to ensure that their work and the work of their volunteers is ever lasting.

 A number of students expressed a strong interest in becoming involved with ‘Frontier’ and we hope they get the chance to support ‘Frontiers’ valuable mission.

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.”

Geography Trip to Suffolk

St Mary’s geography students travelled to Suffolk for a three day field trip as part of their preparations for their summer exams. 

During their time their students showed tremendous curiosity and endeavour in two geographical studies. These included identifying the impacts rural rebranding was having on the local area in Flatford Mill.

On the second day the group travelled to Ipswich to identify and analyse the changes regeneration had on Ipswich since the 1950’s. They showed respect to locals as they considered the ethical implications of their chosen study.

The Geographers had a fantastic time and This experience should give all platform for further success in their studies this year.

Thanks to Mr McAllister, Mrs Rosario and the FSC team for all your help.

St Columba’s Visit to Christ the King

On Thursday the whole of St Columba’s Year 11 took the opportunity to attend a Taster Day with us at CTK St Mary’s. The students seized the day: their enthusiasm, awareness and interest made it a joy to work with them. It is pleasing to note that the students and staff of the school were equally impressed with Christ the King, commenting on the outstanding teaching and knowledge of the staff.

The students got to meet some of the teachers who they would be studying under, whilst undertaking a number of tasks and challenges.  This was a very useful day, giving the students a better understanding of the world of post-16, including BTECs and A Level study.

In addition to lessons, and lunch, the St Columba’s  students had the opportunity to research university and career options, meet students from all our A level and BTEC programmes to discuss these courses from a student perspective, quiz a panel of students on the wider life of the college and question the College Directors on how we operate.

CTK St Mary's
Chislehurst Road
Sidcup
London DA14 6BE
020 8309 4760
stmarys@ctksfc.ac.uk
Christ The King Sixth Forms