Working at Christ the King Sixth Forms
As a family of three sixth forms, we are unique in the sector. We are a forward looking, highly innovate organisation, specialising in education for young people aged 16-19. Our students are hugely ambitious and through our specialist academic and general vocational programmes we are highly successful in ensuring that ambition is fulfilled.
Benefits of working at Christ the King Sixth Forms
We look for talented individuals who share our vision and want to be part of our unique family. In becoming part of our community, you will benefit from:
- Professional development and training, which is second to none and offers a range of bursaries
- Staff discount scheme
- Onsite gym at all sites
- Membership of a pension scheme (TPS and LGPS), plus generous employer contributions
- Generous holiday entitlement. Teachers who work term time only and finish the year earlier than schools.
- Onsite canteen
- Onsite parking
- Free eye tests (conditions apply)
- Staff well-being forum
- A supportive community
We have a long tradition of excellence, underpinned by our Catholic values, and take pride in our strong sense community. Our staff are our greatest resource and this core value is enshrined in our mission statement:
We are a Catholic College dedicated to the education and development of the whole person, so that all students can realise their full potential.
To achieve this as a community we will:
- Provide the highest standards of teaching and learning.
- Expect students to show commitment to their studies and the Christian values of the College.
- Provide equality of opportunity, with mutual respect and positive encouragement.
- Build and further develop a partnership with parents, schools, parishes, higher education, employers and the local community.
- Value staff and support their professional development.
In doing this we will reflect Christ’s teaching in the life and work of the whole College.
We have developed a strong culture of collaboration and best practice, with professionalism and career development at its centre. Our commitment to ensuring all our staff develop and flourish is evident in the investment we make at every level and, whatever your role, you will be encouraged to be at the forefront of your profession.
Our Professional Development Programme
We are an active learning community and our approach to professional development is firmly rooted in our culture of success. It goes beyond routine CPD and is centred around an innovative vision and framework with a wide portfolio of approaches described through our professional development structure: Renew, Induct, Explore, Enhance, Promote, Support, Collaborate, Study, Research.
Annual Staff Conference
We established our annual conference for all staff at the start of the academic year in 2011. It sets an important tone in reigniting staff interests and enthusiasm and in updating staff about significant national and international developments, which can impact their work. Our focus is always on teaching and learning with annual themes emphasising aspects of the strategic curriculum direction for the year ahead and we have been fortunate to secure well respected guest speakers from the education sector. Recent conference topics have included; Breaking down the barriers to success – prioritising progress for all students, KS5 and beyond: Character, growth mindset and neuroplasticity, The Sixth Form Experience – Investigating what value we add to students, Transforming Teaching and Learning – Providing transformational experiences for students during a period of huge change and challenge in the educational landscape and establishing subject networks and How do we Create Successful Learners – The Challenges involved in the transition from KS4 to Advanced Level study and KS5 to University.
Our induction process ensures that all new staff have the opportunity to learn in more detail about our community and ways of working. It begins with a bespoke programme where you will meet key staff, be introduced to our vision and values and receive information about our systems and practises. During the programme you will meet leaders and have regular meetings with your line manager so that you receive very good support and feedback. Review and self-evaluation are important elements of the programme together with action planning. It this way induction is a seamless process dovetailing with staff appraisal and other processes such as those relating to NQTs.
Our College-wide NQT training programme runs throughout the year. NQTs are supported through their induction year by a mentor – usually a subject co-ordinator or line manager – and progress is overseen by the Deputy Principal responsible for staff development. A comprehensive programme of training, observations and lesson walks supports NQTs through this vital year. More experienced staff across the college contribute to the programme and share their excellent practice. Ten-day school placements take place in the summer term with our partner schools to enable NQTs to gain experience across other sectors and to achieve fully qualified status. Staff employed by the College via other routes – eg post compulsory qualifications, or unqualified pending School Direct applications – are also supported as part of this programme.
Our membership of the Catholic Teachers Alliance offers further support to NQTs, who are able to meet with fellow NQTs from a range of schools, visit other schools and undertake small-scale action research to inform their practice and enhance their professional development.
An ‘early years’ programme is also in place this year for post-NQT staff at an early stage of their career to engage in professional learning and to help prepare for aspiring leadership programmes. Development of the teacher as learner is a central focus of this programme.
The CPD offer to staff across the year aims to update, inform and support staff in developing their professional competencies. The college offers a termly programme of CPD activities, many of which take place our well-equippedLearning, Research and Professional Development Centres. The programme of in-house CPD is informed by the individual need and increasingly informed by the research work of the college.
Wherever possible, the expertise of existing staff is used to share good practice with others; a considerable number of staff across the colleges have contributed to the training. External speakers are used wherever this is appropriate and where some fresh thinking and a consideration of alternative approaches may be needed. Whilst a significant proportion of the training is targeted to meet the needs of individuals or groups, there is also provision for whole staff INSET at the start of the Academic year, mid-year on the Action Plan review day and over several days in June when INSET dovetails with forward planning by departments allowing for optimum use of time. Programmes which have supported staff have included sessions such as; character education coaching programme, building resilience in the workplace, safeguarding and child protection, formative assessment strategies in the classroom, supporting students with mental health issues, approaches to differentiation and group work across the ability spectrum and using questioning to enhance learning
Additionally, staff may apply to attend external courses to develop knowledge and expertise.
We seek to identify and develop leadership skills from an early stage in a teacher’s career and have a number of rigorous training programmes to help develop leadership at all levels across the institution. The college aims to quickly identify staff with leadership potential and develop their skills systematically. It is committed to ‘growing its own’ leaders wherever this is possible whilst recognising that fresh injections of ideas and talent are also needed at times.
We support staff in applying to take part in sector recognised external leadership courses as well as offering our own internally designed courses which have included:
- Leadership Development for new Senior Leaders
- Leadership development for middle and senior managers
- Leadership Development for those new to Head of Hall
- Leadership Development for those new to Course Co-ordinator roles
We have a number of established programmes of mentoring. Nominated experienced mentors provide a listening ear and clear guidance to inform and develop practice. Mentoring is seen as a supportive process with a clear agreement, brief and time frame between mentor and mentee.
Professional networks were established to strengthen professional communication between staff across the three Christ the King sites. The college has approximately fifteen different subject networks which are attended by over 180 staff.
The networks are made up of like-minded colleagues seeking to develop and exchange professional expertise. They provide a community engaging in dialogue with a shared aim of improvement and excellence. The networks are generally self-steering and led by an experienced member of staff.
Each network meets formally six times a year through minuted meetings. Further professional conversations and support takes place virtually throughout the academic year. The networks have established a framework for cross site professional partnerships to be formed which allow both single site teachers and larger teacher teams to share good practice, resources and aspirations in a supportive manner.
There are also 4 support staff networks which we launched in 2016/17.
The Catholic Teaching Alliance
We are a member of the Catholic Teaching Alliance. This is a group of schools and colleges in the Southwark diocese (South London and Kent) dedicated to developing staff with high expectations and a clear understanding of how to create a learning environment in which students flourish. The CTA network offers teacher training through both traditional and other routes to qualified teacher status. Expertise is shared across the alliance during INSET events and via the deployment of Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs). Newly Qualified and Early Career Teachers have the opportunity to engage in School based reflection and research and to visit schools and colleges across the alliance in order to reform and develop practice. The college actively recruits newly qualified teachers through the Catholic Teaching Alliance’s School Direct Programme.
Staff Study Bursaries
A number of staff study bursaries are available to both support and teaching staff each year to assist with course fees for Masters Degrees or further study. Staff apply for bursaries by the end of May each year and if successful funding of up to £1,000 for each year of a 2-year course is provided. Further study courses have included:
- MA Theology, St Mary’s University, Twickenham
- Masters in Child and Adolescent Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, Middlesex University
- MSc Human Resource Development & Consultancy, Birkbeck, University of London
- MA Catholic School Leadership, St Mary’s University, Twickenham
- MA Victorian Studies, Birkbeck, University of London
- MA Creative and Life Writing, University of London
- L7 PG Diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties
- MA Education Studies: Widening Participation, Sussex University
- MSc Career Management, University of West Scotland
- Post Graduate Certificate of Education (Greenwich University)
- Professional Certificate in Education (Greenwich University)
- MSc in Educational Neuroscience (Birkbeck)
- MA in Education (Stranmillis University College)
- MA in Leadership (UCL Institute of Education)
Research based projects – bridging the divide between educational research and practice
We are committed to an approach where our practice is reflective, and engages in action research on the ground, bringing evidence–informed best practice pedagogy to the classroom and to our work. We have developed our own research programmes to inform and contribute to our understanding of how teaching and learning can be improved. Small scale action research projects are available to all teaching and support staff and have been undertaken by those on leadership programmes and those involved in early years and the NQT Catholic Teachers Alliance programme.
Professional development bursaries
Our professional development bursaries scheme supports staff in developing projects or research activities designed to take forward specialist key stage 5 focussed teaching and learning. Warwick university provide come into the college to offer twilight sessions research methods and college supervisors support individual staff on the programme. The outcomes are then shared each year at the Staff Conference and other CPD events. Staff Study Bursaries have included:
- Investigating the use of praise within a classroom to promote the concept of “thinking hard”
- Enrichment and its impact of student achievement
- Developing flipped learning as a way of improving attainment in Physics
- Creating a mentally safe classroom to raise attainment.
- The impact of constructive feedback on learner achievement in Business Education.
- Developing rich subject knowledge and expertise -super-curricular reading in English Literature.
- Breaking the lid? The impact of target setting on 16-19 educational performance.
- Character Education and the CTK graces: An exploration of current delivery, future delivery, embedding and potential impact.
- Vocational Education and Employability in a Competitive World.
Research with external partners
An increasingly important part of our research work is to develop research programmes with external partners. The ‘Christ the King London Schools Excellence Fund Research Project’ (supported by the Department for Education and the Mayor of London) highlights the scale of our ambition. We established the project which sought to investigate the strategies that independent schools utilise to ensure their pupils achieve top grades at GCSE and A Level in English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and to secure places for their students at Russell Group universities in such large numbers, so that we could test whether the strategies were transferable to the state sector.
In partnership with our own three sixth forms (Aquinas, Emmanuel and St Mary’s), our state and independent school research partners included: Eton College, North London Collegiate School, St Paul’s School, Wellington College, Bonus Pastor College, Conisborough College, St Columba’s Boys School and St Catherine’s Girls School. Across these schools, nearly 50 subject specialist teachers of English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry or Physics took part in the research and the voices of almost 400 Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students across the institutions were heard through surveys inviting them to tell us about their learning approaches and experiences.
Over the course of the project, the state and independent school teacher-researchers engaged in a range of research activities and experiences including:
- cross-sector visits to observe the teaching and learning of their specialist subject
- teachers completing surveys to provide information and reflections about their professional understanding and levels of confidence in relation to the teaching of their subject to A/A* level
- sample groups of high ability students completing surveys to provide information about their current learning experiences and their approaches to learning
- cross-sector teacher exchanges involving state school teachers teaching in independent schools using their teaching approaches, and vice versa
- collaborative development and testing of resources to learn whether it was possible to ‘create’ high challenge resources that could be effective with most able students in both sectors
- teacher-researchers participating in a one-day sharing and reflection conference and subject development day meetings where the teachers convened in their subject groups to reflect on their research experiences and emerging findings, and to identify, discuss, debate (where appropriate) key areas or topics of concern for their subject and how they, as professional peers, could work together to take these forward
- testing of digital platforms (Google & Microsoft 365) to explore their potential utility for sharing and developing each other’s subject knowledge and pedagogy expertise
- a series of wider school research visits to collect data from state and independent schools about their respective whole school policies and practices.
Please find out more and download the research findings https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/education-and-youth/improving-standards-schools-and-teaching/subject-knowledge-hubs-8