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.