CTK Staff Conference- A Time to Change
The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all – Pope Francis (Laudato Si 2015).
This year’s annual CTK Staff Conference on environment and sustainability focused on how as a community CTK can continue our journey from an “emerging “to “established” sixth form in promoting environmental sustainability, deepening our understanding of environmental issues and reducing our Carbon footprint.
We were delighted that Steve Frampton, FE/HE Climate Commissioner launched our conference this academic year. The conference was opened with an overview and discussion of our role as a sixth form in tackling the climate crisis.
The day was packed with guest speakers, experts in their fields on sustainability and environmental issues.
Two speakers from C40 cities took part, Andrea Fernández and Aaron Kiely. Around the world, C40 cities are taking bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. They drive the global climate action agenda by creating unique opportunities for cities to come together and showcase their achievements and underscore what needs to be done to secure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for all citizens.
Andrea Fernández introduced the science of climate change, its impact and the importance of the global climate conference in Glasgow in November. This followed a discussion on how to maximise the opportunity of COP26 for our sixth form.
Aaron Kiely, Senior Campaigns Manager for Youth Initiative at C40 Cities, led a discussion on how youth around the world are engaged and what are the key issues for young people, followed by a discussion on how CTK could engage students on this topic.
Our approach adopted to sustainability at CTK is based on engagement, education, communication and involvement and our second keynote speaker Charlotte Bonner, National Head of Education for Sustainable Development (ETF), discussed what is ESD, the current ESD landscape in FE and how we can embed sustainability in our learners’ experience and also within our community.
Deacon Javier and Susan Kambalu from CAFOD presented ‘Caring for our environment’. They explained the work of CAFOD and the call by Pope Francis inviting everyone to take seriously the need to care for creation. Susan explored why we are called by Pope Francis to care for our common home, through sharing the work of CAFOD and providing us with practical actions and resources to help us respond to “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’ 49).
The CTK Environmental Green Group have this year focused on developing a 10-point Environment plan. We were excited to be able to launch this to our CTK Community. All members of the CTK community are encouraged to contribute to the CTK 10-point environment and sustainability endeavour, working collectively and individually to promote the common good and to model attitudes through the way we act. These breakout sessions will provide an opportunity to attend two workshops on how we can make a change by following our CTK 10-point Environment plan.
Our afternoon session heralded an opportunity to listen to our own CTK researchers as they presented our sixth annual Teach Meet. We are always encouraged by their generosity in sharing their pedagogical reflections and research.
Trevor AQUINAS Course: A Level Business, ICT and English Language and Literature
“My tutors at CTK were fundamental in my academic success. They were always approachable and willing to go the extra mile. I enjoyed taking part in extracurricular activities, including leading the sixth form band and being Director of the Business Enterprise Group, Student Governor and Student Head of Hall. ”
Justin AQUINAS Course: A Levels English Literature, Maths and Physics
“I really enjoy having access to a wide range of extra curricular activities and the student support services. My teachers have helped me with my UCAS application and the management of my work - I plan to go on to the University of Bristol or the University of Bath. I would recommend CTK due to the large support system that is available to the students. ”
Jarius AQUINAS Course: A Level Psychology B, Sociology A, Geography
“I joined CTK Aquinas knowing that I wanted to study at a Russell Group university. I am currently studying a degree in BA Global Health and Social Medicine at King's College, London and I hope to proceed into doing a MSc Health & Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I would recommend CTK because the teachers are very supportive and will help you to reach your educational goals.”
Rose AQUINAS Course: A Level History A, A Level Politics A Level Sociology
“I'm going on to the University of Warwick to study Politics and International Studies. CTK was a great environment for me to learn. I've really enjoyed the teaching, all my teachers have been encouraging and supportive. They put in the extra time to help with workshops and revision to ensure we did well.”
Harrison AQUINAS Course: A Level Economics A, A Level Maths, A Level Further Maths
“What I enjoyed most about CTK was being able to meet other like-minded motivated people. CTK is a great environment to develop yourself, as you are surrounded by motivated peers and lectures who strive to get the most out of you. I achieved my grades and went on to study Maths at UCL.”