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Christ the King Sixth Form College

Research and Collaboration

The extent and depth of research and collaboration, within the College and beyond it, really sets Christ the King apart. There are opportunities for staff to become involved at every stage of their career. In this way, they are developing their own subject expertise and providing leadership for others.

Research-based projects: bridging the divide between educational research and practice

At Christ the King, we are committed to an approach where our practice is reflective. Small-scale action research projects are undertaken by those on the Cross College leadership programme and the early years / NQT Catholic Teachers Alliance programme. 

Staff Study Bursaries

Each year we encourage both teaching and support staff to undertake research which is relevant to their field of work. Up to fifteen bursaries are awarded to staff each year. Undertaking a bursary is an excellent opportunity for staff to keep up to date and take forward their understanding of something which is of interest to them. 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.

For further information contact Amanda Wray a.wray@ctksfc.ac.uk, Staff Action Research Manager. Amanda has undertaken several pieces of action research over the past few years and believes, 'Having the opportunity to take part in action research has enabled me to take forward my own classroom practice. As a teacher of Physics I can honestly say completing a research project has been the best CPD I have taken part in.'

The College also supports course fees for Masters degrees or other types of further study. A contribution towards course fees is available for up to two years.

Including:

  • 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

For further information contact Sue Sing s.sing@ctksfc.ac.uk, Staff Action Research Manager.

CTK’s London Schools Excellence Fund Research Project (supported by the Department for Education and the Mayor of London)

An increasingly important part of our College-wide strategy is to develop our own research programmes. Since securing funding from the Mayor’s London Schools Excellence Fund, we have been running a large-scale action research project to explore:

  • What strategies do independent schools utilise to ensure their pupils achieve top grades at GCSE and A Level in English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and how do they secure places for their students at Russell Group universities in such large numbers?
  • Are the strategies transferable to the state sector and can they be scaled up so that they can made available to a wider community across London?

Find out more and download the research findings here 

This involves the college working collaboratively with other schools across KS4/5 and across the independent and state sectors. Our fellow participants are Eton College, North London Collegiate, St Paul’s Boys School, Wellington College, Bonus Pastor College, Conisborough College, and St Columba’s Boys School.

Nearly 50 teachers across the participating schools have taken part in the research and some 400 students across the institutions have also taken part in surveys.

Project participants have engaged in a number of exchanges and visits where staff learn and benefit from each other’s’ expertise. Subject networks have been established to share good practice and test established views of best-practice pedagogy.

Subject Networks

Curriculum networks have been established to strengthen professional communication between teachers across the three Christ the King sites. The college has some 15 different subject networks which are attended by over 150 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 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. Expertise is shared across the alliance during INSET events and via 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 develop practice.