Virtual Open Evening 2020/21

Dear Parents and Carers (especially with children entering Reception or Year 7, September 2021)

Welcome to Christ’s College – a Christian ethos school of character for the whole community

These are extraordinary times, heightening the changes and importance of decisions over your child’s future schooling. Although we can’t yet invite you to visit in person (but would like to do so eventually), we hope to help you decide whether Christ’s College is right for your son or daughter, providing information and also with some candid video insights that even the best Open Evening would struggle to do. We strongly recommend your full use of:

Welcome and information page
Video of life at Christ’s College (about 10 minutes) directly here
Expression of Interest (EOI) form here
Meeting through bookable telephone / Zoom appointments with senior members of staff (please book via Mrs Barber on 0191 534 4444 option 2, or email enquiries@christscollege.org.uk, or flag on EOI form here

Although no date priority is given to applications received before the end of the preference period (via Sunderland’s Family Portal www.sunderland.gov.uk/admissionsonline), to ensure the highest probability of your child’s admission to Christ’s (which may be oversubscribed), please note preference period end dates of:

Saturday 31 October 2020 for children joining Year 7 (up to 75 children)*
Friday 15 January 2021 for children joining Reception (up to 50 children)

*For children already in Year 6 of Christ’s College, no application is required.

In case you are very, very short of time, if asked why I’d send my children here (and I would!) I’d say:
– Warmth, friendliness, sense of ‘family’ and of being known and cared for in a smaller school;
– Christian ethos clearly and sensitively shared, inclusive of all students with a focus on character;
– Primary: continuity of twelve years of schooling to Year 11 (with some subject specialists also teaching in primary years);
– Secondary: wonderful new facilities and breadth of opportunities, along with small-size benefits and strong record of student achievement.

   

1. Character, ethos and pastoral care

In an era of education organisations of industrial scale, Christ’s is exceptionally rare with just 560 students throughout twelve year groups – Reception to Year 11. We quickly get to know our students very well, and not just in primary years R-6 but also in our secondary years 7-11. Benefitting from the legacy of the school’s fee-paying past, these are a fraction the size of cohorts in most secondary schools.

Alongside demanding studies and amidst boundaries that ensure sense of security, students of all ages are nurtured, knowing a warmth and friendliness in which they can grow, develop and achieve, within a strong community of mutual care and responsibility. Our Christian ethos – with all believed to be made in God’s own image and each one of us gifted for a purpose – means that we consider carefully the claims of Christ. We examine the big questions of life (e.g. our identity, purpose, individual worth) and look at responses to these from different perspectives, also studying a range of religions and non-faith beliefs with integrity and care.

2. The ‘curriculum’: breadth of subjects, opportunities, and staffing

In most smaller schools, the size greatly limits the breadth of curriculum. But at Christ’s, we’ve built a secondary curriculum that draws support from its sister schools (especially Emmanuel College and The King’s Academy). This academic and vocational range now includes Engineering and Food Technology as well as Business Studies, IT and the usual range of Geography, History, Sciences, PE, Art / Photography, language (French), English, Maths and RE. Most students study nine GCSEs, including English, Maths, Sciences and RE (and French for capable students), plus two or three further options. All students’ education remains broad and balanced, with some specialisation of subjects beginning in Year 9, and final option choices then taking place a year later ready for the GCSE stage (years 10 and 11).

As well as expert teaching from primary age-range specialists who also have subject area strengths, the primary curriculum has the rare benefit of drawing on specialist teaching during years 1 to 6. These subjects include French, Science, Music, PE and Art. This feature is a unique strength of a single-site, all-through school.

Our extra-curricular offer, although temporarily constrained by present circumstances, is rich and ambitious and includes opportunities for sports, music, arts, adventure and other. We are members of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, and we also participate in cross-Trust events including the annual Business Game (which the Christ’s team won, beating the five other schools at Emmanuel College most recently!) and the ESF Olympics.

3. Organisation and facilities

– Academic year: we have slightly longer school days than some other schools, but our year is typically two weeks shorter with an extra week’s holiday usually before Christmas and also before the usual summer break.
– Pre-school / after school: we look forward to being able to offer this provision, including breakfast club and after-school activities, once the present situation enables this.
– Buildings and grounds: a very modern primary building includes Sports Hall and Dining Room and historic buildings serving most of the secondary years’ needs. Government funding has enabled the modernisation and re-configuration of some 17 spaces including new specialist classrooms for Sciences, Art, Engineering, Food Technology and a suite of new (fully self-contained) cubicle toilets.  Over 2019 and 2020, Christ’s has benefitted from a thorough overhaul of its IT network, including new high speed WiFi across the full site.

4. Achievement record

Catering for a full breadth of student academic and vocational interests, students at Christ’s College achieve very well from the full range of starting points.  Christ’s College was top for all schools in the region for GCSE ‘Progress 8’ (2019, when exams were last sat).

5. Governance and Sponsor – Emmanuel Schools Foundation (ESF)

Christ’s has been sponsored by ESF since May 2019, bringing a vast, local range of capabilities and resources and synergies with high quality sister schools and their staff.  ESF has a strong ‘central support’ function, which provides specialist HR, IT, Finance and Buildings expertise.  Christ’s is overseen and held to account locally by a ‘School Improvement Board’ of governors.

Thank you for considering Christ’s College and – along with Miss Nicky White who joins as Principal in November – we look forward to hearing from you and to meeting you soon.

 

Yours sincerely

David Dawes
Executive Principal