Last year more of our year 11 students than ever signed up to NCS (The National Citizen Service). Over 60 students signed up making Alsager School a Gold Champion. Year 12 student, James Baker, recounts his NCS experience:
“NCS, for me, was packed with fun and excitement: in all four stages I had a remarkable and unforgettable time. Here is a brief summary of what went on…
Phase 1, adventure at Tawd Vale activity centre! This first week threw everybody in at the deep end as we canoed, hiked, climbed, camped, problem-solved, singing camp fire songs, constructed dens, among many other thrilling games and events like a disco-festival. Friendships blossomed; spending twenty-four hours a day for five days is really quite a good way to get to know people.
Phase 2, skills at Staffordshire University! Now we were all great pals, our time at the Uni was, unsurprisingly, more focused on learning. We had eye opening sessions playing samba music, public speaking, first aid, T-shirt printing among fun activities like NCS Bake-Off or the ‘Snapchat Challenge’ and a talent show, which I was lucky to host. Excitingly, we got to stay in University accommodation giving us a taste of independence and responsibility.
Phase 3, social action in Sandbach and Congleton! Our third week was spent planning all the logistics of our social action at Sandbach School. We put together a plan and organised ourselves. We decided to help out Visyon, a Congleton based young persons mental health charity. From our base in Sandbach we brainstormed, made calls, sent emails, calculated costs! Visyon had an overgrown garden that needed renovating, so, we were tasked with creating a calming and welcoming space that Visyon could utilise. We decided a sponsored indoor cycle at Sandbach Leisure Centre would be our chosen fundraiser, so, being paid by the mile, I completed over 100 stationary miles, part of the teams total 1500+. Needless to say, our gardening project was great fun, but more importantly, extremely rewarding.
Phase 4, celebration at Crewe Lyceum! NCS takes a lot of hard work from the staff and participants; so earlier in October there was a celebration event, hosted at Crewe Lyceum. In the weeks rolling up to this event I received a text asking me if I wanted to compere the event due to my enjoyment hosting the week two talent show. I eagerly took up the offer and was soon sent details of a script. On the evening we remembered our NCS experience, heard wonderful speeches and watched gripping graduate performances including a magician and singers. After talking throughout most of the night I was tasked with speaking some more about my NCS experience.”
National Citizen Service (NCS) is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds in England. It helps build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends. The NCS experience gives students a clearer idea of what they want from their future and makes them realise that big, exciting things can come from feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Throughout the experience, they also get a taste of independence and pick up skills that will help them smash future goals. And if that’s not enough, they also get given a platform to have their voice heard and pursue a project they are passionate about.
Over 500,000 people have already done NCS – representatives will be visiting school in the Spring term but if you want more details visit https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved/take-part/national-citizen-service