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Monday, 07 March 2016
For the sixth year running, Bolton School’s Year 11 pupils have been encouraged to take part in National Citizen Service, or NCS. This national scheme is for school pupils aged sixteen and above, and offers young people a chance to develop themselves and their citizenship skills outside of term time.
Bolton School pupils’ involvement has increased over the years from a small pilot scheme to a high-profile programme which now encourages the whole of Year 11 across the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions to sign up for NCS. Over the past six years, the School had developed a great partnership with Bolton Lads and Girls Club, one of the providers of NCS.
The Year 11 girls walked down to Bolton Lads and Girls Club to find out more about NCS and spend an afternoon getting to know the facilities.
Pupils taking part in NCS are placed in groups alongside other young people from schools around Bolton: each group therefore has a unique mix of different backgrounds and lifestyles, and offers the participants the chance to make new friends. The groups take part in a residential outdoor pursuits week, also involving team-building activities, to get to know one another and build their confidence. They are also given a taste of university life with a second residential week in halls at the University of Bolton: this gives them the opportunity to learn life skills, make connections and find out about the issues facing the local community. During the final two weeks of NCS, the group plans and delivers their own community project, which counts as 40 hours of volunteering.
For the girls who choose to take part, NCS is an opportunity to develop their own skills while simultaneously giving back to the community. The aim of the programme is to engage young people with volunteering by showing them that it is something fun that can also benefit them.
The girls really enjoyed their afternoon at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. After the introduction to NCS, they took part in team-building games before being split into smaller groups for a carousel of activities. These included badminton, netball, table tennis, an introduction to boxing, and use of the Bolton Lads and Girls Club gym. It was a great way for the girls to get to know the facilities on offer, just as the walk from School proved to them that it is not that far away.
The NSC programme complements Bolton School’s existing Community Action scheme, which encourages Sixth Form pupils to give back to their local communities in a variety of ways. By introducing Year 11 pupils to this national scheme, the School hopes to foster their interest in volunteering lower down the school and encourage them to continue their involvement as they move into the Sixth Form.
The Year 11 boys have also attended a similar session at Bolton Lads and Girls Club to introduce NCS.
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