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Wednesday, 21 January 2015
The Year 11 girls walked down to Bolton Lads and Girls Club for an introduction to National Citizen Service, or NCS. This is a scheme for school pupils aged sixteen and up, which takes place outside of term-time and offers the chance for young people to develop themselves and their citizenship skills.
Over the past five years, Bolton School has built up a great relationship with Bolton Lads and Girls Club, who are one of the providers of NCS. This partnership has increased the school’s involvement with NCS from a small pilot scheme to a high-profile programme involving all of the Year 11pupils in the Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions. This is now the fourth year that NCS has been recommended to the whole year group.
For those girls who choose to take part, NCS is an opportunity for them to develop their own skills while giving back to their local community at the same time. They will be split into groups with other young people from schools around Bolton, allowing them to mix with people from different lifestyles and backgrounds – and giving them the chance to make new friends. The groups are sent for a week of residential outdoor pursuits and team building activities, from kayaking and sailing to rock climbing and abseiling. These encourage NCS participants to get to know one another and work together as a team, while also building their confidence. The groups are then given a taste of university life with another residential week, this time living in halls at the University of Bolton. There are also opportunities to learn life skills, make connections, and find out more about the issues facing the local community. During the final two weeks of NCS, the groups plan and deliver a community project, which counts as 40 hours of volunteer work.
The aim of NCS is to engage young people with volunteering by showing them that it is something fun that can also benefit them.
The girls certainly had fun during their afternoon at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. After the introduction to NCS, they enjoyed a series of team-building games before being split into smaller groups for a carousel of activities – from a dance workshop to boxing, and a work-out in the gym to relaxing with table football and pool! This allowed them to get to know the facilities at Bolton Lads and Girls Club, just as the walk from the School showed them that it’s not too far away.
The Year 11s seemed to have a great time throughout the afternoon and hopefully will be interested in signing up to NCS this summer.
NSC is a great complement to Bolton School’s existing Community Action scheme, which encourages Sixth Form pupils to give back to their local communities in a variety of ways. Introducing Year 11 pupils to this national scheme will hopefully foster their interest in volunteering lower down the school, as well as encouraging them to continue to be more involved as they grow older.
The Year 11 boys will be introduced to NCS in a similar session later in the term.
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