Emmanuel College’s commitment to NCS has already led to praise from Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, who presented it with the Regional Ambassador School title.
In recognition of the Gateshead college’s “outstanding achievement”, principal Matt Waterfield has been invited to address a prestigious House of Lords-sponsored gathering of parliamentarians, dignitaries and officials and describe the positive impact NCS has had on the life chances of students at Emmanuel College.
Mr Waterfield said NCS chimed with the servant-hearted leadership at the centre of the college’s character-first ethos – students completed thirteen hundred volunteering hours during the summer holidays, for example.
“We’re really honoured to have won amidst such strong competition from other schools across the region. There are many schools that are very involved in NCS and having seen the positive impacts of the programme first-hand I’m very proud that Emmanuel College is among them.
“Our college shares completely the vision of NCS that we should do all we can to ensure that the life chances of all young people are as high as possible,” said Mr Waterfield.
He added: “Emmanuel College values academic excellence and each year is recognised regionally and nationally for the impressive results. Perhaps more important is the value we place upon character development; we want young people of all abilities and backgrounds to develop strong character shaped by values such as determination, integrity and compassion. Our support for NCS is grounded in the belief that it is a great programme that helps young people do exactly that.
“NCS gives young people a springboard to successful next steps in education, employment or training. UCAS recognition makes the programme great for our academically-focused students, whilst employers value the skills with which NCS equips young people and this makes it equally excellent for our learners looking to progress into apprenticeships.”
Jessica Taplin, CEO of vInspired, which delivers the NCS contract in the North East in partnership with National Youth Agency (NYA) and 12 partners from the voluntary and community sector, added: “A huge well done to staff and students at Emmanuel College. The school has shown real commitment and we look forward to continuing our work together to make sure that NCS continues to benefit local people and communities.”
NCS is a government-backed programme open to 16 and 17-year-olds across England. It is focused around fun and discovery with participants building skills for work and life while taking on new challenges and adventures, including a two week-long residentials at a university and outdoor centre, making new friends and helping others with 30 hours commitment to a community project.
Government backing means that it costs £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is provided for young people with additional needs.
Young people who have just started Year 11 will have a first chance to take part in summer 2017.
Bookings are being taken now on 0191 247 4020 or www.NCSNorthEast.co.uk
Emmanuel College student Charlotte Bainbridge, 16, of Windy Nook, completed NCS this summer.
“NCS leaders came into college and told us about it. I knew I had a long holiday after my GCSEs so I did some more research and signed up online. I went to local warm-up meetings, then an outward bound residential at Ford Castle, in Northumberland, followed by another residential at Sunderland University. We stayed in university accommodation, took part in debates and did a crime investigation, which was a useful taste of university life.
“Week three was spent planning activities to raise money for charity and community, which we did in week four with a clean-up of Wardley Park and taking part in a 12-mile walk to raise money for a community centre. I’ve qualified for a V50 award for completing more than 50 hours volunteering.
“NCS challenged me in a lot of ways – one that stands out is climbing during the residential. It was a very good experience. I made a lot of new friends who I’ve stayed in touch with, I learned new skills and I’m more confident now.”
Seyi Adeniyi, 17, of Swalwell, who is head boy at a Emmanuel College, completed the NCS in the summer of 2015.
“We went to Kingswood outdoor activity centre where we did archery, high ropes and orienteering. I instantly connected with people and made lots of friends. During the university residential we did workshops on things I’d never done before as well as sessions on drug and alcohol awareness and mixed martial arts. For social action, we organised a family fun day and raised money with a litter-pick and a sponsored stay-awake. “NCS made me more confident and better able to speak with and get along with people I didn’t previously know. I really did achieve something great. They pushed us to do things we hadn’t done before and gave us the independence to organise things ourselves, like the fun day. As you develop yourself, you can help others. We wanted to help people and put a smile on their faces, which makes you feel good and encourages you to do more.
“I want to go into aerospace engineering and I feel NCS has helped me – it’s very important to have good communication skills in all aspects of life but especially in engineering where you’ve got to be able to communicate well and work with other people as part of a team.”