During the summer holiday 27 students from Year 11 and 12 took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) summer activity programme. The programme is a government-funded initiative for 15-17 year-olds that brings together schools, community organisations, businesses and individuals with the aim of helping to build a stronger and more cohesive society.
The summer programme lasted around four weeks and was split into three parts. In the ‘Get Active’ week students participated in outdoor residential activities near Swindon. Calum Shalofsky (then Year 11) said that the week was about developing confidence, and that it enabled him and his peers to meet new people in a series of team-building activities.
The second block, ‘Get Involved’, saw our students living at Aston University in Birmingham. They participated in an enterprise activity which involved learning a new set of skills. The final 2 weeks, entitled ‘Make Your Mark’, required the students to undertake a social action project in their local community. The teams had to devise a project and then pitch it to local business leaders. One of the numerous projects involved raising £1200 to create a seating area for the local community to enjoy at Leadon Bank. Similarly, other projects improved local amenities through the students’ enterprising endeavours.
Calum, and Arthur Huxley (also Year 11) were both very positive about the whole experience. Arthur commented that he would definitely do it again if the opportunity arose and he would thoroughly recommend the National Citizen Service programme to other students. Both Arthur and Calum said that it was an excellent way to spend part of their summer holiday between Year 11 and starting their studies at JMHS Sixth Form. Calum said that the programme has enabled him to make new friends.
The National Citizen Service coordinator said that the uptake by students at JMHS was very high. NCS will be speaking to Year 12 JMHS students in October, and will then be holding a special assembly for this year’s Year 11 students. Both NCS and John Masefield High School hope that many of our young people will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity over the coming year.