A SECONDARY school has received a gold award from National Citizen Service in recognition of the high number of students who took part in the scheme.

Jack Marley, assistant director of learning for key stage 4 at St Francis Xavier School, worked closely with the NCS team involving them in assemblies, parents evenings and post 16 events to raise awareness of this programme which aims to develop confidence and social awareness in young adults.

One student that took part in the scheme last year was Katie Cromarty

Katie said: “ I heard about NCS at school when they came to lead a school assembly. I also knew about it because my brother did NCS 2 years earlier and loved it. "It took up three weeks of my summer holiday. The first week was a residential week in Shropshire doing lots of team building with outdoor pursuits; the second week was based in Leeds Beckett Uni student accommodation learning life skills like budgeting, cooking, debating and public speaking skills; the third week was organising several events to fund raise for a community project of our choosing.

It was good meeting people from different schools. I learnt that I am capable of achieving good things when I push myself; that young people can achieve good things by working together – we don’t always need to be dependent on adults!; and leadership is not about dominance but more about listening to others and compromising to find common ground."

"Sometimes you have to a carry the weight of responsibility and try not to take things personally.

"The NCS experience helped me decide about my A Levels and I chose to take Business Studies which I hadn’t considered before. I want to further develop my leadership skills and have since enrolled on a “Growing Young Leaders” course with Newcastle Diocese."