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National Citizen Service

(48 Posts)
swingofthings Mon 21-Mar-16 14:36:56

I've looked for threads relating to NCS but haven't found anything this year (or even last). I've just signed DD16 for it. She is very excited. It does look absolutely brilliant, but am surprised there seem to be little publicity about it. She found out about it at her school. Any one has a child whose done it?

TalkinPeace Mon 21-Mar-16 15:18:47

NCS is absolutely fab.
DCs school runs the local one to here.
Its an absolute bargain in terms of child care
and the kids who do it really benefit.

Mumsnet education threads are dominated by private and grammar school parents who will choose DofE.
NCS is the comp school equivalent
but its really, really worth doing if you have the chance

Leeds2 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:37:43

My DD did it two years ago, and really enjoyed it.

The only bit she found difficult was having to attend for four Sundays in September, once she had started back at school, but I'm sure I read somewhere on MN that that bit is no longer required.

mouldycheesefan Mon 21-Mar-16 15:40:26

The children I know who have done it loved it, they were from grammar school but they make sure they get a social mix from different schools. It's definitely not the 'comp school equivalent' to d of e. Our comp school does d of e anyway.

mouldycheesefan Mon 21-Mar-16 15:41:30

And children who are 16 should not need to be in childcare

GlitteryShoes Mon 21-Mar-16 15:44:35

My kids have all done it and gained loads of confidence. It does take a month out of the summer too!
There is an international version for when they are 18. My son worked in an orphanage in Bolivia for 3 months which was a life changing experience for him. It was so much better than any of the 'gap year experiences' that cost thousands of pounds and are just a glorified holiday.

GooseberryRoolz Mon 21-Mar-16 15:46:26

Mumsnet education threads are dominated by private and grammar school parents who will choose DofE.
NCS is the comp school equivalent

Really? Don't comprehensives do DofE, then?

swingofthings Mon 21-Mar-16 15:46:28

Thanks, this is great. DD talked about it on Thursday, said I should expect a call from the organiser soon. They called today, asked me a lot of questions (I assume to ensure it was suitable to DD) and before I knew it, she was signed up.

I have to admit that I had vaguely heard about it before, but thought it was for under-priviledged children, or those experiencing some difficulties, didn't realise it was actually aimed at any children interested. It certainly is a bargain financially and DD feels very lucky to be able to participate. I'm sure she will have a fab time.

She did DoE too (bronze only) and that was a great experience for her as she went from being a moaning teenager as soon as the word 'walk' was mentioned and who was petrified of cliff to a teenager who will walk anywhere and really enjoys hiking, so I was very happy with the outcome!

Marmitelover55 Mon 21-Mar-16 15:56:36

Yes my DC's comp does D of E and the independent school I work at advertises NCS, so I think both are widely available to all.

swingofthings Mon 21-Mar-16 17:07:49

I am very surprised it is not more popular. Is it because the prospect of 2 weeks away makes most 16/17 anxious so they themselves are not interested? I can't see why most kids wouldn't jump at the chance as for the parents, £50 for all this, what a gift!

Thanks Glitter for the info about the opportunity to do similar abroad, definitely something I expect DD will want to do to.

It does sadden me that although there are such amazing opportunities around for every child (DD's school is comprehensive and offers both DoE and the NCS), only a few will take it up. I am delighted that DD is able to make the best of this opportunity but I hope that it won't be full of middle class kids who were just smarter at taking it up ,and that there will be a good mix of kids from all different backgrounds. That should be part of the learning, adapting to being around different kind of people.

VertigoNun Mon 21-Mar-16 17:09:40

We looked into it. Maybe my head has been turned by the tin hat brigade, it seems a bit Common purposey to me. confused

mouldycheesefan Mon 21-Mar-16 17:40:51

Not all teens are interested in doing that type of thing. Teen inertia.
I have seen them in Cornwall wearing pink t shirts and jumping off cliffs into the sea. Some of them do look like they are hating it. It's not for everyone!

Twitterqueen Mon 21-Mar-16 17:45:48

It's absolutely not the comp equivalent of D of E - ridiculous statement, take no notice OP. The 2 are very different - my DC's school offers both.

It's a great opportunity - my youngest did it and loved it. It's 3 weeks in the summer holidays - what's not to love?

GlitteryShoes Mon 21-Mar-16 17:46:48

Our local one offers different themes - they aren't all physical. I think the options last year were business, photography, volunteering and sport. I have found it very inclusive - my Vietnamese foster child who spoke no English got on very well.

Twitterqueen Mon 21-Mar-16 17:48:10

Week 1 is residential - 5 days of physical activity - think trekking, camping, gorge-walking etc. Week 2 is in uni halls of residence, doing interview techniques, Dragon's Den type projects. (Home for the weekends.) Week 3 is a 'social project'.

swingofthings Mon 21-Mar-16 18:31:27

This year it's actually 4 weeks, the last bit 'social action' extending over 2 weeks.

BackforGood Mon 21-Mar-16 18:37:58

It is a fab scheme except for the fact that they took away the Youth Service's budget to fund it but I understand it is targeted at Cities,rather than getting it filled up with too many MNers dc wink
It was a worthwhile distraction post GCSE for both my 2, and tremendously cheap, but both were a bit frustrated by the outdoor ed stuff which seemed to be all set up for those who hadn't done anything before (due to the target marketing I guess).

Leeds2 Mon 21-Mar-16 20:21:20

One of the things my DD found most useful was the week away in uni accommodation. She said that the experience helped her decide that she did in fact want to go to uni.

I suspect it is now four weeks to make up for the fact that previous years had to give up four weekends in September, which was quite difficult for a lot of them to fit in with other ongoing commitments.

Your DD will have a great time, whatever her background.

Mysillydog Mon 21-Mar-16 21:48:03

My dd is doing it this summer. It was heavily marketed at her school which also offers D of E. I think there will be a good mix of young people.

SAHDthatsall Mon 21-Mar-16 22:09:03

In terms of comments about not that many people doing it... I don't think the headline title 'National Citizens Service' does it any favours or makes it sound like an appealing experience.

mummytime Mon 21-Mar-16 22:17:16

My DD did it last summer. She did D of E about a year or so before. Several of her friends from NCS go to private schools (she is Comp school educated).

It is great, and she got a lot out of it.

BackforGood Mon 21-Mar-16 23:41:16

It depends who it running it - which seems to depend on where you live. When each of my dcs did it, it was marketed as 'The Challenge' which - I agree with SAHD - sounds a lot more exciting than NCS grin
There were a real mix of people on it, when the went.

Twitterqueen Tue 22-Mar-16 08:41:02

It's a shame, but a lot of people in my DC's school felt that it wasn't 'cool' so didn't bother with it.

It was billed as 4 weeks where I live (southern England) but it turned out to be only 3. This didn't matter.

My DC felt the 2nd week was the most valuable (river gorge walking isn't really her thing..). Living together in uni accommodation, having to plan, budget, buy and cook their own meals. It's a great prep for independent living.

GinandJag Tue 22-Mar-16 18:09:51

My DD did it last year and really enjoyed it. I couldn't believe that it only cost £35 (two weeks residential and one week at home).

It was good for her to get experience of a broader range of young people.

GinandJag Tue 22-Mar-16 18:12:45


It's not a comp thing. DD is privately educated.

One of the ideas behind NCS was to get young people from different backgrounds to mix with one another. That's why public schools are involved without the usual financial penalties.

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