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Foundation Learning students have been taking part in a major personal development programme run by NCS.

The programme, aimed at full-time Further Education students, is designed to help increase young people’s self-confidence and resilience as well as teaching them useful practical skills.

Students on the Level 1 FE Pathway and on Achieve have enjoyed the programme so much that the college is now aiming for more learners from across the college to take part.

“The students have been doing really well so far, and they’re learning a lot of really useful skills,” said Lisa Moynihan, Head of Foundation Learning.

“Some of what they’re learning will be practically useful, like first aid, but a lot of the course is focused on transferrable skills like communication, teamwork, and confidence.

“It’s important to use to give our students lots of support to develop these kind of skills, and lots of opportunities to use them in different environments to help them to learn.”

The NCS programme involves three phases of activity, ranging from physical activities to raising money for charity.

The first phase is called Be Epic, and involved the students travelling to Taplow Lakes in Maidenhead to take part in three days of activities including watersports, a sensory trail and team games.

The second phase is called Live Life, in which NCS staff spent three days at the college delivering skills-based workshops.

These included first aid, public speaking, careers, resilience and employability, as well as talking about community challenges ahead of the final phase of the project, called Do Good.

The third phase is an opportunity for the students to use all their new skills as part of a social action project to support their community.

The students also take part in a final session aimed at reflecting on what they’ve learnt and their plans for the future, as well as celebrating their successes.

Students on the FE Pathway held a cake sale at college, raising £116, and raised £196 for Wildlife Aid.

Students on the Achieve programme chose the Samaritans as their charity. They swept leaves, held a football tournament, and even organised a sponsored head shave. They raised £230 for the Samaritans, more than doubling their original £100 target.

The NCS programme was designed for young people aged 16 and 17, or up to 24 for people who hold an EHCP. The programme was delivered free of charge.

Nescot’s Uniformed Public Services students also took part in the challenge this year.

Foundation Learning offers courses for young people with additional needs, or who have left school without formal qualifications. You can read more about the department online here. 

Foundation Learning
Photograph of a Nescot student

My experience of the NCS programme was that I was nervous on the first day, because I didn't know what to expect from it, but once we got started I shone like a star. I was in charge of the social media, so I was taking pictures for Instagram. We also went to Taplow Lakes, where we did some kayaking, canoeing and axe throwing, which I really enjoyed. I gave it 100% in all the activities. We also chose a charity called The Wildlife Aid Foundation, and we raised £125 for them. The whole experience on the NCS programme has boosted my confidence a lot. I would recommend the NCS programme to my friends and other students.