A secondary school has been awarded 'Champion School' status by the regional provider of the National Citizen Service (NCS) - a flagship youth programme for 16 and 17-year-olds - that sees them get stuck in with social action in Northampton.
The status has been awarded to Northampton Academy, which has excelled in promoting the programme and recruiting young people to take part over the last academic year.
In total, 90 students got involved, each student spent three weeks developing themselves personally and professionally before each engaging in 30 hours of social action, including: cleaning up Abington Park, raising money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice and the Hope Centre and revamping Broaden Horizons Garden.
Karen Betty, careers manager at Northampton Academy said: “At Northampton Academy, we recognise the markedly positive effect that participation in NCS programmes has had on both our students and the school. We have seen a notable change in pupil well-being and engagement with academic work.
"For young people, NCS provides a host of practical and emotional benefits, among them a positive contribution to UCAS personal statements and wider social and personal development. Nationwide nearly three-quarters of those who have taken part in NCS feel more confident about getting a job, and nine in ten feel that it has helped them develop useful skills for the future.
NCS is a unique two or three-week full-time Government-backed programme focused on fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society.
She added: "They also demonstrate high levels of confidence and resilience, something that we have noted amongst those pupils at Northampton Academy who have graduated from the programme.”
The award was presented at the NCS East Midlands 1 Champion School Awards Ceremony, held at a Leicester City Football Club on December 6.
The awards recognise the schools and colleges across Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire, who have excelled in endorsing and promoting NCS to their students.