Sri Lanka (Turtle Sanctuary) 2018
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National Citizen Service (NCS) Year 12 Induction 2016
Employers and Universities are looking for more than just final grades from our school leavers; they want to see an applicant who has also developed the “soft” skills of effective communication, problem solving, resilience, and reflection. NCS is a national strategy, which is backed by the government, and delivered by Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) within our local area. The opportunity was unique for our students, as CACT modified their existing programme in order to deliver it to a group of students, rather than individuals who sign up for the programme individually. The aim of the programme for us, was to enable our students to bond as a year group, to try new things, gain new skills and challenge themselves. Students will develop skills in a real setting, and have the chance to make a real difference to their local, our local community.
The NCS programme, saw students attend a four day residential trip, and undertake several days of planning and delivering a community service/social action plan project. For the residential trip, we took students on an outward bounds trip to Wales. They took part in challenges including caving, climbing, and hiking. Projects included revamping a tired vegetable patch at a local nursery, working with members of a retirement home, designing an advertising campaign for MIND, and raising money for the Charlton Athletic Upbeats programme.
The NCS programme is also a wonderful support tools for students. Graduates receive support when applying for jobs and also have the opportunity to become part of the CACT’s apprenticeship network.
“The social action project was a good experience, we was put into teams some of us didn’t know eachother very well this allowed us to get to know each other and to be more confident when meeting new people. After the experience I felt proud of myself and my team for helping out our chosen charity, the Charlton Athletic Upbeats, by raising a lot of money.” Santiago Valentine, Year 12
“We stayed at Gilwern Outdoor Education Centre in Abergavenny, Wales. Whilst we were there we took part in a range of team building exercises from canoeing to rock climbing. I especially enjoyed the caving because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to overcome my water-based fear and anxieties.” Kali-Rose Brooks, Year 12.
“I think that NCS was a great experience as it brought everyone together and required each individual to work in a team; I was an external student to Wilmington Academy, and it helped me to settle in more quickly. For our social project my group worked in an elderly home in Gravesend, and hosted games and quizzes. I think that the experienced helped me to work more effectively in a team, and helped me gain in confidence.” Ben Dobinson, Year 12.
Post 16 Student Leaders – Peer Mentoring
Wilmington Academy Post 16 Student Leaders have initiated a Peer Mentoring pilot with Minerva. They have had the opportunity to support and mentor younger students with their Literacy, Numeracy and SMSC, during tutor time. When asked to review how this was progressing Chloe Mann reported back:
“I feel as if I am positively contributing towards Ms Ward’s form by helping to mentor her tutor group. Ciara and I sit in the plaza and help two students with their maths work, to supporting them whilst they practice for their exams. We use past papers to go over previous exam questions. I feel as though we are all gaining something from this experience.”
Volunteer Africa 2014
After 13 months of fundraising to raise over £30,000, 17 Post 16 students undertook the challenge of a lifetime. After two flights and a 6-hour van journey from Nairobi they finally arrived in Lake Nakuru to embark on Volunteer projects with African Adventures.
The students worked incredibly hard to raise the money to go on the trip. Activities ranging from a sponsored Sky dive, 100 mile march, sponsored Judo, bag packing and lots of other activities helped contribute to ensuring the students went on the trip.
The projects involved the students working with schools operating in the slums of Nakuru, working with the poorest children they had ever encountered. The work involved teaching primary children, constructing school rooms and helping with the feeding programme. The trip was emotionally overwhelming with many of the students becoming acutely aware of the privileges they have and what we, sometimes, take for granted. The poverty witnessed was heart breaking with many of the children they worked with relying on the projects for not only a basic primary education but also shelter, food and water.
Some of the students want to share their experience:
“My trip to Kenya was a life changing experience, but it was not until I got home that I realised how profound the trip was. Volunteering at the Jubilee project was amazing, because we were able to make a difference to the school, teacher and the children”. Flori Catling
“The overall trip to Kenya was very emotional. You hear about the way people live out there but you never actually believe it until you see it for yourself. It made me think about how lucky we are back at home and definitely changed the way I feel about things such as leftover food. If I had the chance I would definitely do it again and I would love to help those poor kids to have a better future.
Whilst there, I helped build a classroom and fix furniture with the rest of the construction team, at least these kids have better facilities to learn in now instead of all being cramped in one class. We had some bonuses like a safari trip, which was great to see the wildlife roaming around so freely. I recommend this trip to anyone. It’s a real eye-opener”. Tom Nobbs
“The Trip to Kenya was really inspirational, life changing but most of all enjoyable. I am truly honoured that my school gave me a chance to help needy people. I worked in a school project called Mamma Kerry. The people were lovely, kind and respectful. I also visited several unique places with breathtaking views. I would recommend this trip to anyone – you will never be the same”. Lewis Stevens
“A highlight for me was seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when they received the simple gifts we had collected. I could not believe how happy the children are in such basic school conditions – it really was an amazing experience that I will never forget”. Louis Rhodes
This year has seen students dedicate vast amounts of time and energy to both projects within the school community and outside.
We are excited about our forthcoming volunteer trips to Africa and Romania. Students have undertaken parachute jumps, 100 mile marches, sponsored walks, quiz nights, bag packing, social events and lots more to raise the money to make a real difference to disadvantaged students overseas.