Academy head backs students’ summer course

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Banbridge Academy Principal, Mr. Robin McLoughlin is urging local teens to make the most of the school holidays, in order to get a head start in the new term and life beyond it.

Mr McLoughlin said students who had tried something new during the school holidays have a more positive attitude, and are more focused than their peers on returning to school.

Research from National Citizen Service (NCS), also indicates students who have not kept themselves occupied over the holidays can be less productive and find it difficult to concentrate when they return to school.

Mr McLoughlin recommended taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a two-three week programme for 15-17 year olds across Northern Ireland, offering fun and discovery, whilst developing skills for work and life.

Mr McLoughlin, said, “After a challenging year at school, Banbridge Academy students need to relax and have fun over the Summer so that they return refreshed and ready for the year ahead.

“However, this doesn’t mean the development of essential life skills needs to stall.

“Students can greatly develop their personal skills and capabilities through experiences outside the classroom. I urge teenagers in our community to harness the opportunity the summer holidays bring and participate in the NCS programme.

“The two/three week programme is open to all 15-17 year olds across Northern Ireland and we recommend the programme at Banbridge Academy as it provides an excellent opportunity for our pupils to make new friends, grow in confidence and learn valuable work and life skills.”

Nicole Parkinson-Kelly, a student at Banbridge Academy, took part in NI NCS last year.

“When I heard about the programme from school I thought it’d be great chance to grow my CV and keep myself busy – but in reality it was so much more than that.

“Not only did I feel more confident about my abilities and investing in school life, I met some amazing people and really did have the best summer of my life.”

Backing by the Department of Social Development in Northern Ireland means that it costs £50 or less to take part, with bursaries available for those who need them.

The NI NCS summer programme is open for further information visit www.ncsyes.co.uk. or contact Corinna Crooks, ccrooks@cooperationireland.org.