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National Citizen Service

Citizenship Curriculum Materials

ACT has written and developed a set of materials in partnership with the NCS Trust. The materials aim to help citizenship teachers to provide high quality, innovative citizenship teaching for pupils that is engaging, active and fun while making links between the statutory National Curriculum for Citizenship at Key Stages 3 and 4 and the National Citizen Service programme for 15 - 17 year olds. The materials will also support teaching of the GCSE Citizenship Studies qualification where that is used. Find out more and download resources

National Citizen Service Programme
NCS is a youth development programme available to 15-17 year-olds in England and Northern Ireland. The programme takes place outside of term time during the spring, summer and autumn holidays. Through team building exercises and outdoor activities, young people embark on new challenges, meet new people and build skills for work and life. What’s more, the whole experience costs no more than £50 due to government backing, which means there are no cost implications for your school.

We know that schools want the best for their students, and NCS is an experience that every young person should have the chance to do. More than 200,000 young people have already taken part in this life-changing experience and have given back to their community. To date, young people have delivered five million hours of social action on-programme. NCS empowers young people to develop important life skills outside of the classroom – leadership, teamwork and resilience – which complements their lessons in class. NCS graduates are equipped with the skills employers increasingly value while UCAS recommends students include NCS in their personal statement.

“We all want stronger communities, and confident and engaged young adults. That’s why I’m proud to support National Citizen Service.”
Rt Hon David Blunkett, NCS Trust Board Member

Teachers can get involved if they wish, and NCS is proud to work with some amazing organisations that deliver the programme across the UK – including charities, colleges, social enterprises and private sector partnerships.

The key phases of the NCS programme are as follows:

Phase 1:
Week one is all about new experiences. We partner with some of the country’s most popular outdoor activity and residential centres, where young people enjoy some fun and adventure.
Phase 2:
 In week two, young people embrace independent living, typically in university campus dorms or uni-style halls, where they learn skills for work and life, such as public speaking and managing a budget. A great opportunity to mix with young people from different backgrounds and discover new interests. 
Phase 3:
Social Action
In weeks three and four, NCS participants return to their local area and make a difference in their community. A great opportunity for young people to make their mark and have their voice heard.
Phase 4:
At the end of the four weeks, they’re now part of the bigger NCS family. They’ll get exclusive access to potential volunteering opportunities and apprenticeships as well as amazing discounts and big events. 

Please note – our shorter spring and autumn programmes include 3 residential nights, with participants staying at home for the remainder of NCS.

If you would like someone from NCS or your local NCS provider to get in touch please leave your contact details in the form at the bottom of this page (below the video) and they will be in touch with you shortly.

For further information about the NCS programme, please visit or email

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