So what’s NCS really like? Gurpreet, Bryony and William are three of our grads who’ve actually done the programme in different locations. We asked them to describe their NCS experience for each phase of the programme and here, they’ve given us all the scoop on Phase 2 – Discovery. Check out what you can really expect when you go on NCS!
Where did you stay for Phase 2 of NCS?
G: We stayed in the student village apartments where we had individual rooms.
B: Wolverhampton University, Telford Campus.
W: Steyning Grammar school.
What did you expect from Phase 2 when you signed up?
G: Before we started phase 2, I expected to learn a particular skill with our teams based on what we chose beforehand. I expected to face some challenges when we had to cook dinner for ourselves every night which turned out to actually be quite fun!
B: I didn’t really know what I expected, I thought it was going to be boring and that I wouldn’t enjoy it. Originally, I wasn’t planning on turning up but after Phase 1, I actually wanted to go so I could spend more time with my new friends. The fact I enjoyed Phase 2 the most just shows how it’s important to have an open mind to everything!
W: I literally had no idea what Phase 2 was going to be like when I signed up. I thought it’d be just like the first week.
What did you do on day one of Phase 2?
G: On our first full day, we were introduced to a skill we’d learn about that week. I was put in Team Reece which was for drama! We met our practitioner who helped us through the week and got us to do fun drama-related activities like mimicking each other and doing improv sessions!
B: The first day was actually the warmest day of the year! I did activities like drum and bounce, self-defence and interview skills! It was so different from what I would’ve been doing at home, plus the different workshops were so fun and exciting!
W: I spent a lot of time with the small group of friends that I played basketball with in Phase 1. I also played a few games of werewolf with my group.
What skills did you learn? Do you feel you left Phase 2 with more skills than you came with?
G: From Phase 2 I learnt so much about how you can use different drama techniques to communicate with people. We performed a pantomime for a young people’s disability home by using our new skills to get them involved and make sure everyone was enjoying themselves.
B: I gained communication skills without even realising, as my confidence in myself grew. I started to speak to others without the fear of rejection all from the workshops in Phase 2! This part of the programme showed me how I could achieve whatever I want.
W: I learnt communication skills. I could communicate more freely than I could before and it helped cure some of my social anxiety. I was also able to be free around people in general and be less awkward and less scared to approach and talk to people.
What did you do in the evenings?
G: In the evenings, we used to go up to our kitchen and cook dinner together. We chose a meal plan for the week so we had all the ingredients we needed to cook up a storm! By the time we finished, we all would go down to the grassy area outside to meet everyone in the wave for some free time. We would then walk down to the park for wave time where we would play games and sit for some reflection time in our groups.
B: There were sports opportunities, movie nights and even a disco evening! There was always something to do, so you were never bored. The people around you were no longer strangers either so just chilling out and chatting with all these new friends was so much fun!
W: In the evenings, I mostly hung out with my basketball buddies from Phase 1. We played card games and chatted. There were also opportunities to use the common room and watch some TV and play pool or table tennis. On one of the nights, a bunch of us had a big dance sesh outside. That was great!
What was the best moment of Phase 2?
G: The best moment was when we performed the pantomime for the young people’s disability home and when we went to an elderly care home and sang songs for them. We never would have had these opportunities before so it was enlightening to spend time with them.
B: It was all one amazing moment. If you live for the moment the fun never stops. I can’t really pinpoint one specific part as Phase 2 was a bundle of laughs and memories that I will treasure for a very long time!
W: It was all enjoyable. But some highlights include me being the last wolf standing and winning a game of werewolf due to my dubious tactics (a secret of course), and killing my friend Seb (not literally) in a game of assassin we were playing.
What was the accommodation like? Did you share a room and if so, how was it?
G: The accommodation was brilliant! We got individual rooms with an ensuite bathroom. There were about 6 rooms to each kitchen where we could hang out together.
B: It was in a university accommodation, and I had a room with my own ensuite which was great! But we pulled a mattress from another room, and grabbed the comfy chairs for the kitchen so we could have a sleepover for 3! (We did ask for permission first!)
W: The accommodation was awesome! Well…for me it was! Due to physical medical requirements, I was given the biggest room on site! It was meant for two people but I had it all to myself – even better! As for a boarding school, I was impressed. I go to Christ’s Hospital which is a boarding school in Horsham. (I didn’t tell you this, but between you and me, Steyning’s rooms are better).
A big thanks to Gurpreet, Bryony and William for their contributions. Now you’ve got the lowdown on phase 2, find out what happens on phase 3 – Action!