Major Highlights From Leaders Week!

ncs 3/11/2016

Leaders 2016 was lit!

We’re still getting our breath back after an incredible Leaders 2016. For the 106 NCS grads who went to Sevenoaks School, it was a week they’ll never forget – full of laughs, tears and ultimately, new friends for life. Here’s a round-up of what went down at Leaders 2016!


Stand up, speak out!

The Leaders were put into teams for the week, and one of the highlights was travelling round London and visiting organisations like BBC Radio 1 and Twitter, where they could meet the experts, get skilled-up and learn the ropes!  


When we had to navigate our way across molten lava...

In the spirit of a little thing called teamwork, each group had to navigate their way across molten hot lava, otherwise known as grass, using floor tiles, rope and the audacity of hope. Team Threedom knew the score: “Everyone will be going really fast but they’re gonna make mistakes, so let’s take it slow!”

There were plenty of innovative ideas – piggyback rides, anyone? – not to mention singing and high-fives. But it wasn’t all song ‘n’ dance; penalties were awarded for heels-touching-the-ground, and of course, the excuses were lined-up: “Even the MasterChef judges aren’t this bad!”


When we watched a one-handed piano player!

Leaders 2016 was also about inspiration, and the visit of one-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy was one of the week’s magic moments. Nicholas gave a talk and Q&A where he described how he overcame the doubters and became a celebrated concert pianist, even performing at the London Paralympic Games closing ceremony. We bagged an exclusive interview – check it out!


When we had to speak... in front of everyone. 

On the last day, the Leaders got the chance to show off their public speaking skills and wow the NCS judges. The quick-thinking grads came up with some inventive techniques – team 3 started proceedings by shaking the judges’ hands, and team 8 ended their presentation with a catchy banjo tune! 

There were some great team names – like NCS Club 7 – and the occasional pun, like when team 1 opened with…ahem… “Thanks for that one-derful introduction”. But the quote of the day went to team 3: “NCS taught us to ride a bike with stabilisers; now it’s time to ride a bike without stabilisers and continue our journey”. 

Perhaps the loveliest moments came when – following an incredible few days – Leaders felt able to share their innermost secrets with the group. The message from team 4 came loud and clear: “It’s okay to be who you are.”

But there had to be a winner, and after the judges convened backstage, the prize mug went to …team 8! Perhaps it was the ukulele tune that won it…


When we showed off our awesome talent! 

Last but not least, the talent show was an incredible way to cap off the week, as the Leaders plucked up the courage to share their gifts with a packed auditorium. From the sublime to the ridiculously sublime – those in attendance were treated to an acting masterclass, some cool dance routines, acoustic sessions and piano ballads aplenty. There were some true lighters-out moments (alright, iPhones out) and it was amazing to see the grads’ courage and the supportive atmosphere generated in the room.


Leaders 2016 was truly inspirational, and we can’t wait to do it all again next year. Were you at Leaders? Share your favourite moments @NCS!