My Summer With NCS

Posted: 8th October 2019

In this news, Lower Sixth Former Birdie Griffiths reports back on her summer holidays; four weeks of which were spent on a National Citizen Service Course and one week undertaking work experience with Ricardo. It’s wonderful to see a student using the long summer holiday to develop her skills and explore new opportunities. If you are interested in finding out how you can do something similar, please contact me via the school office.

Judith Edey, Head of Futures, Burgess Hill Girls


Over the Summer I’ve had great fun, exploring many new opportunities, including a four week National Citizen Service (NCS) course and a week’s work experience at the engineering company, Ricardo.

At the beginning of July I began my NCS journey by travelling to Dorset for a week of camping. Luckily, the weather was sunny and I enjoyed outdoor activities including high ropes, canoeing, orienteering, tag archery and team games. I met many new people and we all bonded over the restless nights of sleep due to the freezing cold.

NCS Course - Birdie Burgess Hill Girls

After a weekend at home we moved on to a week at the University of Southampton, where we stayed in student accommodation. We had to cook for ourselves and even had a three course meal (that we prepared) judged by the NCS leaders. During the day, we received talks and engaged in interactive activities, on a range of topics including politics, economics and public speaking.

In the last two weeks of the programme we planned our social action project, we helped a charity local to Burgess Hill (The Shed) by creating a pop-up shop in the Martlets centre and selling their crafts, as well as baking our own cakes to sell. The Shed provides a craft workshop for people in and around Burgess Hill who need a work place, equipment and help to pursue their own projects and hobbies. At this time we gained independence and took control of our own projects, allowing us to develop our communication skills from talking to local businesses and also develop our management skills, as we had to organise everything ourselves. NCS allowed me to improve my ‘soft’ skills and meet many new people.

NCS Course Burgess Hill - Birdie - Burgess Hill Girls

Later on in Summer, I was lucky enough to enjoy a weeks work experience at Ricardo. I spent time in different departments, starting with Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). I worked in a semi anechoic chamber and helped to set up microphones and sensors, as well as routing wires ready for testing. I received a tour of the building and saw all the different departments and the achievements of Ricardo. Then I moved onto design, where I learnt how to use CAD software. This allowed me to design and 3D print my own phone holder. I also learnt how 3D printing can be used to help test ideas, before anything is formalised. Throughout the week I learnt new skills and expanded my knowledge of the working environment surrounding engineering. Everyone was so kind and very helpful, I absolutely loved the experience.