Paul Dickinson from Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, Liverpool encourages students to make the most of their summer


Paul Dickinson, head teacher at Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College is joining heads across the country to encourage teens in Liverpool to make the most of the school holidays, in order to get a head start in the new term and life beyond it.

Supporting views from 200 secondary school teachers across the UK as part of a study from National Citizen Service (NCS), Paul agrees that students who have tried something new during the school holidays have a more positive attitude, and are more focused than their peers on returning to school. He also often sees students who have not kept themselves occupied over the holidays and agrees they can be less productive and find it difficult to concentrate when they return to school.

Paul Dickinson supports hundreds of teachers across the country, including stars of Channel 4’s Educating the East End and Educating Essex, who are encouraging teens to reset after an intensive academic year and instead seek new and exciting opportunities. He recommends taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a two-three week programme for 15-17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland, offering fun and discovery, whilst developing skills for work and life.

Paul Dickinson says: “Having experienced a challenging year at school, [insert location] students should be using the summer to let off some steam and have fun in order to be fully prepared and refreshed for the year ahead. However, this doesn’t mean their development needs to stall. There are many valuable lessons that students learn outside the classroom that impact, not only their performance when they return to school, but their life beyond that too.

“We all remember just how inspiring school holidays can be. I’d urge teens to use their freedom to harness the opportunity the summer brings through experiences like NCS, a programme we recommend at Archbishop Beck that is open to all 15-17 year olds across Liverpool. The programme which offers two-three weeks of fun and discovery gives teens the chance to make new friends, grow in confidence and learn valuable work and life skills, helping them to re-focus their minds ahead of the new term.”

The research from NCS amongst 1,000 teens shows despite opportunities like NCS being available to them, more than four in ten students expect to run out of things to do and one in three are already experiencing “FOMO” (fear of missing out) towards their friends’ plans. On average, teens will cost their parents more than £500 over the six week holiday period, despite planning to spend 84 hours lying in, 75 hours watching Netflix and 44 hours taking selfies.

NCS is open to 15-17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland and takes place outside of term time in a two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. Teenagers on NCS build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, and contributing to their community. The programme is recognised by UCAS and helps teens frame their skills and experiences for interviews and university applications. Government backing means that it costs £50 or less to take part, with bursaries available for those who need them.

Advice from teachers on how teenagers can best use the summer holidays:
Socialising in person rather than online (46%)
Having fun and discovering new experiences (45%)
Taking up challenging activities (38%)
Interacting with new people and making new friends (30%)
Learning new skills (28%)
Attending youth programmes offering fun and new challenges with new people their own age (27.5%)
Taking up or continue sports to help channel their energy through the summer (25%)
Volunteering in the local community (24.5%)
Holidays or excursions with family (24%)
Work experience/employment (24%)

The NCS summer programme is open now, for further information or to sign your teenager up, visit

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