The work of an inspiring teacher has led Richmond School to be singled out in the area and honoured as a Gold Champion School for its exceptional engagement and commitment to working alongside the National Citizen Service (NCS).

Sandra Johnson, Assistant Headteacher and Leader of Transition at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, spearheads the NCS programme, wholly embracing its ethos and promoting the scheme to Year 11 students.  Gold championship status is rarely awarded and Richmond School is the only school in Richmondshire and Hambleton to be honoured with the accolade and one of only a few across the whole of North Yorkshire.

NCS is firmly embedded into the school’s curriculum and enables students to participate in adventure, skills and social action enterprise and community work, equipping them with important skills for their future careers.

Eleanor Bradley, Year 12 student took part in 2018 and says: “It was a very interesting and valuable experience. I made lots of new friends who I stay in touch with. I learnt so many new and useful skills and my confidence has grown as a result of taking part.”

Highly-respected by universities and employers, NCS is open to all young people and focuses on social cohesion, engagement and mobility with over 100,000 Year 11 students participating nationally each summer. The government-funded initiative offers £1,500 to enable each student to take part and is highly regarded by universities and employers and will strengthen students’ applications.

Sophie Ritchie, NCS Recruitment Co-ordinator, says: “Richmond School really embraces the benefits of the NCS scheme and are so enthusiastic and proactive. It is the support of Sandra Johnson and the Senior Leadership Team at Richmond that really sets the School apart, they have a fantastic ethos and commitment to developing well-rounded students which works hand in hand with their focus on student achievement in studies and exams.  They fully appreciate the package of benefits NCS offers whilst motivating students to work hard towards their exams, knowing they have such a great and valuable experience to look forward to in the summer.”

Sandra Johnson, Assistant Headteacher and Leader of Transition comments: ”NCS is a great way for students to develop confidence, leadership and communication skills; it enables them to make a difference in their local community and gives them an opportunity to meet lots of new people and have some fun over the summer holidays.”

The NCS scheme offers a three-week opportunity for students focusing on adventure, discovery and action – developing communication, leadership, team-building and managements skills, culminating in the final week when students implement all they have learned in a social enterprise or community project. Students not only make a significant impact through volunteering, they develop essential skills for life and an enhanced awareness of their local community.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher at Richmond School and Sixth Form concludes: “’Ms Johnson’s support for this excellent scheme has reaped real rewards for our students in terms of exciting opportunities and the chance to network with similarly minded young people.’

Sophie Ritchie, NCS Recruitment Co-ordinator presented Sandra Johnson with the Gold Award and a hamper. The hamper will be raffled, with proceeds going to the Brain Tumour Trust.

To find out more about NCS visit