Extracurricular activities are a fantastic opportunity for your child to be exposed to new ideas from an early age. Your child can develop interests outside of their classroom curriculum, in hobbies such as sports, arts and technology, which will help them mature into a well-rounded adult. Afterschool clubs and societies can also spark a lifelong passion in children for particular subjects and issues, which can later be paired with their “core” subjects of interest at GCSE and A Level to make for strong and distinctive applications to the best universities.
However to stand out from the crowd, whether for a prospective university place or a job, it is not enough for your child to only excel in their studies. It is increasingly important, as our world shrinks due to globalisation and strides in technology, that young people have strong social and networking skills. Participating in extracurricular activities are a fun and effective way of picking up such skills, as they often require young people to work together on projects and are a natural way for them to build their communication and interpersonal skills.
Leadership and teamwork qualities are also desired in almost all walks of life, whether academic or professional. In secondary schools, students often run the extracurricular clubs and activities themselves. This is a great chance for children who are born leaders to explore leadership roles by spearheading activities around their interests.
Good teamwork qualities however do not just include leadership skills. They also mean understanding what role each individual is suited for. Extracurricular activities provide young people with a chance to discover this. By working with one another in putting together events ranging from bake sales to charity runs, they realise where their own strengths and weaknesses lie. One person may be a great entrepreneur, coming up with new ideas every minute, whilst another might be practical and able to execute those ideas effectively. Neither person is more important than the other. In fact, they are both necessary to one another in order to produce a successful end result. Extracurricular activities are an excellent way for students to learn about teamwork and where they fit in different teams, which they can carry forward to their professional lives as well.
Learning to be responsible is another crucial skill that is imparted through extracurricular activities. Whilst in charge of their own events and clubs, young people learn to be punctual, reliable, perceptive of the needs of others and cautious in following necessary guidelines, such as for health and safety. This makes them confident and comfortable in taking on new and more challenging responsibilities in the future and is an excellent foundation for university and professional life.
Extracurricular activities can also benefit the overall development of your child. We would recommend that a very shy child could start attending Debate Club sessions or audition for the school play, even if they have no interest in a future job in politics or the theatre. They would nonetheless learn important skills of communication and be drawn out of their shell, which would be an advantage to them later on in their education and career. We look at each child we work with as an individual and advise them to bolster their unique strengths as well as give them strategies to overcome their weaknesses. Extracurricular activities are a fantastic way to achieve both tasks.