Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities during their time at school — from sport, music and drama to personal development and community service programs. There are a whole range of benefits that come from involvement in these programs, we explore a few below.
Weekly activities can offer a welcome break from studies and homework — particularly for senior students if they can spare the time. Depending on your child’s interests, they may provide the chance to get outside and exercise, see friends, pursue a hobby or simply destress and refresh their mind. They also help limit the time your child is spending in front of a TV or computer screen.
In addition to building skills within a specific discipline, extracurricular activities are great for developing general academic and soft skills. Think debating for public speaking, academic competitions for exam strategies and sport for teamwork. Balancing a number of commitments can help to improve your child’s time management skills, while finding an area they enjoy or excel at can boost self-confidence.
While students usually have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of study areas through core subjects and electives, extracurricular activities allow students to explore an interest in more depth than what is covered in class — or maybe even find a completely new interest that they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. They can also provide a great chance for students to broaden their perspective of the world, particularly those involved in volunteering and community service programs.
Extracurricular activities are great to include on a résumé as evidence of well-rounded interests and skills. Participation in sport can indicate that your child has the ability to work as part of a team, the drive to reach and improve on goals and the commitment to attend regular training sessions. If your child has secured a leadership position — as a school, house, music or sports captain, for example — this will instantly catch the eye of both universities and employers.
Being part of a group or team provides a sense of belonging, with extracurricular activities offering an opportunity for your child to interact with others with similar interests and potentially build friendships outside of their usual circle.