Today, there is increasing recognition of the limits of classroom-based learning. While academics and critical thinking skills do need to be taught through lectures in a closed setting, there are life skills necessary for holistic development that cannot be learned solely in a classroom setting.
International schools are among the foremost believers in the development of such skills. Hence, beyond the standard academic curriculum, international schools place a great emphasis on after-school and extracurricular activities. Participation in these can help in bolstering credentials when applying to universities, as they make an individual look more well-rounded.
Beyond this, however, learning outside the classroom setting enables students to learn different life skills that cannot always be taught in a lecture. These skills will become handy no matter what careers or jobs they end up pursuing in the future. Hence, parents and schools are willing to invest in such activities for the benefit of their children.
Here are just some of the extracurricular activities that international schools offer and encourage students to get involved in:
Arts and Performance
A large part of a child’s personality and intelligence is developed through the ability to express oneself. This is why international schools place a premium on the arts. Hence, a wide variety of artistic activities are available, including visual arts, music, and performance art. These encourage creativity, independence, and self-expression among students, which not only help them relate to others more and develop better social skills but will also do wonders for their self-confidence and trust in their abilities.
A healthy lifestyle is a key to living a good and fruitful life. Hence, international schools also emphasize physical education and exercise, offering a wide variety of sporting options, from football and rugby to gymnastics and running. Physical education curricula are especially tailored to encourage a healthy lifestyle no matter one’s tastes or athletic abilities.
Furthermore, international schools have multiple sports teams that regularly participate in competitions. Being part of a sports team allows children to learn the values of camaraderie, teamwork, and perseverance, all positive characteristics that will take them far in life.
Academic extension activities allow bright students to apply their gifts to practical and real-life situations. These are activities which are connected to the academic skills they learn in the classroom, and actually, allow them to apply these skills in a real-world setting. Examples of such activities include journalism, debate, robotics, and math and science clubs.
Such activities encourage further learning among students. It also teaches them the value of critical thinking and the importance of education and learning in society.
The abundance of technology has by and large dramatically reduced the exposure of young children to the outdoors. Hence, many grow up learning very little about nature, the environment, and survival skills.
Outdoor education is aiming to change this by allowing time for students to leave the classroom and explore and play outside. As they grow older, they may even participate in trips outside the urban areas in order to teach them to engage with nature and be independent.
The gifts and talents of students are for naught if they are not used to help others. This is what service learning aims to teach. Through community outreaches and collaboration with various charitable organizations, the students learn how to make a positive difference. At the end of the day, this is the purpose of the education one gets, and it feels good for parents to know that their children will develop into good-natured and compassionate individuals.