Co-Curricular Chronicles: Outside The Conifers Academic CurriculumComments Off on Co-Curricular Chronicles: Outside The Conifers Academic Curriculum
Academic achievements are important for children, but there is so much more to attending school than learning English, maths, and science; co-curricular activities, and learning outside the classroom is also important. Children need to develop their social skills, indulge their passions and interests, as well as learning to build their emotional resilience. With all that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the benefits of co-curricular activities at Conifers, as well as the reasons that children benefit from their co-curricular activities.
What Are Co-Curricular Activities?
Co-curricular activities are activities and experiences that complement and extend the traditional academic curriculum in educational institutions, and these activities are typically voluntary and take place outside of regular classroom hours. Co-curricular activities are designed to provide students with a well-rounded education by offering opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and the exploration of interests beyond academic subjects.
Some common examples of co-curricular activities include:
Sports and athletics teams and clubs
Clubs and societies such as debate, drama, chess, science, or community service
Arts and creativity like music, art, dance, drama, or creative writing
Leadership and student government, such as serving as class representatives, or taking on leadership roles in school clubs
Public speaking and debates
Community service or working with charitable organisations
Academic competitions, such as maths or science Olympiads, spelling bees, or general knowledge quizzes
Cultural and language clubs that explore different cultures and languages
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities such as robotics, coding, and science experiments
Outdoor education, including camping, hiking, environmental education, and nature exploration
Each school will have their own offerings based on what the pupils want to take part in, and what they can provide for.
What Is The Difference Between Co-Curricular Activities, And Extracurricular Activities?
Co-curricular activities and extracurricular activities both encompass non-academic pursuits, and the terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two.
Extracurricular activities take place entirely outside the regular academic curriculum and class hours. They are voluntary and often focus on interests, hobbies, and passions.
In contrast, co-curricular activities are closely linked to the academic curriculum, and designed to complement and enhance classroom learning. They may have an educational component and are typically considered part of the school’s broader curriculum, even though they occur outside regular class time.
Both types of activities provide students with valuable experiences and skills but serve slightly different educational purposes.
What Are The Benefits Of Children Participating In Co-Curricular Activities?
There are a huge number of benefits that children may find for themselves individually – especially when they are taking part in co-curricular activities that they particularly enjoy. But there are well-documented advantages that children and parents benefit from when attending co-curricular activities, such as:
- Motivation to exercise
- Better sleep
- Improved social development
- Creates a sense of purpose and belonging
- Enhanced self-esteem
- Extends interests and skills
- Better mental health
- Creates time management skills
- Builds structure and routine
- Teaches the value of persistence and follow-through
- Can build leadership skills
In addition to these extensive benefits, children that take part in extracurricular, and co-curricular activities often achieve better grades, due to their increased engagement with the school environment.
What Activities Do Conifers Offer?
We offer a huge range of co-curricular activities, including:
Forest School – weekly lessons have resulted in improved academic performance of pupils
Outdoor learning – all pupils have an afternoon a week working outdoors
Sports – including gymnastics, rugby, football, tennis, rounders, cricket, netball, hockey and ultimate frisbee
Music and Drama – including choir, music ensembles, musical theatre, and LAMDA drama tuition, as well as peripatetic music lessons
Art and Design – including photography, fashion design, sculpture, textiles, and 3D modelling
Digital Learning – Stop motion allows for personalised projects, Pupil Post helps pupils create journalistic writing with Google Docs, and Coding Club allows pupils to explore their preferred coding disciplines
Trips And Visits
School trips are core memories for many children, whatever their purpose – either to supplement learning for a particular subject or a fun reward at the end of term. Our location gives us easy access to an extensive range of trips across West Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire, including Haslemere Educational Museum, Butser Ancient Farm and the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Chichester Festival Theatre, and all the history that the south coast has to explore.
Our trips aren’t just about supplementing academic endeavours; our residential programme is a highlight of the year for many, including the Conifers teaching team! Children get to experience the independence of staying away from home, with trips to Calshot Activity Centre for sailing, skiing, and team-building challenges, as well as going further afield to places such as Bletchley Park, Ironbridge, Cadbury World, with other fun activities such as indoor skiing and bowling on offer regularly.
Further afield, Northern France has been a popular trip, where we visit markets, eat waffles and croissants, visit historic sites such as the Wagon d’Armistice, and have a day at Parc Asterix.
Want to know more about what co-curricular activities Conifers School has to offer, and whether they would suit your child? Get in touch to discuss, book your attendance at an open day, or arrange a private tour.