How learning beyond books helps your child

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Jan 20, 2023
Primary school

Extracurricular activities (ECAs) and co-curricular activities (CCAs) might be seen as optional supplements to education — a way for children to stay busy when they are not studying or spending time with their family. In reality, however, ECAs and CCAs play a vital role in a child's primary school years. 

These activities allow students to explore their interests, discover their passions and grow academically and non-academically. Beyond that, each ECA and CCA provides students with a chance to develop the critical life skills they will need throughout their lifetime, such as teamwork, confidence, time management, resilience and leadership skills.

Key benefits of extracurricular & co-curricular activities

Learning beyond books by incorporating ECAs and CCAs into the curriculum has several benefits. Here are some: 

● These activities teach valuable life skills, over and beyond what traditional classroom learning teaches. Students in a basketball team, for example, learn the importance of teamwork and how to be active participants within a team. They will win some games and lose others, and through first-hand experience, they will learn how to persevere.

● Students who participate in extracurricular activities are known for being more resilient, independent and confident. For instance, a child who joins a public speaking club will begin to conquer this common fear at a young age. They will move forward with confidence, knowing they have acquired a skill that many are unable to develop.

Also read: 21st Century competencies that prepare your child for the future

● Primary school students who join sports or participate in clubs might meet peers that they may not otherwise have met. By expanding their social circles, they are more likely to develop more profound and lasting connections — not only with their newfound friends but also with their school community.

● Studies show that there is a connection between improved academic performance and participation in extracurricular activities. By staying active and becoming involved, students will be able to increase their cognitive performance in the classroom as they are able to focus better and remain more engaged.

● These activities form the building blocks for long-term success in life. Later, students will be asked to include their extracurricular activities on their university and job applications. Most universities and companies want well-rounded individuals who have a vast range of interests, skills and abilities — these can only be developed when students are engaged beyond the classroom.

GIIS SMART Campus, Singapore students attending a class at the Culinary Lab

ECAs & CCAs offered at GIIS

As a top international school in Singapore, GIIS believes in nurturing students holistically. Our 9GEMS model is the holistic framework that anchors our school. It ensures that all students develop in these key areas: Academics, Sports, Visual and Performing Arts, Personality Development, Innovation and Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, Universal Values and Ethics, and Community and Care.

As part of our 9GEMS holistic framework, we offer a variety of ECAs and CCAs so that every student can find their niche within our school. These activities include:

ECAs & CCAs in IB PYP (Grades 1-5)

The ECA and CCA offerings in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) are available to students in Grades 1 through 5. We have a diverse range of ECAs and CCAs, allowing students in the PYP to select activities that suit their interests and strengths. 

Some of our most popular ECAs include cricket, soccer, basketball, badminton and table tennis. While our most popular CCAs include culinary arts, robotics, and hobby clubs, such as the music or design clubs. 

ECAs & CCAs in CBSE (Grades 1-5)

Similar to the PYP, there are ECAs and CCAs available to students in Grades 1 through 5 who opt for the CBSE or the Indian central board curriculum. 

Our ECAs include cricket, soccer, basketball, and traditional games, while our CCAs include culinary arts, percussion instruments, hobby clubs, and media skills. 

These are offered on a seasonal basis, ensuring that the students get equal opportunity for all these activities during an academic year.

Gold Squad programme for all curricula

This specialised programme provides additional training to promising students in five different sports — cricket, football, basketball, badminton and tennis, as well as athletics. Students in the Gold Squad Accelerator programme receive best-in-class instruction at no extra cost. Regardless of the curriculum you choose, the Gold Squad Accelerator Programme is available. 

Moreover, these activities allow students to connect with their classmates, feel a part of their school community and discover their interests as well as their strengths. The more students participate in ECAs and CCAs, the less likely they are to have feelings of low self-esteem or low confidence.

For more information about ECAs and CCAs at GIIS, contact us today to schedule your school tour.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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