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Child Development

Learning beyond the classroom: How co-curricular activities build character

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Students today have learned to step outside of their physical classrooms and into the world of online learning. But what does it truly mean to take learning “beyond the classroom”? makchic joins Garden International School (GIS) in exploring this issue.

Holistic Education

Modern parents are increasingly aware of the importance of a holistic approach to education. Being grounded in math, science and literacy skills isn’t enough. We want our kids to develop as empowered, empathetic individuals, with the resilience needed to navigate an ever-changing world.

How Do We Do This?

Co-curricular activities (CCA) are excellent opportunities to hone these essential skills beyond the classroom setting. Some of the benefits of CCA include:

  • improving a child’s self-esteem;
  • fostering responsibility and time management skills;
  • building social relationships and encouraging teamwork; and
  • establishing a sense of global awareness.

CCA in Action

Here are 5 important activities (and their related life skills) to help your child take learning beyond the classroom:

1. Digital literacy

The pandemic has drastically changed the way we operate. As we step into an unknown future, we need to think preemptively and equip our children with the necessary skills to meet this uncertainty.

The importance of digital literacy cannot be ignored.  In an age rife with misinformation, our kids need to learn how to think critically and consume media responsibly.

Technology will continue to play a vital part in our children’s future. As such, an awareness of key skills, such as coding, computer science and robotics, will give them an early advantage and hone their problem-solving abilities.

2. Sports

Sporting activities are a great way to get our kids up and moving. This provides them with a much-needed mental break and teaches them how to keep their bodies and minds healthy. Even in the midst of our current MCO, our children are able to stay physically active through online fitness classes that keep them connected with their peers. 

Aside from the obvious physical benefits, sports are also an excellent way of fostering a sense of leadership and healthy competition. Through training sessions, kids learn the value of discipline, commitment and perseverance.

Importantly, children will also learn how to work together as a team and develop skills such as sportsmanship and cooperation, as they learn to handle wins and losses with grace.

3. Creative arts

Activities such as art, music, dance or theatre give children the opportunity to think outside of the box and express themselves. Participating in creative events, whether online or offline, also helps to strengthen a child’s self-confidence, imagination and curiosity.

For younger kids, the arts are also a wonderful way of honing their visual learning and motor skills, whether through picking up a paintbrush or learning a new dance move.

4. Culinary skills

Cooking is a valuable life skill for any child. Observing how meals are prepared, trying out different foods and understanding the value of nutrition are fun and educational ways of exposing kids to new concepts.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities can also be incorporated by measuring ingredients and experimenting with different food combinations, which brings learning to life in a whole new way!

5. Community service

Social and emotional learning improves academic outcomes and behaviours and enables children to make considerate decisions. Thus, integrating this through community service programmes helps students to develop a greater sense of empathy.

Participating in community activities also encourages the development of a child’s social skills as they learn to interact with people from different backgrounds. As children learn about social and humanitarian issues, they are better able to internalise key values of inclusivity, compassion and responsibility to the community around them.

GIS’ Wider Life provision

GIS students have access to one of the largest CCA programmes in Southeast Asia, with over 150 different activities and clubs across four key areas (Global Citizenship, Creative, Community Service and Physical Performance).

GIS’ commitment to providing students with a holistic education still continues during this MCO. Exciting activities ranging from taekwondo and photography, to scratch coding, cooking and chess have been made available to students and their families through GIS’ online CCA Academy. Combining live Zoom meetings and pre-recorded content, over 250 sessions have been conducted thus far under the supervision of GIS’ CCA team. Past sessions are also made available to students for on-demand viewing. 

This is a sponsored post by Garden International School.

Looking for a school that values the importance of CCA and learning beyond the classroom from an early age? GIS is currently offering a promotion of up to 75% off their registration fees for early enrollments for their August 2021 intake. Please click on the banner below for further information.

As a litigation lawyer turned full-time mum, Kimberly Lee finds that arguing court cases never seemed quite as difficult as arguing with an obstinate toddler over carrots. She writes about life, loss, love and everything in between as she explores her greatest adventure yet- motherhood.