Teaching | March 7, 2024

The value of extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities can play an incredibly important role in a pupil’s educational journey. They give children the chance to explore beyond their classrooms, providing them with the opportunities to discover new interests and learn new skills. 

The benefits of extracurricular activities

A study published in the Economics of Education Review by Stephen Lipscombe found that when it came to extracurricular activities, athletic participation is associated with a 2 percent increase in maths and science test scores. Club participation is associated with a 1 percent increase in maths test scores, and involvement in either type of activity is associated with a five percent increase in Bachelor’s degree attainment expectations.  

It’s crucial however, to avoid thinking extracurricular activities are only good for supporting subjects on the mainstream curriculum. Each one has its own intrinsic value and can spark an interest or uncover a passion which pupils carry with them for years to come, either simply as a pastime, or something that influences their choice of a profession in later life. 

Paradigm’s core principle is that our curriculum prepares pupils to lead fulfilling lives and to play an active, positive and productive role in our democratic society. In essence, the value of extracurricular activities lies in the holistic development they offer, contributing to well-rounded individuals ready to face the challenges of the future.

Extracurricular activities often improve social skills and teamwork. Whether through sports teams, games clubs, music ensembles or other activities, pupils learn to collaborate, communicate effectively, and appreciate the importance of collective effort. These experiences can contribute to personal growth and prepare pupils for the collaborative nature of the world of work.

Taking part in extracurricular activities is also a positive way for children and young people to build cultural capital. Participation exposes pupils to a variety of new experiences and environments, and this exposure can help them develop a broader understanding of different cultures, perspectives and ways of life. Participating in arts, music, drama and other creative activities can allow pupils to express themselves and develop an appreciation for various forms of cultural expression. This exposure enhances their cultural capital by growing creativity and aesthetic awareness.

Finally, clubs can also encourage pupils’ attendance, as they provide something additional they may look forward to coming to at school. 

By having a wide range of extracurricular activities on offer, before and after school, and at lunchtimes, we can give children access to learning and experiences they may not receive otherwise, helping them become more rounded individuals for the future. 

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