How much do best international schools focus on extra and co-curricular activities? What are the activities included?

Firstly, let’s understand the difference between co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Co-curricular activities are those that are carried out along with the academic subjects which may include – Physical education, Music, Speech and Drama, Dance, Gym, Yoga. In most International Schools in South Mumbai, these activities are mandatory and follow a set curriculum. On the other hand, extra-curricular activities are those which may be conducted before or after school hours and are optional for students to join them. Activities such as Coding, Martial arts, debate clubs, swimming, Musical instruments, outdoor sports like Cricket, Football etc. are offered by most of the International schools in Mumbai. Students are free to choose these activities as per their interest or skills to further enhance their learning in that particular art or subject.

Both, co-curricular as well as extra-curricular activities help in the overall personality development of a student. All students may not be academically inclined. Similarly, not all students are inclined towards non -academic activities. Hence, an ideal international school will ensure that it provides a good balance of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to maintain a balance of both so as to improve the student’s abilities in more ways than one. This is called holistic development. It essentially means intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development which can be achieved through a firm balance between academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities.

Let’s look at some benefits to students for participating in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

  1. Gives a vast choice for pursuing interests
    Students are exposed to a variety of activities that also allow them to explore their area of interest. When students participate in extracurricular activities, they are able to discover activities and skills they never thought they could pursue in the first place.

  2. Enhances academic performance
    A number of studies have proved that when students participate in activities of their interest, it increases their brain function that helps enhance their abilities in academic subjects such as math, reading, etc.

  3. Teaches essential life skills
    Through extra-curricular activities, students learn important skills that include goal setting, teamwork, critical thinking, and public speaking. To give an example, students who participate in various competitions (inter house or inter-school) or are a part of debate clubs, usually show proficiency in speaking, reading and writing skills in class. They acquire the ability of analytical thinking which helps put their thoughts across in a comprehensible manner.

  4. Higher self-esteem
    Every student has their own potential and when a student achieves success through the activities he/she is passionate about, their self-confidence improves. For students who show a good inclination towards academic disciplines, extra-curricular activities help in feeling more confident about their abilities.

  5. Improves time management
    The word extra in extracurricular activities refers to something that is done beyond the space of the usual curriculum. Therefore, students have to spend extra time apart from the school hours to pursue these activities. When children participate in extra-curricular activities, they learn to prioritize their daily tasks to ensure that both academic and extra-curricular activities are given equal importance. Thus, developing their ability to manage time well.

  6. Adds weightage to the resume
    Participating in extra-curricular activities helps students when they are applying for admission to a college/university or even for a job. To include the achievements in extra-curricular activities on a resume works as evidence of the interests and skills of a student. At college levels, these skills can show that students have well-rounded personalities and can contribute to the college’s achievements too.

    In lieu of the benefits stated above, we come to the conclusion that extra-curricular activities help students in honing their skills and developing a holistic personality. The main reason for students to be actively involved in these activities is to stimulate their minds and teach a variety of skills that might otherwise be only theoretically understood in a classroom environment. Achievements from both academic and extra-curricular activities ensure that a student’s education is well-rounded. It is one of the most important priorities for International schools across Mumbai to give equal importance to academics, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to develop the ‘all-rounder’ factor in students. Thus ensuring a holistic education to students through a modern learning approach.
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