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Extra-curricular activities are voluntary activities that fall outside the school curriculum, normally after school hours. Students participant in extra-curricular activities to develop their interests, or to support a further education application. Because extra-curricular activities are outside the school curriculum (and learning expectations do not have to be specifically met) students and educators can explore various skills, teaching methods and interesting projects.
Many students may be interested in creative arts/activities that are not offered by the school curriculum. Extra-curricular activities in art and design, creative writing, photography or student newsletters can help students looking to studying the arts in higher education gain some solid experience. Student newsletters are particularly popular, and can often be completely organised, written and printed by students themselves.
Extra-curricular activities in music and drama can be used in conjunction with each other. For example, an extra-curricular activity could be for students interested in music performance and another extra-curricular activity may be for students interested in drama, acting or dancing. If students taking drama are planning a performance, then students involved in music clubs could provide the musical score. Similarly, if any students are involved in art/design extra-curricular activities in the school, they can also design sets for performances.
Language clubs are an effective way of exposing students to new cultures. Students can learn new languages without the pressure of examinations or learning expectations, and explore learning a new language in engaging ways (such as learning through learning games or visiting another country to use their skills). Students can also engage in cultural exchanges to learn more about the language and culture they are interested in (for example, writing letters to students in Italy if they are studying Italian).
Sporting activities are generally the most popular extra-curricular activities in schools. Students can participate in various sporting activities -- such as football, netball, hockey, basketball, track or gymnastics -- or become involved in school sports teams. Outdoor extra-curricular activities can also be a fun way for students to explore their interests and skills, for example scouting, bird watching or camping.
Volunteer clubs that focus on finding volunteer work for students (either within the school or elsewhere) may interest students who are looking for relevant work experience for their future career, or to give added weight to their college application. Teachers can organise skills workshops for particular volunteer opportunities (i.e., social skills if students are planning to volunteer working with welfare charities) and work with local charities to find students relevant placements. Students can also be given the opportunity to run their own charities, or help in the community without the aid of an organisation.
- Kids Health: Extracurricular Activities
- "Using extra-curricular activity as an indicator of interpersonal skill"; Rubin, R.S., Bommer, W.H. & Baldwin, T.T.; 2002
- "Extra-curricular Activities: What role do they play in education?"; Billy B. Millus; 1998
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