Join a club this summer!
During primary and secondary school, I got involved with nearly every extracurricular activity I could attend. From sport teams to creative writing, young parliament to drama, it feels exhausting just thinking about it. With so many clubs spread across the week, each lasting an hour, you wouldn’t be surprised if my grades slipped. Yet, they remained consistently good, and I have continued to make time for some of these hobbies as an adult. In fact, it turns out my successes are, in part, due to the time I spent in After School clubs. Here are some of the reasons how, and why, extracurricular activities are so important.
I discussed the significance of soft skills at University in a recent article, describing how they shaped me into a better person. Therefore, it cannot be understated how crucial these skills are during early and adolescent development. Whereas lessons promote an academic learning space, after school clubs present more of a social environment. Even during homework clubs, there is more incentive to communicate with other students. This can include children of different ages or skill sets too, allowing for unique interactions less likely to occur naturally.
These interactions are the foundations of working as a team, emphasised during these clubs. Whilst there are activities throughout school that encourage cooperation, lessons are geared more towards independent studying. Nearly every sport requires collaborating with teammates, building bonds together towards achieving a collective goal. Putting on plays in drama clubs relies not only on the chemistry of the actors, but everyone behind the scenes too. A team effort is required in every career path and is guaranteed to be mentioned in job descriptions. It’s also necessary for the fundamentals of building relationships, and thus very helpful for assembling flatpack furniture too.
Grades and Careers
As I’ve briefly alluded to already, participating in extracurricular activities during primary school helped me attain good grades. Since then, studies from the Institute of Education, Newcastle University and many others have proven such a correlation exists. According to the Nuffield Foundation, children between ages 5 and 11 were almost one and a half times more likely to exceed their targets in Key Stage 2 Mathematics when involved in organised sports. This video from the BBC highlights how mindsets can change, with the children receiving further encouragement becoming more motivated to learn.
Early development of such motivation in clubs can help to cultivate two things: Grit and Opportunities. I recently finished reading Angela Duckworth’s great book titled Grit this year, and her research showed that those who were involved in extracurricular activities at a young age became more resilient adults. Subtitled passion and perseverance, these traits are more essential than natural talent. Linking this with opportunities, having the chance to try something new could unlock the dream life ambition for a child. With so many possible career paths available, it’s impossible to teach about them all during term time lessons. Alternatively, they can remain as fun hobbies, so join a club today! We’re even running a fun holiday club this summer, so why not check it out?