By Andy Pritchard, CCA
If you type the title of this article into a ‘google’ search you get some very interesting articles indeed. One I have just read is called the ‘Academic Value of Non-Academics’ which puts forward a compelling case for the value of co-curricular programmes, their link to academic success and to us as individuals becoming active citizens.
All well and good? The evidence?
Social research over the past decade in the West particularly, shows a correlation between participation in after school activities whether it be a vocational group like chess, fencing, music club, dance, drama etc., or participation in any type of sports club or team game. A number of social scientists and academic researchers have had the opportunity to review an increasing volume of social and academic data and make comparisons between school performance and participation in the above activities. Their findings are very interesting and whilst the researchers are slightly reluctant to describe a straight line between ‘crochet club and Ivy League’ there is some quite compelling reasons that your children should be taking part in some form of co-curricular activity or sports programme which include:
- Children with the highest test scores are the most active in after school programmes
- Over two thirds of children in the top quarter of the test takers played sport
- The odds of completing further or higher education education amongst the co-curricular participants was 179% higher than those who did not participate
- Civic engagement was 31% higher
- Children and young adults taking part in co-curricular were seen to transfer their passion and persistence into other parts of their lives
Other research suggests that the link between academic success and co-curricular participation could be that your children are involved with an adult who is a good role model, whether as a drama director or sports coach. In addition school becomes much more enjoyable when your children find a group of like minded individuals and friends in a programmes such as a cooking class or film making club and therefore become more engaged with school (incidentally both of these are offered at GIS).
Whilst the findings are not always consistent and conclusive some of the researchers indicate there is a statistically significant cause and effect in the data. So all to gain and nothing really to lose.
On a personal note life for me changed when, like William Web Ellis, I first took up the ball and ran with it at the age of 11yrs old. I am evidence of that extra curricular link between my sport and where I am today in my life and I am fortunate to have a wonderful network of friends, colleagues and associates as a consequence of my participation in rugby that was offered as an extra curricular sport at the school that I attended.
CCA team’s aim is to provide options where there is something for everyone, choices for your children to enjoy, participate and in some cases excel.