The role of extra-curricular activities is predominantly to help boys develop into well-rounded individuals. At Trinity Grammar School, we refer to ‘co-curricular’ rather than ‘extra-curricular’ activities, as we believe they are paramount to an education in mind, body and spirit and run alongside the curriculum as a vital support to it, rather than be considered ‘extra’. The reasons why boys should be involved in extra-curricular activities are many and participation should be encouraged, yet finding a healthy balance is crucial because there is the a risk of overscheduling children. Nevertheless, boys who participate in a range of co-curricular activities can develop many skills that will help them to flourish, including:
1. Promoting physical health and development
Co-curricular activities support a boy’s physical health and development. For younger children, co-curricular activities can play a critical role in the development of a boy’s gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are improved by participating in sport and exercise. Young boys learn to better control their body and limbs; progress their coordination skills; and grow in strength. Playing an instrument or creating artworks will help with fine motor skills as they manoeuvre their fingers to play or draw.
For older boys, physical co-curricular activities can maintain and even improve health. These pursuits keep boys active, healthy, and evidence shows us that it can boost academic performance.
To assist with your son’s physical development, encourage him to join a co-curricular activity that gets his body moving, such as swimming, running or football. Not only will he develop physically, but he can also develop important life skills such as resilience and being a team player.
2. Helping the brain to develop
A key factor impacting a child’s brain development is his environment; the experiences a boy has on a regular basis literally shape his brain. For example, studies suggest that when boys take part in regular exercise in early childhood, it leads to an improved cognitive function and can even contribute to a larger hippocampus (the ‘memory bank’).
One significant impact of co-curricular activities on brain development is that it creates an environment for social interaction. Social activities that see children engage with one another on an interactive level encourage healthy brain development and social skills. A co-curricular context therefore is an invaluable environment as it provides opportunities for children to interact with others of different age groups and classes, allowing them to learn how to build and maintain relationships with a broad spectrum of people. Boys learn to work in a team, cooperate with others, and how to deal with conflict.
Non-physical co-curricular activities such as music, debating, chess, visual art, and languages can also help with brain development. Music can enhance academic learning in areas of literacy and numeracy. Chess can improve decision-making, strategic thinking and memory and concentration. Art can help students academically through language development, problem-solving and improved numeracy skills.
3. Enhancing wellbeing
Co-curricular activities can also enhance mental health and wellbeing. Studies suggest that participation in creative activities encourages positive relationships, supports the rapid blooming of synapses, resulting in the formation of well-rounded personalities, self-esteem and better mental health.
Further, by participating in non-academic activities such as sport, music, drama or art, boys can discover their God-given gifts and talents. When your son is aware of his skills and confident in his abilities, he can continue to grow and even build a future based on his unique talents. Make sure that you don’t limit your son’s activities to those interests you’d like him to pursue. Rather, allow him to choose the activities that interest him as he is more likely to stick with them.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning.
At Trinity, we believe that co-curricular activities are vital in supporting your son’s academic education and allowing him to pursue his passions, realise his potential and discover his life’s purpose. If you would like to learn more about the Trinity difference and our full range of co-curricular activities, download our Co-Curricular ebook.