What is co-curricular?

What is co-curricular?

Co-curricular activities are generally defined as those activities that take place outside the classroom. They refer to activities and learning experiences that complement classroom learning and are typically (but not always) defined by their separation from academic programmes. They can also be known as extra-curricular activities.

At Trinity Grammar School, we refer to ‘co-curricular’ activities 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’.

Co-curricular programmes are designed to complement academic learning. They offer diversity and choice and that’s why we think it’s important that parents consider more than academics when selecting a school for their son.

Impact on learning

Impact on learning

At Trinity, we believe that co-curricular activities are essential to developing well-rounded boys who are confident, passionate and motivated to learn. For this reason, our extensive co-curricular programme begins from the early years of schooling to ensure a stimulating learning environment for your child. There are many ways co-curricular activities can enhance education.

Research shows that co-curricular activities play a pivotal role in developing higher academic results; diversifying talents and knowledge; building stronger relationships with peers; and, enhancing a boy’s connection to his school. Enjoying a wide range of different activities can improve a boys’ overall education experience. One key benefit that we have discovered is that co-curricular activities facilitate the opportunity for boys and teachers to mix outside of the classroom environment, further enhancing positive relationships which can improve academic outcomes for students.

Participation in co-curricular activities can also have many child development benefits. Boys can many skills that will help them to flourish, including:

  1. Promoting physical health and development
  2. Helping the brain to develop
  3. Enhancing wellbeing.
Types of co-curricular activities at Trinity

Types of co-curricular activities at Trinity

Trinity Grammar School provides an extensive range of co-curricular activities for your son to discover and develop his skills and talents. Our Co-Curricular Programme involves activities that are aimed at developing important skills in leadership, communication, performance, creativity, decision-making, cooperation and service. We unpack some practical tips to finding a co-curricular activity to suit your son here.

There are many types of co-curricular activities at Trinity, including:

Co-curricular activities are a vital component of the Trinity Triangle and essential to growing ‘well-rounded’ boys, building boys’ self-confidence and further enhancing their connectedness to the School.


Primary Years

Although co-curricular activities are not compulsory during the primary years, a variety of opportunities are available for students. The range of primary co-curricular activities include:

  • Art Club
  • Chess Club
  • Computer Club (Strathfield)
  • Debating
  • Studio-T (Summer Hill)
  • Drama (Strathfield)
  • Maths Club (Summer Hill)
  • Music: Choir, Instrumental tuition and Ensembles
  • News Reporters (Summer Hill)
  • Scouts and Cubs
  • TEC (Strathfield)
  • Tournament of the Minds (Summer Hill)


Middle and Senior Years

Trinity boasts one of the most comprehensive co-curricular programmes in the nation and participation is compulsory in the middle and senior years.

From Year 7, boys participate in an extensive programme and are encouraged to join co-curricular activities and participate in compulsory programmes as follows:

  • Year 7 – Peer Support Induction Programme.
  • Year 8 – either an auditioned Music group or the School’s Cadet Unit.
  • Year 9 – one of the following: auditioned Music group, Cadet Unit, Community Service, Debating, Duke of Edinburgh Bronze programme, Drama Production, or Chess.
  • Year 11 – Peer support training to develop vital leadership, decision-making and communication skills.

From Year 10, boys undertake at least one co-curricular activity in addition to any compulsory programmes. Secondary co-curricular options include: Archaeological Society; Berea; Cartesian Society; Charity and Community Group; Ecological Awareness Group; Economics Q&A; ESL; Fishing Club; Golf; IT Club; Mathematics Club; Movie Society; Peer Support; Peer Mediation; RAW Challenge; Snowsports; Specialist Programmes – Basketball, Cricket, Football, Rugby Union; Rugby Refereeing and Mentoring, Swimming, Track and Field; Sports Experience; Technology and Design Club; Trinity Cultural Awareness; and Trinity Science Investigators.

Pros and cons of co-curricular activities

Pros and cons of co-curricular activities

Suniya Luthar, a psychology professor at Columbia University, has done extensive research on the role of extracurricular activities in children’s lives. She says, “It’s good for kids to be scheduled. It’s good for them to have musical activities, sports or other things organised and supervised by an adult.”

At Trinity, boys come to school to learn – but learning is not limited to the classroom. We believe that boys need to be involved in co-curricular activities. Even as study demands increase in the senior years of schooling, managing extra-curricular activities can be beneficial.


Pros

  1. Co-curricular activities provide a more well-rounded education and provide students with the opportunity to discover their interests and talents.
  2. Provide vital skills such as art, music, drama and language.
  3. Sporting pursuits keep children healthy, both physically and mentally.
  4. Research has found that children who have scheduled activities outside of school are better able to maintain balance in their lives, have higher self-esteem and lower rates of drug and alcohol use over time.
  5. Teaches important life skills such as time management, organisation, teamwork, communication and leadership.
  6. Some extra-curricular activities such as music and sport are known to improve academic outcomes.
  7. Involvement in co-curricular activities improves self-discipline and fosters independence.


Cons

  1. Some children struggle with multi-tasking and so too many extra activities can add pressure on a child.
  2. With so many options available, there is a danger of over-committing kids to too many activities. It’s important to maintain balance and monitor your son for signs of activity-related stress.
  3. If a child is not excelling at or enjoying a co-curricular activity it can have a negative effect on his self-esteem. Keep track of how your son is feeling about his scheduled activities to ensure he is happy and his confidence remains intact. It’s okay for boys to have a go at several different activities before they find something they are passionate about.
Finding balance

Finding balance

In increasingly overscheduled lives, it can be challenging for boys to find balance between schoolwork, rest and play. Today, children are juggling various academic commitments and many co-curricular activities. While participating in a range of activities is important for a child’s development, finding the right balance is key. You can help your son find balance by:

  1. Talking to him about how he is managing his workload
  2. Helping him to prioritise tasks
  3. Encouraging him to take some time out
  4. Ensuring he is getting a healthy dose of sleep, exercise and a balanced diet
  5. Teaching him that saying ‘no’ is okay.

It’s also important to recognise that any scheduled co-curricular activities remain fun for your son. It is possible to over-schedule children and too many activities could be detrimental for your child. The key is to monitor your son for signs of activity related stress.

Hear how some of our Senior students have managed to balance study with extra-curricular activities: