The importance of co-curricular

In Whole School Assembly in the second week of the spring term, Pastoral Deputy Mr Wise spoke to the assembled students and staff about Blue Coat’s co-curricular ethos and the idea of Team RBCS (Respect, Belief, Commitment, Sportsmanship).

“Co-curricular pursuits are things that are outside academic studies”, Mr Wise said. “We are very fortunate as a school to be able to provide amazing co-curricular opportunities in things like music, drama, public speaking, chess, LAMDA, Drone Club, Art Club, Falconry Club, athletics, tennis, touch rugby, sailing, Model United Nations…and so much more. They don’t count towards or enhance your exam results so why do we do them?”

As Reverend Stephenson has discussed with our students, leading a comparison-based lifestyle is exhausting and unsustainable. At some point there will always be someone out there who is better than you. Some things are not in our control and how will we deal with them when they do not go our way. What do we do when this happens? Will we be resilient? Will we still be kind to others when are difficult? A far more sustainable way is to live a principle-based existence and focus on living by your own ideals and processes. This has been shown to lead to more success. Focus on what you are doing and improve that which is in your control.

To demonstrate the importance of co-curricular activities, four students spoke about their experiences:

  • Musician Alex talked about the ethos of music and how hard work and practice are just as important as talent (“In order to perform well, it’s all about practice – and practice is everything”).
  • Hockey player Alba talked about the physical and mental benefits of playing sport; about how sport has given her self-confidence, motivation and drive to better herself; about how sport helps us escape from life stresses; about the sense of self efficacy that comes with playing sport; and how strong friendships and a sense of belonging are built through sport.
  • Chess Captain James spoke about how chess has encouraged him to think logically and to stay calm under pressure; has taught him that defeat is part of the learning experience; and has taught him about the importance of teamwork.
  • Cricket captain Will has learned that the team is more important than the individual performance, and that resilience and determination are gained through hard work.

Mr Wise concluded: “Obviously your exam results are the central pillar of your education, but as a school we believe that education is something bigger than just your exam results. Your co-curricular interests keep you going on cold and dark January days and a large part of your success in the future will be based around the skills you learn. This is why we have the co-curricular programme here. We have #Team RBCS – to be part of something bigger than yourselves, which makes you happier, and to equip you with skills, abilities and the confidence to use them when you go out into the world.”

He continued: “Rob Bristow, UK President of Pearson who publish and create your books and academic resources, wrote last week in the Telegraph: ‘Resilience, creativity, ethical values and an ability to work effectively with​ ​​others, are vital outcomes of a rounded education; they enable success in life, not only the​ ​work place’.”

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