Show of hands: who still remembers playing soccer with mates and camping under the stars with your uniform group? We know excitement levels skyrocket when kids get to further their learning with fun experiences beyond the classroom walls, and this is where the world of after-school enrichment really comes into its own. Yep, Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs for short) are a highlight for most kids, and who can blame them? But what kind of activities can we expect from international schools, and what are the benefits of involving our kids in CCAs? We speak to the experts at some of the top international schools in Singapore on what extra skills our kids are picking up, and how they can use these holistic educational opportunities to prepare them for life after they’ve graduated…
Global Indian International School (GIIS) – Deepa Dani, CCA Coordinator
Ensures holistic development in students
At Global Indian International School (GIIS) (top image), we believe that exposure to a variety of activities is essential for students to develop into well-rounded individuals. GIIS’ 9GEMS programme lays emphasis on this holistic development through engagement in academics, as well as sports, and co-curricular activities. Last year, one of our students and her dance teacher were invited to perform Odissi (a form of Indian classical dance) at the Alytus City Festival in Lithuania alongside other artists from all over the world. The diverse activities allow students to develop their innate talents under the supervision of highly-qualified instructors and artistes. From Bharatanatyam (another type of Indian classical dance) to creative writing, CCAs help students hone their social interaction skills, learn independence and provide them with a platform to showcase their capabilities in a guided, but fun way.
Stamford American International School – Paul Hodgkinson, Athletics Director
Allows students to stretch their boundaries and experience the unfamiliar
With over 250 activities offered from Pre-K to Grade 12, including sports, arts and music, Stamford America’s Co-Curricular Activities program provides diverse opportunities for students to explore their talents, develop new skills and be successful beyond the classroom. Our secondary clubs and sports programs inspire students to participate on a local and regional level. Stamford Model United Nations (MUN) students have been invited to participate in THIMUN, the largest simulated United Nations youth conference in the world. Other clubs such as Service Above Self, Operation Smile and Friends of Laos give students opportunities to give back to wider communities. We believe holistic education requires stretching boundaries, as such, Stamford encourages all students get involved in after-school opportunities.
Canadian International School (CIS) – Wendy Nussey, Head of Activities, CIS Lakeside Campus
Equips students with a wide range of transferable skills
Through a wide selection of activities ranging from sports to arts, languages and enrichment and STEAM, CIS’ CCA programme is designed to broaden students’ horizon and develop key transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and creativity. One of our most popular CCA programs this term has been Race Car Engineering, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activity that gives students the opportunity to design, build and race their very own miniature racing cars. Not only did our budding engineers get to bring their ideas into reality, they also learned how to make new connections and solve authentic, real-life problems.
Singapore American School – Kyle Aldous, Director of Communications
Students can make real advancements in society
As part of the Singapore American School’s varied CCA program that includes after-school clubs, activities and athletics, our students get the opportunity to make an impact in society. This community spirit is demonstrated in our service activities which raise tens of thousands of dollars for various non-profit organisations every year and dedicate countless hours to support causes they are passionate about. One notable achievement has to be The SAS SpaceLab. As the first high school activity in Singapore to submit not one, but two student-designed and constructed scientific experiments to the International Space Station (ISS), The SAS SpaceLab is just one example of how our activities program offers our students as much support as possible to bring their ideas to reality.
Tanglin Trust School (TTS) – Jessie Montague, JASS CCA Co-ordinator
Nurtures a sense of service
At Tanglin, we are fully committed to our core values: Respect, Responsibility, and Purpose, which underpin everything we do, including our wide range of our Co-Curricular Activities (of which a majority is offered free of charge). The Junior Awards Scheme for Schools (JASS) is a prime example of the opportunities we provide in every student’s journey through the school to meaningfully engage with the local community and the world beyond. JASS is a UK-based, accredited learning programme which gives children age nine to 11 years the opportunity to develop philanthropic awareness through fundraising and charity-based work. From bake sales to sponsored runs, Year 6 students have raised an inspiring amount of money to support the school charity ‘Caring For Cambodia’ (CFC). This March, the Year 6 students will travel to Cambodia to take part in a new project serving meals at local schools. We are keen to nurture a sense of service where our students choose to participate through their own conviction and volition. We hope that by the time our students graduate they have an informed conscience and the will to act upon it.
Top image courtesy of GIIS.
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