The Co-Curricular Reboot

Mr Peter Wilson | Director of Co-curricular Activities

The virtual teaching and remote learning model implemented during the first phase of COVID-19 emphasised, for me, the importance and power of real time personal relationships for positive mental health, psychological well-being and better educational outcomes.

Much has been discussed on how face to face teaching is more advantageous for academic success, but I would argue the restart of Co-Curricular activities has a pivotal role in the education of our students.

After the return of our students to the College from the Learning From Home platform, there were still restrictions on inter-school competitions. However, our in-house activities were allowed and were popular.  The type of activity had no bearing on student selection, rather they were happy to be able to move about and interact socially without a plastic screen!

Several activities have now been approved for interschool competition and our students have embraced these opportunities wholeheartedly. The joys and learning from competing with your friends are well documented, but to observe this in real time brings home the importance of being involved and engaged in school-based activities.

Our activities, be they agricultural, cognitive, creative or sporting, provide opportunities for personal growth, reveal and build character, facilitate the understanding of building personal relationships and teach our students about the social and cultural norms around the appropriate time and place for our behaviour.

The current lifestyle during COVID-19 creates an underlying sense of uncertainty. Life satisfaction and happiness depend on setting and achieving goals all along our life journey. The COVID -19 environment impinges on our ability to set these goals and so cancels out the positive effects of goal setting. The Co-curricular program provides opportunities for our students to work towards achieving personal and team goals and provide some certainty and self-satisfaction in these uncertain times.