The ‘hidden skills’ within Co-Curricular

Mr Peter Wilson | Director of Co-Curricular Activities

A spontaneous conversation while watching our Cattle Club practice this week emphasised for me again, the importance of the Co-Curricular program at the College.  It outlined some of the ‘hidden’ skills our students learn and practice outside of the classroom that are in fact very relevant to what is taught in class and transferrable to skills required later in life.  We encourage our students in their time at the College to try at least one activity from our four pillars; Agriculture, Cognition, Creative Arts and Sport.

A really important part of Cattle Club is learning to judge cattle and cattle judging requires the acquired skill of public speaking. In this instance, it is to articulate to cattle breeders and spectators why you, as the judge, allocated the winning order of animals on display.  Junior judges (our students) do an exceptional job of standing in front of what can sometimes be a large group of people to justify and explain their choices.

Watching our Pipe band, Rock band, Drama actors and Debaters practice is uplifting, but watching them perform publically is impressive. Performing like public speaking is an acquired skill.  Public performance or speaking is scary. However, it is a powerful tool and life skill. In any walk of life, our students will at some point be called on to speak or perform publically and I am proud to see this skill nurtured within the Co-Curricular program.

I have observed with interest how our Co-curricular staff scaffold the performance and public speaking process. The way you stand, project your voice or music, pace your delivery, emphasize important points and use eye contact. All of these techniques occurring seamlessly to capture and connect with the audience.

I have many times before waxed lyrical about the benefits of being part of a team, sporting or otherwise, but to watch this ‘hidden’ skill of performing or speaking publically being trained and practised, further reinforced the importance of the balanced education our College offers.