Co-curricular activities refer to learning experiences, usually organised into activities and programmes, which complement what students are learning in the classroom.
The learning experiences provided by the co-curricular programme complement and support the students are learning in the academic programme. They play a particularly important role in developing foundational competencies including self-understanding, communication, leadership, a sense of responsibility, health and well-being, confidence and intra- and inter-personal skills.
For this reason, GISU that values the learner attributes consider the co-curriculum carefully. The culture of the school is permeated with a sense of valuing worthwhile student activities and these are considered equivalent to the academic achievement.
The concept of the co-curriculum has been continuously broadened to include activities that the school encourages which are actually provided in the community beyond the school. The extent to which GISU provides a rich choice of activities will be constrained by its context and resources. GISU broadens it by discovering, supporting and developing opportunities for students to use clubs and resources available in the local and global community, recognising student participation beyond the school. Activities and opportunities should reflect the local culture and community, and provide one opportunity for placing our school as a contributing force to community cohesion and development.
As with the academic curriculum there is no one formula for what to include in the co-curricular programme. Typically GISU supports activities and programmes in: physical recreation, performance arts, community service, student government, recreational hobbies, health and social education, outdoor pursuits and work experience. Many of the best programmes and activities, a number of examples of which are illustrated below, are student led and managed.
Student Council – StuCo
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
MUN – Model of United Nations
First Lego League – FLL
Hour of Code
World Scholar’s Cup
*How should student participation in co-curricular areas be organised?
GISU requires students to do certain activities and reward credit towards school diplomas and graduating requirements such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Work Experience etc. These well-designed compulsory co-curricular programmes give our students a wide range of experiences.
Nevertheless GISU is more flexible and voluntary in its expectations. For the learner attributes to become life-long habits it is essential that learners pursue co-curricular activities because they want to, not because they are another requirement to be ticked off. Ultimately we want students to behave in certain ways because this leads to personal fulfilment and enjoyment.
This does not mean that assessment and evaluation of student participation in co-curricular activities should be ignored. Assessment needs to be fit for purpose and we need to assess what we value, not just value what we assess.