Guest Blog: The Education Consultancy

This week, we warmly welcome a blog contribution from our valued partner, Richard Northey. Richard, the Managing Director of The Education Consultancy, is one of the UK’s leading education consultants. Through the extensive experience in placing children into both nurseries and schools The Education Consultancy offers a premium tailored service to settled families with requirements within the UK or looking to move to the UK.

The Importance of a Rich Extracurricular Programme for Children’s Development

When parents consider a new school they often rank them primarily on the basis of academic excellence, curriculum, location and then facilities. A strong curriculum and impressive results will always assure a family that the school can support their child academically, but the availability and use of the facilities with extracurricular activities will help to build a pupil’s character. These activities can vary from music to sports, drama to robotics, with each one offering new experiences, cultural enrichment and harnessing an inquisitive mind.

When joining a new school it can be a daunting experience, but through the involvement in extracurricular activities friendships can be quickly formed, thus helping a new pupil to settle in to the environment. Friendships are an essential part of increasing social skills and can assist in vocabulary development, particularly when English is not the pupil’s first language. These activities outside class time can assist in seeking out new talents and interests, thus creating a greater enjoyment of their school time. Down time from school work is essential and this play element will help pupils to relax after a testing day in class, as well as sports providing an outlet for excess energy. A happy child will always be a more settled child and brings with them a sense of belonging to that environment they have joined and comfort in having integrated into that new school community. This is true in any school, but especially an international school where the families are a little more transient. Active participation in a society or club or membership of a team strengthens an identity and of course boosts confidence. This confidence develops in their social life and shall transfer across to a child’s academic life as the many new skills and talents they are learning outside classrooms help them grow as a person and future young adult, as well as encouraging them to be a risk taker in class. Take drama, where standing on a stage in front of their peers will boost their standing and of course assist in their ability to learn by wrote, which can assist with exams, as well as speak in potentially intimidating circumstances, thus helping with future interviews. These are all transferable skills pupils learn at school, but are not precisely taught, instead coming through experience.

Much of the emphasis about extracurricular activities is about participation and enjoyment. Naturally there is the competitive element within all pupils and these activities permit them to learn new skills and develop those which exist, whilst constantly developing and refining.

In essence, participation within an extensive extracurricular programme adds oxygen to the spark of childhood and develops each one as a rounded individual.

Richard Northey
Managing Director
The Education Consultancy
Twitter @TheEducationCo