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Extra Curricular Activities

To a young student the term extra curricular is often uttered with sneering derision: -Extra Curricular! This is work you don't have to do, so why do it? Why indeed? Well, as comprehensive as the current curriculum is, it doesn't encompass the vast smorgasbord of human disciplinary domains. Mathematics, the sciences, languages, the arts, geography, and philosophy - these may be the main struts of civilisation - but there is much beyond their reach! Many extra curricular activities are far removed from the strict formalities of the classroom; and under these less stringent conditions, pupils are often able to explore and express themselves with greater ease and effect. A chess club is often seen as the archetypal voluntary activity group, but the portfolio of possibilities can be vast: a myriad of sports and outdoor pursuits can be on offer, from fishing to fencing, croquet to fossil collecting. These activities are social and fun, allowing pupils of all abilities to mix and converse. Almost all schools will have a flourishing music group, allowing ambitious students, who have perhaps received tutelage from their family's intervention, an excellent opportunity to perform in an ensemble. The school may have an amateur orchestra, giving public performances on special occasions. The student can only benefit from these sessions - even if they have no high musical aspirations. For a pupil who means to make their way in the world of music, exposure to group performances at an early age is a golden opportunity, not to be missed. Art and design clubs are frequentlyoffered; and away from the rigid curriculum of the classroom, teachers can often be more free and expressive in their education, and students less inhibited in the gestation and formation of their creative ideas. Drama is another common extra curricular activity: schools are often keen to provide regular performances of theatrical works for parents. It can be highly instructive to be part of a company of performers- to witness the organization and dedication needed to hone a group into a successful live act!

Any extra curricular activity a student has been involved in should be stated on their CV. Universities and colleges will certainly look on these as valuable, as indication that the student has the initiative to reach beyond the confines of their educational curriculum. If the student is applying for a music course, they will be competing with many other applicants for a finite number of places -the mention that they have been involved in the school orchestra for many years will obviously recommend them well to the course administrator. Perhaps the student is seeking a place at university to study geography- just imagine how good their CV will look, when it shows that they have been part of the school's geography group, and that they have taken part in a voluntary geography field trip. The work produced in these extra curricular expeditions is often posted online, allowing the university administrators opportunity to view it. Art is one of the most overbooked of all further education subjects - applying for extra art classes will give the student opportunity to expand their portfolio, perhaps giving them the edge as places on college and university courses are allotted. Do not think though that students should restrict their extra curricular activities to those that merely match their further ambitions. So you mean to study mathematics at university - there's certainly no harm in taking part in a drama group! A broad range of interests on a CV suggests a well rounded character, something universities and colleges wish to embrace.

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