Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
13 December, 2022

Benefits of Extracurricular Activities


Undertaking extracurricular activities has far-ranging benefits that touch on many aspects of a child’s development. Here are five advantages of extracurricular activities, demonstrating why you should encourage your child to take on something away from the classroom: 

Learn new skills

One of the fundamental benefits of extracurricular activities is that they allow your child to learn something that could stay with them for a lifetime. 
Directly, that skill could be the basis of a hobby or passion that enriches their life for many years. Everything from playing sports to learning an instrument could lead to hours spent doing something they enjoy. 
Beyond that, extracurricular activities instil key skills and personality traits that can be helpful in other walks of life. Using the same examples, sports are key to developing teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills. A musical instrument requires perseverance, hand-eye coordination and, above all, creativity. 
These are important skills that provide continued benefits long after their education is completed.  

Boost academic performance

A lot of the skills that lie at the heart of extracurricular activities can be used during core academic subjects. Education requires solid problem-solving skills, memory, creativity, and critical thinking. To varying degrees, you can find an extracurricular activity that has an impact on these areas.

Research has been carried out that develops a link between extracurricular participation and better academic performance. In one study by the Texas A&M University, important academic outcomes like reading, math achievement and course grades were all found to be positively influenced by children who engage in extracurricular activities.

Broader social skills

The nature of many extracurricular activities means that your child will be engaging with other children in a social setting. Away from the classroom, it’s a good opportunity for them to mix with likeminded children in something they all enjoy. This is another key benefit of extracurricular activities: they give children a chance to develop their social skills, meet new friends and become more confident communicating in groups.

Extracurricular activities can also aid in the development of self-esteem and confidence. It is gratifying when we succeed in something we enjoy, especially after working hard to achieve it. Good self-esteem is an essential tool for positive mental health and wellbeing.

Improved time management

Extracurricular activities also give children a great tool through which to learn important time management skills. Through the task of balancing school life and an after school club for example, students will begin to lay the foundations for skills which will benefit them at later stages of their education and in the steps they will take post-education.

Impress universities

Extracurricular activities are also a great benefit to a students’ resume when it comes to applying for universities or jobs. Universities, for example, love to see evidence from a prospective student that they are willing to go above and beyond to develop new skills. Extracurricular activities also demonstrate that your child has varied interests and a curiosity to learn beyond the traditional classroom.

Extracurricular activities are therefore important not only because they allow children to develop essential practical, social and academic skills that will support them throughout their career, but also because they provide a safe space where children can relax, enjoy themselves and explore new things, away from the pressures of their school work.  

What Are Some Extracurricular Activities?

Don’t know what options are out there? Here are six different types of extracurricular activities, including some of the most popular activities amongst children. 

Sports teams

The benefits of joining a sports team are extensive. Physically, it encourages a healthy lifestyle and develops key physical attributes. Mentally, it develops teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills while socially, few extracurricular activities bring individuals together like sport can.

Part-time job or volunteering

For older students, getting a feel for working life t can be a great way to expose them to industries they have shown an interest in or might like to go into in their career. Part-time jobs and volunteering roles are also excellent ways to develop a resume. Employers love to see a proactive individual who has shown intent to develop their career from an early age.

Student body position

Aside from sports, student bodies like a union, debating team or student representation on a school government are all great ways to show a hunger for leadership, responsibility and a desire to tackle difficult subjects.

This type of extracurricular activity is also a great way to develop problem-solving and communication skills.

Writing/student journalism

Journalism is a very popular career choice and developing an interest in it can often begin by working on a school newspaper. Journalists are required to have great written communication skills; they also need to be excellent investigators and problem solvers. If this is something your child would like to focus on, suggest applying for a position on the school paper.

Culture-based clubs

Culture-based clubs might be something as broad as film, music, languages or games. Whatever interests your child, getting involved in a relevant club gives them the chance to socialise with likeminded children.

The Arts

Creativity is a key asset for further education and beyond. Those involved in arts clubs like music, drama or visual arts tend to be more creative thinkers and capable of approaching problems from a different standpoint.

What are the benefits of extracurricular activities for primary students? 

While primary school students may not yet be planning for their university applications, extracurricular activities still play a very important role in primary education. Primary school is a key developmental stage when students start to not only explore their practical skills and abilities, but also develop their confidence in social situations. Extracurricular activities for primary school students provide opportunities to develop leadership, cooperation, and teamwork skills at an early stage, which will continue to support students throughout their higher education and career.  

At PBIS, our school offers a wide variety of optional extracurricular activities to help students discover these new skills and interests. Our extracurricular programme is delivered by our highly qualified PBIS staff, as well external groups, and includes creative activities, as well as languages, drama, sports and dance. Please contact our admissions team for a full list of our extracurricular activities or to learn more about our programme. 

FAQs on Extracurricular Activities

Finally, here are some of the extracurricular activity-related questions that are typically asked by parents as their children enter education.

When should my children start extracurricular activities?

There is no absolute answer to this question, and you shouldn’t worry if your child takes a little longer to be ready for extracurricular activities than others.

Children should get started when you think they are capable of basic self-care tasks. Things like dressing and feeding themselves should be checked off before you send them off to try something new.

How many hours of extracurricular activities should my child do?

Whether it’s just one activity for an hour a week, several activities, or an entire summer spent volunteering, any time spent doing an extracurricular activity will benefit your child’s personal and academic development.  

One factor to consider is that trying to fit in too many extracurricular activities alongside your child’s studies might cause them extra stress or to become overtired, which in turn might interfere with or impact their studies. Be realistic with your child’s time and school workload.  

How do I get involved in extracurricular activities?

Schools and local communities are full of exciting activities that could spark your child’s imagination and capture their attention. Try to read your child’s general interests and consider what they may or may not be interested in taking part in. Then, look to their school or the wider community to find an appropriate club for your child.

At Prague British International School, we pride ourselves on delivering a wide range of extracurricular activities, giving our students every possible opportunity to learn new skills and find something they love doing.