In the large majority of Spanish educational institutions, students are provided with the possibility to carry on their learning experience once the school day has come to an end. Through these extracurricular activities, students are able to strengthen their physical, social, intellectual and artistic development, all the while having fun.
Languages and intellectual development
In a world as competitive as the one we live in today, languages have become a key part of our lives. Globalisation has united frontiers and has allowed us to not only access endless amounts of information from all over the world, but also has given us the opportunity to communicate with people on an international scale, regardless of distance.
The pace of growth of new technologies and communication networks has caused the development of a limitless global system of information exchange and flux. The ability to form new collaborative, commercial and leisure alliances is ever-available, regardless of how far way the participants involved may be from each other.
English is the main language used in business and research around the world. Command of the English language helps students as they search for information, interact with people from other parts of the world, and in this day and age is an essential factor in obtaining good employment.
Development through teamwork and discipline
Physical activities such as martial arts and team sports have become a key element in a student’s overall development. Through these activities, students learn discipline, commitment, how to work in a team, as well as team spirit. In addition, students develop the healthy habit of exercising from a young age.
As a type an activity that affords numerous benefits, physical activity should be a part of everyone’s day to day. Depending on each student’s personality, parents and their teachers should guide children to find the activity that best complements their skills and at the same time allows them to develop new abilities. For example, a student who has difficulty connecting with other students or is shy, may benefit from partaking in a team sport. In this way not only will the student’s psychomotor development improve, but they will also learn to communicate better with others, follow rules, interact with their teammates, and understand the importance of personal sacrifice and working towards group objectives.
Preparation for a technological world
Nowadays, many schools are implementing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) system in their curricula. This concept was developed with the goal of preparing students for the technologically advanced world we live in. This concept allows students, starting at a very young age, to combine knowledge from the different fields of science, maths and technology. Many schools and institutions offer extracurricular activities related to robotics, technology and other materials that reinforce the key STEM concepts.
Proficiency in calculation, spacial distribution, engineering, as well as public speaking and other communication skills, can be strengthened through these extracurricular and co-curricular activities. Excursions, group trips, debate leagues, inter-school robotics and maths competitions, among others, act as a foundation for students aiming to achieve a top position in the academic competitive sphere.
There are a number of activities that strengthen creativity and develop the imagination of each student, depending on their specific needs and personalities. Painting, music, theatre, and dance are disciplines that promote important values, self confidence and the ability to express oneself.
It is important to keep in mind that extracurricular activities should be something that students willingly want to participate in and the students should be the ones to choose which activities they partake in.
It is through the student’s active willingness towards this activity that allows the student to be more productive and for their learning to be more effective. On the contrary, if the student lacks interest, it is possible to overwhelm or oversaturate them, and can consequentially the whole effort can turn out to be counterproductive to their overall development.
Children are full of energy. For this reason it is important to direct this energy towards activities that are productive and can be used as learning tools to prepare students to take on any challenge that they may encounter in their futures.