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Participation in extra-curricular activities is very much encouraged in our school. There is no charge for any of these activities. We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff willing to take part in activities outside of the normal school curriculum and we actively encourage pupils to take part in these activities. Most available research would seem to strongly indicate that pupils who participate in any form of extra-curricular activities benefit from enhanced status amongst peers, a wider social network, and an early understanding of several crucial 'life skills'.
We try to offer a wide variety of activities from sporting to non-athletic activities with each type of activity offering different gains.
Equally, a clear distinction exists between individual activities and those pursued as part of a team. It is not just team sports which are catered for. We promote activities with a strong academic connection like Chess, Draughts, Music, Computer Programming, Spelling Bee Competitions, Table Quizzes, Gaeilge Club, French Club, Maths Awards, Debating Club and Computers. This year for instance over sixty pupils take part in our Chess Club which runs immediately after school on Fridays. We run computer programming courses on Mondays immediately after school teaching pupils how to use 'Scratch' to make their own interactive stories and computer games. Instrumental music is taught during school on Wednesdays. Our musicians have played for the Senior Citizen's Christmas party and in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity.
We try to extend and build upon what is already happening in the community regarding sporting activities and work closely with the local GAA club (Halfway House Bunclody) and the local soccer club (Bunclody AFC). A wide variety of sports is catered for including Futsal Soccer, Football, Hurling, Camogie, Gymnastics, Swimming, Volleyball and Soccer. These activities are of course in addition to the normal curriculum.
The school encourages parents to try as far as possible to encourage pupils to participate in a few different activities. Focusing exclusively on one activity creates the huge danger of big problems arising if things go wrong in this, the pupil's only interest. We encourage pupils to spread these activities between individual/team, sporting/non-sporting, etc.
The benefits to be gained from extra-curricular activities vary from type to type and focusing exclusively on team sports for example is a very one-dimensional strategy which eliminates numerous learning opportunities. Well-rounded students can work on their own or in a team and are as comfortable in a sporting environment as they are speaking in front of a large group. Removing oneself completely from certain types of extra-curricular activities by definition closes the door on the opportunity to develop the associated skills. The fantastic social opportunities gained from participating in extra-curricular activities are sometimes wasted by those who choose to give their time exclusively to one activity only. As students grow up it is vital that they have developed a range of social networks, something that can only happen if time is spent with various groups. Committing to one activity in school for example while at the same time playing for the local football club at home, provides an excellent way of maintaining links and friendships with different groups.
If you would like to help in any of our activities please do not hesitate to contact the school. We are always looking for fresh ideas which will stimulate and inspire our pupils.
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