Boarding schools offer a unique and exciting experience for students, with many opportunities for personal and academic growth. One of the most attractive features of boarding schools is the wide range of extracurricular activities available to students. These activities allow students to explore their interests, develop new skills, and form lasting friendships – and they can be wonderfully wide ranging from film making and cookery to fencing and Duke of Edinburgh!

In this blog post, we’ll explore why extracurricular activities are such an important part of the boarding school experience, and highlight some of the different activities that are available to students. 

Why extracurricular activities are important

Extracurricular activities are an essential part of the boarding school experience for several reasons. Firstly, they provide students with a way to pursue their interests and passions outside of the classroom. For students who are passionate about music, art, or sports, extracurricular activities provide an opportunity to develop their skills and talents in a supportive environment.

Secondly, extracurricular activities allow students to form meaningful relationships with their peers. Boarding schools can be a challenging environment, with students living in close quarters and spending long hours together. Extracurricular activities provide a way for students to connect with each other over shared interests and passions, and to form strong bonds that can last a lifetime.

Finally, extracurricular activities can have a positive impact on students’ academic performance. Studies have shown that students who participate in extracurricular activities are more likely to achieve higher grades. This is likely because extracurricular activities provide students with a sense of purpose and motivation, and help them develop important life skills such as time management, leadership, and teamwork.

Different activities available

Boarding schools offer a wide range of extracurricular activities to suit every interest and skill level. Here are just a few examples:

Sports: Boarding schools often have incredibly impressive sports facilities, and offer a range of sports from traditional sports such as rugby, football, netball, hockey, tennis, cricket and athletics, to all manner of other sports, from basketball, sailing, skiing, surfing, swimming, and dance, to ballet, riding, polo, martial arts, fencing… the list goes on!  Students can participate in competitive teams, or simply play for fun and exercise.

Music:  Become the next Bowie or Mozart, with the fabulous musical opportunities on offer in almost every boarding school in the UK!  Children can learn and perform an enormous variety of instruments, as well as participate in a band, choir or orchestra. 

The creative arts: Boarding schools often have dedicated art studios, and offer classes in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, and sculpture.  Add to that, endless workshops on Design Technology, Photography, Fashion and Textiles, and ceramics – not to mention film making, jewellery making and more – and we are sure your child will find one they wish to try out.

Drama: Students can participate in school productions, or take part in drama classes to improve their acting skills. LAMDA acting classes are also often available for those wanting to pursue their acting talent further. If acting isn’t their thing – how about learning the technical backstage stuff, or lighting?  Children learn to produce entire productions – it is hugely impressive.

Community service: Many boarding schools encourage students to give back to their community through volunteer work, whether it’s through organizing fundraisers, working with local charities or volunteering at local care homes and schools.

Debate and public speaking: Boarding schools often have active debate teams, and offer classes and workshops to help students develop their public speaking and critical thinking skills.

Outdoor activities: Many boarding schools are located in beautiful rural or wilderness areas, and offer opportunities for hiking, cross country running, camping, and other outdoor activities such as CCF (the Combined Cadet Force), or the Duke of Edinburgh award.

These are just a few examples of the many extracurricular activities that are available – you might easily find all manner of other clubs, from robotics, to zoology. Students can choose to focus on one activity in depth, or try out a variety of different activities to explore their interests and develop new skills.

Why extracurricular activities are an attractive quality for prospective students

For many prospective students and their families, the quality and variety of extracurricular activities on offer is a key consideration when choosing a school. Boarding schools are renowned for their rigorous academic programs, but extracurricular activities provide a way for students to develop skills and interests outside of the classroom. This can help students become more well-rounded and confident individuals, and prepare them for success in all areas of life. 

A range of interests is a vital part to their university applications, in addition, so we encourage them to really throw themselves in and take part!

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