Co-curricular should not just be an add-on!

College Blog Saturday, 17 June 2023

In today's dynamic educational landscape, fostering the holistic development of students should go beyond academics, and provide a variety of experiences for students to strive for excellence. Here at Norwest, we have recognised the importance of co-curricular activities in shaping character, building resilience, and instilling values. In thinking about my new role as the Director of Co-curricular, it has become evident to me that co-curricular activities offer a unique platform to develop and reinforce Christian values among students. By integrating the Christian qualities of faith, virtue, wisdom and service into the co-curricular program, the College can help students grow spiritually, socially, and emotionally, creating a well-rounded foundation for their future.

All too often in schools, co-curricular activities are seen merely as an add-on, an additional activity and in some cases, a distraction from academics. Recent studies into the benefits of co-curricular participation show that:

1. They Improve Academic Performance

2. They provide a balance to academic life

3. Promote social and emotional development

4. They develop life skills

5. Promote greater community involvement

6. They support the curriculum

All the above points are reason enough to engage in co-curricular, however, I particularly want to talk about points 4 and 6, life skills and the curriculum. At Norwest Christian College, our framework for education is the Building Purposeful Lives framework. In this, teachers seek to assist students to grow and stretch 16 dispositions that will serve them throughout their life after school. This is because we recognise that education is not just about facts and figures but about growing the capacity of students to fulfil their God-given purpose to love God and love others, to prepare our students for life, and to equip students with the skills that they need to navigate uncertainties, complexities, and perpetual change of the 21st century.

The diverse co-curricular program offered by the College includes experiences in Sports, Music and Performance, Academic Competitions, Outdoor Education, and Interest groups. It is our desire that each of these experiences is unified in their purpose to enhance the BPL framework so that the development of the dispositions and a focus on Christian values is reinforced outside of the classroom. In 2 Peter 1:5-8, Peter talks about the growth of faith to incorporate, goodness, virtue, self-control, perseverance, and godliness. Peter goes on to say in verse 8:

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

By continuing to build student capacity in their understanding and implementation of the BPL dispositions, through a combined curriculum and co-curricular program, we are ultimately helping them to be effective and productive in their knowledge of Jesus.

I urge parents and carers to encourage their children to engage authentically with the cocurricular program of the College, for their benefit and the benefit of others.

Peter Christie
Director of Co-Curricular