By: Chee Hong
According to the Ministry of Education, Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) are an integral part of our students’ holistic education. Whether in clubs and societies, physical sports, uniformed groups or visual and performing arts groups, participation in CCAs helps children discover their interests and talents and deepens their sense of belonging and responsibility to school, community and eventually nation.
CCAs can be chosen based on a few criterias. The easier choice is to find out what your child can do well or what he or she likes best! However, if you are seriously thinking of secondary school entry via DSA-Sec Exercise, then it is worthwhile to consider a sports or niche talent that your child has interests in, especially one that the school is good at and can provide proper training in this area.
The other way to look at it is that CCAs can be a way of discovering your child’s other skills, and make his or her school experience a holistic one. If your child bookworm and spends much time on reading books and TVs, then getting him involved in a sport would be a good change, plus keep him active and fit.
You could also 'USE' CCAs to get your child into a good secondary school. Your child’s sports abilities or special talent in niche areas such as drama or robotics can help him or her get into a secondary school of choice through the Direct School Admission Exercise (DSA-Sec Exercise). You could choose a CCA that the school already has a track record of excellence in and if your child has shown intenest in this area then it makes sense to 'USE' this CCA to get into a preferred secondary school.
If you still cannot makeout or decide on a CCA, you can get use of the 'try out's offered in many schools. Where the students will get to ‘try out’ their preferred CCAs at special sessions during the selection stage, usually in Term 1. Teachers will also use these sessions to assess students with potential. These sessions are important for your child to get to know more about that CCA, and equally importantly, for them to get a hands-on experience, especially if these are sports CCAs. However, due to scheduling issues, it may not be possible for your child to attend too many tryouts. So, choose carefully and take this chance to ask questions on details such as the frequency of meetings or training sessions, whether costs are involved etc.
Sports vs Clubs and Societies
Sports and uniformed groups generally take up more time than clubs and societies. You will have to decide carefully on how the time could be alloted between CCA and schoolwork and whether your child could cope up. It is also worthy to note that additional time spent on training for a competition, attending rehearsals for a performance or play etc. are experiences that your child cannot get otherwise.
Some CCAs can be continued in Secondary Schools
Many uniformed groups in primary school have counterparts at secondary level such as the performing band, Brownies (whose members often go on to join the Girl Guides), Boy Scouts and St John’s Brigade. These are some CCAs that can be continued in Secondary Schools by joining similar groups in secondary school.
Some CCAs may require additional support and time from parents :). Like for some sports or performance clubs, you may have to spend extra time to send and fetch your budding sportsman as there may be extra practices and training sessions. Many CCAs, especially sports, do need the support of parents.
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