Why do we focus on wellbeing through varied activities and pursuits?
It has been recognised that too much focus on academic studies, without providing balance, can harm children’s mental health. The School Activities program provides a balance between academic rigour, creative pursuits and physical activity. It has been proven that regular exercise helps pupils feel good because it releases mood improving chemicals like endorphins and serotonin. This also helps pupils develop their social interactions, helping to reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation. When we plan the activities we will offer our pupils, we always consider the impact that the variety of offerings will have on children’s wellbeing.
How has the SA programme improved this block?
The inclusion of external coaches in Block 4 is a great addition, and we strongly believe that adding more external coaches and experts in the future will increasingly benefit our pupil’s lives. For example, watching our expert golf coach, Mr. Leo Douglas, and the video analysis work he is employing to help the pupils refine their swing has been inspiring. He has identified some strong potential talent among our pupils, and we have already started having conversations about future possibilities that will exist in competitions around the country. Another innovative new School Activity that is focused on refining the pupils’ skills is the vocal coaching activity being hosted by Ms. Nova. The time spent in these sessions will undoubtable make a big difference to quality of the pupils pitch, tone and intonation when singing or speaking in performances.
New innovations haven’t just happened through our external coaches. Our own staff are also contributing by supporting new, engaging and exciting activities. Having the experience of Mr. Robert Fryer and Mr. Callum Donkin involved in our sailing and kayaking activities has been invaluable, where they have been able to try something a little bit different. Coming from a university outdoor education background I understand the benefit of outdoors, adventurous activities. Lifelong memories can be formed at these times. The inclusion of Sailing and Kayaking in our program has been fantastic. Who knows where it will lead in five years’ time? We may have pupils sailing around the seas of China; or competing in regattas against other schools or even maybe flying across Grade 2/3 rapids.
What about next year?
We have already started planning next year, with many exciting advancements planned. These include;
- More work with external vendors
- Making structural improvements to the SA programme
- Putting systems in place to allow the PE team to run more teams and host more team training
- Allocating time for the performing arts team to put on productions and performances
- Creating STEM and Gifted and Talented School Activity opportunities
We will share all the exciting new developments at the end of the academic year.
Below, please find some quote from our staff and pupils about the SAs going on in this Block;
Mr. Josh Batters
The rock band is awesome, the pupils really involve themselves in the emotion of the music.
Grade 7 Hanni Huang
Football is really fun and Mr. Witter teaches some new skills in interesting ways.
Mr. Leif Raiha
In Creative and Experimental Drawing, pupils enjoyed using their imaginations as they created “lift the flap” drawings.
Grade 7 Nomi Xiang
I like my movie activity because it makes me think of the interesting ideas presented by Ms. Zheng.
Mr. Tom Li
In Maths Olympics, pupils are exposed to challenging questions from various topics beyond their school curriculum, to stimulate the deeper curiosity towards mathematics and its applications.
Grade 5 Sara Wang
I did not realise how much fun knitting would be. I am learning plenty of new skills with Ms. Candice Wang.
Ms. Anita Fryer
Lego club is awesome! It builds creativity and develops fine motor skills!
Grade 4 Joe Jia
I enjoy my school activities because Mr. Witter and Mr. Yi are very kind and they help me to improve.
Mr. Callum Donkin
So many happy and enthusiastic faces when we are on the water.
Grade 5 Leo Cai
I love my art school activity because it helps me explore my imagination and Mr. Raiha is a very good teacher.