There are many benefits that come from involvement in extracurricular activities and schemes, some of which are highlighted by Kings Oxford below.
Developing new skills
Whilst many enrichment options give students the chance to further skills within a specific subject or hobby, such as Maths or Photography, for example, extracurricular activities are also great for developing softer, more transferable skills. These can include skills such as public speaking, working in a team and time management skills.
Developing new interests
One of the great things about extra curricular activities is that it can allow students to explore completely new interests that they wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to. They can also provide a great chance for students to broaden their horizons and their understanding of the world. This is particularly strong at Kings Oxford with it’s global outlook and welcoming international students from a wide range of countries.
Helping students stand out within university and job applications
Extracurricular activities can help ensure students have plenty of evidence to include in both university and job applications that demonstrates they are well-rounded and have plenty of transferrable skills. For example, at Kings Oxford, participation in Student Councils or on the Kings Business Enterprise scheme can show an ability to work as part of a team — or as a successful leader if a leadership position was held — and the determination to achieve goals.
Negin is currently completing a Medical Sciences degree at the University of Leeds. Speaking to us about her experience at Kings, she referenced how useful the enrichment programme had been when it came to applying to university.
“I did Biology club and UKCAT. UKCAT classes really helped me prepare for my UKCAT exam for entering the university. Biology club was more of a fun class that we could do exciting experiments that were not usually part of our study. I was also part of the Student Council. In my first year, I was the head of Charity Committee and the second year I was the secretary. Writing about my responsibilities during this time in my personal statement helped me to show the universities that I have some experience in leadership, which was an essential skill for my course.”
Complementing academic studies with a way to relax
Enrichment activities can often provide a very welcome alternative to the rigours and intensity of academic study. Undertaking activities that complement class-based learning with a more relaxed pace, or which help keep the body fit as well as the mind, can be of huge benefit to our students.
Providing opportunities for socialising
Being a member of a club or committee is a great way to spend more time with peers and make new friends. Given that extracurricular activities may be undertaken with people that students don’t usually interact with, it also offers the potential to meet new people with similar interests and to build friendships outside of the usual circles. This ensures that social networks are widened, and that communication and interpersonal skills are honed.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
An extensive range of opportunities add to all aspects of students’ personal development and well-being. At Kings Oxford, Ofsted (2019) reported “Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) is promoted well across the college. Extra-curricular activities enrich and bring to life work taking place in the classroom.”
At Kings Oxford, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, or ‘enrichment’ activities as they are also often known, alongside their main academic studies.
These activities range from participating in student councils and committees and nationally-accredited award schemes (such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award), to joining clubs and societies. Kings Oxford offers a host of different options including sports clubs such as Badminton, Football, Ice-Skating and Yoga; creative clubs such as Image Editing and Guitar Club; and clubs with a more academic focus such as Debating, Engineering, Chemistry and Global Citizenship.
The Enrichment Programme at Kings also enables students to take part in both local and international volunteering and fundraising schemes, and to complete work experience placements if they wish.