Published by SchoolAdvisor on Nov 11, 2020, 08:48 AM
Looking back on our time within education, many of us can remember competing within a sports team, singing in the school production, or even discussing political matters in the university law society. For most, it is these experiences that conjure some of our fondest memories and a strong sense of belonging.
To this day, extracurricular activities (ECAs) remain integral to a child’s development and life in school. The many skills developed through these activities are essentially an extension of classroom learning, and will benefit children and young people immensely.
Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ) is an international school that thoroughly believes in this notion.
“By participating in these activities, our students are developing a growth mindset, building their character by increasing their willingness to try new things, and are expanding their knowledge of the world which helps with critical thinking. Learning all of this at a young age is a vital life skill,” says KTJ athletics and events director Les Frost.
As Frost explains: “We are very aware that students are likely to be interested in all sorts of activities. The greatest benefit of having a broad range of ECAs is that it offers variety, which maintains student interest in the programme as a whole. Experimenting with new initiatives, such as the recently introduced Korean Drama activity, also enables our community to focus on elements of life that are out of the mainstream and potentially enlightening.”
By providing an expansive ECA programme, KTJ students are given the opportunity to discover new talents and learn new skills. Mike Loh, who graduated in 2015, explains how his passion for sports developed as soon as he joined KTJ.
“I was never really into doing sports at all (besides some casual football and basketball) prior to KTJ. But when I got there, I had the opportunity to try tennis, squash, rugby, hockey, ping pong, track events, dodgeball, fencing and much more. It was these experiences that kick-started my enjoyment in sports!”
The benefits of taking part in an ECA can also be seen long after a young person’s education is complete. Reza Baharin, who graduated from KTJ in 2003, explains how the interpersonal skills he developed are beneficial in his working life.
“I wasn’t an athlete in KTJ, but what I did enjoy was the camaraderie and the house spirit that was shown whenever there were inter-house competitions. Cheering from the sides, giving words of encouragement, egging your team on...these are all underappreciated contributions. What I learnt from all those activities in KTJ and how it's applied to professional life is the realisation that not everybody can be that house-captain-football-playing-debating-prefect-singer, and that sometimes just ‘being there’ can be just as effective at bringing out the best outcomes for the team, department or company.”
KTJ alumnus Shereena Kaur also reflects upon how sport ECAs have benefited her during her school career and later in life.
“Sports at KTJ helped me in a number of ways. It encouraged me to have an active lifestyle which helped me academically, enabled me to learn the discipline and principles of team sports, gave me an opportunity to try different sports (I went on to play squash for my university while at medical school) and improved my mental health. The sports curriculum at KTJ was well-rounded and I hope more schools pursue sports seriously alongside the academics.”
Participation in an ECA can set a student apart from the rest, and such students are sought out by many university admissions tutors. By providing evidence of active involvement within a club or society, KTJ is helping its students to develop competitive applications for the world’s top universities.
It is not compulsory for a student to take part in an ECA at KTJ, but it is highly encouraged! The many skills and experiences a student can gain from ECA participation, along with the opportunity to discover new talents and make new friends, seems too good to miss. Any students struggling to find a suitable society or sports club are provided with guidance from older students and teachers to ensure that they have every opportunity to benefit from KTJ’s ECA programme.
In search of a school that offers a plethora of ECAs for your child to participate in?
Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar hosts a wide selection of ECAs and sports, ranging from hobby-centric clubs like the Anime Club, to educational groups such as the Math Club. To learn more about KTJ’s extensive ECA programmes and high-quality sports facilities, visit https://opendays.ktj.edu.my/en/secondary and sign up for its Virtual Open Day on Saturday, Nov 28, from 2pm to 3.30pm.
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