Parenting Guide

The Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities in Holistic Primary Education

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Jan 21, 2020, 12:32 PM

Extra-curriculars are an integral part of school education, starting from primary to secondary. According to Mr James Twigg, the Head of Primary at Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, pursuing extra-curricular activities along with academics is crucial in the overall development of children.

“I firmly believe that we need to aim to develop a child holistically. Indeed, academics are very important, but importance must also be given to a child’s creativity, physical development, social and emotional development and appreciation of the world,” proposes  Mr James.

A child's full potential can be realised when they are presented with opportunities to develop their skills and talents.

“There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that sport is beneficial, not only for our physical health but also for our mental health. A healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand. At KTJ primary we held a coffee morning for parents on exactly this topic – it is important to get these messages across to parents so that we can all work together to get the best possible life for the children,” Mr Twigg says.

Extracurricular is a broad term that encompasses different kinds of activities including sports as well as artistic pursuits such as singing, drama, playing musical instruments and dancing. While the benefit of playing sports are widely known and accepted, the fact is that all kinds of extra-curricular pursuits benefit children.  

Quality extra-curricular that includes a range of varied activities are beneficial in many different ways, from developing a child’s mind and body to enabling them to reach their full potential. Mr Twigg explains, “There are two ways to look at extracurricular activities and they are: a chance to try something new to find out if it is an interest the child is keen on developing, and they are also an excellent opportunity to practice a skill a child already has but needs the practice to improve on.”

Both approaches have their merits, but it is important for children to be open to taking up new opportunities more. Having said that, to improve practice is essential too and thus along the way children learn and understand about resilience and not giving up.

“Resilience is one of our personal goals at KTJ primary and we teach children about developing a growth mindset and improvement through practice. Our wide range of ECA (Extra-Curricular Activities) covers different sports, music, creative activities, drama, public speaking, environmental awareness and much more.

All of these activities are worthwhile in the development of a child in important ways and at KTJ we believe in providing enriching opportunities as well as quality activities in order to allow every child to find their own skills and talents.  This can build confidence across all other aspects of school and so is also excellent for their academic progress,” Mr Twigg signs off.

KTJ is the region’s premier British international school with a 30-year heritage, providing high-quality day and boarding education for children aged 3 - 19 years. The primary school is a modern facility with two play areas suitable for different age groups, plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning, a highly trained local and expatriate teacher in every classroom, and up to 40 extra-curricular activities for pupils including sports and eco-club. To learn more about KTJ Primary, please visit:

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