As we may recall from our own educational experiences, there is so much worthwhile learning that happens outside the traditional classroom: in the art room, athletic venue, music room, out in our local community or having an international experience. Perhaps we discovered new interests, developed deep passions, found our tribe, or equally important, realized that there were a few ways we didn’t want to spend our time!
From Kindergarten to Grade 12, our extracurricular program provides a variety of opportunities unlike anywhere else. SMUS’s strong academic program is enhanced by these offerings, which add so much value to the school experience for our students and have been identified as important for their cognitive development. From the outside, some may see these activities as time for “fun”. While that’s often the case, it’s often through these extracurricular opportunities that students develop social and interpersonal skills by meeting people with whom they share interests, often from different grades. We also know that these new experiences support building resilience. By dedicating time to improving their skills or knowledge in an area of interest, students step out of their comfort zone, navigate new experiences and develop perseverance.
As parents, we want our children to have every opportunity to explore different interests but also strive for a balance with time available for play, rest and family. Having so much offered through SMUS, including after school and on weekends each term, reduces the need for parents to sign-up for “extras” across town and provides more rest and family time.
As an educator, I love knowing that our students have access, throughout their SMUS journey, to dabble or to dive into a diverse selection of options without being overscheduled. This is all emphasized when a child experiences that wonderful spark when they make a connection between their learning in class, to their interests out of class.
It is such an advantage that children receive an educational experience that exists beyond the classroom walls and outside of the school day timetable. The skills and passions they develop will surely be beneficial throughout their time at SMUS and beyond.