Extra-curricular activities – why are they so important?
Extra-curricular activities are a great way to learn about yourself, build new skills and meet new people. Plus, when it comes to applying for the top universities or apprenticeships with the best employers, being able to talk about your interests and activities outside of your studies can help set you apart from the competition.
At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we are proud of the opportunities our students have to take part in extra-curricular activities and volunteering, develop in-demand skills and reach their academic and professional goals.
Read on to find out more about our broad range of extra-curricular activities and why they are so important.
1. Develop new interests
Life at Christ the King Sixth Forms is about more than just academic achievement. It’s also a time to discover or develop your interests, aptitudes and talents, make new friends and have fun. Whether you study at CTK Aquinas, CTK St Mary’s or CTK Emmanuel, we offer plenty of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities which allow you to learn something outside your main academic course. From debating to dance, filmmaking to music, you’ll have many chances to get involved and develop new skills that will prove useful long after you have finished your education. Who knows, you could unlock passions you never knew you had!
2. Gain ‘real world’ skills
One of the greatest advantages extra-curricular activities give you are ‘real world’, or ‘soft skills’, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Goal setting
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Analytical thinking
- Public speaking
All these are hugely valuable skills that you will be able to use for the rest of your life. For example, at CTK, you can hone your leadership and organisation skills by being elected on to the Student Council and helping to run events throughout the year, including the Leavers’ Prom, Talent Showcase and charity fundraising events. By playing team sport you can develop your teamwork and problem-solving abilities, and by taking part in the debate society you can practice skills in public speaking. What’s more, taking part in extra-curricular activities demonstrates that you can also manage your time effectively by balancing your interests alongside your studies.
As well as looking at your grades, universities want to know an applicant as a person – what you’re interested in or passionate about. Joining clubs, volunteering, or having a part-time job shows your attachment to your community and desire to help others, as well as your sense of responsibility and time management. On top of the broad range of extra-curricular activities we mentioned above, CTK students also have the opportunity to take part in fantastic field trips and expeditions, which could include locations such as Kenya, Alaska and the Tien Shan Mountains, as well as retreats and pilgrimages. Here are just some of the activities that you can get involved in at CTK:
- Community projects, such as helping in primary schools and hospitals
- Residential visits and overseas trips
- Work shadowing and volunteering experiences
- Retreats and pilgrimages
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
All of these opportunities provide great experiences to add to your personal statement for university and could help you stand out from other applicants, especially if you are applying to more competitive universities or subjects such as Medicine.
Give back to your community
At Christ the King Sixth Forms, we do a great deal to support charities and all our students take part in our volunteering programme to support our local communities in South East London and Kent. We run an annual charity day and provide many other ways for students to give back, for example by encouraging them to become mentors and ambassadors, supporting local community groups or volunteering their time to charity organisations. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to meet lots of new people and improve your social skills, as well as making a real difference to others, so it’s win-win!
Improve your wellbeing
Perhaps most importantly, extra-curricular activities can improve your wellbeing by providing a chance to relax, unwind and relieve any study pressures by spending time doing something you enjoy. And if you’re concerned that taking part in extra-curricular activities will hurt your grades you needn’t worry. It’s widely researched and proven that participating in activities you enjoy can increase your brain function, help you concentrate and manage your time better, all of which contribute to higher grades. So, go on, take that much-needed break – you deserve it!
If you have any questions about our extra-curricular and enrichment activities, please get in touch with our friendly Careers team.
Ready to apply? We are delighted that you are considering making an application to Christ the King Sixth Forms. We welcome students of all faiths, or none, who would like to pursue their sixth form education in a faith context and who support the ethos of this Catholic College. We are currently taking applications to join CTK in September 2021. If you, or someone you know, would like to apply, then you can do so online – just click the button below. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to arrange an interview. Good luck!
Dwayne ST MARY'S Course: A Level History, Spanish, Maths
“I'm aiming to study Computer Science at the University of Sheffield. At CTK all students are equally as motivated to do well, it's a good environment to be in. Teachers really try their hardest to make sure that their students achieve what they are capable of and ensure you get the best grades possible.”
Ella Mae ST MARY'S Grades achieved: A A B A Course: A Level Law Level Psychology A Level Sociology Extended Project
“What I enjoyed about CTK was meeting students from different backgrounds and sharing a desire to succeed. As an Advanced Graduate Programme student, I was given the motivation and confidence to work to the best of my ability. ”
Samad ST MARY'S Course: A Level Media, English Literature and Language and French
“I have really enjoyed my course trips. Also, knowing that everyone else is starting Sixth Form at the same time as you, makes meeting new people and fitting in a lot easier and fun. My teachers have helped me overcome my fear of interacting during class discussions. They encouraged me to participate by giving presentations to the whole class, which boosted my confidence. Teachers will motivate you to achieve the best of your ability.”
Oluwafoluhanmi ST MARY'S Course: A Level Biology, Chemistry and PE
“Although studying A Levels can be challenging, my teachers make my lessons enjoyable and easier to understand. The teachers at CTK are really friendly and are more than happy to help. I hope to go on to study Physiotherapy at University.”
Alice ST MARY'S Grades achieved: D*D*D* Course: BTEC Sport and Exercise Science Level 3
“I'm going to St Mary's University, Twickenham to study Sport Science. My BTEC course was unique. The pastoral support at CTK was excellent and the extra support from teachers helped me stay on track. I would recommend CTK because of the support that staff give students”