It is scary that in such a time of turbulent and wide-sweeping changes, which are being undertaken to improve ‘students’ outcomes, that the ‘child’ behind the student is being forgotten. Whilst the administrative burden and preparation time for staff in schools is unquestionably huge, most educational professionals will cite concern regarding the adverse impact that these changes will have on the individual child. Dealing with children’s loss of self-worth, motivation and confidence following decreased performance is a burden that schools should not have to worry about.
We are lucky to have such a comprehensive education system in the United Kingdom but this does not mean that schools are able and should offer a comprehensive service. And unfortunately, in an era where creativity is being stripped from the curriculum, educational establishments are less able to offer the broad spectrum of education that may have naturally led to outlets for children’s emotions and concerns. They are less able to offer a curriculum that is suited to every child and they are less able to inject time into the emotional well-being of the child.
Extra-curricular activities have the benefit of developing the skills that children may not so readily obtain in the classroom, specifically self-esteem and confidence, and given the right setting, an outlet for emotions. After all, the ‘student’ is a role that children take on for six hours a day, for the other 18 hours, we are left to deal with the welfare of the child. We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to preserve the well-being of the individual child in a national time of upheaval for the collective student population.