Extracurricular activities in school: Pandemic edition
Extracurricular activities for kids have always taken prime importance in academic institutions, be it in a pre-covid world or the post covid environment. Being a part of an institution’s regular curriculum, the benefits of extracurricular activities are abundant and it plays a vital role in providing a wholesome learning experience to children. Most importantly, they help them destress and relax by taking a much-needed break from academics and allows them to bring out their hidden talents and creativity.
Due to the closure of schools and colleges for the last academic year, students were forced to sit at home. The absence of ‘normal’ school life took a big hit on their well-being, while the schools had to adapt to new methods of teaching overnight. Digital learning revolutionised how students learnt, and we saw academic institutions conducting online extracurricular activities and workshops for students too, hassle-free.
Interesting extracurricular activities in school that were conducted online:
1. ‘Leadership Summit’ by Indus School Pune
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader”- John Quincy Adams
Indus School, Pune believes every student is born to be a leader in their respective endeavours and therefore conducted an online leadership summit to impart and nurture essential skills. Normally these skills are developed when students participate in extracurricular activities in school but full credits to Indus, for taking this to the next level by involving these activities as a part of the regular curriculum for students of Grade 1,2 and 3.
The various activities that were a part of this program were music, public speaking workshop, spelling competition and a skill exhibit where students showcased their special skills and interests like swimming, keyboard playing and others. To make this more fun and encouraging, a parent-child partnership game was also conducted as a part of the summit.
2. Online Webinars by Pathways World School
Pathways World School, Haryana conducted a series of online live webinars to inspire and motivate its students. Two standout webinars were conducted online with the prime objective of helping students cope up mentally with their new normal educational and personal life.
The first event was called ‘#inspireability’ where student speakers and guests engaged with other students to discuss the topic ‘The Essence of a changing World’. During the event, the speakers not only discussed adapting to the new norm of school likes but also emphasised on staying positive through a series of inspirational pep talks. The second event was a live webinar discussion between students and teachers about their learning experience post lockdown. Students mainly spoke on how they kept their happiness quotient up during the challenging period of the pandemic thus influencing their fellow peers.
Again, these were not the usual extracurricular activities in school but certainly served their purpose by helping students stay positive and mentally upbeat during these uncertain times.
3. TEDx Event partnered by Woodstock School
Woodstock School, Mussoorie partnered with TEDx to conduct an online session on “Redefining Freedom”. Speakers from a variety of professions like songwriters, actors, publicists, music educators, entrepreneurs took part in the event. The key takeaway was that the students were able to find hope and draw inspiration from the special line speakers and their fellow peers.
This effort taken by Woodstock school to mimic extracurricular activities in school via a digital and online platform is definitely appreciation worthy and we hope more schools across the country come up with such initiatives.
4. Online Musical Concert by Shiv Nadar School
Shiv Nadar School conducted an online musical concert called “Concert for Covid” to keep their students entertained during these uncertain times. The concert was conducted and orchestrated by the students themselves. Students with musical talents exhibited their skills in playing instruments like the drums, guitar, piano keyboard and singing. Apart from the main objectives of entertaining people and serving as a means of extracurricular activities in school, Shiv Nadar School also helped raise funds for India Covid Response Fund.
Moreover, grade 12 learners were engaged in a series of welfare activities. Among one such activity, they created a YouTube channel with entertaining and informative videos to help people cope up with the lockdown quarantine.
5. ‘Spotlight 2020 by Vishwajyot High School
Vishwajyot High School, Maharashtra conducted an online project exhibition called Spotlight 2020. This show was a major hit among parents since they were happy to assist their child to engage in project building activities. Students exhibited their project models at their homes and explained them via online platforms. As a result, students were able to communicate their understanding of the academic concepts in a fun and interesting way even while at home. The event itself was a hit enabling them to learn and relax at the same time.
Full credits to Vishwajyot High School for conducting one of the most unconventional workshops for students.
We are sure that schools across the country might have taken steps to ensure that learning didn’t stop for its students and must have offered them a list of extracurricular activities to choose from in an online environment. We think it’ll be unfair for us to choose our favourite amongst the above, but have you come across any similar amazing initiatives taken up by any school across the country?