Join The Club

These ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties at in­ter­na­tional schools are unique, fun and ed­u­ca­tional

Expatriate Lifestyle - - December The Team - Words by Tania Jay­ati­laka Photo by Alice Smith School, elc In­ter­na­tional School, The In­ter­na­tional School of Kuala Lumpur and is­tock­photo

The idea of school clubs may at times be bur­dened with dra­matic over­tones thanks to the movies and tele­vi­sion shows on the sub­ject. Drama aside, what can one ex­pect from such clubs and ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties (ECAS) at in­ter­na­tional schools here? The range of ac­tiv­i­ties and learn­ing out­comes varies by school, but a com­mon fac­tor stands out across the board: a com­mit­ment to cul­ti­vate re­spon­si­ble, global-minded stu­dents equipped with per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences, the abil­ity to recog­nise their roles in the big­ger pic­ture and to even­tu­ally lead by ex­am­ple.

The In­ter­na­tional School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL)

Com­mu­nity ser­vice groups, stu­dent gov­ern­ment, fine arts and per­form­ing arts, me­dia and publi­ca­tions, aca­demic clubs, lan­guage and cul­tural clubs, ath­let­ics, and hon­our so­ci­eties: clubs and ECAS are a vi­tal as­pect of ISKL’S ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. ISKL stu­dents are en­cour­aged to join at least one ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­ity and have the chance to par­tic­i­pate in sports as well as com­mu­nity ser­vice clubs – the two are care­fully planned so as not to clash.

Be­sides par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar pro­gramme, stu­dents plan and con­duct out­reach ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly prac­tices, sup­port­ing mi­nor­ity groups and con­tribut­ing mean­ing­fully to ISKL’S stu­dent body. There are more than 40 Mid­dle School ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Ser­vice Club where weekly ses­sions are spent help­ing spe­cial needs chil­dren and pre­par­ing ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial for the Spe­cial Chil­dren So­ci­ety of Am­pang and the Taspu­tra Perkim dis­abil­ity-sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tion.

High School and Mid­dle School stu­dents in ISKL’S Roots and Shoots Club have sup­ported the Bali Chil­dren’s Project, Yayasan Chow Kit and the So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals (SPCA), even earn­ing a ‘Most Sup­port­ive School’ award this year from the lat­ter for their ef­forts in fundrais­ing and car­ing for the an­i­mals.

elc In­ter­na­tional School

If you haven’t heard much about elc In­ter­na­tional School’s In­ter­act Club, it’s prob­a­bly be­cause the stu­dents pre­fer it that way. For years, they’ve made in­cred­i­ble con­tri­bu­tions to the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity by way of so­cial work, char­ity projects and fundrais­ing for dis­as­ter re­lief.

To­gether with the Ro­tary Club of Da­mansara, elc In­ter­na­tional School’s In­ter­act Club made a trip to Myan­mar to re­build a school af­ter Cy­clone Nar­gis and raised USD$10,000 for re­build­ing ef­forts. The club also spear­heads In­ter­na­tional Un­der­stand­ing Day, a char­ity fundrais­ing event that mo­bilises the whole school to pro­mote aware­ness of var­i­ous cul­tures and cus­toms. While many of elc In­ter­na­tional School’s clubs are led by teach­ers, coaches or ex­ter­nal fa­cil­i­ta­tors, the In­ter­act Club is a stu­dent-led ini­tia­tive open to sec­ondary stu­dents.

Stu­dents have even gone on to rep­re­sent the school at na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els in gym­nas­tics, Taek­wondo, pub­lic speak­ing, rugby, foot­ball, de­bat­ing, ro­bot­ics and more. Some clubs and ac­tiv­i­ties are age-spe­cific, but school fa­cil­i­ties and hours are care­fully bal­anced across Lower Pri­mary, Up­per Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Level ECAS to en­sure no age group misses out.

Alice Smith School

From Year 2, stu­dents at the Alice Smith School have ac­cess to a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties and clubs. Many school ac­tiv­i­ties are run by the teach­ing staff, while some – Brown­ies and Girl Guides, for ex­am­ple – are run by par­ent vol­un­teers. Clubs and ECAS help boost self­con­fi­dence and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion among young learn­ers while con­tribut­ing to­wards AQA Bac­calau­re­ate points for Sixth Form­ers.

It’s not just the sec­ondary stu­dents who get to have all the fun – Year 6 stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in an ex­ten­sive year-long ex­er­cise that tests their team­work, re­silience, or­gan­i­sa­tional skills and com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity ser­vice in what’s known as the Year 6 Chal­lenge. Stu­dents who earn this award go all out to en­rich their com­mu­ni­ties by teach­ing un­der­priv­i­leged stu­dents, col­lect­ing sup­plies for refugee chil­dren, plant­ing trees and rais­ing money to pur­chase much needed equip­ment for a chil­dren’s home.

Sim­i­larly, the Bronze, Sil­ver and Gold Cit­i­zen­ship Awards are given to the most de­serv­ing stu­dents in Years 3, 4 and 5 for their work pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, con­tribut­ing to healthy liv­ing and safety in the school and com­mu­nity, and tak­ing up the re­spon­si­bil­ity of fundrais­ing for var­i­ous causes.

Sun­way In­ter­na­tional School

There’s never a dull moment for stu­dents at Sun­way In­ter­na­tional School. The school’s Peo­ple to Peo­ple In­ter­na­tional (PTPI) Club ac­tively or­gan­ises fun so­cial projects and on-cam­pus ac­tiv­i­ties to raise funds for a va­ri­ety of so­cial causes. True to the val­ues of the glob­ally-renowned Peo­ple to Peo­ple In­ter­na­tional pro­gramme, Sun­way In­ter­na­tional School’s PTPI club held a month-long food drive this year, col­lect­ing non-per­ish­able food items to do­nate to the SEED Foun­da­tion, in sup­port of marginalised groups.

The Stu­dent Coun­cil of­fers plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for both mid­dle and high school stu­dents to de­velop their lead­er­ship skills. An ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of this is en­cour­ag­ing the stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in com­mu­nity out­reach pro­grammes cov­er­ing an­i­mal wel­fare so­ci­eties, or­phan­ages, hos­pi­tals and char­i­ties at a lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional level. EL

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