CCAs or Co-Curricular Activities are an integral part of school life in Singapore. According to the Ministry of Education, CCAs contribute to the holistic education in school and extend the student’s experience beyond the classroom.
In primary schools, most students join CCAs from Primary 3 onwards. In some schools, they may even have the option to sign up for a CCA in school from Primary 2.
In secondary school, every student is encouraged to participate in a CCA.
CCAs in Schools
In general, there are four types of CCAs in Singapore schools. These are Sports, Uniformed Groups, Performing Arts and Societies & Clubs.
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Sports CCAs are self-explanatory. Examples include football, athletics, netball and swimming.
Uniformed Groups, formerly known as Uniformed Youth Organisations, include Scouts, Brownies, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade and Red Cross.
Examples of Performing Arts CCAs include Dance, Band and Music Ensembles.
Societies & Clubs include Robotics, Infocomm Clubs and the Library.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a CCA in School
When it comes time to choose a CCA in school, from our experience, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. Each of these factors needs to be balanced off against the next when considering which CCA to signing up for.
The student should at least have some interest in the subject matter of the CCA. If a child is keen on football, it will be much easier to convince him or her to join the school’s Football Club. On the other hand, if he or she does not even have an interest in sports, it may be difficult to get him or her to willingly go for weekly practices.
Often, especially for primary school students, we have observed that a child’s interest stems from his or her parent’s interest. If a parent enjoys swimming and regularly heads to the pool, there is a higher likelihood that the child will also enjoy swimming.
Some students have a natural ability in certain areas.
It could be an unnatural flexibility and a daring mindset when it comes to gymnastics or a knack for a musical instrument. A student with a natural aptitude or skill will find themselves drawn to a related CCA. And, if a student excels in a particular field, it is more likely he or she will be motivated to invest more time into developing his or her abilities.
Having said that, ability can be developed and if a student has an interest in an area, he or she can also work hard to improve and excel in that area.
3. Development Value
A key benefit of joining a CCA is that it allows students to acquire skills and knowledge they would not otherwise have been exposed to within the classroom.
During CCA time, students get to try new things. CCAs also provide an ideal setting for students to interact with each other and learn how to get along with others. CCAs teach students the value of hard work and discipline and also provide room for growth as individuals and leaders.
When it comes to choosing a CCA, the developmental effect of the CCA on a student’s character may sometimes even outweigh aptitude as a factor for consideration. For example, if a student is already an accomplished pianist because of private music lessons, it may be more beneficial to participate in an unrelated CCA, such as netball, while in school. This can allow the student to develop holistically.
Different CCAs demand different levels of commitment. Some CCAs may only meet up once a week while others may convene two or three times a week, especially during competition season or in the run-up to the Singapore Youth Festival.
The level of commitment a student can give to a CCA in school also needs to be factored against his or her other activities. If he or she has many external commitments or even has problems with practical considerations such as transport arrangements, these also need to be factored into the choice of CCAs.
We hope these factors to consider when choosing a CCA in school are helpful. Each child is an individual and every student will place different weight on each factor. Whatever the eventual choice, participating in any CCA can be fun, fulfilling and, ultimately, a good opportunity for personal growth and development.