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 eventually, to lead by example.
Photo: The International School of Kuala Lumpur
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.
Photo: 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.
Photo: Alice Smith School's Official Site/Facebook
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 self-confidence 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.
Photo: Sunway Internatonal 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.