Fulfilling potential beyond the classroom

Posted on 21st Mar 2024 in Which School?, School News, Co-curricular

Ipswich School students reflect on the positive impact of co-curricular activities and some of the new skills they have gained.

A strong co-curriculum is a key area that parents will want to consider when looking for an independent school for their child. Perhaps they already have a skill to develop further or perhaps you want them to have a broad range of opportunities. What you learn and how you develop ‘soft skills’ such as leadership, time management, and team work are as vital in today’s society as the exam outcomes which a child achieves. We believe that a rich and varied co-curricular provision complements an excellent academic education, giving pupils the opportunity to develop many valuable transferable skills and allowing them to realise their full potential. We asked some of our pupils to explain what skills they have developed through co-curricular activities.

“Sport is an essential part of school life for many reasons. For me, being part of an elite performance based hockey programme has helped me excel beyond belief. The team ethos and overall mentality is incredible. I went from a C team goalkeeper, to an A team one in under a year! In addition to this, I am the most physically fit I have ever been, and I put much of this down to sport. Above all, the feeling of making a last minute save just cannot be beaten. I love sport and Ipswich School sport has helped me grow as a person, and as a player.” - Adam C, Year 10

“Nothing lets you be so creatively free like drama does. The joy in drama doesn’t just come from discovering a hidden talent - far from it. The joy comes from working hard at it, and pouring yourself into it, because you know that nothing will beat the feeling of standing on stage with some of your closest friends; friends that you might have never made otherwise, and giving it everything you have. Not because you have to, but because you love it. As you take your final bow on closing night, as the hard work of so many dedicated actors, directors, and artists comes to a crescendo, you do it knowing that this has made you braver, more creative, and above all, freer.” - Barbara S, Year 11

“Over the past seven years we have enjoyed taking part in countless concerts and other extracurricular musical activities. Our highlights include two annual musical events: the Christmas Concert and then when the entire music department heads to Snape Maltings for the Spring Concert performance each year. Countless rehearsals and huge efforts from all go into every performance, making it possible to have concerts of such exceptional quality. Music has played a huge part in our lives at Ipswich School and we know that this will continue for others for many years to come. We personally have enjoyed our time playing in various ensembles and orchestras, whilst developing musically in the company of friends.” - Alice C and Emily H, Year 13

“I believe that sports are an integral part of being at Ipswich School as it helps you meet new people you may have never integrated with and helps you build relationships through your common interests of enjoying a certain sport. Additionally, sports at Ipswich School are very accessible no matter how good you are and this helps you build skills you will not learn from lessons. For example I have learnt the skills of being a leader from being the B team cricket captain for a few years and this experience helped me get into the A team in cricket last year - I think this could be linked to my increased confidence from being the captain of the B team.” - Alex K, Year 10

This article first appeared in the 2024 edition of Which School? You can view the digital version of the guidebook here: