Participation in co-curricular activities is essential when developing people of character with a strong sense of identity and a passion for learning. There are a multitude of benefits from co-curricular activities including better time management, organisational skills, stress relief and relaxation. Skills learned through co-curricular activities can often be applied to academic studies and can provide the clarity required for an academic concept to make sense and improve learning outcomes.
Learning institutions beyond school such as universities are choosing students who have a breadth of learning and experiences, rather than simply focusing on academic scores. Students who have been involved in service and co-curricular activities stand out from the crowd in a competitive selection process. These students often demonstrate leadership, high organisational skills and an ability to communicate more effectively.
Additionally, co-curricular activities are great for mental health as exercise regulates the blood supply to the brain, thereby increasing oxygenation and brain activity. The brain needs increased energy when focused on a specific task. Extra activities stimulate both sides of the brain. Each side of the brain is responsible for processing different types of thought. Students are generally exposed to logical thinking during the normal school day, which is processed by the left side of the brain. By participating in outdoor and creative activities, the brain will be stimulated to creative thinking, which is processed by the right side of the brain.
Co-curricular activities also help to raise self-motivation in younger students. They encourage students to speak up and contribute ideas and topics, thereby having a voice in a variety of different areas.
Our School believes that success in learning involves the development of the whole child by offering a broad curriculum and adopting a holistic approach to each student’s academic, spiritual, physical, aesthetic, cultural, social and emotional development. The extent and diversity of co-curricular programmes at TIGS reflect this approach.
Students in the Junior School are able to participate in a wide variety of Co-curricular activities including academic competitions, debating, public speaking, drama, music tuition, ensembles, bands and orchestras, singing, numerous sports, art, science, problem-solving, Tournament of Minds, chess, Code It, and robotics.
Cantelina Singers - Ava
“It’s a great place to sing and have fun with your friends”.
Art From The Heart - Heath
“I’m good at art so my parents said I could join – it’s fun and I learn about lots of artists like Margaret Olley, Van Gough and Klimt”.
In the Senior School, there are numerous opportunities for students to engage in co-curricular activities. The following represents a selection of the activities on offer.
The Illawarra Regional da Vinci Decathlon is a team based inter-school problem-solving competition for gifted students across all disciplines. The competition takes place over two consecutive days at The Illawarra Grammar School for Year 7 – 10. Students are selected for this competition through a process of staff nomination. Da Vinci problems require very explicit higher order thinking ability and intensive teamwork. Training for the event begins at the start of Term I and the competition is held in Week 2 of Term II.
The Year 7 and Year 8 Honours Programme is now underway in its new and innovative format and will continue to grow next year. The programme exists for students whose levels of academic performance and curiosity require extracurricular experiences that are designed to facilitate their engagement with higher order thinking and conversation.
The Science and Engineering Challenge is a nationwide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programme designed to inspire students to explore principles of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. ScienceXtra provides opportunities for students to extend themselves beyond the standard Science Curriculum. The programme currently offers activities including practical and written competitions, external challenges such as Brainbee and various science activities within school at lunchtime and after school.
The Year 7 and Year 8 Mathematical Olympiad introduces students to mathematical concepts and strategies which develop their flexibility regarding problem-solving. It encourages creativity, ingenuity and intuition, with the aim of fostering an enthusiasm for and an enjoyment of Mathematics.
Future Problem Solving (FPS) is based on research and imagination. Students find creative solutions to problems like global warming or child labour. Community Problem Solving (CmPS) is the practical arm of the programme. Individuals or small groups identify a problem in their localities such as bullying, coeliac awareness or surf safety and devise a project that addresses the issue. They connect with their community to explore different approaches to solving the problem such as running workshops or hosting an afternoon tea for Harmony Day. Both FPS and CmPS are part of international competitions.
GateWay8 is a team based interschool problem-solving competition, hosted by Macarthur Anglican School in Term III every year. It is run in the same way as the da Vinci Decathlon, with selection and training taking place from Term II.
Debating workshops are held once each term for interested students. These workshops equip students with the skills necessary for competitive debating. A number of participants in these workshops are selected for the inter-school HICES Debating competition, which runs for Term I, II and III each year.
Model United Nations aims to educate and empower young people on global issues and better understand the role of the United Nations. Students can take part in training sessions and events where they learn the skills of organisation, diplomacy and negotiation while debating humanitarian, political and environmental issues from the perspectives of United Nation members and the Security Council.
Mock Trial is an interschool competition organised by the NSW Law Society, available by application for Year 11 students. The team has a solicitor, two barristers, two witnesses and various court officials. Students learn valuable skills including analysis of challenging legal situations, application of legal precedents, presentation of clear logical arguments, thinking ‘on their feet’ and courtroom etiquette. Students from the Mock Trial Team may be selected to participate in Bond University’s High School Mooting Competition, open to Year 12 students.
Streamwatch is a citizen-science programme run by the Australian Museum. Year 9 students at TIGS are trained before they commence formal testing in American Creek on a weekly basis. Our test site is adjacent to Cordeaux Heights. Our results are posted on the Australian Museum Streamwatch website and form part of a state-wide database.
Extensive co-curricular activities are also available in the performing and Visual Arts. These opportunities include participation in the major School Production, including performance in the orchestra, on stage or as part of the Technical crew (TIGS Tech). There are also performance opportunities in string ensembles, bands and various vocal groups.
TIGS offers an extensive, sequential outdoor education programme which provides students with increasingly challenging opportunities and skill development. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an additional opportunity to be involved in outdoor education and service. The Award is a leading structured youth development programme, empowering our students to explore their full potential. The Award is voluntary, flexible, interesting and fun. Students can design their own unique programme incorporating four key areas: Physical Recreation, Skill, Service and Adventurous Journey. There are three levels to the Duke of Edinburgh Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
The extensive and diverse range of programmes available at TIGS gives students every opportunity to enhance their learning and foster their interests and talents.