Why are Co-Curricular Activities so central to a Macarthur Education?

Learning is achieved in so many ways and the process of learning can be quite different between individuals. At Macarthur we hold the view that individuals learn differently and as such we have teaching and learning programmes that allow students to learn in their preferred style.

It is well known from educational research over the years that students learn differently from subject to subject. Later educational research focussed on the fact that students studying a second language and music learn in very different ways to each other and indeed the other academic disciplines. Any teacher who has taught several subjects will tell you that the learning and thinking patterns associated with different subjects vary. It is argued that this is the reason for individuals to develop a ‘favourite’ subject.

In recent years the research has delved into learning styles even further and discovered that different experiences cause our brains to function in slightly different ways. Alternative and new synapse and brain pathways are triggered when different activities are experienced. If this is the case, then the brain’s capacity can be extended and greater potential can be explored if a variety of experiences are had. An education then with diversity is a great advantage.

At Macarthur this drives our desire to have students explore new and varied opportunities. It is not a simple afterthought at Macarthur that students should be kept busy, rather it is an integral part of a Macarthur education to have broad learning experiences.

Some of these opportunities are furthering a talent or an interest that has already been developed. However, it is our hope that during a student’s life at Macarthur they will experience new and yet to be discovered passions.

A curriculum that has a wide range of choice outside of the classroom is as important as one that offers broad subject choices. The mandatory annual Outdoor Education Programme seeks to gently encourage students into an experience through the camp activities. Whether it is archery, high ropes, water activities or rock climbing and abseiling, students are encouraged to face the challenge and do their best. Nothing is forced - everything is encouraged.

In a voluntary way, the Co-Curricular Programme at Macarthur seeks to provide the depth of experience in a more targeted and ongoing way.

By being involved, Macarthur students are not only having fun but are allowing their brain to function in new ways, developing more complex brain functions and synapse pathways.