The benefits of attending an After School Club for academic performance
Attending an After School Club benefits multiple areas of a child's life. These include, but are not limited to, their academic performance, the development of wider hobbies and interests, emotional development, and the nurturing of social interactions, life skills, and friendships.
Undeniably, the attendance of an After School Club positively impacts a child's academic performance now and in the future
Academic Exploration and Play
After School Clubs provide an opportunity for children to develop skills and lessons learned in the classroom through meaningful play. Play offers a child the opportunity to deepen their understanding of a subject matter, problem-solve, and work collaboratively with other children.
Research conducted by UNICEF suggests that play also encourages cognitive growth and, when led by adults within an After School Club, can help a child solidify the lessons learned within a classroom. As a result, their academic performance is strengthened.
Research from a study by the Nuffield Foundation suggests that attending an After School Club improves a child's academic performance through better grades and higher attendance. Additionally, children that consistently participate in an After School Club are shown to have a deeper level of empathy for other students, less problematic behaviour, and higher levels of engagement. These create a strong foundation of social skills to foster effective learning and participation in the classroom.
Regularly attending an After School Club allows children to be exposed to a variety of new activities and a changing social circle.
The activities explored at an After School Club will expose children to potential new interests and hobbies. As detailed by Learning Hive, when a child finds their passion or a hidden talent, their self-confidence is naturally impacted; they feel fulfillment and excitement for a new avenue of expression. An increase in confidence, as a result of skill development, positively impacts their academic performance as they have a new sense of an ability to achieve.
Entering a new social circle after the school day, comprised of children from a variety of age groups and with a variety of interests, positively develops social skills and confidence. Increased confidence can encourage children to be bolder in the classroom, take more risks, and develop leadership skills. This confidence leads to a 'can do' attitude which will undoubtedly benefit their academic performance.
Ofsted has discovered that the skills developed within an After School Club, including increased confidence within the classroom, a greater grasp of academic concepts, and improved social skills, have lasting, positive implications on a child's education.
The social skills developed in these early years of education will improve leadership skills that will benefit a child throughout higher education and their career. Additionally, solidifying their understanding of core academic concepts will create a foundation for success in their later studies.
A Final Note
It is important that a child's experience of an After School Club is enjoyable and not a direct extension of their experience within the classroom. When used correctly, an After School Club can solidify and improve academic performance while encouraging self-expression, play, and a natural interest and curiosity in the world.
Academic performance will be most positively improved by fostering a love for learning. Creating an understanding that learning can be creative and fun and encouraging children to never lose the enjoyment in trying something new.