Children and most particularly boys, are more likely to get good grades at school after joining chess clubs, football teams and doing charity work, according to new research published by the Independent Schools Council.
Taking part in activities beyond the normal school day boosted children’s self-esteem, confidence, team-building skills, increased their circle of friends and significantly boosts their chances of achieving top marks in GCSEs, it is claimed.
The findings come amid continuing concerns that “hot housing” pupils to pass tests seriously harms their long-term development.
Ofsted and the Commons schools select committee have strongly criticised schools that “teach to the test” – when children are repeatedly subjected to exam practice to boost their positions in national league tables.
Christine Gilbert, chief inspector of schools, said some pupils were being given a limited timetable as teachers focus on subjects covered in end-of-year exams.
David Lyscom, chief executive of the ISC, which represents almost 1,300 fee-paying schools, said: “This new research shows how important extra-curricular activities can be in underpinning academic achievement and underlines the clear benefits provided by an all-round education.”
Source: Daily Telegraph