The Importance of a Varied Curriculum and a range of physical activities at School

Children who attend schools with a varied curriculum and a wide range of physical activities have more development opportunities.  Pupils who have access to a broad curriculum are usually more engaged in their education journey.

A varied curriculum includes a wide selection of subjects to study and a comprehensive choice of extra-curricular activities such as sports, music, drama, and awards such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

These are some of the key benefits of attending a school with a varied academic curriculum and a wide choice of extra-curricular activities:


Pupils can build their individual path

Having a larger choice of subjects to study enables pupils to pursue their individual learning and career goals, rather than selecting a subject due to a lack of other options. If a student already has an idea of the type of career path they wish to follow, they can select more niche subjects that will benefit their career progress.

In some schools, there is a set curriculum with a limited choice of GCSE options to choose from. However, many independent schools like Gateways have more flexibility to provide a wider choice of subjects at GCSE and A level, as they can operate with small class sizes. This enables pupils to select the subjects that are individually more beneficial to them, both in terms of their interests and future career plans.


School life is more engaging

A varied curriculum allows a deeper level of engagement by accessing subjects or activities that really motivate and inspire pupils. Extra-curricular activities also provide pupils with opportunities to forge friendships with pupils that might not be in their class and meet more people who they share common interests with, enjoying the school experience more.


More sport choices encourages higher levels of participation

Providing a wider range of sports and physical activities helps pupils to discover activities that they enjoy. At schools where only the common sports like netball and rounders are played, the pupils who do not enjoy these types of sports can become disengaged from doing sport and physical activities.

Research by Sport for England revealed that active children are happier, more resilient and more trusting of others and there was a positive association between being active and higher levels of mental wellbeing.


Team sports are confidence building

Studies into the Effects of Early Sports Participation on Self-esteem and Happiness showed that adolescents who participated in team sports had higher sport self-concept and which resulted in higher self-esteem. Team sports and collaborative projects also help nurture skills such as teamwork and many other skills that will help pupils to thrive at university and in a working environment.

Other extra-curricular activities such as the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), D of E, and debating help to develop more confidence and increases social interaction with peers.


Incorporating current trends and new opportunities

By reviewing skills gaps in the job market and understanding what subjects and activities pupils are currently interested in, schools are able to unlock passions and develop skills that are more relevant to careers in newer sectors such as digital marketing and software engineering.


New physical activities such as bounce fitness (mini trampolines) can help pupils to enjoy the latest fitness trends in a fun environment, encouraging them to continue participating in exercise. The government’s recommended amount of exercise for all children is at least 60 minutes per day to help maintain a healthy weight and improve cardiovascular health.

In a time where there is an increased amount of screentime and sedentary behaviour, reaching the 60 minutes of recommended exercise is much more achievable through offering a wider range of extra-curricular sports activities at school.


How Gateways Offers a wider curriculum

As an independent school, Gateways School is able to offer a wide choice of curriculum subjects and extra-curricular activities. We can deliver subjects for small class sizes with just a few pupils at A Level if necessary.

We constantly review our curriculum extra-curricular activities to identify new opportunities that our pupils will benefit from. From our Combined Cadet Force to our drama and music lessons, every pupil is encouraged to discover new interests and develop new skills at Gateways, which provides a strong foundation for when they leave school to start the next chapter of their life.

Book a visit to come and see how Gateways could be the right choice for your child