While it is probable that you will have to at least take part in extra curricular during your ITT, it is more than likely that you will be running at least one group of your own during your NQT year. For the purposes of this blog I shall split EC into two broad areas: 1) Performing Arts 2) Other subjects.
At this point I should very quickly add that, as a music teacher, I’m basing this blog on my own experiences. You do not have to be a Performing Arts teacher to run numerous EC clubs, indeed I know many teachers outside of Arts departments who do this. However, my experience is of running many musical ensembles, and some outside of the music department. To save those from outside creative and performing arts subjects some time I shall tackle the “Other Subject” area first, followed by performing arts.
An extra curricar club is a fantastic way of getting to know your pupils and those that you don’t teach. Your first few months may involve numerous ups and downs. Having an hour where you and your pupils can focus on an area for pure enjoyment, rather than grading and assessment, is beneficial to both you and the students. You may be picking up a club run by a previous teacher, or setting up a new one yourself, just remember to make it lively, exciting and that your passion for the club will be what brings the pupils along. Communicate this passion to members of faculty too. Having adults take part in the club as members can really drive pupils along.
Extra Curricular: Performing Arts
All of the above applies to clubs within the PA department, but there are a few more added extras to be aware of. Extra curricular within these subject areas often form a very public part of the school’s image in the wider community. It is important that you are engaging, produce exciting resources, and make sure you stay organised.
You need to make sure that your planning is both inclusive and long term. You want to give your most talented participants challenging material, but you also have want your newbies to have material that is appropriate for them and allows them to settle into the ensemble.
Finally you need to establish goals for your groups that add a sense of urgency on the journey and a feeling of satisfaction on completion. A Christmas show during the last week of term, or a showcase during a school summer fair are good examples of where you can show off your club and allow members to work to a clear deadline.