High School Extracurricular Activities in China
In any Chinese High School, all of the students are involved in the fierce competition for the college entrance examination. Their schedules start at 08:00 and end at 18:00, and then they do homework until 23:00. In the senior year of high school, students may have only one day of rest at the weekend. Is there any time to do extracurricular activities in Chinese high school?
As reforms of Chinese education aim to boost the quality of education, various extracurricular activities are being held in high schools to enrich school life.
Radio Calisthenics is a radio program broadcasting a set of warm-up exercise guidelines along with music. It is a morning routine for all of the Chinese school students gathering in the playground during a break between classes. These workouts are easy to learn and relax the body after a long time of sitting, including movements such as gentle stretches, arm swinging, jumping, and kicking.
Culture and Art Festival
The Culture and Art Festival includes Choral Music and Vocal Solo performances, Choral Speech, Drama, Instrumental Music, Dance, Calligraphy and Painting Art Display. It is important to allow students to display their creativity differently. It encourages them to build their sense of self-esteem and confidence, and cultivates their interest in the artistic and cultural fields to expand a range of interests and find the passion they never realized was there.
For developing students' language and communication skills, public speech practice and debating are popular in high schools.
Debates create chances for students to exchange their opinions on a particular topic. To focus on a theme, they can have independent thinking to research online and offline and learn how to exactly express their own views. At the same time, students present the opposite view to their own, and to defend it as if it their own, they are training in clear logic and analytical thinking. This course takes some of the pressure off with public speaking and helps to overcome nervousness, so it will boost confidence in order to deal with it in the future and in real life.
Intangible Cultural Heritage into Campus
The Chinese Ministry of Education has been advancing the school's culture construction since 2013, and has introduced intangible cultural heritage into the campus. Folk artists are invited to play local traditional drama originating from a different region, such as Kun Opera, Beijing Opera, Shanxi Opera, or Hunan Flower-Drum Opera. Other exhibitions include Chinese Operatic face painting, wood engraving, and paper-cutting. Besides this, it's a good idea to carry out an activity about historical sites and use family visits to do research tasks about the protection of Chinese intangible cultural heritage. Participating in a series of actions helps students to pay more attention to Chinese traditional culture and makes them learn about the best of the human spirit from it.
Another important part of extracurricular activities is sports competitions, for example, school sports games every autumn, tug of war, football matches, basketball games, and badminton. Any sort of sports competition can improve students’ self-esteem. It encourages them to be brave to handle the result whether it is success or failure. The more success they achieve, the more confidence they will have. Meanwhile, it forces them to face failure and overcome adversity. Nobody likes to lose games, but unfortunately, it is a part of life. These mini failures can teach them how to cope with it so that they get more power to handle more complex situations. In team races, students will develop their teamwork and leadership. How to organize and cooperate with others cannot be learnt from just sitting in the classroom.
Summer and Winter Camp
In the Chinese summer and winter vacations, parents prefer their children to do some meaningful things rather than just be idle. Unlike most summer or winter camps in Europe and America, most Chinese parents want their children to visit famous universities, or do brain training, such as writing skills training and memory training. The purpose is not only for entertainment or a broader perspective; more importantly it is to help them have a target or exploit their potential. Also, parents believe that these activities make children able to leave home and live independently, they can learn more real-life skills than when they are in traditional schools.
Students can do some social work during the holidays or even away on vacation, such as cleaning the rubbish in a community, working as a volunteer guide in a museum or at historical sites, or as a volunteer for a conference, or in an animal and environmental protection organization. Getting involved in social work gives students a chance to expand their social network, and experience various types of work, to help students to understand how hard it is doing some work. Young people will learn to have empathy with and respect for laborers.
High school students are at the stage of physical and mental maturity when they are keen to explore and are curious about the world. Participating in extracurricular activities helps to build a healthy personality and give them enjoyment. Fully exploit their passion to discover things they may be interested in beyond academics to unearth their hidden talents.