Final Essay Health and Well Being
There are many extra-curricular activities available for secondary students, but this essay will focus on sport, music, drama, visual art and school councils. Government initiatives and policy will be referred to throughout, looking at how they are implemented in schools in England and/or Wales. The first extra-curricular activity that this essay will discuss in relation to health and well-being is sport; perhaps the most common extra-curricular pathway of all due to the plethora of sporting activities that can be made available to pupils.
Arguably, Like all extra-curricular activities, the number of sports offered to pupils Is dependent on facilities available and staffing. There are obvious health benefits to participating in sport and Sportswear (2013) explains the need for children to be aware of their health from a young age. The free swimming programmer enables dents across Wales to swim without charge. In secondary schools, initiatives such as 5 x 60, run by qualified sports officers, afford pupils an opportunity to choose the activities they participate In. Sportswear, 2013) As well Improving health from regular exercise, 5 x 60 provides pupils with leadership qualities and self-competence, both of which contribute positively to an Individual’s well-being. Close links are kept between 5 x 60 officers and community projects to ensure that extra-curricular provision is made available by local authorities. (WAG, 2009) Whilst sport presents any health benefits, pupils can become injured whilst participating in sporting activities and In some circumstances the injuries can be long term and affect mobility along with general health. Cape and Whitehead, 2010) Parents also may be less Inclined to allow their children to participate In extra-curricular physical activity outdoors because of risk factors such as traffic and Stranger danger’: however this deprivation at a young age could be causing participation levels in secondary school sports to decrease. (Bolton, 2010) A lack of physical activity in an individual’s early ears can result in them leading a sedentary lifestyle; WAG (2009) expresses a need to decrease the levels of obesity and sedentary lifestyles in Wales through the promotion of physical activity In the foundation phase.
McMillan (1930) would beneficial to children’s health whilst Blackmore and Firth (2005 cited in Bolton, 2010) make a connection between exercise and a positive mental well-being and suggest that without physical activity in the early years, children may never develop a positive mental well-being for the remainder of their educational experience. Sporting activities can be individual or team experiences, but all sports present participants with opportunities to form relationships with coaches, competitors and team mates.
In terms of well-being, being part of a team can boost a pupil’s self-esteem; when a team experiences success, self-esteem is naturally raised and in failure team mates comfort each other, strengthening relationships. Positive relationships are fundamental to well-being and secondary school presents pupils with an opportunity to socialist with far more people than at primary school, but without developing social skills at a young age, pupils may be reluctant to Join extra-curricular clubs when older. Cape and Whitehead, 2010) The participation levels in extra-curricular sporting activities depend greatly upon the attitudes of parents and practitioners. (Cape and Whitehead, 2010) Practitioners should ensure that physical education lessons are interesting and cover a variety of practical sporting activities to inspire pupils to participate in sport out of school hours. Practitioners must ensure that they demonstrate inclusive practice, providing equal opportunities for pupils regardless of heir sporting abilities. Copal and Whitehead, 2010) Call (2000) argues that extra- curricular activities should not solely be promoted by staff of that department and that every staff member should strive to encourage extra-curricular participation. For families with a low socio-economic status, it can be difficult to provide sporting opportunities as leisure activities for children because most sporting clubs require membership fees along with kit, equipment and traveling expenses; however Bolton (2010) argues that regardless of financial status, parents should still provide children tit opportunities to visit the park and participate in fun physical activity.
Initiatives such as Forest Schools in Early Years Education promote physical activity and exploration outdoors. Lovely (2009) explains that Forest Schools narrows the gap of superiority between boys and girls in sports and physical activity levels were high and lasted for long periods of time during these sessions. WAG (2009) released a document called ‘Creating an Active Wales,’ in which they pledged to tackle child poverty and provide more opportunities for young children to participate in sports.
If hillier are introduced to these activities at a young age then they are likely to see physical activity as part of their lifestyle rather than a chore. This essay will now discuss music as an extra-curricular activity in secondary schools and discuss the impact that music has in relation to pupils’ health and well- being. Chorizo (2011) found that music releases dopamine, a chemical in the brain associated with feeling good; this suggests that music positively affects an individuals’ well-being.
Musical extra-curricular activities include school choirs, school musicals and instrumental or singing lessons. Research has proven that music has great medical value, mostly because of its therapeutic potential; many health care settings use some form of music on a daily basis. (MacDonald et al. , 2012) There are many mainstream secondary schools that have pupils with additional learning needs therapy so that these pupils are not excluded from participating in music activities and can get as much as possible from the experience. Andrews, 2013) Being part of an extra-curricular music group requires members to work together to achieve the same goal, this requires team work and confidence and strengthens legislations, all contributing to an individual’s well-being (Department for Education 2011) Similarly, musical activities require commitment and are known to build resilience, pride and self-esteem in individuals, as part of learning a musical discipline involves learning from mistakes.
Music has diverse meanings to people of different cultures and is valued more in certain parts of the world. (MacDonald et al. , 2012) WAG (2008) explain that by exploring music of different cultures, including their own, music allows young children to form a self-identity; they gain an understanding of where they fit in in the oral. MacDonald et al. , (2012) suggest that music is a way in which individuals can express feelings and emotions, a positive distraction from any stresses or struggles.
Music is also known for its social benefits, bringing together individuals that personality traits and interests, fundamental in forming strong relationships. (Andrews, 2013) Keenan and Denton (2010) explain the need for individuals to form positive relationships in order to gain a healthy emotional well-being. For a young child, being deprived of music can be harmful to their well-being as they grow f young children can develop personality traits such as confidence and resilience then they are more likely to be healthy adolescents with a positive well-being.
North and Harvests (2008) believe that music can positively influence behavior, suggesting that music should be introduced as an extra-curricular activity to young children, reducing the risk of them developing unfavorable behavior traits. There is a relationship between socio-economic status of a family and children’s behavior; children from poor families are more like to show signs of anti- social behavior. Boyd & Bee, 2012) For parents with a low socio-economic status, roving their child with the opportunity to participate in a musical hobby is far too expensive; tuition fees, transport costs and purchasing resources do not come cheap At school children should be encouraged to take part in extra-curricular music schemes that have no cost and provide numerous benefits for them. For example, sitting extra-curricular music exams and passing will raise the self-esteem of pupils and benefit their general well-being.
Bandeau (1977 cited in Megabit, 2012) suggests that children imitate the behaviors of those surrounding them and so if parents an restrictions are enthusiastic about music then children will be inspired to do well musical activities. Instrumental lessons should be introduced to children at a young age because it is suggested that they are more likely to continue long term with lessons as this is the stage in life in which they experience rapid brain growth. Boyd and Bee, 2012) The Department for Education (2011) recognize that every child should have the opportunity to play a musical instrument and they propose to put in place a musical infrastructure in order for pupils to take musical experiences from extra-curricular activities at school and demonstrate them in the community. Require high levels of stamina and upper body strength. (MacDonald et al. , 2012) For example, incorporating music into a physic-therapy programmer has been seen to help develop arm and leg functions at a quicker rate than normally observed. Van Hijack et al. , in press cited in MacDonald et al. , 2012) However, Palace (2008) argues that whilst the health advantages of music are evident, disorders such as formalizing and musculoskeletal tenderness are common in many instrumentalists and can hinder everyday activities in later life. Palace, 2008) Green (2008) explains that the Musical Futures initiative currently implemented in many I-J schools is one that will lead to an increase in participation levels of extra- curricular music activities.
Musical Futures adopts a non-formal approach to teaching music as it is hoped that this will engage more children in the subject and encourage them to participate in out-of-school musical activities. Green (2008) explains how pupils participating in the initiative can upload musical material to the internet for the world to view; raising self-esteem and self-identity levels amongst artisans. School musicals are an opportunity for pupils to form relationships, build confidence and gain a sense of belonging to a wider school community.
Pits (2007) found that many children who participate in school musicals recall them as their most memorable school experiences. Being involved in a school musical is an extra- curricular music and drama experience. This essay will now discuss drama and visual art in relation to the health and well- being of secondary school pupils. School musicals and dramatic societies are the most common form of extra-curricular drama in secondary schools. Pits, 2007) Drama, like music has therapeutic qualities and can be offered in particular to secondary school pupils with disabilities.
Goodly and Rundowns-Cole (2011) believe that disabled pupils in mainstream schools are often excluded from extra-curricular activities and found that pupils who participate in drama activities have higher levels of happiness and less stress than those who do not; disabled pupils in particular gain a sense of belonging within their community through engaging with drama. Basso (2005) explains that drama can positively impact an individuals’ confidence, improve communication skills and consequently participants have the opportunity to form relationships with fellow partakers.
Health related benefits of drama are associated with physical and mental, suggesting drama should be encouraged in the early years where children are undergoing many physical and emotional changes. (Beer, 2009) Young children are encouraged to use drama to act out every day scenarios in Early Years settings. WAG (2008) place great emphasis on the use of role play to broaden children’s cultural knowledge and in turn allowing them to gain a self- identity. Drama is seen as a method through which feelings and concerns are expressed as participants see drama as a safe context through which stressful or traumatic experiences can be re-visited. Boyd and Bee, 2012) Moles (2010) suggests that young children who are deprived from drama and role play experiences are more likely to become isolated in education and struggle with emotional resilience, a characteristic vital to a healthy well-being. Settings also contributes to levels of emotional resilience in children. Making children aware of their emotions and feelings enables them to build emotional resilience and high levels of resilience are connected to high levels of self-esteem.
Boyd and Bee, 2012) Practitioners should allow pupils opportunities to observe different styles of drama, by organizing theatre trips or having touring theatre companies into schools. (Arts Council England, 2003) Practitioners should also ensure that pupils have the chance to perform in school assemblies and concerts as this is another way of instilling confidence and self-belief in them. Mascot (1954 cited in Megabit, 2012) suggests that individuals will struggle to achieve a positive self-esteem and self- actualization if they do not feel loved or that they belong to something or someone.
Parents and practitioners must encourage and praise pupils throughout their participation in extra-curricular activities so that they themselves believe that they are doing something worthwhile and that their achievements are being recognized. The benefits of visual art are arguably hard to measure and cannot be quantified; therefore art can be easily overlooked by politicians and the Government who need to Justify spending in relation to how it will benefit pupils and their education. Hickman, 2004) For this reason, amongst others there are very little government initiatives promoting art in education. Arts Council England (2006) compiled a document called the arts, health and well- being in which they expressed the desire to increase participation levels of young people in artistic activities. However, visual art is a fairly solitary discipline whereas most extra-curricular activities take place in groups and so it is not seen to promote relationships and social well-being; but on a personal and emotional level art is extremely beneficial.
The solitary nature of art can allow practitioners to develop strong inter-personal relationships with those who chose to attend extra-curricular labs; they are able to gain knowledge on individuals’ art styles. Every Child Matters (2003) recognizes the importance of creativity in children and states that there is a clear relationship between creative activities and healthy children; they suggest that a reason for the lack of creative activities available for children can be due to the pressure on them to achieve in core subjects.
Hickman (2004) believes that visual art can be particularly beneficial for reserved pupils and so whilst striving for inclusive practice; practitioners should encourage the quieter class members to attend extra-curricular sessions. Deprivation of art, especially for shy pupils, can potentially prevent pupils from gaining a clear understanding of their self-identity. Beer (2009) explains that visual art is a way for young children to represent their understanding of the world and the drawings of young children may be influenced by culture.
Certain cultures have rich artistic traditions whereas others place no importance on visual art; the differences between the drawings of children from differing cultures are noticeable and practitioners should encourage young children to explain their drawings, by doing so promoting self-identity and confidence in them. Hickman, 2004) In secondary schools drama and art extra-curricular activities come in many projects in which pupils produce visual art pieces to be displayed throughout the community.
Posted (2006, peg. L) set up ‘Creative Partnerships’, an initiative aimed at disadvantaged young people, giving them the opportunity to ‘develop their creativity. By linking together schools and creative organizations and businesses such as art galleries and theatres, Creative Partnerships has been proven to promote health and well-being in young people with participants demonstrating resilience, pride and enthusiasm when working as part of a team. Posted, 2006). Such initiatives are thought to raise participation levels in drama and art extra-curricular activities and sometimes influence career paths chosen by individuals. It was found that many parents were skeptical about this initiative due to its vocational nature; it is the role of both Government and the practitioner to inform parents of the benefits and aims of any extra-curricular activities offered to their children. (Posted, 2006) In 2005, it became compulsory for all school in Wales to have a school council in place. Witty and Wispy, 2007) Through being in school councils many pupils in Wales have become part of ‘Funky Dragon’, The Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales. Funky Dragon is an initiative that encourages young people to speak out about issues that concern them and has been found to be the most developed of its kind in the United Kingdom. (Witty and Wispy, 2007) With the use of social networks as a means of publicity, updates on initiatives such as Funky Dragon are made available to most children on a daily basis.