The Co-Curricular Programme forms a core part of the College experience, providing a platform for pupils to develop skills, experiences and self-reliance by pursuing their passions, being challenged and having the opportunity to try out new activities.

In part two of the My Co-Curricular Experience series, three more of our senior pupils reveal why their Co-Curricular experiences have been so important.

“My co-curricular experiences have prepared me for a life beyond Bradfield and made me aware of what we can do to give back to other communities.”

Charlotte

 

The Co-Curricular Programme is a huge part of College life. It helps you make friends, get involved and ultimately have fun outside the classroom.

One aspect of co-curricular, which I discovered at the beginning of last year, was EDCLUB, a foundation built around teaching English and Maths to children in the Huruma slum of Nairobi via video calls.

Inspired by this EDCLUB movement, four friends and I spearheaded the creation of a library for the children in Huruma.

We encouraged the whole College to bring in old books to donate to the project and at the end of it we filled 17 boxes with over 1000 books.

They recently arrived in Nairobi and from there they will be driven to Huruma and our Bradfield-EDCLUB library can finally open its doors!

Other than the book collection, we also organized a charity auction at Commemoration Day last summer in order to raise funds for the refurbishment and maintenance of the library building.

After a day of selling raffle tickets and advertising our auction prizes we managed to raise just under £4000!

Participating in the EDCLUB at Bradfield is maybe not the most mainstream thing to do, but it has allowed me to grasp new opportunities, such as teaching via Skype or organizing the logistics of a charity event.

My co-curricular experiences have prepared me for a life beyond Bradfield and made me aware of what we can do to give back to other communities, like that of Huruma.

Aside from the EDCLUB movement I can proudly say I stand as the last resort in goal for the lacrosse 1st team and am a keen, albeit not so good, polo player.

Again, these sports may not be the most standard, but their smaller teams and constant levels of motivation have enabled me to enjoy my time on Bradfield’s sports pitches.

As all the sports do at Bradfield, these experiences have equipped me with vital qualities such as being a team player, being committed and being resilient, to name just a few.

My message is that, although you may have to put on your shin pads and turn up to hockey or football, there are so many other co-curricular opportunities for you to try, be it on or off the sports pitches.

“Working through difficult or uncomfortable situations with people who share the same end goal is hugely rewarding and being in a team environment has helped me to develop connections with people that I may not have otherwise connected with.”

Sam

 

The Co-Curricular Programme and my activities outside of lessons have been just as important to my development as a person as my work in the classroom.

Activities like sport and music offer the opportunity to express yourself in ways unlike any other and have helped me become more self-disciplined.

Sport has enabled me to develop qualities like commitment and, by remaining disciplined, I have been able to improve and develop as an athlete beyond what thought I was capable of.

Seeing visible improvement in something that I worked hard to achieve has only added to my motivation to carry on doing things like this.

At Bradfield, all the sports that I have been involved in, be it football, hockey, cricket or athletics, have helped form the person that I am now.

Sport has given me an escape from the pressures of the rest of my College life, allowing me to be completely in the moment with no external distractions.

Being a member of the 1stXI football team comes with certain pressures and responsibility but overcoming this is what has made it so enjoyable.

Working through difficult or uncomfortable situations with other people who share the same end goal is hugely rewarding and being in a team environment has helped me to develop connections with people that I may not have otherwise connected with.

Music is another aspect of my life at Bradfield that has been very important to me. Joining Big Band in Faulkner’s and having to learn and explore the new genre of jazz that I was previously not familiar with was, at first, daunting.

However, looking back on the experience, I can say it helped me gain the confidence to attempt other new things.

Without experiences like this that push you out of your comfort zone, it is difficult to develop character as you will never know what you were capable of or can achieve.

That is why I believe it is important to take risks and put yourself in those uncomfortable situations in order to develop as a person.

“WHAT HAD STARTED OUT AS A HOBBY QUICKLY GREW INTO SOMETHING MORE. MUSIC HAS HELPED ME TO DEVELOP INTO WHO I AM IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.”

TOM

My music career at Bradfield started in Faulkner’s where I was encouraged to join the choir. I quickly realised that this was not for me, so one evening I literally ran down Bloods Corridor to get away from one of the rehearsals.

However, the whole experience inspired me to pursue a different type of musical venture, so I decided that I wanted to sing pop music and write my own songs.

What had started out as a hobby quickly grew into something more. With academic pressures growing each year, music became a release for me.

Most evenings I will go down to the Music Schools for at least an hour. I also have three separate one-on-one lessons a week and enjoy being a part of five school groups.

Music has helped me to develop into who I am in so many different ways.

For me, the most important thing that music has taught me is confidence. I had never experienced stage fright until I played one of my own songs to an audience for the first time at an open mic night.

Performing your own song is at first terrifying. People might not like it; you might mess it up; and you are letting people into your head and sometimes telling them really personal stories.

However, the more I played the more I found it has become a way of coping with things that make me angry and things I cannot control.

I am so grateful for the support that Bradfield has given me to help me pursue this passion.

The Music Technician has helped me record three songs that are currently on Spotify, the Director of Music gave me the opportunity to perform a set in the Jacqueline Du Pré Concert Hall last term and my singing teacher has helped me reach out to festival bookers and agents.

With all this help, music is starting to turn into a part-time job that runs alongside my education.

So much of this would not have been possible without the help of the staff at Bradfield.

The staff here are willing to help no matter what the request, so don’t hesitate to ask.

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