Getting involved

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Making the most of your lunch break

Recess and lunch breaks are a great time to socialise, browse in the library or do something physical. Recess is usually mid-morning, for approximately 15 to 30 minutes, and lunch is generally a longer break after midday. The times for these breaks might be different at your new school, so check your timetable.

Some schools have games and equipment you can use during your recess and lunch breaks, such as handball courts, giant Sudoku and chess sets – ask a teacher or your year level coordinator. However, if your school doesn't have anything available and you and your classmates are looking for something to do during the break time, perhaps talk to your school's Student Representative Council.

If you're considering bringing in your own games and equipment from home, check with a teacher. You don't want to risk expensive equipment getting lost or broken, and you don't want to break the school rules.

Extra-curricular activities

Each school has a different range of activities other than normal classes – these are known as extra-curricular activities. Joining a school team or club is a great way to try new things, learn new skills and meet new people.

Benefits

Extra-curricular activities help provide you with a well-balanced and enjoyable school experience. You can gain or build friendships that you wouldn't have otherwise, and pursue activities you're interested in with like-minded students.

Types of activities

Your school may offer many extra-curricular activities during or after school hours where you can get involved in clubs or teams in areas that interest you - sports, art, music (orchestra, brass bands, and other ensembles), debating, book club, chess, robotics, science and mathematics. Different schools offer a range of options. You might even be able to join your school's Student Representative Council, community service group, or complete levels with nationally organised activities like the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.

Finding something you are interested in

Consider what kind of person you are, what your strengths are, and what you're looking for in an extra-curricular activity. You may want to challenge yourself, or join an activity that suits your personality.

You don't need to know everything there is to know, or be a fantastic athlete – it’s all about participating and having a go. You can try a new sport like tennis, athletics, volleyball, cricket or rugby, or a new activity like the choir, musical, school newspaper, drama, photography, debating, band or computer club.

How to get involved

At the start each term, teachers will often have a list of activities or teams you can join. So check out your school's bulletin/notice board or daily announcements for advice. Feel free to ask someone who is already involved, or a teacher running the activity, what the activity is like.

Considerations

You'll need to consider each activity to make sure it's a good fit for you. Think about:
  • age groups – sometimes age restrictions might apply
  • any costs – there may be some additional costs for a uniform, costume, musical instrument, sporting equipment or travel and accommodation. You might also need to raise money to help support the activity
  • your ability – you may need to try out before you can join a team
  • time investment – the activity may be held once a week but require more over time, such as interschool/state sport championships, a musical performance, competing in finals, or performing at different events
  • any travel involved – your activity may be held at school or you may need to travel on occasion. Find out how often you'll need to travel and how you will get there.

Don't forget to talk to your parents and carers about your choices, to make sure your activities will fit in with other family commitments.

Avoiding over commitment

It's easy to get involved in too many exciting activities. Before you commit to any of them, try and find out as much information and then sit down and map out your school schedule, including your homework time, study time and extra-curricular activities. You want your schedule to be balanced, so think about whether you'll have enough time for your school work, friends, activities, sleep and relaxation.

If you've joined an activity and you feel stressed out, reconsider your commitment. Talk with your coach or teacher and be polite when you explain your situation and feelings. Sometimes it's not the right time for you to be joining another activity, and the most mature thing and responsible thing you can say is, "Sorry, but I can't be involved this time".

Content extracted from Queensland Department of Education and Training's 'A Flying Start for Queensland Children'.