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Reimagining after-school activities during a pandemic

Extra-curricular activities are a highlight in the school day of many students. Cindy Adair, from Bangkok Patana School in Thailand, explains how students have been encouraged to remain active during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

By Cindy Adair

As many schools move to online learning for the foreseeable future, the importance of overall well-being cannot be underestimated. With our worlds having shrunk considerably, there is also a focus on the health and fitness movement.

For many students, extra-curricular activities provide a sense of identity and are a highlight in their school day. Being a member of the swim team, the president of the habitat for humanity club or the chair of the Model United Nations (MUN) are roles highly valued by our students and sadly will be missed during this period of home-based learning and social distancing.

Our school is bridging that gap by offering a daily blog of optional extra-curricular activities that students can choose to engage with. This is a place for them to find ideas to not only occupy their time and learn new skills but also connect with their coaches and instructors, team mates and friends.

As Plato the ancient Greek philosopher said, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Our old way of delivering extra-curricular activities has had to evolve. So far, offerings have included:



Art activities




Choir signing


We even managed to send a paper aeroplane around the community through the magic of video editing. You can have a look at the final product down below👇🏼

Students share their learning either via email, commenting on our learning management system or posting their videos and pictures on Padlet or Flipgrid. Our sports teams have established dedicated social media platforms where fitness challenges are posted and the social banter can continue. One of our teams is currently locked in a fitness challenge with another school in Singapore―keeping our friendship leagues alive in trying times when sports travel is on hold.

Where possible, we try to ensure activities offer time away from screens to give some balance. Furthermore, it’s not just students who have been enjoying extra-curricular activities, families have been engaging too.

Being home together and trying to juggle commitments is not always easy. We’ve found that Just Dance party or enjoying karaoke as a family has bought some welcome stress relief and happier moments.

Cindy Adair is the cross-campus assistant principal, sports and extra-curricular activities at Bangkok Patana School in Thailand.

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and feel free to email us your story.

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