Co-curricular life goes on in lockdown

Co-curricular life goes on in lockdown

From sport to music and other activities like debating and chess, Co-curricular subjects have been powering ahead during lockdown, providing much-appreciated variety to the Trinity educational experience.

As one debater observed, students might feel “weird” making impassioned arguments to their computer screens. But the regular CAS competition has continued unabated and the online format even provides unexpected opportunities for socialising.

“After three speakers from each team have presented their case, and the adjudicators deliberate in a breakout ‘room’, we’ve been chatting with people from other schools,” explained first team member Will M. (12WH).

“It’s been a nice chance to socialise.

“Everything else is pretty much the same. We still get our topics at 6pm on Friday, and we have an hour to prepare our case,” said Will, who with teammates Joshua P. (12La) and Keith K. (12WH) have been tackling subjects such as: should sporting clubs be owned by the community or private interests? And should people be encouraged to pursue their dream job at the expense financial stability?

“Debating has also helped to break up the days. They can all seem the same (in lockdown) but Friday is debating day.

“We are allowed to have family with us if they want to spectate, but I have been speaking from my room so that there are no distractions,” said Will, who also completed much work for his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in lockdown by volunteering to assist the War Memorial with online research.

Despite the absence of normal competition and training, sport continues to be an essential part of Trinity life.

Through the Canvas online system, students can access links to a wide range of sports and click on programmes and videos covering topics such as skills, strength programmes, conditioning, lockdown learning and at-home drills.

“The whole point is to keep them active and engaged while at home, to provide them with plenty of opportunities and resources,” said Sports Master Mitchell Kearsley.

“We are recommending that in place of their two usual sports afternoons at school, they choose one skills activity and one strength and conditioning programme.

“We are also emailing students this week to ask them what they are doing and what further support they might want.”

Ashvin N. (7Yo) said he had benefited from running around the block a few times every day.

“Running has played a positive role during this time in life when I have to stay indoors and not see my friends.

“The exercise has helped expend some of my extra energy and make me calm.

“It has also given me a break from all the work I have been doing indoors.

“It has let me move my muscles and be more active, which is something we all need during this time.”

Music students are now able to access all of their sheet music online so they can continue practising pieces no matter which ensemble they are playing in.

Tenor saxophonist Beau M. (9Yo) is working on three pieces for the Jazz Band – Spring Cleaning, Yes And No and North Shore Evening – as well as Fire for the Symphonic Wind Band and two pieces for the Marching Band.

“By stopping for a couple of weeks you lose what you’ve been developing over the previous year, and you have to go over all the little parts and niches again,” he said.

“It makes a big difference.

“Last lockdown some boys didn’t know what to play, or didn’t practise, and we weren’t as good when we came back. This time I think we’ll be better.

“It’s not the same as being at school but it’s working well for me.”

Director of Co-curricular, Lachlan White, said Co-curricular options, often the “most liked” activities for boys, normally involved face-to-face instruction, skill improvement and specialised team-based tactics, so the challenges in lockdown had proved very difficult.

“Providing these sessions online, using the Canvas platform, has given a gateway for students at home to be able to participate,” he said.

“Providing access to specific lessons is keeping them engaged in physical activity and further activities to engage the mind.”

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