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  • Zanelle Awinyo

Are Super Curriculars Important?

This article was written by Zanelle Awinyo, Year 12


Surrounded by more and more resources enabling students to get top grades in their subjects, universities are starting to look towards super curriculars with greater interest. To put it simply, grades have become more of a baseline to get into a course, however, in order to distinguish yourself from millions of students worldwide applying to the same course, it's now of utmost importance to reinforce your portfolio with the inclusion of Super-Curriculars among other activities. 


What are Super-Curriculars?

According to the University of Cambridge, “super-curricular activities take the subjects you study further, beyond what you have learnt at school or college.” Not to be confused with Extra-Curriculars, Super-Curriculars are activities outside of your chosen university course and unrelated to your current classes. A few examples of Super-Curricular activities include; reading books, watching films, listening to podcasts and attending academic competitions. 


Practical Applications 

If someone was going into piloting, a few Super-Curriculars for them would be attending air shows, watching aviation related movies, reading books about general aviation and the specific type of aviation they were interested in. This is because general knowledge would then be the baseline for specialised study. Remember that Super-Curriculars are subject-adjacent therefore reading the textbook required by your course may not count as a Super-Curricular, however reading a book recommended by your course instructor and/or anyone in that industry may count as a Super-Curricular. 


This is because Super-Curriculars are all about widening your knowledge of the industry/course/subject you want to get into. Through each Super-Curricular activity you partake in, you should be thinking about all the ideas you’ve discovered, consider the arguments/viewpoints being presented and form your own thoughts and opinions about them. To put it simply, always ask yourself why? 


Why is that process being used? Why did they do this and not that? Why was this important in the first place? 


Knowing why something happens allows you to gain further insight into not only how something works; but also the history behind it. This deeper understanding helps cultivate further interest into your chosen course of study. Having a Super-Curricular is something that many of us may have already been doing subconsciously; but now here’s how to now get the most you can out of your Super-Curricular. 


Getting Started 

  1. Pick an activity that you like doing. 

If you can’t think of anything, I’ve listed some of the most popular Super-Curricular Activities below. You should pick something that you can see yourself doing on a regular basis, at least once a week. 


Super-Curricular Activities

  • Listening to Podcasts 

  • Entering competitions

  • Visiting museums & galleries 

  • Watching films & documentaries

  • Attending online seminars & lectures 

  • Join a society or club related to your subject

  • Attending events related to your chosen subject 

  • Reading books, specialist magazines and journals 


If none of the above Super-Curricular activities interest you, always be sure to search up more because there is a wide range of activities. Furthermore, a range of different educational institutes have created their own prompts for extracurricular activities which are subject specific. These can be found by simply searching up “Super-Curricular Activities”. 


  1. Write down any questions raised while partaking in the activity 

I would recommend having a book/document to note down any questions that pop in your head while partaking in the activity. 

 

  1. Research your questions and document the process. 

Researching your questions would help you fill any gaps in your knowledge of the topic. Furthermore, documenting the process in the form of a blog, article and/or project helps show you truly understand the topic. 


A really easy way to publicly document your findings and gain feedback could be through explaining your idea in the form of an article. This could not only be read and approved by your peers, teachers and/or mentors; but it would also create a comprehensive explanation of your topic. This would mean that you can refer back to it if you forget any minute details; but it would also give your activity credibility as a published piece online. 


KCDSpeaks is always happy to publish students' work, from pupils to pupils. If you want to write and/or publish your Super-Curricular article on our website email newspaper@kentcollege.sch.ae for more information or send us a DM on instagram. 


  1. Try to explain what you just learned to someone who has zero knowledge of the topic. 

Same as in any other subject, the best way to test your understanding of the topic is to see how easily you are able to break it down into parts for anyone to understand. You could try to explain what you just learned to friends, family, teachers and/or peers. This is also another great reason to enter societies related to your topic; because you could prompt discussion among people who all have the same interests. 



Lastly, as part of my student council initiative to create more opportunities I have curated a document of super curriculars linked to specific career areas. The document can be found below and it should also be available in your tutor time classroom. 



Kindly keep in mind these are not all subjects and/or careers, so if you have any questions or would like me to include any more careers email me at : zanaw25@kentcollege.net. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the document, some general platforms to look at are: MIT OpenCourseware, Free Harvard Courses, Future Learn, OpenEdu and LinkedIn Courses. 


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