It is recognized that schools play a vital and integral role in a child’s overall development. From nursery age, children are taught basic concepts that help them learn important life skills, which are built upon as a child grows up. Early tasks and activities for younger children may emphasize fun and play.
Still, these will also help a child to learn vital skills such as spatial awareness, coordination, and recognition. As the child grows older, the complexity of the subjects that are taught will increase at a pace that ideally complements a child’s pre-learned skills and knowledge.
Whilst the value of schools in providing specific knowledge and understanding through the curriculum is widely understood, schools can also help a child’s development in a wider range of ways. In this article, three ways in which the school system supports a child’s overall development will be discussed in detail.
Encourage social skills
Children will be encouraged to play together from an early age in the schooling system. At break times, children will be allowed outside to play on swings together and participate in simple team games. As children grow older, they will be encouraged to participate in more formal team games such as playing sports like football or hockey.
These types of games are designed to improve a child’s team working and social skills and promote improved physical health. For example, a football team must work as a unit and play for each other to beat their opponents.
Communication and social skills are improved through shouting instructions to each other and moving up and down the pitch as a team. In later life, many employers look for candidates with strong teamwork and developed social skills, which is regarded as highly important in the workplace. Schools understand this and aim to build these skills from an early age.
Identifying health conditions
Schools can also play a valuable role in being the first point of contact to identify health conditions in children that may affect their development. For example, the World Health Organization estimates that around one in 100 children around the world may suffer from autism.
Often, this condition is first noticed in the school environment as the child may have difficulties focusing on tasks and completing them effectively. They may also struggle to communicate and may exhibit other behavioral problems in the classroom. Teachers will bring this to the parent’s attention, and it may then be necessary to take the child for an autism assessment to get a confirmed diagnosis from a healthcare specialist.
Developing a lifelong learning mindset
Another key role the school system plays in a child’s development is instilling the idea that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Most adults recognize that learning does not stop after a person’s formal education.
It is built on and developed throughout life and is of benefit in one’s career as well as for self-development and personal satisfaction. Schools encourage lifelong learning by setting pupils homework and tasks in class that require them to search out information and find answers themselves.
In the modern classroom, this can be achieved by supplying pupils with tablets or computer access and asking them to research a topic online before writing a brief summary of what they have learned.