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Education | ED03 | Summer 2016

A Wealden Times Magazine

Sponsored by Tunbridge

Sponsored by Tunbridge Wells a chore. As a result the atmosphere is often far better in a club than in a classroom, and – regardless of the subject or activity – learning is never more effective than when those taking part are having a good time doing it. Schools know this, universities too, and of course employers certainly do. The primary purpose may not be career advancement but there is no harm in acknowledging the role hobbies can play in this. The days are long gone when a hopeful applicant for a degree course or a job could expect to get away with the line ‘Interests: reading, travel, cinema’ on a CV. We all know that is code for loafing around watching television and playing computer games. In an increasingly competitive world it is more important than ever for applicants to present themselves as rounded, engaged individuals with a variety of interests. Simply waving around a certificate full of A-stars will get you nowhere when almost everybody else has an equally impressive set of exam grades – and they will have. An unusual hobby can make an applicant stand out from the crowd. It is also something to talk about in an interview, enabling teenagers to demonstrate their articulacy by talking enthusiastically about things they enjoy and enjoy being good at. And let’s not forget the matter of transferable skills. Excelling at a team sport has long been taken as an indication that a person will be good with other people – literally a team-player. Participants in more individual sports, archery again for example, show a healthy competitive spirit, a commitment to improve and an ability to identify a target (pun intended) and to go for it. Away from the sports field, other hobbies can definitely enhance a child’s performance in class. My own boys have joined local digs organised by Cambridge University’s archaeology department. This has involved commitment on their part, physical effort and considerable patience – but excitement too when, for example, one of them unearthed fragments of some very rare early medieval pottery. That the experience boosted the interest of both in their history studies is beyond question. It required a degree of academic rigour in the way that finds are recorded, and I could see for myself how much they enjoyed chatting with and working alongside their fellow diggers, a very mixed bunch of professional archaeologists and volunteers of all ages. In this case the suggestion to give it a go was mine, but the enthusiasm was all theirs. Don’t be afraid to point your child in a new direction, but let them decide how far to take it – and then see where it leads. David Long, a historian and writer, is the author of non-fiction books for both adults and children, most recently The Diary of a Time Traveller which has been translated into Spanish, Italian, and Korean. ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE Save The Last Dance For Me Mon 4 – Sat 9 July Curtis Stigers Wed 20 July Hairy Maclary and Friends Thu 28 July TW873 An Audience with Lesley Garrett Wed 21 Sep Ministry of Science Sat 8 Oct Book online at: www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk Box Office: Follow us: 01892 530613/532072 The Mousetrap Mon 7 – Sat 12 Nov www.wealdentimes.co.uk 40 AssemblyHallTheatreED03.indd 1 29/04/2016 16:57

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