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It is proven that if a student is happy and fulfilled, they will thrive. Encouraging, respecting and nurturing each student’s areas of interest outside of the curriculum plays an important role in their academic development.

At Britannica International School, Shanghai your child will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of co-curricular activities outside the classroom, from sports through arts, languages and music. In the business world we recognise that invaluable networking opportunities are often made on the golf course, or through friends met at the opera. It is by having these experiences that each student is given an opportunity to take these skills forward into their working lives.

Examples of extra-curricular activities at Britannica International School, Shanghai include:


  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Netball
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Athletics
  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Rounders

Arts and Music

  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Britannica Voices
  • Drum Line
  • Ukulele Group (The Uke Crew)
  • Keyboard Ensemble
  • Guitar Ensemble


  • Chess club
  • LEGO Group
  • Dominoes group
  • Drama Group
  • Arts and Crafts Clubs

Britannica International School, Shanghai is a dynamic and relaxed place where children can begin to discover answers to who they want to be and what they want to do. No matter what their interests, there’s certain to be something for each and every child at our school.

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Co-curriculum Categories

Expressive Arts

2 to 18 years

Good leaders need to think and act creatively. At Britannica we believe that all students should have access to excellent opportunities in the expressive arts. In terms of confidence building, the opportunity to perform on stage in front of an audience is second to none. Our expressive arts programme, which delivers art, music, drama and dance, encourages and helps students express themselves creatively and nurtures individual talent. Expressive arts are a core area of the English National Curriculum and we ensure that an inclusive policy is always possible, with every child having the opportunity to be a member of the orchestra, be part of a play cast or a member of the choir if they so wish.

All students have dedicated expressive arts curriculum time – with specialist art teaching from KS1, specialist music teaching from EYFS and access to dance and drama within the wider curriculum. For students who are passionate about extending their skills, knowledge and understanding in the arts – there is a wide-ranging, vibrant co-curricular programme which includes; 1:1 music tuition, lunch-time and after school ensembles, sketching, painting, ballet and much more.

Britannica’s Director of Expressive Arts is happy to assist students and parents, by offering advice and answering individual questions about the programme. Musical ensembles at Britannica include: Britannica Chamber Orchestra, Cantabile Auditioned Choir, Drum Line, Britannica Voices and The Uke Crewe.

PE and Sports

2 to 18 years

The physical education (PE) programme at Britannica International School is based on the English National Curriculum. Our PE classes are fun and active, with emphasis on participation.

The skills acquired in PE will improve your child’s physical fitness, strength, agility, balance and coordination while they participate in sports such as football, basketball, netball, tennis, athletics, badminton, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, volleyball, rounders and rugby. This gives students the lifelong skills they will need for an active and healthy life and to pursue sports that interest them if they wish. PE is built into the school timetable for all year groups from Pre-Nursery all the way up to Year 13.

The basics of each of the sports in the younger years are covered through fun games and activities. Everything learnt in these lessons leads on to the skills and sports which are covered in later years. At the early stages in a student's sport development we focus on creating positive experiences and good habits for the future.

Sporting skills, along with expertise and interest in particular sports, is then further developed through our co-curricular programme, where the sporting skills and experiences of our own teachers and external providers ensure that each child not only develops their interest and talents in individual sports, but has an opportunity to become part of one of our many sport squads.

In addition to our inclusive PE schedule, we also have a strong emphasis on inter-school sports, believing healthy competition is a great way to test and apply what we have learnt in class, whilst demonstrating our leadership and teamwork skills.

Watch Britannica's Knights Football Team


5 to 18 years

Expeditions play an important role in developing pupil's independence, teamwork, ability to face challenges, work cooperatively, encourage empathy for others and develop general leadership attributes. An ‘Expeditions Week’ in the Spring Term also provides an opportunity for form and year groups to bond and get to know each other, as well as giving teachers the opportunity to observe pupils outside the classroom setting, and often see a ‘different side’ to their personality.

Fortunate to be in Shanghai, the school ensures that it makes the most of both local facilities, venues, places of interest to visit as well as those further afield across China and Asia. As part of a larger worldwide group of Orbital schools, there is also the opportunity for collaboration with these, through trips and visits, making us a truly global school.

After School Activities

5 to 18 years

Britannica International School, Shanghai, offers a tailored After School Activities programme which supports and expands the timetabled curriculum. With our own teachers offering specialist activities and a number of carefully chosen partners who offer professional or specifically trained sessions, we can provide for most student's individual interests and talents. We can offer children, from each year group, a full choice of both paid and free activities across a range of categories, from which they have the option to select at the beginning of each new term. We believe this programme is an integral part of the Britannica promise to create well-rounded individuals who will be ready for their next school, college or university when they leave us. All our students, from Reception upwards are invited and encouraged to participate in this programme four afternoons per week, making us unique in the city.

A number of activities such as music lessons, life skills, Mandarin, football and various arts and crafts are on offer to all year groups with age appropriate content for each year group. There are also classes specifically designed to support the curriculum and development of each Key Stage.

The activities on offer to our Reception students range from LEGO Club to Funky Fingers, working those fine motor skills. Multi-sports classes and soccer tots are offered to our mini sports fans and music classes for our budding musicians, meanwhile Reception children can also enjoy storytelling or take part in extra Mandarin lessons for our native Chinese pupils.

Our Key Stage 2 students also have a large choice of age appropriate activities, life skills classes focusing on presentations, stage performances and confidence building, swimming, dodgeball , football and netball are all on offer to our sports enthusiasts from Year 3 to Year 6. They also have a large choice of music classes from Guitar Ensemble, Keyboard Ensemble, Britannica Chamber Orchestra, Britannica Voices and even a chance to become the next Beethoven in Britannica Composers! Key Stage 2 students also have an opportunity to learn a number of games such as Chess, Soduku, Dominoes and LEGO.

For our Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students there is a good blend of classes to support the academic side, particularly for Years 10 and 11 who will be studying for IGCSEs, but also classes to have fun. They can participate in a number of sports such as basketball, swimming, football and netball, along with opportunities to develop their leadership skills as Sports Leaders. Secondary students also have a great choice of expressive arts classes including drama and the Britannica Chamber Orchestra.

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

14 to 18 years

This Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award in which students will pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. In the Award, students can develop the activities they're already doing, such as taking part in sport activities or playing a musical instrument. Or, they can start something they've always dreamed of doing, but haven’t yet had the reason to begin. What’s more, they set their own goals and plan their own activities so that it is both fun and a challenge for them.

First of all, the Award is a personal challenge, the only competitor students have to face is themselves. Students might meet other participants and friends while completing The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award but nobody is going to compare them with others. It is always only up to the individual to find their limits – which they can then overcome with the help of experienced advisors. With the Award, students will do more than they can imagine now.

The Award should be a true challenge but also an adventure and great fun. Students can therefore choose which level of the Award they will be doing, which activities they will take part in or which goals they want to achieve.

Maybe the student is already doing a bunch of activities where they could be supported by the Award (school clubs, sport, volunteering, camping). Or they might have secret wishes or ideas about what they would like to do but not enough will to start doing it. Or their plans are brilliant but they get discouraged after first setback.

The Award will make everything easier and more fun! In order to make use of each student's versatility, the Award consists of four main sections: skills, physical activity, volunteering and adventurous expedition. To achieve the Gold Award, students will even take part in a residential activity. Within these sections it is possible to apply with the activities students are already doing or start doing brand new ones.

Overcoming personal limits and fulfilling personal goals will be the highest rewards in the Award. Besides that, students will gain new friends, interesting experiences and skills, and a certificate proving you took part in the programme. This will definitely come in handy!

Student Leadership Programme

5-18 years

Britannica recognises its responsibility in developing its learners of today into leaders of tomorrow. Whether it is leading from the front or being an effective team player, the development of good leadership skills is essential for all Britannica students.

We have developed a leadership programme that runs throughout the school and aims to offer an opportunity for all students to be able to find a leadership role that suits them. These students are instantly recognisable around the school campus as they wear their School Leader tie and School Leader badge with pride and act as a role model within the Britannica community.

Our students may also participate in The Duke of Edinburgh International Award to develop their abilities and stand out from the crowd when applying for college, university or future career choices.

The role of Student Leaders is a very important part of school life at Britannica. Students have to nominate themselves to their Class Teacher or Form Tutor. Student Leaders are often chosen by their peers and given training and support throughout the year to enable them to enhance their leadership skills as they adjust to their new duties. These roles include the following:

Form Leader

The Form Leader has special responsibility at break times when they control the distribution and collection of outdoor play equipment, supervise the lining up of students, allocate tables to line up for lunch, check tables for dismissal and act as a point of contact for students who may need help, guidance or support. In addition to this they represent the school at school related functions such as school productions, parent and teacher evenings, charity events etc.

Student Council Leader

The Student Council Leader represents the voice of the students from their Year Group at Student Council Meetings, producing articles for school newletters covering Student Council news and events, being responsible for collating the student views and to feedback news, updates and regular progress reports to the students as well as producing reports for the Principal and Key Stage Coordinators following each Student Council meeting.

House Leader

House Leaders work in partnership with the House Teacher and have responsibility for collecting House Point totals to update the House Notice Board. They also select and organise teams for House Events and organise the production of banners and signs for House Events. At the events House Leaders help manage the students and ensure that everything runs smoothly. The organisational role of the House Leader, provides plenty of opportunity for them to develop and hone their leadership skills.

Library Leader

These will work in partnership with the Director of Libraries and Library Coordinators who will oversee their duties and responsibilities. Library Leaders help the Library Coordinators keep the libraries tidy and attractive, help process new books, help pupils locate materials, supervise pupil use of the library and computers, teach students how to effectively use the library. They are on hand to answer questions about library services, help plan and advertise special library events, such as book sales or local outreach programs.

These roles are just some of the many outlets that students have to develop and improve their leadership skills here at Britannica where we have a clear understanding of our responsibility in producing: ‘Learners of today, leaders of tomorrow’.

Secondary Expedition in Moganshan

Secondary Students from Year 7 to 11 took part in an Expedition trip to the beautiful Moganshan mountain and areas nearby this week. For Duke of Edinburgh students this week counted as their expedition challenge for Bronze and Silver awards. Overall it has been an amazing week for students who have been surely learning many new things through their activities that have also challenged them out of their comfort zones.

On the first day of the trip the Secondary students had fun hiking through the Moganshan hills. The Duke of Edinburgh group spent the day hiking to their campsite where they cooked their own dinner and practiced the rescue scenarios. The other group walked through beautiful tea fields and learnt about the nature of the area.

Day 2—The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver award groups completed their second day of hiking reaching the summit of Moganshan Mountain. Other group spent morning learning about organic farming, cooking a yummy dinner from the food they had picked and then spent the afternoon raft building.

On the third day The Duke or Edinburgh Silver group finished their expedition challenge by completing a 60km bike ride around the lake. The other groups participated in basket weaving crafts followed by 25km cycling through tea fields and around the lake. A group of students took short visit to the local tea plantation to learn how tea is made and were able to taste the tea they picked.

Day 4—All students participated in team building activities and everyone had a go at the high rope course. Lots of students conquered their fears and completed the leap of faith.

On the last day the group packed up the campsite and had a breakfast before racing in Dragon Boats! That was a great way to finish the amazing week students have had and which provided equal amount of challenges and awarding experiences to all participants.


Our four School Houses allow for healthy competition in sports and other activities.

They also provide further opportunities for pupils to work cooperatively and be supportive of each other outside their form and year groups. House Captains, chosen by the pupils themselves, lead their House, providing opportunities for leadership responsibility.

Each member of staff is also linked with a House and supports and helps manage the pupils in that House. Pupils earn House points for good behaviour, attitude and achievements, which contribute to the coveted House Trophy awarded at the end of each year. Siblings are given membership of the same House.

Pupils take great pride in their House and House events are colourful, loud and always full of excitement!