Blended LearningExpert Article

Celebration of Inclusive and Diverse Interests : Cambridge Primary Affinity Clubs

  • 15 March 2023

Cambridge Primary Affinity clubs at Oakridge International School, Bachupally are integral to the student experience. Students are encouraged to try new things, share their hobbies and passions with the community, and connect around aspects of identity.

Affinity spaces are an important part of life in primary school and create an opportunity for students – to share and process experiences and to find strength in each other’s company. Each group is led by a teacher who shares that identity. The beauty of these clubs is that while the lens is specific, the celebration and student participation are not. Our clubs seek to honor and dignify all cultures, and thus the student formation is to find common ground while furthering the many understandings an identified group professes.

Doing the things we are interested in always makes us feel more comfortable and enthusiastic. They naturally build our confidence and eventually end up evolving as our passion. Cambridge Primary Affinity comprised a range of clubs: The Vedic Club, the Songsters, the Hip hoppers, the Happy Henna Club, the Literary Coven, the Cook- Mob club, and the Craftmatic Club. Each of the clubs helped students in developing a list of hobbies for themselves, and exploring each of their hobbies further helped them in finding their passion. Participation in our Affinity Clubs is one way we celebrate that richness.

Students run the clubs for an hour. They have a faculty member who supervises and a classroom they meet. Typically, these clubs met every week, and students were able to participate. From learning to chant shlokas and connecting to roots, giving wings to culinary art, creating masterpieces with colorful papers, dancing to the rhythm of beats to enthralling the audience with spectacular songs, generating awareness, and expressing thoughts by designing flyers and posters and creating beautiful patterns using henna [a form of temporary body art that is painted onto the hands using henna].

The students brushed their skills by sharing ideas, experiences, and stories and doing experiments with those who reciprocated their interests. Finding purpose makes students feel their work matters and makes a difference, and thus they feel more valued and work in the direction of their purpose. All these raw initiatives resulted in plenty of professional and affinity groups that enhance what is delivered in the classroom.

Cambridge Primary Affinity Clubs enabled us to dive into a diverse set of interests and experiences. The students gained hands-on management experience by sharing ideas and stories and doing experiments with those who reciprocate the interest. The kids were guided to make sure they are minding the gap between enjoyment and meaning. This type of learning allowed students to take risks, experiment with creativity, deal with hurdles and drive success. Finding purpose made students feel their work matters and makes a difference, and thus they feel more valued and work in the direction of their purpose.

Kids are the kind of people who make things happen – explore, play and learn!

Smita Ghosh

Cambridge Primary English Facilitator

Oakridge International Scholl, Bachupally

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