I’ve learnt another new word: ‘Co-curricular’.
I know and understand ‘extra-curricular’ – activities outside the formal curriculum. Schools I worked in had an excellent variety – sport, music, drama, chess, dance, woodwork, greenhouse… that many pupils and staff enjoyed and benefited from.
But co-curricular? I looked it up: ‘Activities that are recognized by a school or university, that fall beyond the domain of academic curriculum but are an essential part of a student’s life at an educational institute.’
‘An essential part’ is more than ‘enjoyable and beneficial’: ‘…co-curricular activities are related in some way to the regular school curriculum while extra-curricular ones are not.’
We watched Queen Elizabeth’s funeral yesterday… The pomp and ceremony of the occasion, the attendance of world leaders, the symbols of orb, sceptre and crown reminded us that she was the Head of State… leading to her ‘curricular activities’…
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his sermon, said: ‘The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us. She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.’
This wasn’t about her ‘curricular activities’ linked to her role; this wasn’t about her ‘extra-curricular activities’ separate from her role. It was her ‘co-curricular activities’, living with a consistent compassion, understanding, kindness and respect, that affected so many.
Musing… Some folk like to put different aspects of their lives into boxes: the ‘curricular’ and the ‘extra-curricular’ – separate, discrete, sets of boxes.
It seems to me that the ‘curricular’ and ‘co-curricular’ is a better picture. It’s all part of one holistic view of life. My Christian perspective summarises this in Jesus’ ‘Great Commandment’: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ And ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
I like to think that The Queen would have agreed.