IELTS Essay Sample: should children go to extra classes or play after school?

Earlier this week, I wrote about a new essay topic presented to candidates by Irsafam Test Centre in Iran. Here’s my answer to that task:

Many schools offer a range of extracurricular classes to supplement their regular programmes. While children are usually allowed to choose whether to attend them or play after school, they are sometimes compulsory.

Some educationalists believe it is vital that children take additional classes after school hours because teachers cannot normally cover everything in textbooks and, at the same time, practice them effectively with their students in the limited time they have in regular classes. For instance, not all students can practice speaking sufficiently in school foreign language classes, but an extra discussion class held after school would certainly help in this regard. Furthermore, while the subjects taught in school classes are important, they do not provide students with all the skills necessary for their future success. Consequently, they would definitely need extracurricular classes to learn other key skills like communication, teamwork, or even cooking.

However, many experts think children need the time after their classes at school to play and socialise with other children. Playing tends to develop their social abilities and communication skills, as well as allowing them to exercise mentally and physically. Furthermore, they note that childhood is probably the only time children are able to experience playing because when they become adults, the demands of work, higher education, family and social responsibilities often leave little or no time for them to enjoy playing freely.

Personally, I think although extracurricular classes are necessary and provide students with significant skills that are not usually addressed at school, children also need to be able to play so that their social and communication skills develop, too. Therefore, such classes should be arranged in such a way that enough time is left for playing during the week.

This essay is 285 words long. It presents a clear topic in the introduction, covers both sides of the argument with two reasons presented for each, and presents a clear personal opinion (here, it is a middle-ground view) in the conclusion. The approach used here is the one used by Cambridge examiners in Cambridge IELTS 8, General Training test B.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for your writing which does help significantly. Still, there is a question that don’t we need a topic sentence for each paragraph which seems to lack in above 2 body paragraphs.
    Thanks again.

  2. Pupils need to play when they get home from attending their lessons. I think the time they spend at school is enough so they should be allowed to rest and play at home.

    I feel that if they spend too much time on their school work they will end up losing interest in school. They should be given time to relax and be the kids they are. After all they need to exercise while playing. They will not get the time to do so if they are going to be stuck to books all the time. I also do not think that they would be able to concentrate on school work for much longer hours.
    Much as they the extra lessons might assist in boosting the pupils’ acquired knowledge sometimes it could lead to them being confused. I would rather they are allowed to revise their work while doing their homework on their own after playing a bit and clearing their tiny minds. If they are not given time off school work when will they get time to reflect on lessons learnt during school.

    Being allowed to play after lessons instead of extra lessons will also give them time to bond with other children where they will learn lessons never learnt at school. These children come from many different backgrounds and would learn better outside a formal school setting where they would be more free to say and do as they please with no teachers to supervise them all the time.
    I feel that the students should be given time off school to enjoy being children by being allowed to be away from the books after formal lessons.

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