High School

Service Learning

Service Learning is an integral part of the curriculum in the MYP and DP. It helps students apply what they have learnt in the classroom to real world issues in their community. The goal is to develop a sense of social responsibility as well as meet the learning objectives of the curriculum. It gives students an opportunity to act on their personal interests and make their learning more applicable in the real world.

In the MYP, service learning is called Service as Action. Each grade level cohort maintains a long-term relationship with a different international organisation to develop their service learning, intercultural competence and global citizenship. A major focus of our service programme in the MYP is our long-term support of the Sok Sobay Orphanage in Cambodia. ISS students visit the centre on an annual basis to support their work. ISS also undertakes fundraising and friend raising in Singapore.

Our annual ‘Week Without Walls’ programme also includes a strong service as action programme.

Key Features

  • Age and developmentally appropriate
  • Respectful to the norms of the communities involved
  • Classroom learning that leads to action and addresses a community need
  • Builds on student interests, skills and talents
  • Structured time provided for students with adult mentors/guides
  • A learning and reflective experience
  • Aims to foster individual and group responsibility
  • Create links between different groups (ages, economic backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, etc.)
  • Student empowerment
  • Undertake a challenge that requires planning, commitment, and empathy
  • Acting collaboratively with classmates and adults
  • A force for change and personal growth
  • Increased awareness of their role in improving the lives of others

Service as Action

“At ISS, meaningful service-learning is integral to our mission and philosophy. It creates opportunities for age appropriate awareness and transformation of self and others through sustainable, reciprocal relationships built with communities and individuals in local and global contexts.”

In Grades 9 and 10 (Years 4 and 5 of the MYP), students will build on their work in ‘Service as Action’ from the first three years of the programme to enhance their experiences through experiential learning. Students use the IB Learner Profile as a basis on which to measure their engagement within the research, planning, action and reflection embedded in the process of Service as Action. At this level, many activities will be directly related to curriculum units, some spanning several subject areas with a focus on an MYP global context, which has real impact on a community. Our annual ‘Week Without Walls’ trips have a real focus on service as action and enable students to participate in regional social or environmental issues working with villages, schools and agencies in Vietnam and Cambodia as well as working on a multitude of local projects here in Singapore.

Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)

In Grades 11 and 12, IB Diploma students must complete Creativity, Activity and Service as a compulsory component of their curriculum. Students engage in purposeful, challenging activities that are self initiated and generally try to find an area of interest that will support their applications to Higher Education or beyond. Students should show development in their planning from an MYP level and their reflection on the outcomes of their activities and their own personal development and learning carry great weight in their final graduating requirements. Students have been involved in projects such as creating a basketball court for an orphanage in Indonesia, building boats for children to go to school in the Philippines, working with local organisations and charities for children who require support with reading, mathematics, sports or general activities, working with animal welfare groups, children’s hospitals and local health care centres or homes for children or the elderly, providing tuition for domestic workers, and running projects in school.

All aspects of MYP and DP Service Learning starts within our own community and extends on a local, regional and global scale and our students have travelled all over the world participating in areas where they feel they can demonstrate a worthwhile commitment to others whilst learning more about themselves in the process. We can guide you in this process even if you have never done MYP, DP or service learning before; the key is to be inspired and challenged in a meaningful way!