Community and Service

At IST, we consider Service, whether offered to a friend, a class, the local community or the world beyond, to be both an indispensable learning experience for every student, and an expected outcome of an international education. The IST philosophy calls students to recognize that that they have a duty to the wider community and to the environment. They learn to take part in government, to give service to others, and to work towards a better and more peaceful world. This commitment to community building and service learning is part of our vision of international-mindedness, an essential part of our program, and we are proud that students from Nursery through high school graduation are engaged in action, using their knowledge, understanding, and skills to make a contribution to society.


IST and the PYP recognize that education extends beyond intellectual attainment and must include not only development of responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. IST aims to meet the challenge of offering all learners, from early childhood onwards, the opportunity and the power to choose their actions, to act, and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.
Action and service in the elementary school does not have to be grandiose, and begins at the most immediate and basic level: in the children’s families, in their classrooms, in the hallways and playgrounds. Children at IST are encouraged to exercise their own initiative in taking responsibility for their actions, and, especially for younger children, it is grounded in their own concrete experience. Teachers provide appropriate support in order to facilitate student efforts and provide alternatives and choices for them as they seek to make a positive difference in their world.
In addition to individual student initiatives, at least one unit of inquiry per elementary grade is designed to engage students in a meaningful service project. This year’s projects include clothing and toy drives, gardening, staff appreciation, and much more. For a list of current elementary service units and their links to the Learner Profile, .


Action in the MYP builds upon the action initiated in the PYP and continues as an essential component of the learning process, both as part of the programme’s educational philosophy and as a practical outcome of students’ learning. The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and their developmentally appropriate responsibility in their community. As students become more aware and acquire a better understanding of the context, and of their responsibilities, they become empowered to make choices about how to take thoughtful and positive action. This action will be different from student to student and from context to context. The action may involve students in:

  • feeling empathy towards others
  • making small-scale changes to their behaviour
  • undertaking larger and more significant projects
  • acting on their own
  • acting collaboratively
  • taking physical action
  • suggesting modifications to an existing system to the benefit of all involved
  • lobbying people in more influential positions to act.
    (From Principles into Practice, IBO, 2014)

IST runs a unique Service program in the MYP, with all student working in Action Groups to Student-led initiatives also take place in grades 6-10, with students meeting every week in a group of their choice to work towards Service goals that each group set themselves at the beginning of the school year. Action Groups are engaged in a variety lines of action, student-driven and teacher-supervised, that seek to apply skills and abilities in contribution to the greater community. Action Groups vary every year, according to student interests.

MYP Action Groups 2014-15

Animal Cruelty Awareness
Don’t Forget Alzheimer’s
Forgotten Children
The Green Team
Let’s Play
Nature Support
Save the Pandas
Service Circus
Sports Center
Stand Up to Cancer
Who is Listening?
Teens Act for AIDS
The Zoo Crew

For more information about current Action Groups and their links to the IB Learner Profile, .


The spirit of Community and Service is continued in the IB Diploma Program through the Creativity, Action, Service component which forms a core requirement in grades 11 and 12. The CAS program aims to develop students who are:

  • they understand their owns strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
  • willing to accept new challenges and new roles
  • aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
  • active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
  • balanced they enjoy a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.

CAS programs vary student by student. Some of the activities that the Class of 2015 have been involved with include:

Development projects with Free the Children
Leadership on middle school WWW trips
Performance and back-stage support in the Musical, and other Arts activities
House Leadership
Student council
Translation/interpretation work
Varsity Sports
Global Issues Network
Model United Nations
Volunteering off-campus at our local village kindergarten
Developing educational materials

…and much more!

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