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.
ACTION IN THE PYP
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.
SERVICE AND ACTION IN THE MYP
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
CREATIVITY, ACTIVITY & SERVICE IN THE DP
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:
- understand their owns strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
- are willing to accept new challenges and new roles
- are aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
- are active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
- are balanced as they enjoy a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.
CAS programs vary student by student. Some of the activities that our students have been involved with include:
- Book Drive for Liberian children
- Toy Drive for orphans in Pakistan
- Tutoring new IST ELL students
- Mentoring new IST students
- Leadership on middle school WWW trips
- Performance and back-stage support in the Musical, and other Arts activities
- Student council
- Translation/interpretation work
- Varsity Sports
- Model United Nations
- Volunteering off-campus at our local village kindergarten
- Developing educational materials
…and much more!