Community & Service

Service as Action (SA)

As our mission statement states, Caledonian International school as a world class community of learners, aims to develop internationally minded students. We challenge ourselves, our students, and our community to become caring and knowledgeable life-long learners who inquire and take action to create a better world. Service as action [which was formerly known as CAS – Community and Service] and the concept of “altruism” is central to the IB philosophy and to our own mission as a school. Students at Caledonian International School will therefore engage in planned and structured service activities, in both primary and secondary school in order to gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Service and Action in the IB PYP and IB MYP

Action (learning by doing and experiencing) is a key component in constructivist models of education, including the kind of teaching and learning common to all IB programmes. Service, as a subset of action, has always been a shared value of the IB community. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Service requires that students are able to build authentic connections between what they learn in the classroom and what they encounter in the community. When connected to classroom learning, the experience of service offers opportunities to apply concepts, both skills and knowledge, as students explore the community in its complexity, gain personal insight, develop existing and new skills, and grow in confidence and responsibility as they become “actors” in the “real world” beyond school. Teachers in our school engage students in applying subject matter to developing plans and partnerships to meet real identified needs using a service learning model. Experiencing a service learning approach within an academic class becomes a critical and essential process for students.

Guided or classroom learning that leads to action addressing an authentic community need is most meaningful when allowing for student initiative that incorporates their interests, skills and talents.

By reflecting on their service experience, students may gain a greater awareness of the community and world they live in, and their role and responsibility in improving the lives of themselves and others.

Service For and With Others

Service activities should evolve beyond simply doing for others to engaging with others in a shared commitment towards the common good. Meaningful service requires understanding of an underlying issue such as poverty, literacy or pollution, and authenticating the need for this service. Meaningful service includes interaction, such as building links with individuals or groups in the community.

MYP Learning Outcomes for Service

Caledonian International School is a candidate school for the IB Middle Years Programme [MYP]. The school is committed to the fundamental concepts of the MYP, holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication. CIS is seeking to implement the programme with these concepts at the heart of all school practices.

With appropriate guidance and support, MYP students should, through their engagement with service as action:

  • become more aware of their own strengths and areas for growth
  • undertake challenges that develop new skills
  • discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
  • persevere in action
  • work collaboratively with others
  • develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding
  • develop an awareness of the ethical implications of their actions.

Service as Action at Caledonian International School:

Beginning in the PYP [K-5] at Caledonian International School and extending into the MYP from grades 6-10 [M1-M5] In Grades 6-10, students are encouraged to participate in service-based activities where the students have to take action. Activities will vary by grade. In lower grades, groups of students will be given several Service as Action opportunities and typically work in groups. In upper grades, students must initiate their own Service as Action. It is recommended that students use and build upon their own interest and experiences in coming up with activities. The “Service Learning” model [see appendix “Service Learning”] will be implemented as the basis for Service as Action at Caledonian International School.

The SA Coordinator publishes and promotes various SA activities, exchanges, and trips throughout the year. These are advertised in student assemblies and within the wider community. Students must keep a journal or portfolio of evidence of their Service as Action activities and record their reflections.

Students in Grades 4-5 [PYP] and through Grades 6-8 [M1-2] students will be expected to participate in two Service as Action projects per academic year. Initially these may be “collaborative” projects where the class will be involved in a Service as Action activity as a homeroom. Students in Grade 8 [M3] will be encouraged to be more independent and define their own Service as Action projects in preparation for their Grade 9 [M4] Community Project.

In Grades 9 [M4] students will complete a “Community Project” as part of their action. This will be an independent project where the student discovers, plans and initiates a Community Project [see appendix “Community Project”]. Across Grade 9-10 [M4-5] students must complete TWO activities [one in Grade 9 [M4], one in Grade 10 [M5] and have a Service as Action interview at the end of Grade 9 [M4] to check on their progress and verify their commitment to the program. Service as Action is a requirement for IB MYP graduation and is continued in the IB DP as “CAS” [Creativity, Action, Service] which is formally assessed and the Diploma certificate is dependent on the SUCCESSFUL completion of the IB CAS requirements. Service as Action reflections must be completed after each Service activity.

Fulfillment of the school’s expectations for service as action is a requirement of the Caledonian International School MYP Certificate. It is envisaged that CIS students will fulfill the following minimum hour requirement within the context of Service as Action:

  • M1/2     [Grade 6/7]       15 hours;
  • M3          [Grade 8]            20 hours;
  • M4          [Grade 9]            30 hours; [major Community Project required];
  • M5         [Grade 10]          15 hours [less time commitment to SA due to Personal Project which requires minimum of 25 hours across the Grade 10 [M5] year;

Source: Adapted from International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme MYP: From principles into practice, 2014