Community and service starts in the classroom and extends beyond it, requiring students to take an active part in the communities in which they live. AISL strives to help students develop and practice compassion in the context of the broader community here in Zambia. The emphasis is on developing community awareness and concern, and the skills needed to make an effective contribution to society.
To the right is the process used to engage AISL students in the process of (delete red) experiential learning through service.
Action and the PYP
In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. At AISL we believe that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the student’s learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different at each developmental stage.
The action component of the PYP can involve service in the widest sense of the word: service to fellow students, and to the larger community, both in and outside the school. Through such service, students are able to grow both personally and socially, developing skills such as cooperation, problem solving, conflict resolution, and creative and critical thinking. Today’s complex issues do not often suggest simple or self-evident solutions, and inaction is also a legitimate choice. Every student, every year, has the right and opportunity to be involved in action. (Making the PYP Happen 2009)
Examples of how students take action. Students:
- turn off water when brushing teeth or lights when exiting a room
- help a friend when s/he gets hurt
- teach classmates how to play a group game on the playground
- bring books, bugs or other artifacts from home into school to show to classmates
- pick up garbage near the tuck shop, on the playground or in the community
- raise money for a local organization or charity through a bake sale, read-a-thon, auction, raffle or movie premier (!)
- collect clothing, books, food or toys for a local charity
- help build a house or shelter
- play and read with children at a local school or orphanage
- read and/or talk to someone outside of school about something learned in school with the purpose of developing a deeper understanding
- conduct in a science experiment at home to test a theory explored in class.
Secondary School Extended Service Days
The Extended Service Day program at AISL is a secondary school-wide program where all students pick an Extended Service Group based on their interests, goals and talents. On seven school days throughout the year students participate in an extended service activity that lasts two and a half hours. In addition, planning days are also scheduled to maximize the value of these incredible learning opportunities. Currently, AISL has 16 service groups that offer a wide variety of activities for students to choose from that include campus improvement, community outreach and activities with local community schools. Each group has a teacher advisor and a student leader and a student centered approach to planning and implementation is stressed and encouraged. This opportunity for all secondary students to participate in experiential learning at AISL is a crucial part of the development of international mindedness in our students.
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Program (Gr. 11-12)
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the IB Diploma Programme. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:
arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
The CAS program aims to develop students who are:
- reflective thinkers—they understand their own 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 and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.
Students are required to:
- self‐review at the beginning of their CAS experience and set personal goals for what they hope to achieve through their CAS programme
- plan, do and reflect (plan activities, carry them out and reflect on what they have learned
- undertake at least one interim review and a final review with their CAS advisers
- take part in a range of activities, including at least one project, some of which they have initiated themselves
- keep records of their activities and achievements, including a list of the principal activities undertaken • show evidence of achievement of the eight CAS learning outcomes.