Introducing: Service Learning

Our mission at LIS is to educate citizens of the world, and for me, service learning is an essential part of this. Our students can get some hands-on practical and experimental experiences and learn from them, but also apply their classroom learning to practical situations.

For me, service learning includes looking beyond your own needs, working collaboratively, getting involved in the community, taking up responsibility, showing care and empathy, and using your own creativity and potential to make something a little better than you found it. All of this helps our students grow.

For the past couple of years, I have worked with our CAS students of grade 11 and 12 in the IB programme in which service is an essential element.

This year, we want to work on linking service learning with the curriculum in all of the Secondary School to also create service learning experiences for our younger students, to help them make a positive and practical contribution to the needs in society. We are looking forward to this and hope that our students and community members will find joy, satisfaction and a sense of achievement in these projects.

Britta Rössner

CAS Students at their craft table at “Nacht der Kunst”
Our Students came up with great crafting ideas and entertained children all day.

I am one of the fresh new members to our service learning team. Service learning is really important to me as I have experience with different forms of experiential and service learning and I have really seen what an empowering effect this kind of learning can have on students. Together with students, I have shoveled horse manure in a school garden, I have been on watch in the middle of the night on a tall ship, I have built a fence on an organic farm, and in all of these activities I could observe that students grow when they are given responsibility and are put in a position where they can actually be useful to an individual or a community. Service learning projects help students see that they can and should make a positive difference in this world whenever they can.

For this school year, I am looking forward to strengthening the CAS team, to helping develop more service learning activities for the Middle School, to getting more Upper School students actively involved in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award and to planning for an adventurous journey on a tall ship to happen for some enthusiastic Grade 9 and 10 students.

Mirte Postma

I see service learning as a way of applying the skills and knowledge taught within class to situations outside the classroom. The scale of such application can be from the very small, such as cultivating a plant-cutting, to a large-scale community project. In this way service learning becomes an integral part of school work and enables students to experience the practical value of what is learned while also benefiting the community within and beyond the school. Service learning is of genuine practical value to the community and moreover allows students to appreciate the scope and application of their knowledge. Service learning is a community project in itself because to integrate this in a sustainable way throughout the school curriculum, the school community will learn how to support and provide service learning opportunities in an authentic way.

Zoe McIvor

I see service learning as a great opportunity for our community and students alike. The latter will get the chance to experience how they can make a difference, that their actions and ideas contribute to positive outcomes and that it doesn’t necessarily take much to have an impact. The community – in return – benefits from students who engage themselves, help, support, perform. Put simply: get involved.

In our service learning team, we discussed how service learning could be best introduced into daily school life and curricula and found that a teacher’s role in it is mostly about guiding our students, providing tools and own experience and – most importantly – showing them how to identify needs. On the other hand, links and opportunities to integrate service learning can be found across all subject areas. The IB incorporates these ideas in the subject of CAS which is one of their core subjects, but the aspect to think outside of the box and to get involved is surely something worth introducing early on in every student’s educational path.

One of our school’s core values reads: We recognise that we are fortunate and assume our responsibility to make a positive contribution to society. Service learning – or, the experience to be able to help, support, and contribute to something positive, not only represents this philosophy but also represents an important step in everyone’s personal development and is simply a great way to empower our youngsters.

Robert Christiansen

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