Service Learning Primary School
Modern educational trends are increasingly showing a great inclination to taking action by students in their local communities. Students’ learning becomes more meaningful when they are provided with opportunities to make connections between knowledge acquired and the concepts studied. The ability to make sense of the world around them is critical for students to begin to think globally while acting locally in communities around them to make a difference and improve the face of their surroundings. It is therefore critical that the teaching and learning process empowers students to be able to ask big global questions of life, investigate possible solutions and implement sustainable action within local communities. Service learning, when integrated in the school curriculum, provides such extended opportunities for student engagement in local communities to not only take authentic action but also to be able to learn from the perspectives of others as they interact with various individuals or groups of individuals in investigating the local issues in a global context.
At Westwood International School, service learning is evident in many aspects of the teaching and learning process particularly in the inquiry as students use knowledge, skills and concepts to make connections with the world around them. The educational trips to the Dukwi Refugee Camp by the Year 6 students and the Red Cross club visits to Cheshire Foundation, a centre for children living with disabilities, are just but a few examples the primary school provides care and assistance to local communities. The construction of a signboard and the school library at Dukwi Primary School are some of the many actions accomplished by the PYP students. As Westwood continues to invest in promoting and embedding service learning within the curriculum, the outcome will become more visible in students with increased application of what is learnt in the classrooms to the communities to better the world around them. Above all, more reflective behaviour will help students to better understand themselves and the communities that surround them, and improve the quality of engagement in every activity of life.