Charity and Service Learning

Written by John McEnhill (Primary Curriculum Coordinator)

Charity and service are an important part of what we do at YCIS Shanghai, as referenced in our motto commitment to “Love and Charity”. This year we have begun reviewing how we enact this in our school. This is in response to feedback from parents and staff, indicating that not all our charity events have a clear and explicit focus on serving others. We are looking for opportunities which meet two criteria:

  • They provide a learning experience for our students which is meaningful.
  • Other people/organisations benefit from the work of our students.

We are currently in the process of forming a committee consisting of staff, POP core committee members and school leaders to look further into this. At our recent Co-Principal coffee morning, we gained valuable feedback from members of our parent community. The committee will synthesise this with feedback sought from our staff, and also from our Student Council members, to create a charity plan for next year. This will include reviewing our longstanding events such as Charity Week and Kids’ Night In, to see if there are ways we can make more explicit the link between what our students do, and how their actions benefit others.

An example of a very successful project we have recently undertaken which fits these criteria is the Year 1 and Year 4 collaboration on the Solar Buddy project, making lights for disadvantaged students in Ethiopia. Children in Year 1 and Year 4 were asked to earn the money to buy the light making kits by helping with chores at home. Some students helped their parents with washing the dishes, some helped with taking care of their own belongings, while others had to gather RMB 1 each time they completed a chore at home. We are looking forward to creating further opportunities for our students which are of similar benefit for both our students and those people we are seeking to help. We look forward to feeding back to you shortly further information about our charity and service plans for next year.