IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
International Baccalaureate Organization
Social responsibility forms a fundamental building block of the International Baccalaureate curricula. Starting with three-year olds in Early Learning and continuing to Grade 12, our students consider how their actions impact the people and environment around them. In the Primary Years, teachers weave aspects of social responsibility into the curricular programmes and work done in the Units of Inquiry. In the Middle and Diploma Years, service is a core component of the curriculum. Students have increased accountability for this aspect of the curriculum as they progress through school.
Our school also strives to teach students to maintain balance in their personal development. Undoubtedly, the academic demands of coursework, particularly in the more senior years, compel students to bury their heads in their textbooks at times. Nevertheless, the importance of life outside the classroom should not be ignored — nor the rich opportunities it offers for learning.
Service as Action
Service as Action in the Middle Years Programme (ages 11 - 16) is key to developing the compassion and understanding necessary for our students to develop into responsible global citizens. All students in the MYP engage in meaningful, authentic service that also has an action component. This means students not only identify needs in their local community and beyond, but they take action on them.
Our Service as Action Programme enables students to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and the outside world. This extends their learning and frames it into a real-world context. As Cathryn Berger Kaye writes, when working on service learning projects:
Students reveal hidden talents, apply themselves in ways that stretch their intellect, retain what they have learned, and transfer the skills and knowledge to new situations.
Service Learning: Engagement, Action, Results, 2010
Some Service as Action groups act globally by supporting organizations assisting communities in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Other groups act locally by supporting food programs, homeless shelters, animal shelters, and a children’s hospital, all of which are based in Bonn.
Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
The IB Diploma Programme requires students to participate in areas of Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). These enable students to enhance their personal and interpersonal skills through experiential learning. CAS balances the academic rigour of the IB Diploma Programme with creative, active and service activities of students’ own choice. When choosing CAS activities students need to adhere to specified requirements.
The three elements of CAS:
This includes active involvement in dance, music, theatre or art and includes creative thinking in the design and carrying out of service projects. The aim of this strand is to provide students with the opportunity to explore their own sense of original thinking and expression.
All types of physical exertion contributing purposefully to a healthy lifestyle fit this category. This strand may include expeditions, individual and team sports, as well as individual fitness programmes. The aim of this strand is to promote lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being.
Service activities create opportunities for students to develop and apply personal and social skills in real life situations involving leadership, problem solving and initiative. The aim of this strand of CAS is for students to understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society.