Philanthropy, volunteerism and community involvement beyond the classroom go a long way to enhance learning.
Find out how – and why – these 4 international schools and preschools in Singapore encourage students to lend a hand to those in need.
“At GEMS World Academy (Singapore), we create unique opportunities for our students to participate in community service projects to develop active, internationally minded, compassionate young people. It also helps them reflect on the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile and take action with confidence.
This year our Grade 5 students had an exciting camping adventure at LooLa Adventure Resort in Bintan. One of the Grade 5 participants had this to say: ‘The camp was an absolutely amazing experience for everyone! We had a lot of fun doing mudtrekking and kayaking around the mangroves and taking part in community service projects. We built a safe water garden for a local family near the resort. We had to work as a team and felt good doing community service for a family living there!’”
–Paul Rimmer, PYP + ELP Coordinator and Grade 5 Educator
“It is important that children feel a sense of belonging and are interested in contributing to the society. With that, they are empowered to make a difference in making the world a better place. We believe that this positive attitude is something that can be nurtured in every single individual.
At Kinderland, children engage in annual carnivals to raise funds for the needy. The theme this year is ‘kindness’. Prior to the carnival, children prepared crafts and collected items to be sold. In our schools, we show our care for the environment by reusing materials to make the crafts and daily items. Children enjoy caring for plants and take responsibility in fulfilling their duties according to a roster which they plan together. This gives them a sense of achievement and gratitude in appreciating nature.”
–Patricia Tay, Zone Principal
“Children gradually develop their ability to show empathy, compassion, social awareness and moral intelligence.
The most powerful way to encourage socially responsible children is to first ensure that children are nurtured and well-cared for themselves. The second most powerful thing is to model socially aware behaviour for children to see. Now is the time to start a lifelong commitment to giving, and it is important to lead by example and be active role models. For example, the older children in our Kindergarten volunteer to be playground buddies for younger children or children new to the school.
Plus, every year, we propose two or three different charities to the children for them to choose one, which we as a school will support. Last year, we supported World Vision, and raised funds through bake sales and donations to build a classroom for children in Myanmar.”
–Jackie Barkham, Director + Owner
“At Tanglin Trust School, we are fully committed to our core values of Respect, Responsibility and Purpose. In every student’s journey through the school, there are many opportunities for meaningful engagement with the local community and world beyond.
For example, the Infant School regularly organises fundraising activities and hosts fun play dates with children from a local children’s home. In the Junior School, children hold a Lend with Care philanthropy week to raise money to help some of the world’s poorest people to work their way out of poverty. And, the Senior School supports a number of organisations through charity weeks, the International Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS).
At Tanglin, sustainability is also high on our agenda – from making sure that we manage resources to developing green gardens, taking part in beach clean-ups and holding car-free days. As one Year 6 student said, ‘It’s made me realise how to help, not only by volunteering or donations, but by little actions as well.’”
–John Ridley, Director of Learning
By Sara Lyle Bow
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