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MYP Service Learning

Throughout the five years of the MYP, we aim to help our students develop an awareness of the service opportunities around them and give them the confidence to commit to and engage in Service Learning in a meaningful way. The ultimate goal is for students in the final years of the MYP to independently identify, plan and carry out Service Learning projects outside of the ISL community, in preparation for the Service Learning requirements of the IB diploma.

In order to get the most out of their Service Learning experiences, students should expect to be taken out of their comfort zone, and should aim to take action in situations they might normally avoid.

The following guidance is provided to the students, and provides an overview of our expectations of Service Learning for the students each year in the MYP.

MYP Service Expectations

An effective Service Learning experience involves identifying an individual, a group of people or a community who have a genuine need, and then planning and undertaking action to meet this need. Alternatively, the service action may be in response to an environmental need.

Some Service Learning projects may come out of ideas which you have explored in class; or you may choose to carry out a project because you feel strongly about something, or as a result of something you have personally seen or experienced.

A number of service opportunities are organised by the school over the course of the year, which you can participate in. However, the very best Service Learning occurs when you identify, plan and carry out your own project.

Although there is no requirement that you complete a set number of hours, there is an expectation that you complete at least two significant service contributions over the course of the school year. These will fall into the following two categories and must fulfil the criteria for Service Learning set out by the school:

  1. A long-term commitment project which you have planned and organised yourself. For example, working with EVAM (Etablissement Vaudois d'Accueil des Migrants), or participating in the Y11 Cambodia trip, or independently organising an event for other students to participate in. This may also include service work carried out in the holidays. You should discuss any holiday projects with Mr Aldersey in advance. In the summer, these would count for the following year. This means that a project in the summer after Year 11 could not count as an MYP service project.
  2. A curriculum-linked project, planned and organised collaboratively as part of a curriculum topic.

Curriculum Linked Service Projects

Year Subject (topic) Project Dates
7 PHE (athletics) Taking part in activities and sports with children with physical disabilities at La Cassagne. February – June (during school time)
8 Science (diet and health) Working with Terre des Hommes in Lausanne to raise awareness for the Universal Rights of the Child, and raise funds for the work of Terre des Hommes with vulnerable children Saturday 19 November 2016 (in Lausanne)
9 Design (LED Safari) Creative upcycling of materials to produce functional solar powered lights which will be given to families in developing countries without electricity at home. Students will also produce language-free plans to allow the recipients to follow their method to replicate the product. May – June (during school time)
10 Science (immunity and disease) Creating video resources about vaccination for Medair. Medair will publish and promote the best videos online during World Immunisation Week (from Monday 24 to Sunday 30 April 2017). March/ April (during school time)
11 Biology (agriculture and land use) Participating in the Grangettes Clearance, a wetlands conservation project near Villeneuve Saturday 4 March 2017 (in Villeneuve)

ISL recognises that some activities are not appropriate for Service Learning. These include:

  • Helping at events where the student has no significant investment in the planning or outcomes of the activity. This includes volunteering at the Halloween Party or Spring Fair, ushering or acting as host or front of house at arts or sports events. All ISL students contribute to the community by volunteering to help at one school event per academic year.
  • Any activity where the student is making a financial gain either for themselves or for another entity which is not an ISL-sanctioned charity.
  • Any activity where the student is proselytising on behalf of a church or religion. We recognise that religious institutions do organise some excellent service activities, and these are entirely appropriate. However, activities that include spreading religious belief is not. For example, helping at a soup kitchen organised by a church could be good service, but teaching a Sunday school class is not.

Service Learning Reflections

You will complete a full reflection for at least two of your service projects each year on managebac. This forms part of your MYP requirements, and will be summarised on your final end of year report.

This reflection will consist of a pre-reflection and a post-reflection. The pre-reflection is completed before you do the service action and the post-reflection is completed afterwards. You should use the headings and questions below to structure your reflection.


  • Background
    • what is the need?
    • why does the need exist?
    • who is affected?
  • Personal motivation
    • why do you want to act?
    • what effect do you hope to have through your action?


  • Effectiveness of the project
    • what did you achieve?
    • how effective was your service project?
    • what was the impact of the project on the intended recipient(s)?
    • what were the ethical implications of the project? (i.e. was it ‘right’ to carry out this service, could it have unintended consequences which are at odds to its intentions?)
    • looking back, is there anything you could change to make the service more effective?
  • Personal reflection
    • how did doing this project make you feel?
    • what did you learn?
    • how have your ideas / thoughts / attitudes changed over the course of the project?

Remember, to get the most out of your service this year: get involved, try something new, and step out of your comfort zone!

Philip Aldersey
MYP Service Coordinator
Contact Mr Aldersey

Service Video

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