We put a strong emphasis on learning through service at ICS.
We call it 'Service Learning and Community Engagement' to accentuate the importance both of learning about service and offering service - the 'engagement'. At ICS, students learn about service in various ways.
Students can learn about organisations that provide help to others and work with them directly. As an example, Primary students recently met a representative from the Swiss Red Cross to learn about the Swiss scheme '2xChristmas' where boxes of donated gifts are delivered to families in need. Secondary students organise an annual winter food drive for Socialwerke Pfarrer Sieber, a Zurich organisation supporting the poor and homeless.
Parents new to ICS often ask how many hours of service students have to undertake. But there is no defined time commitment in terms of hours. Instead, we encourage students to understand that service to others is a responsibility that the ICS community fosters and to try to involve themselves in some form of service activity. Students document and reflect on their service in their Service Learning booklets.
ICS has its own Service initiatives including:
- a relationship with the Shree Mangal Dvip School (SMD) in Kathmandu, Nepal, which gives an education to children who would not otherwise receive one. (Schooling is not compulsory in Nepal, and schools for children living in the Himalayas are few and far between.) ICS students and staff have been to SMD to volunteer there, and we offer scholarships to students from SMD so they can study for the IB Diploma here.
- a relationship with the Second Chance Education Centre in Moshi, Tanzania. Again, this is a school offering the chance of an education to children who might otherwise miss out. Staff and students volunteer there and ICS also supports a Teacher Training Workshop for Tanzanian teachers there every January.
- The Arogya Agam clinic in India for HIV-positive children. The link between ICS and Arogya Agam stretches back to the 1970s.
Round Square Membership
We are also a member of the Round Square organisation. This is a global community of schools whose students are working hard to make a difference in the lives of others, while also learning more about themselves. Read more here about the opportunities we can offer our students thanks to our membership with Round Square.