Our Grade 5 students spent the last week of January visiting businesses, NGOs and municipal organizations to learn how and why they make an impact on their local and global communities. Service Learning Week enables students to connect their learning objectives with community service.
"This week gave students the chance to learn through authentic experiences out in the field about topics they want to investigate," said Grade 5 Teacher Jodie Farrow. "They were able to develop reciprocal relationships with groups within our community and discover ways to make a difference through their school work."
As part of their preparation students identified their areas of interest and worked with their teachers to build individual timetables for Service Learning Week that would direct their research and action.
Topics included air pollution, environmental sustainability, water pollution, human and animal rights, gender equality, nuclear energy, and more. Students went on 24 different field trips to places like animal shelters, water treatment facilities, and migrant schools, as well as watched TED talks, spoke with industry experts via Skype and had time for independent research to investigate their topics.
The week of service learning is part of the lead up to the International Bacclaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) Exhibition. The Exhibition is the culminating project for our Grade 5 students that requires them to independently investigate and develop solutions to challenges facing their communities.
Grade 5 student Jeremy Azzopardi chose to focus his work on improving the lives of people living with disabilities. He and his group members evaluated the school's facilities for accessibility and spoke with teachers about ways to improve learning spaces.
"I think that globally, we need to raise more awareness for people with disabilities; they deserve more attention," Jeremy said. "More places need to be accessible to people with special needs. In addition, these people need to be given employment opportunities, which has to be supported by legislation, as there are many countries in the world where this is actually lacking."
Service learning week allows our students to understand how they can use their skills and knowledge to make a difference in the world.
To find out more about learning in WAB's Elementary School, visit our Learn page.