Service Learning at British School Manila (BSM) involves a collaborative and reciprocal engagement with our partner communities. We strive to enable our students to implement a meaningful response to an authentic need. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with a range of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) helping to tackle important local and global issues. Our goal is to develop young people who will make a positive difference in the lives of others long after they leave BSM.
Service Learning Activities at BSM
Service Learning begins in Early Years in Primary School where our youngest children start to think about the needs of others. They are exposed to a variety of learning experiences, from meeting animals who need special care, to preparing gift packages, and participating in playdates with children from local schools and orphanages. Playing together prompts our students to think not only about the differences, but more importantly, the similarities between them.
During their time in Primary School, students become familiar with a range of issues. In Year 2, students release turtles and learn about our impact on the environment, get involved in beach clean ups, and visit a community of people living with disabilities set up by Gawad Kalinga. Year 3 have build and maintain a bio-intensive garden with native fruits and vegetables, that supports the feeding programme at Missionaries of the Poor. In Year 4, students who work with One Million Lights, an NGO supplying solar lights to rural communities in the Philippines. And in Year 5 and 6 students are increasingly challenged to think more deeply about the issues facing the Philippines and beyond, for example, by learning about the plight of refugees.
Senior School students are encouraged to take a more active role. Each year group elects service learning representatives, who take a lead role in managing the relationship between their peers and their service learning partner. Service learning week is a dedicated period of time for service work, spent building homes, improving schools, producing food and urban gardens, working with children in local hospitals, collecting donations for specific groups with particular needs, and supporting disaster relief.
As students get older, they have the opportunity to manage their own Service Learning After School Activities (ASAs). These include Makabata Schools Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Childhaus, Red Cross, One Million Lights and Kythe Foundation. As students reach Year 12 and 13, they increase their understanding of the world, become more independent in their responses, and service becomes a true student led experience.
Engaging in Service Learning
Engaging in service provides an opportunity for students to feel empowered and motivated to use their individual talents and passions to make a positive difference. Students are actively encourages to develop their leadership, collaborative, listening, thinking and creative skills, to lead where possible, and to engage others in service that improves our environment and communities. We aim for our students to develop empathy, respect and a passion for service through real life experience. We hope our children will grow as individuals and experience the rewards of making a positive change to those with greater needs and that their contributions will instill a desire to continue this type of work beyond school.
Service Learning at British School Manila
- We have 6 student-led Service Learning ASAs
- Each year group is linked with a Service Learning Partner
- Every student at BSM is involved in Service Learning, every year
- BSM students have distributed over 500 solar lights in the past 3 years
- BSM has spent over 6.2 million on Service Learning projects since 2016
- ‘Think-Feel-Act’ is the key principle understanding BSM Service Learning
Organisations that we work with at BSM
- Springboard Foundation
- Gawad Kalinga
- One Million Lights
- Tahanan Ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home
- Virlanie Foundation
- Makabata Schools Foundation
- Philippines Red Cross
- Habitat for Humanity
- Kyhte Foundation
- Ministries of the Poor
- Chosen Children’s Village
- Stepping Stones School
Service Learning is at the core of what we believe in at the British School Manila. It enforces the enquiry based, experiential learning approach, but takes it one step further to develop life-long learners who want to make their world sustainable, peaceful and fair.