Service Learning Programme
The Service Learning Programme at UNIS Hanoi is central to our Mission and Guiding Principles and is firmly embedded in both Curricular and Co-Curricular activities from Elementary through High School.
There are scores of opportunities for our students of all ages to become more closely involved with the Vietnamese community from fundraising events to teaching English to organising activities for children at orphanages and with aid organisations. Service also extends into a student's school and personal life. It is about looking outside yourself and giving to others which brings its own learning and intrinsic rewards. This is a service learning programme which benefits our own children as much as the people with which they are involved and is a learning experience for all.
Service Learning programmes are a philanthropic focus for the School and the Birthday Gift Fund, established as our gift back to our host nation, has been funding a number of projects for years.
By addressing real and authentic community needs, the Service Learning programme at UNIS Hanoi aims to provide opportunities for our students as individuals, and as part of the UNIS Hanoi community, to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their community and their world.
Our Service Learning programme aims to provide opportunities for our students to develop the knowledge, skills and outlooks required to play their part in creating a fair, inclusive and cohesive society and to encourage them to drive and inspire sustainable change.
As an IB World School all of our students have opportunities to connect to service projects. As our students progress through our programmes they are given increasing levels of responsibility to take effective community action within their service projects and connections.
Within Elementary School
In Elementary School our students experience service projects as action connected to their units of inquiry. All elementary students are also involved in Service Learning with events such as the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation Walk-a-thon. We also support classroom service projects through curriculum units of inquiry and when authentic.
Within Secondary School
Our Grade 6-8 students engage in service projects connected to their grade level themes. Each grade level focuses on specific service needs connected to one or more UN Sustainable Development Goals to develop student initiated projects that will make an impact in the community. Projects are developed within dedicated service learning meetings and within certain relevant subject areas.
The Grade 6 programme focuses on SDG15 - Life on Land and follows from the question “How can we protect and support wildlife in Vietnam?” In the first semester the students visit Cuc Phuong National Park and investigate in MYP science classes the reasons some of Vietnam’s wildlife is critically endangered. The students service actions include making websites, films, crafts and art-work in design and visual art classes.
Grade 7 students research and take action connected to the challenges facing ethnic minority communities in Vietnam. Focusing on education and poverty reduction the students design their own service projects supporting partner organisations, creating compelling advocacy work, and engaging our school community.
The G8 theme for service learning is based on SDG8 - Health and Well-being. The students partner with organisations and local schools to increase water safety and prevent drownings. Students also design programmes to support collective health and wellbeing within the UNIS Hanoi community, collaborate for action with High School Service Learning groups, and design innovations that create positive impact within Vietnam.
Our Grade 9-12 service programme consists of 22 active groups that are led by students in collaboration with local partners or to provide a service to our school community. These groups are led by students under the mentorship of our faculty. Each year the students develop a set of goals and work towards them over the school year following a process of investigation, planning, action and reflection.