Realising the Significance of Service Learning

Year 11 and 12 students from PLC’s International Baccalaureate Diploma CAS programme have made the stark realisation that they possess the power to make a difference.

This unique learning programme, which stands for Creativity, Activity and Service, has seen students lead their own service initiative and give back to the community through a variety of projects.

This year, the CAS programme introduced two CAS Core Days, during which, students were introduced to several experiences that challenged them to show initiative, engage with the community, and develop local and global understandings.

Across this initiative, some of the activities students were introduced to included environmental beach cleaning and environmental data collection, Cooking for a Cause, mindful yoga and the Give Write programme.

IB Diploma CAS Co-ordinator, Mr Donaldson, said the programme has made them realise how easy it is to give back to the community and discover the tangible and intangible impacts they can have.

“The learning experiences aim to provide the skills, knowledge, understanding, and genuine opportunity for students to work towards achieving the seven CAS outcomes,” Mr Donaldson said.

He continued, “The CAS Core Days were a meaningful opportunity for students to collaborate with organisations in the local community, but we also wanted it to be in the forefront of minds that their involvement can make a difference.”

Through the Cooking for a Cause activity, students were able to cook meals to support vulnerable members of the local community at St Patrick’s in Fremantle.

Year 11 student, Madeleine Robbins, said she enjoyed learning cooking skills and helping the community. She emphasised that delivering the food and visiting St Patrick’s showed her a simple way she can support her community.

“It was really rewarding at the end when we were able to take the food to St Patrick’s. We were given a tour of the facility, and it was gratifying to see the immediate impact this was having on the community,” Madeleine said.

In another activity, students visited Give Write – a not-for-profit organisation that takes donations of pre-loved school stationery to recycle, repackage, and regift it to WA students in need.

Fellow Year 11 student, Sophie Hardcastle, said this session was eye-opening, as it displayed just how easy it can be to have a large impact on someone’s life.

“At Give Write, we were given the option to either decorate pencil cases or clean the stationery people have donated,” Sophie said.

Sophie explained how these simple tasks really highlighted the importance of recycling to her.

Mr Donaldson continued, “The students at PLC have such brilliant ideas; they are so full of energy and creativity, and they want to be involved. It is great to create learning experiences to provide them with the skills, knowledge, and understanding to help equip them to make a difference.”

“You can be one person and you can make a difference. As Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’.”


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