Somerset Times

Service Learning Opportunities at Somerset in 2017

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 2,
Term One, 2017

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What an overwhelmingly hot yet positive start to the year it has been! It was wonderful to welcome our new students and their families last week and we look forward to getting to know you all better in the weeks and months ahead.

As part of a well-rounded Somerset education, we encourage all our students each year to engage in the Service Learning initiatives provided by our dedicated team of staff. Known as Impact, our Service Learning Programme has been running for a number of years in the Senior School and for a detailed overview I encourage you to become familiar with the booklet here. It contains valuable information which is useful for the year ahead both for students and parents.

2017-T1-W2-OzHarvest

I was reading recently how there is congruent data from several fields like positive psychology, health and medical research stating how favourable wellbeing outcomes stem from having meaningful happiness in our lives and not from having more money or by being a consumer. This may not come as a surprise to you. Having the senses stimulated through pleasurable happiness is all well and good, but it is the meaning that gives us the deepest levels of happiness. You will recognise the positive feedback loop here - from research we know that generous and altruistic behaviour makes you want to be more generous and more altruistic. So, the more you give, the healthier you become, the healthier you become, the more you want to give, and so forth. Giving is a true community builder in that sense.

Again in 2017, our students have the opportunity to give generously of their time through the organised activities by key staff on each year level. We now have an evidence-base of research showing that if we facilitate giving to people, young or old, they end up wanting to give more. In our Year Level Meetings, students will receive brief presentations about the opportunity available to them in 2017 and be able to sign up before the conclusion of the meeting. This information has been summarised below for your reference.

Somerset students have continued to engage in service projects over the holidays. We hope to share with you over the coming weeks in this forum their goals and achievements. I congratulate all our students for their efforts and wish them the best of luck with growing these in the years to come. The world needs you. Your self-directed initiatives are inspiring.

We should never lose an opportunity to gain a deeper sense of relationship, longevity and empathy with those we walk alongside. Consider spending respectful silence walking alongside the people you care about in your service work, where appropriate. Embrace simply being. We look forward to hearing how your service relationship unfolds with the people you are about to meet this year.

Please see the Resource Section of this article for the 2017 Service Learning Opportunities and Impact Programme Handbook.

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