Service Learning

Students at Somerset College strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Somerset College values service with others as an important way to engage in principled action across a range of overlapping local and global communities. Through responsible action, tightly connected with sustained inquiry and critical reflection, students develop the kinds of attributes described by the International Baccalaureate learner profile that are essential for success in future academic pursuits and for adult life.

Service requires that students are able to build authentic connections between what they learn in the classroom and what they encounter in the community. When connected to classroom learning, the experience of service offers opportunities to apply concepts, skills and knowledge. Students explore the community in its complexity, gain personal insight, develop existing and new skills, and grow in confidence and responsibility as they become “actors” in the “real world” beyond school.

We aim for our service activities to evolve beyond doing for others, to engaging with others in a shared commitment towards the common good. At Somerset, we believe meaningful service requires our students to understand an underlying issue such as poverty, literacy or pollution, thereby authenticating the need for this service. Meaningful service includes interaction, such as building links with individuals or groups in the community. This approach, based on a collaborative exchange, maximises the potential benefits for all the people involved.