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Sha Tin College, Hong Kong

Rocky road reaps rewards

Bravely leaving behind her ropes and harnesses, Hilary Lok, an IB Diploma Programme student from Sha Tin College, Hong Kong, has taken up a different form of rock climbing as her CAS activity. Unlike traditional climbing, bouldering is

Hilary finds bouldering a challenge

performed without ropes, relying on strength and technique. Crash mats prevent injuries from falls. Hilary stumbled across bouldering by accident. “I initially thought I was signing up for conventional top rope climbing,” she explains. “I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of ropes and harnesses.” Bouldering has helped Hilary become a risk-taker and a reflective problem solver. “I won’t complete every route in one go,” she says. “The ability to re-think different routes and address my own

weaknesses has most definitely improved.” As the bouldering team at the college is small, the students have forged close friendships, offering each other support. Marc Morris, Hilary’s CAS supervisor, taught her to boulder. “Students support each other in solving the physical challenge presented by routes,” he says. “It is very rewarding to see them attempting, analysing, refining and completing the climbing problems.” And Hilary won’t stop bouldering when her IB days are over. She’s researching climbing walls near the universities she’s applying to.

Pathways School, Noida, India

Setting up shop for charity The project was a great success. After Business shouldn’t be the domain of repaying the school loan, the students city workers in suits. As one PYP class turned a Rs12,500 (US$200) profit. in India has shown, young children But the children didn’t rush out to can take part too. spend their takings on themselves. Students at Pathways School in Instead, they selflessly used the profits Noida, India, have funded stalls using to buy blankets for people in Kashmir, a loan from their school to raise money a region in India that had recently been for charity. devastated by floods.Vandana was An inquiry into economic activity incredibly proud. sparked the idea.The class were asking “Our school was already collecting questions about production, exchange numerous objects to help flood victims. and consumption, so they decided to set For example, a dry goods collection was up shops selling a variety of goods from brownies to bracelets to demonstrate their taking place at the time,” says Vandana. “When the students saw all the activities understanding of the unit. “We didn’t want the children relying on taking place, they starting asking what loans from home,” says Vandana Parashar, they could send that would be useful.” the students’ form tutor. “It made them realize it’s important to be responsible for the amount that you have, and that it’s important to earn more so that you can repay your initial loan.” Vandana was impressed to see the students taking responsibility for the project, particularly with their levels of attention to detail. “It was really nice to see them Stalls proved popular keeping track of their sales coupons,” with the whole school she says. “They did a good job maintaining their order book as well.”

Ray Wiltsey Middle School, California, USA

Actions speak louder than words Teachers demonstrate that service-learning projects are not just for students The IB calls for students to be philanthropists who identify a need in their community and the wider world, and then take action. A team of MYP teachers decided to lead by example. Last year, 10 teachers at Ray Wiltsey Middle School self-funded a trip to Providence Children’s Home (PCH) and Joram G. Academy school in Kenya to show underprivileged students a different, more fun side to education.They raised US$52,000, which was used to build two large playgrounds and fund various art projects, science experiments and physical education activities. For the teachers, the Wiltsey team provided intensive staff training sessions every day, as well as counseling sessions for the orphaned students. “This project has changed not only the way Wiltsey staff teach and how students learn; it has changed the way we perceive the world and is making us more globally and culturally aware,” says Terri Bradley, IB Coordinator and data coach. “We realized how valued a simple thing such as reading a book or owning a pencil is to the students we met.They see attending school as a gift and are really motivated to learn,” adds Terri. “These blessings are often taken for granted.We wanted our students back home to realize this, and we wanted them to have the same love for learning that we witnessed in Kenya.” The relationship with PCH began 12 years ago, and over the past couple of years Wiltsey students, who study Africa as part of their 7th grade curriculum, have formed a special bond with the students in Kenya.They send letters, Christmas gifts and have raised funds to help buy a milk cow. Although students did not travel, they started a campaign to raise money to buy much-needed school supplies as part of their service-learning project. “They engaged the entire school community and raised enough money to fill a pencil pouch for all 550 students,” says Terri. The team will be traveling again in 2016 and hope to invite other teachers within the district. “This way, we can spread the ethics and values of the IB,” says Terri. IBWorld 35

IB World March 2015  

The magazine of the International Baccalaureate

IB World March 2015  

The magazine of the International Baccalaureate