Service-Learning at Living Faith

Wednesday 25 Aug 2021

How do we embed Service-Learning at Living Faith?

Service is a central part of what we do here at Living Faith and forms part of our school culture. This key contemporary competency is explicitly taught in each year level from Prep through to Year 6. Service-learning is carried out in many ways through direct or indirect service, advocacy and research. We do this by engaging in learning opportunities based on empathy and in the service of others or the environment.

What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning involves learning and growing through the service of others and the world. It is about developing compassion and empathy, and recognising the ways our gifts can be used to serve others. Students build an understanding of why we serve and gain respect for who or what we serve. It is about reaching out with heart, head and hands. Service-learning is not done as a stand-alone activity. It is embedded throughout the curriculum and is a cultural part of our school community.

Service-learning involves:

  • a real-world problem;
  • links to the curriculum;
  • developing empathy; and
  • active and ongoing reflection.

Students engage in service-learning projects that challenge them to grow as caring, responsible citizens who can recognise and respond to the needs of others and the needs of our planet. Service-learning looks different across the year levels. Here are just a few examples of Service-Learning in action in 2021:

  • Prep: Students listen to and reflect on Kindy students’ worries when starting a new school. They then design ways to support and help alleviate some of their concerns in their final term of Kindy. This year they have also organised a blanket drive to support ‘Blankets for Brisbane’, donating blankets to the homeless this winter.
  • Year 1: Students learn about stewardship of the Earth and investigate the impact of declining bee populations. Students then design solutions to support bee populations in the local community.
  • Year 2: Students learn about how people serve in the community. They listen to the stories of community members, write biographies and design a monument to recognise a special person in their lives.
  • Year 3: Students learn about the rainforest and stewardship of the Earth. They develop an advocacy program to raise awareness for deforestation and sell products to raise money to support Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.
  • Year 4: Students learn about sustainability and environmental waste. They research and audit school waste and then prototype a plan to help reduce plastic waste in our community. Students then implemented their prototypes and reflected on their success.
  • Year 5: Students learn about service organisations that address issues of social justice. Students design and create a product to sell at the Hub Market and then donate the profits towards a service organisation that they have researched.
  • Year 6: Students deepen their understanding of human rights, particularly the world’s refugees’ challenges. Students engage with Australian Lutheran World Service and devise a plan or pack to support new refugee families within our community.

Our school service team also engages with many service projects throughout the year. For example, during Book Week, students organised a book swap to raise awareness and funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

At Living Faith, our overarching mission and vision are ’Inspiring minds, illuminating hearts, igniting service…founded on the love of Christ’. We hope that the students who graduate from Living Faith do so with a heart of service for others, the environment and the wider community.

- Bianca Ravi, Director of Learning