Dane Court Grammar School International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) Students make a difference in the community through Service Learning.
The International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) seeks to prepare students for continuing into higher education and entering the workplace. Combining academic learning with vocational training, the programme provides a plethora of opportunities for the development of key transferable professional skills and personal values. Service learning is a key element of this career programme.. Student identify and seek to solve problems in the community, working closely with external mentors and growing through reflection and responding to feedback. As such, the Service Learning course provides an opportunity for personal development as well as making a positive contribution to the community, forming networks and developing professional skills.
Every year Dane Court invites mentors from the community into the school to attend progress presentations and help us celebrate the student’s work.
These projects are completely student led and their choice of project is driven by their key values and personal concerns.
One student has nurtured a scared and abused horse back to recovery
It was wonderful to see the number of students who really value our beautiful environment, animals and wildlife and the need to preserve this. Students completed a combined total of over 100 hours cleaning beaches and are making plans to educate others to keep them clean. Students have encouraged conservation of wildlife through art, one student has nurtured a scared and abused horse back to recovery, and another has raised over £400 for Wateraid.
Litter clearance and helping to ensure the success of our sixtieth year
Many students are also concerned about young people’s lack of exercise and rising obesity levels. Students sought to find ways to tempt young people away from their screens and seek more activity. One group set up and ran The Zone Youth club in St Peters, whilst other students helped organise Badger and Beaver group activities and provided Personal Training sessions at a local gym. Others tackled the tendency for teenager to give up on sports by running Sports clubs, including girl’s football club, netball and rounders club coaching and coaching at the Thanet Swimming club
The Zone youth club
It was also encouraging to see the students reaching out to the lower years in Primary Schools. From providing one to one support for reading, investigating child development and helping with transition, to more physical interventions such as Sports training and even combining Maths and Football skills, our students provided both inspiration and positive role models, at the same time as developing their own coaching skills to support their Btec Vocational qualifications. As one external mentee wrote in to say
“I would like to say a big thanks to Adam and Cain for supporting me every week in establishing a U6 football as well as delivering some very high standard of training to the team. Both of the boy have developed good coaching skill. I have seen them both grow in confidence where I am able to leave them to deliver training session on their own”.
Coaching younger groups
The students’ Service learning projects were all inclusive. One project centred on providing better access to our beaches for wheelchair users, including a fundraising walk to buy specialist chairs that can be used on sand. The older members of our community were not forgotten either. Student projects including tackling loneliness in the elderly through Golf, reducing obesity in adults through Slimming World, providing support and company to elderly residents of a local care home and one student became a care home handy maintenance worker and all round entertainer, as this feedback demonstrates
“Charlie has once again shown himself to be a young man of great fortitude forethought and diligence. Despite a last minute change to work in this sector he stood up and requested to work alongside our small team of volunteer gardeners (despite the recent weather conditions) arrived properly equipped and assisted us in very physically demanding work in the Hospice gardens. He was a very valuable member of our team once again”.
Our final project was our Dane Court sixtieth anniversary celebrations, including a Curry and Auction of Promises night, CreanTea and Tour of the school and very successful Fun Day, these were well attended by students present and past.
Working with Beaver groups
Students said they had enjoyed and grown from their projects as this reflection from a student who worked on a Communication Project with the Red Cross Reveals
“Throughout of the project i wanted to improve my confidence because I am very aware it is one of my main weaknesses. I was determined to increase my confidence and improve my skills.
Volunteering has helped me developed my understanding of the community and how people are involved which makes them seem united. Over the years communication has changed
In my placement speaking directly to locals has allowed me to progress my social skills by listening, engaging in conversations and having manners. This has made me more confidence because I gain experience how to properly interact and deal with similar situations when giving advice or trying to resolve a problem”.
Raising funds to improve access to beaches for disabled people
We would like to extend our gratitude to the members of our communities for the opportunities they have provided to our Year 12 Students.