In Dehong schools, we support students in developing the determination, knowledge and skills to make a positive difference to China. We believe that service should be an integral part of the school philosophy and be applicable to staff and students.
Service recognises that we all have a duty and responsibility to help make the planet a better place. It involves making a personal commitment to care for others and to take action. In order to give meaningful service, students must first develop a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing others. Having identified a need, they then use their knowledge and skills to plan and take action to benefit all.
Through the knowledge, skills and opportunities we offer them, our students also develop the character strengths required to be responsible Chinese citizens and leaders of the future. Informed by the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development, Chinese government priorities, and important issues that matter to our local communities, we create opportunities for our students to apply the knowledge and skills they have for the benefit of others. Our specific focus on sustainability both reflects our responsibility to the environment and the communities in which we live, and also provides opportunities for our students to take action.
In taking action, we want our student and school community to be proud of their achievements, sharing what they have learned with others within their community and beyond. We want them to share their personal stories as a way to inspire others to take action. We also want them to reflect upon their achievements, appreciate what they did well but also understand how they could have improved or achieved even more. In doing so, we want them to build on their knowledge, skills and actions, and be inspired to learn and do more.
Supported by service leaders and sustainability leaders who are passionate about helping students make a positive difference in the community, our students are encouraged to think critically about the community and feel empowered to take action. Through encouraging student agency, listening to their opinions, and providing opportunities to act, students will gain self-confidence and recognise that their actions really do matter. Seeing adults at school who also share their desire to make a positive difference will encourage students to take action.