Empowering Middle School Students for Global Citizenship
From April 17th to 20th, 2023, the middle school students of XLIS (Xi’an Liangjiatan International School) embarked on an unforgettable adventure during their Week Without Walls program. This annual event, which aims to provide students with experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom, was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impact on the students, the local communities, and the world.
The MYP 1 students, under the leadership of Mr. Dwyer and Ms. Maggie, were immersed in activities aimed at addressing the SDGs of Reduce Inequalities and No Poverty. They engaged in a local school exchange, where they had the opportunity to learn from their peers in the local community, fostering cross-cultural understanding and friendship. They also participated in culture immersion activities, gaining insights into the rich heritage and traditions of the region. One of the highlights was the Sustainable Agriculture & Tourism Workshop, where students learned about sustainable farming practices and the importance of responsible tourism in supporting local economies. In the wilderness survival workshop, students acquired essential skills for outdoor adventures while developing teamwork and resilience. Additionally, the Grass Weaving Workshop allowed students to contribute to the local economy by learning a traditional craft and creating unique grass-woven products.
Service as Action was also an integral part of the MYP 1 experience during Week Without Walls. Students demonstrated their commitment to making a positive impact by making bee boxes and donating them to local farmers, promoting pollination and supporting local agriculture. They also built a bookshelf and chair for a local centre, providing a functional and sustainable solution for the community.
Service as Action was an essential component of the MYP 2 program. Students had the opportunity to give back to the community by visiting a Left-behind Children’s Centre in Weinan, where they helped the Centre in rearranged the library, and classroom as well as working in the garden, leaving a positive impact on the lives of the less fortunate.
The MYP 3 students, guided by Mr. Kyle and Ms. Jasmin, focused on the SDGs of Climate Action and Responsible Consumption & Production. The program included a scavenger hunt, culture immersion activities, a clay figurine workshop, and a paper-making workshop, all aimed at fostering creativity, innovation, and sustainability. Hiking and biking activities allowed students to explore the natural environment and appreciate its beauty while developing a sense of responsibility towards protecting it for future generations.
Service as Action was also a crucial element of the MYP 3 program. Students participated in a hands-on activity with local Left-behind children, engaging in meaningful interactions and activities that contributed to their education and well-being.
The success of Week Without Walls can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the program design was tailored to the specific needs and interests of each grade level, incorporating activities that were challenging, engaging, and relevant to their academic and personal development. Secondly, the SDG focus of the program provided a clear framework for learning, enabling students to understand and address critical global issues in a practical and meaningful way. Thirdly, the Service as Action component of the program allowed students to make a positive impact on the local community, instilling a sense of responsibility and compassion towards others and the world.
Overall, Week Without Walls was a tremendous success, providing students with a transformative learning experience that fostered their personal, social, and academic growth. The program enabled them to develop essential skills and qualities such as critical thinking, creativity, resilience, empathy, and global citizenship, preparing them to be leaders of tomorrow who can make a positive impact on the world. The program also had a positive impact on the local communities, promoting cross-cultural understanding, sustainable economic practices, and social justice. Congratulations to XLIS and the teachers who organized this fantastic program, and may it continue to inspire and empower future generations of students.
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Hakim Halim (MYP Physical and Health Education Teacher, Service As Action Coordinator)