Community Service is something staff and students at St Stephen’s take very seriously. It is embedded within the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. The school strives to ensure that sustainable community service involving active student participation is carried out regularly, through our connections with local, national and international communities.
Each Primary year group has a community service partner with whom they work regularly. This involves not only fundraising activities, but also visits and active participation. In the Secondary School, the Community Service Programme is run through the PSHE curriculum, with each year group working with a different community partner. An area of development is the incorporation of Community Service into academic subjects.
Examples of our partners are Operation Smile, who provide operations to children with cleft palates and other facial deformities, Lopburi HIV Hospice, who provide accommodation and medical care for people suffering with HIV, and Second Chance who support and provide employment for the residents of Khlong Toei slum. The charities work to help improve the lives of animals, children, the elderly, the impoverished and also the environment.
The St. Stephen’s enrichment programme further extends the student’s understanding of community through extra-curricular activities. There are a range of service clubs available to students across the school each term. These provide opportunities for students to work with charities, plan and organise projects, and play a role in organising whole school events and fundraisers. An area of development is evolving our range of environmental clubs. The Eco Committee are working to set up Eco Clubs across the school and run projects to improve our school and local environment.
Leadership is another valuable way that students can offer a service within the school community. Many students become School Prefects in the Sixth Form, or Year 6 Leaders in Primary. The representative Primary and Secondary Student Councils meet regularly to discuss and act upon key student issues.
Our Community Service Committee meets regularly to liaise with community service partners and to coordinate fundraising. Two key events are the sponsored Primary and Secondary Pledge weeks, which raise funds for our community service work. Other sources of funding include the annual School Fair and smaller events organised by students and teachers. The school also responds to disaster relief appeals by donating funds and resources as appropriate, for example the Australian bush fires of 2019/20.