At SSIS not all learning takes place within the school. Throughout the school year students have the opportunity to learn outside the traditional classroom environment.
SSIS organizes camps as part of its diverse education program. From Grades 3-11, specific camps are held in order to emphasize key skills in the development of the individual student. The aim of camps is to develop strong social bonds among a diverse student body through dynamic group activities, which will allow students to become more productive learners once they return to the classroom, and to establish the non-academic skills they will need as workers and citizens.
Students from Nursery to Grade 12 have the opportunity to participate in a range of field trips related to the curriculum they are currently studying. Examples include:
- Grade 1 visiting Suzhou Zoo as part of their ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit. They get to see different animals up close and also think about whether the animal’s needs are being met at the zoo in terms of their natural habitat.
- Grade 2 visit a local shopping centre as they learn about trade during their ‘How we organize ourselves’ unit. They have a certain amount of money to spend and make decisions about what goods they could buy and trade with their classmates.
- Grade 8 Science and Food Design students visit May Farm to examine the long term viability of organic farming.
- Grade 10 Humanities students visit the Propaganda Museum in Shanghai to examine the influence of propaganda on Chinese culture.
- Grade 11 and 12 Visual Arts students undertake studies of Chinese art and Chinese artists at work. This includes visiting the Shanghai Museum to view art works and see and interview local artists in their studios in the M50 district.
Community Service is also an important component of the student experience at SSIS. Students work to support groups within Suzhou, China and beyond. Students can participate in many and varied activities including volunteering at an orphanage in Suzhou, fundraising for scholarships for Chinese migrant children to attend school, working with children as part of the Vasfontein Community Transformation project in South Africa, and coordinating the in-school recycling programme.