SSIS connects with the local community on a number of levels from students participating in community service activities to staff playing in the annual football match with the local police.
SSIS’ community service programme gives students (and staff and parents) the opportunity to learn about and support organisations in Suzhou and the broader community. Whether it is the Kids 4 Kids student action group raising money for migrant schools in Suzhou to older students participating in the IB CAS programme, all students at SSIS have the opportunity to interact with the local Chinese community.
A key event on the SSIS calendar is the annual Giving Tree programme led by CAS students, teachers and parents. The Giving Tree supports children in need by providing them with a gift bag full of new winter clothes and school supplies specifically bought for each individual child. For SSIS students, staff and parents they have the satisfaction of directly supporting the local community.
Another example of student involvement in the community is the Grade 1 visit to May Farm to complement their “From Farm to Table” unit of inquiry. Students are able to witness first-hand how organic produce is grown, and have the opportunity to get their hands dirty and take part in day-to-day farm activities. To top it all off, they enjoy a meal cooked with farm produce, so are truly able to follow the journey of food from farm to table.
SSIS also regularly hosts visits from teachers in local Chinese schools and our teachers have visited local schools to learn about the differences, and similarities, between Western and Chinese teaching methods. In the past SSIS has participated in a Principal exchange program with local schools and hosted the annual International Baccalaureate Chinese conference.