Whole School Community
Actions for Sustainability
Sustainability is at the heart of the UWC mission and all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be socially and environmentally responsible both at school and beyond. Sustainability is reflected in many parts of the curriculum and numerous projects and initiatives are developed by our students to inspire and to support the school’s community in becoming more sustainable. Among others, our community is actively involved in reducing paper consumption, minimizing food waste, recycling, greening our campus, raising awareness about global sustainability issues, etc. As Eco-School we target all our efforts towards becoming an even more socially and environmentally friendly school and community.
Service Learning is a method of teaching, learning and reflecting that regards the curriculum as the learning platform for meaningful engagement with a variety of different communities. Accordingly, the pedagogy of service learning establishes a continuum between thought, attitudes and action where emphasis is placed on student initiative in response to need.
The communities we work with are diverse, not least because we are a distinctively urban college engaged with the life of the city and the region. In this context, students are able to use their acquired academic skills and knowledge in real life situations. This enhances teaching by integrating meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience and encourage lifelong community interaction. It also helps foster recognition of the characteristics and concerns of others as well as reinforcing the abilities of young people to have a positive impact on the world they inhabit. Students are strongly encouraged to initiate and maintain their own service projects. Central to the success of these projects are the characteristics and skills of leadership, creativity, project management and communication.
All teachers and students at the college are expected to be involved in the service in the most effective way relevant to their skills and enthusiasm.
Examples of MYP service learning projects:
- Adelante project
The students of MYP2 are involved with the project ‘My world, your World’. They are buddies for a younger student (age 4-8) of Adelante, a school for children with a physical disability. During the year they undertake activities together. Activities link to the curriculum in MYP 2 and through the co-curricular lessons students prepare an activity day practising their project planning and organising skills including risk assessments. By being able to apply this gained knowledge and experience in a real-life situation, students gain a better understanding of the community they live in and develop new skills.
- Margraten project
MYP4 students are involved in this service learning project which is connected with the subjects Dutch, English and Individuals and Societies. Students learn about the regional situation during the Second World War. UWCM has adopted the grave of a soldier at the American War Cemetery in Margraten. Students take care of the headstone and inform the school and local community about the history. They study old documents in English about what eventually happened to the soldier, and they learn about the impact of war on families, communities and countries. Students visit the grave some times per year, clean the headstone and put flowers there.
- Clothing bank project
MYP students participated in an after school project where they researched about the local clothing bank including going to visit and then organised a fashion show of outfits found at the clothing bank. Students then auctioned the clothes to gathered families and friends after the show and donated the funds along with those raised by a bake sale to the clothing bank organisation.
NL Doet Day
Each NL Doet Day in March all UWC Maastricht students and staff take part in a day of service action volunteering support to the community and community organisations.
As part of UWC Maastricht's commitment to giving students appropriate and authentic responsibility as part of their learning journey we have student council projects in the DP, MYP and Primary year groups. The projects give students a voice in how the school operates and leadership opportunities amongst many other experiences.