IB Schools and Colleges Association

Homewood IB students learn real meaning of service during lockdown

Homewood School’s Year 13 International Baccalaureate (IB) students are actively demonstrating how the ethos of Service Learning, which is part of their course, can translate into the real world at a time of great need. They have been helping in the local community during the current crisis in many different ways.

Two students have taken time to share their positive experiences with their tutors. These are their stories in their own words. The first report is from Ben:-

“I have been continuing to work tirelessly throughout the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic since my place of work is considered an essential business. We are on the frontline since we are supplying trades people with the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. We provide people such as plumbers, electricians and those in the gas industry. They keep your homes in working order, especially during this lockdown. We also support the NHS and emergency services all year round by supplying the necessary products needed to keep them running (even more so during these scary times).” 

The second report, from Jack, also comes from the COVID-19 frontline:-

“Since COVID-19 has kicked off our team at the Tenterden Waitrose branch have worked around the clock to ensure shelves are stocked and customers are able to adhere to the Government’s social distancing advice to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. During the week I have been working on the late evening shifts, often finishing just after midnight to help ensure the store is in the best possible position for the next day’s trade. On Saturdays, I have been working in the fruit and veg department due to the fruit and veg team being put on overnight shifts, and have been able to donate unused fruit and vegetables to local people through the Tenterden Social Hub as well as supplying out of date fruit and veg to the Rare Breeds Centre to help feed their animals.

“During this pandemic, partners from the John Lewis Ashford store have come over to help ease the strain on restocking and allow our store partners to help and reassure customers who have come out to our shop. With the JL Partners coming over to help us we all have gained new knowledge that we may have never learnt if we were not in this situation.”

Jack updated his report a few days later:

“Last Saturday (26 April 2020) I had finished my usual 9-5 shift and was doing some shopping when a flustered elderly customer came into the store. She had her arms full of shopping and looked in need of help but no-one was nearby. Another partner and I helped her with her shopping ensuring that she had what she needed in as little time as possible as she had a bus to catch. The lady got to the checkout to find the chip on her card had been damaged and with no other way of payment without missing her bus, the deputy branch manager gave her the shop for free. The lady was struggling to carry her shopping so I offered to help the customer to her bus stop and ensure that she caught her bus. It turned out that she had missed the bus and that the next one wasn’t for another four hours. So, not wanting to leave her on her own in the cold, I offered her a lift home as I had my car with me. We ended up having a 45-minute conversation about each other’s lives and how the virus has taken the world by storm. When we arrived at her home, I put her shopping in her kitchen for her and gave her my phone number if she needed anything.”

Commenting on the student reports, Homewood Principal Jeremy Single said: “I am extremely proud of how so many of our students are acting with thoughtfulness and maturity in these difficult times for our community. These are a fantastic example of how the ethos of Service Learning, which is built into the IBCP core programme, might look in the real world – not only during a crisis but hopefully also when life returns to normality in the future.”

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