Service learning is the backbone of our school’s mission and culture. Giving of one’s self to others—in our own community and beyond—is a fundamental element of character development at RIS. Our service activities are based on several components, including how they meet the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations and our own Principles of Phoenix, one of which is literally “helping others.” We put these principles—which demonstrate virtues such as open mindedness, effective communication, and embracing diversity—into action every day because service learning is embedded in both curricular and co-curricular activities, across every section of RIS.

Our students and faculty participate in multiple community service outreach projects as well as take part in a range of creative activities to collect donations for several local and regional charities and causes. In middle school and high school, our students get to go on memorable trips devoted to community welfare, such as visiting children in orphanages, interacting with children and adults who have physical or mental disabilities, and building with Habitat for Humanity.

Some of these visits are arranged by the school. Other trips are student council initiatives, IB students working on CAS projects, or after-school clubs devoting their weekends to helping others, such as the LEO club (Leadership, Experience, and Opportunity). This group was initiated to promote community service projects, including visiting schools for the blind, homes for the elderly, and other underprivileged groups or children. 

Mae Cheam Reforestation Project

Soi Dog Foundation Visit

RIS’ contributions in the arena of service learning act as an exemplar for other international schools. We’re proud of that fact. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s who we are: a community that is resolved to helping others in need. Our students are often deeply moved by their service learning projects and reflect on their experiences in their schoolwork and beyond. Our service learning program is one of the fundamental reasons why our students become compassionate, civic-minded, global citizens, many of whom, after their time at RIS, go on to develop a lifetime commitment to helping those who are less fortunate.

Values Education

Students at RIS come from a variety of religious backgrounds. The school respects this diversity and believes that students can continue to develop and apply values in their everyday lives. At each grade level, Catholic students engage in religion classes, while students of other faiths participate in Values classes. Respectful of the uniqueness and diversity of the individual, Values lessons enable each student to participate in experiential learning and the evolution of their personal values system.

Experiential learning awakens our students to the realities of social and economic hardship in society. As the Values curriculum is crafted from the mission of RIS and its Redemptorist founders, the program seeks to promote essential change through the cultivation of fair-minded critical thinking and community service learning. Values is also the umbrella under which RIS encourages thinking that is predisposed toward intellectual empathy, perseverance, integrity, compassion, humility, generosity, forgiveness, and responsibility.

In this world of accelerating change and increasing complexity, it is critical that the attributes we teach in Values entail self-reflection, open-mindedness, and the importance of living an ethical life. These lead our students to build an intellectual framework that is essential to answering questions, solving problems, and resolving social issues. Values classes in elementary school focus on active and cooperative learning. In middle school, the emphasis is on the relationship between critical and creative thinking, and high school students explore the mechanics of Socratic dialogue and the importance of questioning and enlightening the disciplined mind.