Social and Environmental Experience

Community Engagement

At KIS we believe that a close interaction with the community around us makes it possible for our students to benefit from real-world situations and authentic learning opportunities.

Learning in the context of locality and environment enhances the ability of young, curious minds to grasp complex concepts and apply them in both practical and compassionate ways. Our students learn to engage thoughtfully with others, respect and preserve the natural world, and emerge from their KIS experience as responsible local and global citizens.

With this objective, KIS has designed one of the most unique and outstanding programs of social and environmental engagement. SEED is an exceptionally dynamic department at KIS which touches the lives of our students in many different ways; contributing towards their personal growth, enhancing their civic awareness and developing a progressive global outlook in line with the KIS vision and mission. 

The social and environmental experience program blends a comprehensive classroom curriculum designed within the framework of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals with a variety of community-oriented activities which directly address these goals. Some initiatives taken up by our students are listed here (hyperlink). Putting the idea of “thinking globally and acting locally” into action, the program takes students on the road to self-discovery while nurturing their immense potential to engage with and give back to the community.  

During the Middle Years (Grades 6-10), SEED organizes field trips to expose students to people, landscapes and events in their local communities as an extension to the classroom learning. These trips are planned to provide a sense of adventure, community service, environmental engagement, intercultural awareness while educating students on issues around health and society. 

Students are assigned to teams and tasked with creating multimedia presentations on topics of their choice, thereby inculcating team work and communication skills while nurturing their interest in community service. 

SEED also organises the annual field trip week for the entire school; an exciting week of social experience when students accompanied by staff chaperones go to widespread destinations. During this time students explore a wide range of experiences including visits to special needs schools, hospitals, rural health programs, ancient ruins, endangered coral reefs, business and management institutes, forests reserves and many more. The department also facilitates a week dedicated to empowering the KIS community called Choices, Attitudes and Responsibilities for Everyone (CARE) week. During this time members of the school community discuss their attitudes and responsibilities towards the environment and society. 

Students view the KIS social and environment experience program as a refreshingly different subject and a majority of them involve themselves in their projects to a far greater extent than is essentially required.

In a recent initiative SEED also announced the ‘Palani Hills Agents of Change Awards’ to recognize exceptional students, staff and members of society who contribute towards the Kodaikanal community.  

Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)

KIS students go way beyond fulfilling the basic requirements under the IBDP CAS program. Their unique initiation into social and environmental engagement at the Middle School fully orients them towards the CAS objectives by the time they reach High School. Students are encouraged to think beyond the mandated requirements and immerse themselves in community service in areas of their interest. At KIS, the CAS program is run by the Social and Environmental Experience Department (SEED). As an educational institution that lays a lot of emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, the department also aims to interlink and practically support concepts that students are learning as part of their various subject curriculums.

Studied throughout the IB Diploma Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities in diverse fields of interest alongside their academic pursuits. CAS program is organized around three strands of creativity, activity and service as defined below.

  • Creativity--exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive performance.

  • Activity--physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle 

  • Service--collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need    

The CAS program formally begins at the start of the IB Diploma Program and continues regularly, ideally on a weekly basis, for at least 18 months with a balance between its three components. This program aims to develop students who:

  • enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences

  • purposefully reflect on their experiences

  • identify goals, develop strategies and determine further action for personal growth 

  • explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles

  • actively participate in planned, sustained and collaborative projects 

  • understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment   

All CAS students are expected to maintain and complete a CAS portfolio as evidence of their community engagement. KIS SEED works very closely with the students on their portfolios making sure all of the students' engagements under the three strands of CAS are covered. As a result, our students put together exceptional online portals showcasing their remarkable work. These portfolios help students immensely with their college applications and interviews. Some of these portfolios can be accessed here (hyperlink)      

Our school is proud to state that through their social interventions, KIS students have been astounding in their contribution towards finding solutions to some of the issues facing the Kodaikanal community. Some of the projects undertaken by our students can be seen here (hyperlink).