The TISA Service programme is designed to empower students to take meaningful action to engage with communities in and around Azerbaijan and to inspire one another to take action for a better world.
Our aim is to inspire our students to become able and active contributors to our immediate, local and global communities. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service - making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. (IBO)
TISA Action Network is a group of passionate individuals who work together to connect and support projects, ideas, and people to take action for a better world.
A Beautiful Mess!
The 10AZN Challenge was recently described to me as ‘a mess, a beautiful mess’. This is actually so very true. Many experts agree that authentic learning is a messy process. 8 weeks ago, when 42 M2 students were given a loan of 10AZN each, we all knew this was bound to get messy. In teams, the students were challenged to come up with creative, yet ethical money-making schemes to make the highest profit possible from their initial loans.
What a creative bunch! Christmas carol singers, shawarma peddlers, art auctions, treasure hunts, second-hand book sales, Christmas cookie grams, Thai food sales, bracelet sales and the list goes on and on…
So when you were approached for the umpteenth time with a last-minute request to sell greasy donuts in the hallways, to rent a table at the Winter Fair or to host an in-school movie night, please remember that whether you accepted their requests or not, you were ultimately involved in the learning process.
M2 raised a combined total of 3327AZN! All the proceeds of this challenge will go towards the Camping Azerbaijan Mən Bakıda olmuşam (I’ve been to Baku) social project to bring a group of underprivileged village children to the capital in the Spring. The students will spend next term planning for this, looking for ways to make this project a reality.
Thank you for your patience and support and for playing such an important role.
At TISA, action, the core of student agency, is integral to the Primary Years Programme (PYP) learning process and to the programme’s overarching outcome of international-mindedness. Through taking individual and collective action, students come to understand the responsibilities associated with being internationally minded and to appreciate the benefits of working with others for a shared purpose. When students see tangible actions that they can choose to take to make a difference, they see themselves as competent, capable and active agents of change.
Students take action in response to their inquiries or motivation to make a positive difference, bring about positive change or further their learning. As an integral part of the learning process, action can be embarked upon at any point and can take many forms, depending on individual development, learning and experiences.
Through developing attributes of the learner profile, students grow in their ability to make informed, reasoned, ethical judgments and to exercise the flexibility, perseverance and confidence they need to bring about positive change in the learning community and beyond.
- Action is connected to agency, the learner profile and international-mindedness.
- Action is student-initiated and can be individual and collective.
- Action is authentic, meaningful and mindful.
- Action can happen at any time; it can be short or long term, revisited or ongoing.
- Action is supported by the learning community.
- Demonstrations of action include participation, advocacy, social justice, social entrepreneurship, or lifestyle choices.
The PYP exhibition is a culminating task in P8 where TISA students demonstrate their understanding of an issue or opportunity they have chosen to explore. They undertake their investigation both individually and with their peers, together with the guidance of a mentor. Through the exhibition, students demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their learning—and their capacity to take action—as they are actively engaged in planning, presenting and assessing learning.
The exhibition is a powerful demonstration of student agency, as well as the agency of the community that has nurtured them through their years in the PYP. The learning community participates in the exhibition, supporting and celebrating the development of internationally minded students who make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others.
The TISA PYP Exhibition is student-initiated, designed and collaborative.
Student-initiated: Students have a role in choosing the issue or opportunity to be explored; the transdisciplinary theme(s); the development of the central idea; the lines of inquiry; and identification of the key and related concepts that will drive their inquiries. They identify what knowledge they will need to acquire, and what skills they will need to develop.
Student-designed: Students design their learning goals and establish the criteria of what success will look like for them. They co-design strategies and tools with teachers, mentors and peers to document and self-assess their learning, and evaluate the success of the exhibition.
Collaborative: Students collaborate with their peers, teachers and mentors throughout the exhibition process. There is a genuine sense of participation and engagement through regular sharing of progress and feedback. As students are diverse, some will engage with the exhibition in groups while others will engage individually, supported by mentors.
All students take an active role in all aspects of planning, inquiring, investigating, communicating and assessing their learning in the exhibition. All students will benefit from guidance and collaboration with teachers, peers and mentors to facilitate, direct and adjust their learning.
(IBO (2018), The Learner, Peterson House, UK)
M1: students are introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the MYP Service Learning Cycle and take part in at least one grade level service project.
M2: students are reintroduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They are encouraged to develop more independence by choosing their own groups and participate in The 10AZN Challenge; an incentive that encourages students to do something enterprising, making a difference and give back to the community in which they live. This activity connects strongly with the MYP commitment to encouraging principled risk-taking and thinking in our students. Students may work in groups or independently with guidance.
M3: The MYP Community Project provides an important opportunity for M3 students to collaborate and pursue Service Learning. See handbook for further details.
M4: students are encouraged to continue collaboration with the communities from their Community Project or establish relationships with new communities in preparation for the Personal Project in M5. This is a time when students have the freedom to experiment and take risks.
M5: The MYP Personal Project is a student-centred, practical exploration in which M5 students consolidate their learning throughout the MYP programme through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. See Personal Project website for more details.
Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that students must complete as part of the Diploma Programme (DP). The Service element is an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. See CAS Handbook for further details.
Service Bank and Fundraising
The Service Bank was established to serve the TISA student community as it takes action for a better world. When a student identifies a need in the community, the student might need some funds to make a difference. The Service Bank is here to provide assistance. One month before the event, the student will complete the Service Bank request form, providing as much background and detail as necessary. The Service Coordinator and, where appropriate, TAN Representatives review the completed form and responds to the student within five school days. If approved, the Service Bank Office is notified and provides the student with the funds needed to complete the event or project. Depending on the conditions of the application, the amount will either be repaid or receipts provided with a rationale about how the money was spent.
Service Bank Overview
- A series of fundraising events are organised throughout the year to raise money for the Service Bank.
- In some cases funding may provide seed money for project activities that may support a more substantial fundraiser.
- Grants limited to 350 AZN for a group project and 150 AZN for an individual project. Larger amounts can be applied for, but additional approval from the administration would be required.
- PYP Exhibition projects and MYP Projects are not permitted to apply for funding however short-term loans may be considered.
- The Service Bank will be a stable account that rolls over from one school year to the next.
TISA Current Community Partners
Mobile Dental Clinic, UNHCR Azerbaijan, DEA Animal Care Centre, International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA Campaign), United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA), Camping Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Physiotherapy Association, Azerbaijani Socks, Eco Baku, Red Crescent Society, Isiqli Ev, Azerbaijan Prosthetics Centre, Sisters of Charity.