Service Learning

(Updated on 6 Jan 2014)


Information on preparation for Prelim Judging [4 April 2014]

Information on preparation for Semi-finals Judging [25 April 2014]


Service-Learning places equal emphasis on service outcomes and learning goals.

There is a reciprocal relationship between the service rendered by the youths in identifying and meeting real community needs and the learning which occurs for the youths. Learning enhances the service and in turn the service enhances learning in a virtuous cycle, as community service becomes a rich learning environment for the development of our youths.

The hyphen in S-L symbolises the connection between serving and learning. Reflection is often the key to connecting the youths’ service experience to their learning and development.

These are the different aspects that you must consider for a successful SL project.

Area of concern

Describe why the issue chosen is a significant one to the community. What are the challenges facing the community? What are the real needs in the community? Do your research by reading up and/or interviewing the relevant expertise.

Underlying problem (UP) - for Upper Sec

The UP identified is the main challenge facing the community. It must be focused, manageable and relevant. The desired outcomes must be clear in the UP.

Service Objectives and Learning Objectives - for Lower Sec

The UP identified is the main challenge facing the community. It must be focused, manageable and relevant. The desired outcomes must be clear in the UP.

Preparation for service

Once the idea is fully developed, think about how to best prepare for the S-L activity.

a. What background knowledge, skills or mental preparation will be necessary?

b. Do you need the help of an appropriate expert to equip the team with the necessary skills (eg sign language, helping the aged and handicap, learning dialects, sports)?

c. What resources do you have access to? Are there any community partners whom I can work with?

d. Does each member know his specific role?

Plan of action

The plans must be thoroughly thought-through and comprehensive in tackling the underlying problem faced/or achieving service objectives. Roles and responsibilities must be clear.


Describe what the team has accomplished in the course of implementing the project? What is the impact of the project on the service clients and the wider community? Has there been good resource utilization and good community partnership? What is the long-term sustainability of this impact? How is the community transformed?


Individual and Group reflections must be done in a journal regularly. During semifinals and finals, judges may ask to see your reflections journal. In order to make the reflection wholesome, students can apply the 3 levels of reflection:

1. The mirror (Reflection of self).

2. The microscope (Making small experiences large).

3. The binoculars (Bringing distance to the fore).

OR you can do adopt the following format in doing reflections:

Reflections during preparation

Before the service learning project begins, find out what you know. What beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes are in place? Where and how were they learned? What do students expect will happen? Students can role play situations they imagine will occur to practice and prepare and also to uncover anxieties or misconceptions. Students can consider such questions as, "What will you do if the child you are tutoring won't listen to the story?" "How do you think the elderly home will look like?"

Reflections during action

During actual service, heighten your awareness of the activity and the beneficiaries. Do on-the-spot reflections. Ask yourself questions like "Is there a bette way or approach to this activity?"

Reflections following service
Following the service, pen down your reflections in a journal. Do both individual and group reflections. You can ask yourself the following questions to aid you in your reflections.

  • What happened? This is the cognitive realm, when students can describe what they thought and what they observed.

  • How did you feel? Students' emotional responses may differ in tone from their cognitive responses.

  • What are your ideas? You may suggest new ways to plan or collaborate or come up with new service activities that would better meet the needs of the beneficiaries.

  • What questions do you have? What do students want to know about as a result of this experience? This question can help guide their own investigation or assist your group in planning the next steps for your project.


Preliminary round

  • 5 min presentation

  • Project proposal must be feasible. Needs analysis of beneficiaries must be completed.

  • Refer to rubric for more details.

Semi-final round

  • 7 min presentation

  • 75 to 80% of project must be completed.

  • Refer to rubric for more details.

Final round

  • 10 min presentation

  • Emphasis will be placed on accomplishments of project.

  • Refer to rubric for more details.

(Updated on 6 Jan 2014)

Overall grading for Independent Studies (IS)

Web report
Individual Performance
Type of assessment



Online entry of 500 words

Grade Determination for All Levels

To proceed to Semi-Finals from Prelims:

• ≥ 25 out of 50 (for Lower Sec)

• ≥ 27 out of 50 (for Upper Sec)

To advance to Finals from Semi-Finals:

• ≥ 60 out of 100 (for Lower Sec)

• ≥ 65 out of 100 (for Upper Sec)

For groups that enter Finals

Possible grades:

A*: ≥ 70%

A: 65 - 69%

B+: < 65%

Consideration for Grand Finals Selection Round includes the following:

• Attains top score

• Project is of exceptional standard and has achieved great impact on community

• Content appeal to Grand Final audience

• Good presentation skills & has potential to be trained further

SL Rubrics