One of the College’s key aims is ‘to instil traditional Christian values, manners and a strong sense of service to others to enable our students to live lives that matter’. Contributions to and involvement with both the island and international communities remain as important to College life today as they were when Elizabeth College was established as a Christian foundation in 1563.
Elizabeth College challenges its students to get involved in at least one regular activity which supports the wider community – this could be through a College activity or an additional activity which students volunteer for outside College. Getting more involved in the community helps other people – often people less fortunate than ourselves. It also helps students educationally in terms of extending their responsibilities, practically in terms of experience for their career profile and also to feel better about themselves as people.
The principle of 'service' starts right at the beginning of our students’ education at the Junior School where the children are encouraged to think outside their own experiences and learn to help others in both their school and wider community. This may take the form of House meetings to build team spirit, charity events to create an awareness of other’s needs, partnerships with other schools, singing in the community, taking part in church services or simply showing parents around our school in our termly ‘Tea and a Tour’ coffee mornings for parents to join in and celebrate our own school community.
As our students progress through the school community service becomes a crucial part of the weekly timetable, and ‘service’ is an important element of most Friday afternoon activities for all students in Year 10 and above. The principle of ‘service’ enables our students to be practically involved in the local community. However, the extent of the College’s community involvement is far wider than just this regular slot in the week. Among a multitude of examples are:
- CCF involvement in public ceremonies and parades;
- extensive fundraising for charities, both local and international;
- our choir singing for audiences around the island;
- the Gatehouse Gallery showcasing local art; and
- the annual Kenya trip in February to support the Turi children’s project.