• Community project objectives

    The objectives of the community project state the specific targets that are set for learning. They define what students should be able to accomplish as a result of completing the community project.

    Students must address all strands of all four objectives in the MYP community project.



    These objectives relate directly to the assessment criteria found in the “Community project assessment criteria: Years 3 or 4” section of this guide.

    A Investigating

    Students should be able to:

    1. define a goal to address a need within a community, based on personal interests
    2. identify prior learning and subject-specific knowledge relevant to the project
    3. demonstrate research skills.


    B Planning

    Students should be able to:

    1. develop a proposal for action to serve the need in the community
    2. plan and record the development process of the project
    3. demonstrate self-management skills.


    C Taking action

    Students should be able to:

    1. demonstrate service as action as a result of the project
    2. demonstrate thinking skills
    3. demonstrate communication and social skills.


    D Reflecting

    Students should be able to:

    1. evaluate the quality of the service as action against the proposal
    2. reflect on how completing the project has extended their knowledge and understanding of service learning
    3. reflect on their development of ATL skills.


    Investigating and planning the community project

    The MYP community project consists of three components.

    Community project component

    How it is assessed

    Focus on service as action

    Evident in the presentation

    Process journal

    A selection of extracts in appendices of the report


    The content of the report assessed using all four criteria

    Table 9

    Components of the community project

    Students can choose to work on the community project independently or in groups of up to three students. In cases where students work together, they work collaboratively to address the objectives of the project, develop their service learning together, and give their presentation at the end as a group.

    The objective of investigating requires students to make choices in the focus of their project. Students should follow a series of procedures to identify the focus. They will need to:

    • define a goal to address a need in the community, based on their personal interests
    • identify the global context for the community project
    • develop a proposal for action for the community project.

    In situations where students choose to work in groups, the goal is defined collaboratively.

    Defining a goal to address a need in the community

    Some examples of goals are:

    • to raise awareness
    • to participate actively
    • to research
    • to inform others
    • to create/innovate
    • to change behaviours
    • to advocate.

    need can be defined as a condition or situation in which something is required or wanted; a duty or obligation; or a lack of something requisite, desirable or useful.

    The community may be local, national, virtual or global. There are a wide range of definitions of community. The MYP key concept of community is defined as follows.

    Communities are groups that exist in proximity defined by space, time or relationship. Communities include, for example, groups of people sharing particular characteristics, beliefs or values as well as groups of interdependent organisms living together in a specific habitat.

    MYP: From principles into practice (May 2014)

    Table 10 illustrates the various types of communities.



    A group of people living in the same place

    Singapore’s Indian neighbourhood

    Belgian citizens

    Korowai people of Papua

    A group of people sharing particular characteristics, beliefs and/or values

    An online forum for people with Down’s syndrome


    History club year 3 students

    A body of nations or states unified by common interests

    European Union

    United States of America

    United Nations Human Rights Council

    A group of interdependent plants or animals growing or living together in a specified habitat

    Madagascar’s indigenous bird population

    Flora of the Middle East in Western Asia

    South Korea’s Ecorium project (wetland reserve)

    Table 10

    Community examples


    Students should make a reasonable evaluation of how they might address the need in the community. They should feel empowered by a goal they can reasonably achieve in the suggested time frame of the project, resulting in recognizing the impact of their service as action as a significant step in the community. Whether a project is appropriately challenging is determined by the students but should be guided by the supervisor. What is labelled as too ambitious or limited for one student or group will be accessible or challenging for another. Students can involve teachers or other appropriate people as resources, but the project must be completed by the students.

    Table 11 illustrates some examples of challenging and highly challenging community project goals.

    Challenging goal

    Highly challenging goal

    Students recognize an issue of cyber-bullying among the school community and raise awareness through an information campaign.

    Students instigate a change in the disciplinary procedures taken against cyber-bullying among school peers, through negotiations with various school stakeholders.

    A student hears the local children’s hospital is understaffed and volunteers his or her services for a set period of time.

    A student creates a puppet show to entertain children and to tour several schools and hospitals.

    Students think their school needs to support a local autism society next door to the campus, so they design and create a children’s story to educate students on what autism is.

    Students work with the autism society members to write and publish a children’s story together, which is then showcased at the school’s open day, hosted by students and society members.

    Students raise awareness of the need for blood donation at a local hospital or clinic.

    Students organize a blood drive to be held at their school during student-led conferences.

    Table 11

    Challenging and highly challenging community projects


    Identifying the global context for the project

    The global context chosen by the students provides a context for inquiry and research in the project. Students choose only one global context to define their goal. In most cases other global contexts may inform the project or offer other perspectives, but the focus on one context will present opportunities that emerge through (self-imposed) limitations and give a specific focus to the project.

    Table 12 shows examples of global contexts corresponding to the elements of the community project.

    The goal

    A need

    A community

    Global context

    To raise awareness

    Freedom of expression

    A nation perceived as politically oppressed

    Personal and cultural expression

    To participate actively

    Trained working dogs

    Special needs community

    Identities and relationships

    To research

    Access to clean drinking water

    Pacific island countries

    Orientation in space and time

    To inform others

    (Access to) medical provisions

    Various socio-economic groups

    Fairness and development

    To create/innovate

    Medical advances

    Support group for cancer patients

    Scientific and technical innovation

    To change behaviours

    Social acceptance

    The school community of teachers and students

    Identities and relationships

    To advocate

    Modernization of local methods of waste management

    The local population as it prepares for a national event

    Globalization and sustainability

    Table 12

    Global contexts in community projects


    It is useful for students to have the opportunity to brainstorm and think about ideas, as well as to discuss ideas with other people—for example, other students, friends outside the school, relatives and teachers. Students should document the development of their project, including their ideas and thinking. Brainstorming the definition of their goal is a useful exercise to document in the process journal, as students can return to this to ensure they remain on task as they progress through the project.

    Table 13 shows some examples of the use of each global context for an MYP community project.

    Global context

    Examples of community projects

    Identities and relationships 
    Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.

    • Laughter therapy campaign in children’s hospital or elder care home
    • Tutoring classes providing additional or special instruction to primary school students
    • Researching the effects of cola drinks on digestion and developing a campaign to promote healthy choices available from school vending machines

    Orientation in space and time 
    Students will explore personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations from personal, local and global perspectives.

    • Joining a museum or historical society in the community to contribute to maintaining, restoring, and recovering local history
    • Making a plan for wheelchair accessibility
    • Inspired by lack of facilities in the local community, seeking to improve the facilities for young people by producing an article for the school magazine summarizing the problem and possible solutions

    Personal and cultural expression 
    Students will explore the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

    • Improving the environment in the local hospital by designing and creating a series of pictures to hang in the corridors
    • Performing a theatre play to raise awareness on bullying
    • Promoting intercultural understanding through a graffiti contest

    Scientific and technical innovation 
    Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs.

    • Helping a local community make an efficient, low-cost use of energy-powered devices
    • Developing a programme to promote the use of wind energy for domestic devices
    • Campaigning to reduce paper use and to promote recycling
    • Campaigning to reduce water, electricity or fuel waste

    Globalization and sustainability 
    Students will explore the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the global; the opportunities and tensions provided by world-interconnectedness; the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment.

    • Campaigning to raise awareness and reduce plastic straw waste use
    • Passing a plan to local authorities for tree planting in an area in need of re-greening
    • Creating a school or community garden

    Fairness and development 
    Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

    • Campaigning for fair-trade awareness
    • Contributing to educational opportunities, for example, supporting a local non-governmental organization that works on literacy in our town
    • Addressing the concerns of immigrants and migrant populations

    Table 13

    Global contexts and MYP projects


    Students need to recognize the knowledge they already have from previous experiences or from subject-specific learning and document how this will help them to achieve their goal. This prior learning will enable students to evaluate what knowledge and skills need to be gained through research and further investigation.

    Developing a proposal for action for the project

    When students are clear on what they want to achieve and the service as action of their project, they will be in a position to determine the proposal. They will need to plan specific tasks or activities to complete to develop their project. Students can use checklists, rubrics, timelines, flow charts or other strategies to prepare their proposal.

    The project should follow a proposal for action and involve students in designing, problem-solving, decision-making or investigative activities. Proposals should be achievable based on the time and resources available. Some projects may require too much time or overly complex procedures. Other projects may be too simplistic and present no challenge to the student. Deciding whether a project is realistic or unrealistic for a student will be based on discussions between the students and the supervisors. Students document the proposal in their process journals and use this to evaluate the final service as action.

    Using assessment criteria

    Assessment for the MYP community project is criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria.

    Criterion A


    Maximum 8

    Criterion B


    Maximum 8

    Criterion C

    Taking action

    Maximum 8

    Criterion D


    Maximum 8


    MYP community projects must assess all strands of all four assessment criteria.


    In the MYP, objectives correspond to assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands that generally represent limited (1–2); adequate (3–4); substantial (5–6); and excellent (7–8) performance. Each band has its own unique descriptor that teachers use to make “best-fit” judgments about students’ progress and achievement.

    This guide provides the required assessment criteria for the community project developed in years 3 or 4 of the MYP. In response to national or local requirements, schools may add criteria and use additional models of assessment. Schools must use the appropriate assessment criteria as published in this guide to report students’ final achievement in the programme.

    Coordinators and supervisors clarify the expectations for the MYP community project with direct reference to the assessment criteria. Task-specific clarifications should clearly explain what students are expected to know and do, in forms such as:

    • a face-to-face or virtual discussion
    • an information day
    • detailed advice pages on the school intranet.