Service As Action in MYP

Introducing the SAA component
in IB

  • 1. SAA introduction
  • 2. SAA skills and why it is important
  • 3. Two main components of SAA
  • 4. My SAA
  • 5. Why SAA is important, my perspective
  • 6. Why SAA is important, speaker’s perspective

Service As Action (SAA) is a key element of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP). The objective of the SAA is to make a positive impact in the lives of others. In this way, the SAA provides an opportunity for students to explore how they can shape the environment, people and society.

Students engage in skills ranging from social to thinking to communication skills along with several others when engaging in SAA. Together, the skills in SAA help a student to enhance his/her knowledge on a particular topic of social interest. SAA also assists in developing the 7 learning outcomes in IB. In addition to this, they gain a deeper understanding of their local and global community through the topic. SAA experience makes students humble and compassionate .

SAA has two main components: 1) to select a service; and 2) to cater to the service through action. To select a service, it is important to consider how your SAA project can increase public awareness of an issue. It is also essential to keep in mind how the acquired knowledge can educate and benefit people. After deciding a service, the next step is to cater to the service through taking action. Posting pictures on social media of an important issue we are facing, meeting people face to face or online, or learning about your project from an experienced client are all ways we can engage in action.

Further, to document progress in SAA, we record everything. We create presentations or documents giving information about the topic, the problems and what action needs to be taken to resolve them and the positive impact of the proposed action. In the documentation, we include a Process Journal on our learnings from the project. While the first documentation is a reflection of our work, the other reflects our learning journey.

"To elucidate, my current SAA project is on the service of growing plants. I chose to work on this topic because it directly impacts the environment and promotes sustainability in the world. The encouragement of growing plants in the world is needed more than ever today. Nowadays climate change has a major impact on people. Pollution, drought, flooding, hot weather are all issues we are facing and growing plants is an effective solution for this. So, I decided to work on this topic to improve the living conditions for people and the future generations".

"I had an interesting visit on plants with a gardener at ASI. Before the visit, I made sure to carry a notebook and pen with me. This is where I jotted down points the gardener discussed. As the gardener educated me on plants, he taught me about various plants I didn’t know existed. Some of the plants were also ones I didn’t expect to see at ASI. For example, he taught me about medical plants like the brung raj, shyami tulsi, insulin, rusa (a cough plant), eggplant, gilowey, nimboo, UK captus, and many other medical plants. He also taught me about two different cultures under agriculture: horticulture (plants that look attractive to a person) and organic farming (a farming system that encourages sustainability). The discussion with the gardener developed my learning on plants and developed a further interest on the subject. After enhancing my knowledge, I took action on growing plants by communicating with my neighbors and requesting them to grow plants".


"Following the discussion, I documented what I learnt from the gardener. I also reflected on the discussion in my process journal".

"In this way, I approached my SAA to give an extensive overview of plants. I think the best reason why SAA is a competent component in the IB curriculum for MYP students, is because it trains students to grasp many different, integrated topics. While educating myself more on the topic, I taught others about it as well".

The SAA is an excellent approach to excel in a branch of skills. It is an opportunity to discover more about the world and share knowledge with others. Further, education is the only factor that separates you from someone else. SAA opens new doors for students to explore and encourages the learning experience. So, it is the optimum way to enrich your knowledge.

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