BIG-HEARTED students at St John’s School in Marlborough have been hailed for combining their studies with helping the community.

From organising or taking part in fundraising events to mucking in with bag-packing or staging a play in aid of charity, they have been involved in several projects.

The sixth formers’ efforts have been described in a new report as “meaningful and with significant outcomes”.

The International Bacca-laureate Association praised pupils following an audit of their Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) activities, which form an integral part of their IB Diploma studies.

The authors also commended St John’s for its consistent and well-structured CAS programme.

The report said a “broad and interesting range of activities are available in which students can participate, many of which require a welcome level of involvement within the local community”.

As part of the two-year programme, IB students participate in community-based activities which “frequently make a real difference to the effectiveness of community groups and charities”.

Many organisations have benefited from the voluntary work including The Bruce Trust, a disabled boating charity in Hungerford, Prospect Hospice, the Citizens Advice Bureau, local Scout and Brownie groups, and Savernake Hospital.

Others staged a production of Terry Pratchett’s Mort, which raised more than £1,200 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Charity bag-packing for Save the Children, helping Marlborough Lions Club with their annual Christmas Santa sleigh fundraiser, taking part in the Prospect Hospice Starlight Walk, and organising a fundraising evening for the Marlborough Brandt group, are among some of their activities.

Events including the Marlborough Literary Festival, the Marlborough Royal Wedding tea party, the annual primary schools drama day in West Woods, and the British Legion 90th Anniversary fundraising day, have also benefited.

The school’s IB co-ordinator Gary Paterson said: “I am pleased to see the review acknowledges St John’s as a shining light of how education can and should engage with its community.

“The International Baccalaureate Diploma encourages students to step outside their comfort zone and take part in activities that are often fun, but can also be challenging.”