Creativity, Activity and Service

Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) has been described as being the heart of the IB Diploma Programme. It provides Diploma students with an opportunity to develop skills and talents, as well as areas for growth, and also to work to make the world a better place through active involvement in the community. Students are expected to participate in a range of CAS experiences, keep an accurate and detailed record of them and indicate what they have learnt from each of these activities. CAS complements a challenging academic programme, providing students with the opportunity to engage in experiential learning to enhance their personal, interpersonal, social and civic development.

The CAS programme aims to develop students who:

  • enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences and purposefully reflect upon their experiences
  • identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth
  • explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles
  • actively participate in planned, sustained and collaborative CAS projects
  • understand they are members of local and global communicates with responsibilities towards each other and the environment

Students at ISL are expected to participate in at least five CAS experiences during their Diploma programme, of which one must be a long term collaborative CAS project. Throughout their two years of study students should engage in a wide range of experiences, addressing each CAS strand: Creativity, Action and Service. At ISL, we are committed to Service Learning, so each student is required to engage in at least two service experiences.

Creativity: ‘exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance’

There are many approaches to creativity, such as:

Ongoing creativity: A student may already be engaged in creativity as part of a school group or club, or through some other form of sustained creativity. Students may continue in this as part of their creativity; however, students could also be encouraged to further extend and develop their participation if appropriate.

Community-based creativity: Participating in creativity within the local community advances student awareness and understanding of interpersonal relationships with others, particularly if the creativity experience involves the local community. Creativity experiences best occur with a regularity that builds and sustains relationships while allowing the growth of students’ talents, interests, passions, emotional responses, and imagination. For example, students could be encouraged to join a community-based theatre group, contribute towards a community art gallery, create a sculpture for the community park, take cooking classes, or other opportunities.

Individual creativity: Students may decide that they wish to engage in solitary creativity experiences such as composing music, developing a website, writing a compilation of short fiction stories, designing furniture, creating arts and crafts, or painting a series of portraits. Such creativity experiences are of most benefit when they take place over an extended duration of time. Students can be encouraged to set personal goals and work towards these in a sustained manner. Risk assessment of such solitary creativity experiences should be conducted with the student beforehand if applicable.

Activity: ‘physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle’

There are many approaches to activity, such as:

Ongoing activity: A student may already be engaged in activity as part of a school team or club, or through some other form of sustained physical exercise. Students may continue in this as part of their activity; however, they should set personal goals in keeping with the principles of CAS. Students can also be encouraged to further extend and develop their participation if appropriate.

Community-based activity: Participating in activity within the local community advances student awareness and understanding of interpersonal relationships, particularly if the activity experience involves members of the local community. However, single events of activity can lack depth and meaning. When possible, activity experiences best occur with a regularity that builds and sustains relationships while allowing the growth of physical well-being of the students. For example, rather than a single activity experience at a community-based fun run, students could be encouraged to join a community-based running club, a dance class, an aerobics class or an out-of-school sports group.

Individual activity: Students may decide that they wish to engage in solitary activity experiences such as, for example, attending a gym, bicycling, roller-skating, swimming, or strength conditioning. Such activity experiences are of most benefit when they take place over an extended duration of time. Students can be encouraged to set personal goals and work towards these in a sustained and correctly applied manner. Risk assessment of such solitary activity experiences should be conducted with the student beforehand if applicable.

Service: ‘collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need’

It is recommended that students engage with different types of service within their CAS programme. These types of action are as follows:

Direct service: Student interaction involves people, the environment or animals. For example, this can appear as one-on-one tutoring, developing a garden in partnership with refugees, or working in an animal shelter. Each student must complete one direct service experience or project.

Indirect service: Though students do not see the recipients of indirect service, they have verified their actions will benefit the community or environment. For example, this can appear as re-designing a non-profit organization’s website, writing original picture books to teach a language, or nurturing tree seedlings for planting.

Advocacy: Students speak on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest. For example, this may appear as initiating an awareness campaign on hunger, performing a play on replacing bullying with respect, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions.

Research: Students collect information through varied sources, analyse data, and report on a topic of importance to influence policy or practice. For example, they may conduct environmental surveys to influence their school, contribute to a study of animal migration, compile effective means to reduce litter in public spaces, or conduct social research by interviewing people on topics such as homelessness, unemployment or isolation.

The CAS Stages

All Service experiences and the CAS Project should be planned and reflected upon using the CAS stages. Each student must evidence this process in their CAS Portfolio (Managebac).

  1. Investigation: Students identify their interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities for CAS experiences, as well as areas for personal growth and development. Students investigate what they want to do and determine the purpose for their CAS experience. In the case of service, students identify a need they want to address.
  2. Preparation: Students clarify roles and responsibilities, develop a plan of actions to be taken, identify specified resources and timelines, and acquire any skills as needed to engage in the CAS experience.
  3. Action: Students implement their idea or plan. This often requires decision-making and problem- solving. Students may work individually, with partners, or in groups.
  4. Reflection: Students describe what happened, express feelings, generate ideas, and raise questions. Reflection can occur at any time during CAS to further understanding, to assist with revising plans, to learn from the experience, and to make explicit connections between their growth, accomplishments, and the learning outcomes for personal awareness. Reflection may lead to new action.
  5. Demonstration: Students make explicit what and how they learned and what they have accomplished, for example, by sharing their CAS experience through their CAS portfolio or with others in an informal or formal manner. Through demonstration and communication, students solidify their understanding and evoke response from others
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