What is CAS?

 

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that you must complete as part of the Diploma Programme (DP). Participation in the IB CAS program encourages students to be involved in creative pursuits, physical activities and service experiences in the local, national and international context.

Creativity

This aspect of CAS is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of arts and other activities outside the normal curriculum that include creative thinking in the design and carrying out of service projects. This could involve dance, theatre, and music, but could also include activities that involve creative thinking in their creation and implementation, such as organizing an event or competition, developing proposals, and designing lessons. You should be engaged in new roles whereverpossible. Individual commitment to continued participation in an art form such as a musical instrument or photography is not accepted as CAS unless it respects the requirements for all CAS activities: that the activity/project sets you a challenge, that aspects of participation in the activity are new to you, that goals are set and that the you reflect on your progress.

Activity

This aspect of CAS can include participation in sport or other activities requiring physical exertion-such as expeditions and camping trips, or digging trenches to lay water pipes to bring fresh water to a village. You are encouraged to be involved in group and team activities, but an individual commitment is acceptable where the general requirements of CAS are met: goals are set and you reflect on progress. Your activity experience should include something that presents a challenge to you, that aspects of participation in the activity are new to you, and that goals are set and that the you reflect on your progress.

Service

Service projects and activities are often the most transforming element of the CAS Programme for the individual student; they have the potential to nurture and mould global citizens. There are different ways that you can be involved in Service; what underpins the various forms of Service is that you are involved in making a meaningful contribution to the community. The community may be the school, the local district, or it may exist on national and international levels (such as undertaking projects of assistance in a developing country).

As CAS aims to extend the student, your CAS programme should include activities that see you working beyond the school community. Collaboration with members of a community, as opposed to working for, provides the most positive Service experiences. To best address the differences in privilege that exist between those who give service and those members of a community who are being served, a relationship of respect and mutuality should be established and promoted between these two groups. The best results for community development take place when a working relationship is created, where all parties are involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of service activities.

What is not CAS?

It is important that the spirit of CAS be considered at all times. Generally, CAS is not taking place when you are in a passive rather than an active role. There should be interaction. If you are in a passive role then the activity will provide you with no meaningful benefit. In such circumstances achievement of the CAS Learning Outcomes is rare to occur. Examples of activities that may be inappropriate for CAS include:

  • Doing simple, tedious and repetitive work like handing out brochures, selling tickets to an event, or asking people in the street for donations.
  • A passive pursuit, such as a visit to a museum, the theatre, art exhibition, concert or sports event.
  • All forms of duty within the family.
  • Religious devotion.
  • Work experience that only benefits you.
  • Fundraising with no clearly defined end in sight.
  • A service activity where there is no leader or responsible adult on site to evaluate and confirm your performance.
  • Activities that cause division amongst different groups in the community.
  • An activity for which you are personally rewarded either financially or with some other benefit (unless this benefit is passed on in full to a worthy cause).

How is CAS structured?

The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

  • Creativity – arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
  • Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the DP.
  • Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

In order to demonstrate these concepts, students are required to undertake a CAS Project. The project challenges students to:

  • show initiative
  • demonstrate perseverance
  • develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision making.

CAS Requirements

  • CAS participation must continue for at least 18 continuous months. All CAS requirements need to be completed by the end of February in Year 13.
  • Quality over Quantity: There is no longer any required number of ‘CAS Hours’ to be completed, the focus is now on the quality of experiences, not the quantity. However CCS requires an absolute minimum of 8 CAS experiences including the CAS project.
  • CAS Project: You must be involved in at least one – a major undertaking that involves much commitment over an extended period of time (a minimum of one month), involves significant collaboration, in at least one area of Creativity, Activity or Service. CAS Projects often allow more scope for achievement of Learning Outcomes.
  • The 5 CAS Stages: Investigation, Preparation, Action, Reflection, Demonstration – these stages will be used for your CAS Project as well as selected CAS Experiences.
  • Balance of Creativity, Activity, Service: You must take part in a range of experiences, with some degree of balance between the three areas of CAS.
  • CAS Portfolio: You must use ManageBac for your portfolio, to maintain a running log of your reflections on and evidence of the learning outcomes.
  • CAS Interviews: Three interviews at the beginning, middle and end of your IB Diploma Programme with your CAS Coordinator are required. You will need to show evidence during your formal interviews with the CAS Coordinator, who will take notes from these discussions.
  • Completion: Completing CAS is outlined in the CAS Completion Details document; the CAS Completion Evidence Form and the CAS Exit Interview Questions will be used to assess final student achievement.