The power of CAS
The Expert View
Find out why you should value CAS in Grade 11 and 12
Read this to get the complete picture…
CAS is an integral part of the IB diploma program, in order to be awarded a diploma a student must successfully complete all of the CAS requirements.
So what is CAS? Let’s take a look.
Just in case you’re wondering, CAS is – Creativity. Activity. Service.
- 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.
In order to demonstrate these concepts, students are required to undertake a CAS project.
- Show initiative
- Demonstrate perseverance
- Develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision making.
While there are differences in organisational emphasis from one school to another, the basic demands of the IB CAS program must always be met.
Typically, students’ experiences involve the following stages.
• Investigation, preparation and action.
• Reflection on significant experiences to inform problem-solving and choices.
• Demonstration allowing for sharing of what has taken place.
A CAS experience is a specific event in which the student engages with one or more of the three CAS strands. It can be a single event or an extended series of events. A CAS project is an experience extending over a longer period of time.
The person who will evaluate your participation in the activity will be asked to comment on your performance with reference to the following criteria:
- Evidence of your initiative, planning, and organization.
- Attendance, punctuality, and time spent on the activity.
- The amount of effort and commitment made by you to the activity.
- Your personal achievement and development, taking into account your skills and attitude at the start of the activity…how you grew.
Now we know what CAS is, what will probably interest you most is how to go about doing it, after all you are required to successfully complete CAS in order to receive the IB diploma.
Let’s take a look at some ideas, but before we get into brainstorming a list of ideas, you need to keep in mind the following, because after all what you choose to do needs to fit the requirements set out by the IB.
Things you can do that will make a big difference.
Action idea 1:
Read the IB CAS guidelines.
action IDEA 3:
Sit down with your friends and brainstorm ideas.
action idea 2:
Make a list of what you’re currently doing for extra-curricular activities.
action idea 4:
Take your list of proposals to your CAS Coordinator/Advisor.
What do CAS projects involve?
CAS requires you to take part in a range of experiences and at least one project. These should involve:
- Real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes.
- Personal challenge.
- Thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting.
- Reflection on outcomes and personal learning.
The IB does not publish a list of activities, the ideas for these activities come from you the student. In case you’re panicking and thinking I haven’t got any ideas, or I have no idea where to get started, don’t worry schools have a CAS Coordinator/Advisor and they are there to help you. Your CAS Coordinator/Advisor will discuss ideas with you, make suggestions and help keep you on track so that you can proceed to a successful conclusion and thereby receive your IB diploma.
More CAS ideas
Here are a few ideas; you will be able to think of many more. Start off by having a brain storming session with your friends, and also look at the video 100 CAS ideas in the link.
Orchestra, sports team, science club, language conversation club (if you are fluent in a language other than English and some of your classmates are interested in learning your language, you could help them by offering a lunchtime conversation club), art club, teaching an instrument, teacher’s assistant with younger children, fundraising for a charity, sports coach, sports organizer, charity concert, dance, band, litter cleanup, plant trees, debate club, business club, bicycle club (organize a day trip somewhere), picnic club, ecology club, mentoring younger students, pen pal, dog walking, visiting old peoples home, shopping for old people/sick people, yoga, student council representative, prom committee, MUN, make a film, keep a diary, helping out at school events, cooking for the homeless, Duke of Edinburgh Award program, scouts, booster club, school play – acting, music, backstage etc. bake sale, help at fund raising bazar, found and lead a new club in your school.
Students often remark that they have enjoyed CAS because it is not purely academic like the rest of the IB diploma program, it makes a nice change to do something different.
Now you have seen some examples, you can go away and make a list of what you propose to do.!
Some critical questions that need to be asked
Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers.
Do my proposals match the criteria laid out by the IB?
Have I fulfilled all the requirements?
Do I have the right mix between creativity, activity and service?
The CAS project
This can address any single strand of CAS, or combine two or all three strands of creativity, activity and service.
- Creativity: A student group plans, designs and creates a mural.
• Activity: Students organize and participate in a sports team including training sessions and matches against other teams.
• Service: Students set up and conduct tutoring for people in need.
- Service and activity: Students plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community.
• Creativity, activity and service: Students rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home.
- Creativity and Service: Teaching a language to recently arrived foreign children. Exchanging artistic or musical skills with other students in a local school.
- Action and Service: Working as a volunteer at a children’s camp.
Tips & Tricks
Some insider tips that can really make the difference.
Do something new, do something exciting, do something you enjoy.
Start early, it is going to be fun and therefore you will want to/need to invest more time in this than you think.
Look on YouTube, there are loads of interesting videos produced by CAS students. Maybe you could upload your video here?
You are probably already doing activities that can count towards your CAS e.g. sports. Check with your CAS Coordinator/Advisor just to make sure these activities fit the IB requirements.
Wigsbury Frequently asked questions
Quick answers to the important questions
How many hours do I have to do?
There is no set number of hours, the IB are looking for long-term commitment. You’ll need to spread your activities over grades 11 and 12.
How many activities can I do?
There is no limit, other than the need to fulfil the requirements of the IB – you need to have activities that fall into the three categories of CAS; and then there is, of course, the time constraint as you also have a busy academic program to complete.
I am already doing a lot of after-school activities, do these count towards my CAS?
That depends on what you’re doing, it is best to go and talk to your CAS Coordinator/Advisor.
My best friend has got lots of ideas, and she has already given her list to the CAS Coordinator/Advisor. But I wanted to do some of those activities. Can I still do them even though she got in first?
Yes. This is not first come first served, if you both want to do cooking for the homeless for example, then you can both do it.