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Friday, 17 January 2020

CAS – A Part of the IBDP Experience (By Divyam Kumar, IBDP1 Student)

Many parents and students have wondered what CAS is exactly. It’s that word many seem to use often but don’t actually know what it means.

CAS is a part of an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) student’s personal development and it stands for Creativity, Action, and Service. It is a requirement for the IBDP and it requires IBDP students to gain experiences from extracurricular activities that can be classified as any number of the following CAS strands:
  • Creativity – exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance 
  • Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle 
  • Service – collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need 
The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the IBDP (Year 12) and it continues for 18 months (until the December of Year 13). IBDP students are encouraged to pick a range of activities to provide a balance between creativity, activity, and service. For each activity, students are required to write reflections and upload them on Managebac to record their CAS experiences and prove that they have completed them. CAS experiences are designed to achieve any number of the following seven learning outcomes:
  • Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth 
  • Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills in the process
  • Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience 
  • Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences 
  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively 
  • Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance 
  • Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
In addition to doing several extracurricular activities, CAS also requires that students do a CAS project. This is a special activity that should be of at least one month’s duration and students can work in groups of any size but each student must make valuable contributions. This project can address either any one or all of the CAS strands. It should help students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance and develop important life-skills such as problem-solving or decision-making. As their CAS project, the current IBDP1 students organized an international food fete at the 2019 Zambia UN day in order to raise money to plant trees around our school campus and sponsor a student to attend a government school.

The final aspect of CAS is the CAS interviews. These interviews are conducted by the CAS coordinator and they are designed to measure the progress of students in their CAS experiences. There is one interview at the beginning of CAS, one at the end of the first year and one at the end of CAS ("CAS Guide).

So what experiences have the current IBDP1 students chosen and how do they feel about them? The current IBDP1 class has a range of experiences from sports like basketball and volleyball; to creative activities such as Model United Nations (MUN) and battle of the bands; with various service activities, for example, Green Team, planting the trees donated by the Mayor of Lusaka, donating books to government schools such as Chasdale, etc. Many of the current IBDP1s have said that their CAS experiences were eye-opening. Some discovered a new hobby they would like to pursue; while others discovered a wider world through service.

Bibliography
Creativity, activity, service guide. International Baccalaureate Organisation, March 2015

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