Presentation of CAS at KG
CAS is short for Creativity, Action and Service. It is a framework for experiential learning, designed to involve students in challenging new roles. The emphasis is on learning by doing real tasks that have real consequences and then reflecting on these experiences over time in order achieve personal development. The process of planning, doing, then reflecting on what has been achieved, provides an excellent opportunity to extend what is learned in the classroom.
When you look at the Diploma hexagon you see that CAS is central to the IB programme. That is also the reason why any students not passing CAS will not be awarded the IB diploma. Compared to the other subjects, CAS is also special since it is taking place outside the ordinary timetable!
The CAS programme must be followed regularly throughout the two years of the Diploma Programme and requires a total of minimum 150 hours (equivalent to 2-3 hours per school week!) to be spent in the three sub categories during this period – with time distributed reasonably evenly between C, A and S. Creativity is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of arts and other activities outside the normal IB-curriculum (e.g. music, drama/theatre, dancing, arts). These activities may also include creative thinking in the design and carrying out/planning of action and service activities/projects. Action can include participation in expeditions, individual and team sports, and many different kinds of physical activities which may also be involved in carrying out creativity and service activities/projects. Serviceinvolves interaction such as the building of links with individuals or groups in the community and providing help where needed. The community may be the school, the local district, or it may exist at national or international levels. Service activities/projects should not only involve doing things for others, but also doing things with others and developing a real commitment with them.
We distinguish between activities that last for less than 10 hours and projects that last for 10 hours or more. We encourage the students to aim for projects in each category and avoid activities lasting for less than 5 hours (since these often give rise to only limited personal development!). Beside that we require of each student to have at least one long term project (stretching over more than 4 months) and a service activity/project helping out an official voluntary organisation in the local community.
From the above ?hour counting? might seem like the most important aspect of CAS. This is however not the case. CAS is quality, not quantity! (the number of hours are just guidelines).
CAS programmes are not rated on the regular 7 scale, but in order to complete CAS the student must fulfil the 8 learning outcomes by proving that they have:
- Increased their awareness of own strengths and areas for growth
- Undertaken new challenges
- Planned and initiated activities
- Worked collaboratively with others
- Shown perseverance and commitment in the activity/project
- Engaged with issues of global importance
- Considered the ethical implications of their actions
- Developed new skills
Some of these are demonstrated in several activities/projects while others will be displayed only two times. It is crucial that one activity/project targets only 2-4 of the above learning outcomes in order to keep focus!
The school will offer some activities/projects for students which meet the aims of CAS, but to ensure a variety of activities/projects and an interesting individual balanced programme it is much better that students bring forward their own ideas and arrange activities/projects which meet their own needs. The three aspects of CAS may be carried out separately, or even better two or three aspects could be integrated into the same activity/project.