Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)
Aims of CAS
CAS provides the main opportunity to develop many of the attributes described in the IB learner profile. The CAS program aims to develop students who:
- Enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences
- 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 communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
CAS Learning Outcomes
CAS Learning Outcomes
- Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth. Students are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others.
- Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process. A new challenge may be an unfamiliar experience or an extension of an existing one. The newly acquired or developed skills may be shown through experiences that the student has not previously undertaken or through increased expertise in an established area.
- Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience. Students can articulate the stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences. This may be accomplished in collaboration with other participants. Students may show their knowledge and awareness by building on a previous experience, or by launching a new idea or process.
- Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences. Students demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS.
- Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively. Students are able to identify, demonstrate and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.
- Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance. Students are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue through local, national or international action. Think globally but act locally.
- Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions. Students show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.
- Recognize and consider collegiate studies and career choices Students are able to identify and demonstrate their how their future career goals and/or collegiate studies engages with the issues of their community.
Responsibilities of the CAS Student
Responsibility of the CAS Student
Key to a student’s CAS program is personal engagement, choice and enjoyment of CAS experiences. Throughout the Grade 11 and 12 years students undertake a variety of CAS experiences, ideally on a weekly basis, for a minimum of 18 months. Students reflect on CAS experiences at significant moments throughout CAS and maintain a CAS portfolio. Using evidence from their CAS portfolio, students will demonstrate achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes to the CAS coordinator’s satisfaction.
CAS students are expected to:
- Approach CAS with a proactive attitude
- Develop a clear understanding of CAS expectations and the purpose of CAS
- Explore personal values, attitudes and attributes with reference to the IB learner profile and mission statement
- Determine personal goals
- Discuss plans for CAS experiences with the CAS Coordinator and/or CAS Mentor
- Understand and apply the CAS stages where appropriate
- Take part in a variety of experiences, some of which are self-initiated, and at least one CAS project
- Become more aware of personal interests, skills and talents and observe how these evolve throughout CAS
- Maintain a CAS portfolio and keep records of CAS experiences including evidence of achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes in Managebac
- Understand the reflection process and identify suitable opportunities to reflect on CAS experiences
- Demonstrate accomplishments within their CAS program
- Communicate with the CAS Coordinator/Mentor and/or CAS supervisor in formal and informal meetings
- Ensure a suitable balance between creativity, activity and service in their CAS program
- Behave appropriately and ethically in their choices and behaviors.
What is CAS?
What is CAS?
Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Program and should continue on a weekly basis for at least 18 months. For student development to occur, CAS should involve these criteria:
- fit within one or more of the CAS strands
- be enjoyable
- be based on a personal interest, skill, talent or opportunity for growth
- provide opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile
- meet one or more of the CAS learning outcomes
- is active, not passive
- have a meaningful purpose or present a new challenge
- not be used or included in the student’s Diploma course requirements
- must have a supervisor (not a parent) who confirms completion of experiences
What counts for CAS?
The experience is paid
Not eligible for CAS
The experience is not paid
Go to 2
The experience will be used as part of a Diploma subject for CAS
Not eligible for CAS
The experience is independent of the Diploma course
Go to 3
The experience will be routine, not allowing for personal development
Not eligible for CAS
The experience will allow enjoyment and personal growth
Go to 4
The experience is too routine or brief to merit reflection for CAS
Not eligible for CAS
The experience is worthy of reflection
Go to 5
The experience falls within the Creativity strand
Go to 6
The experience involves the passive attendance of another’s creativity
Not eligible for CAS
The experience involves original thinking, leading to a product
Eligible for Creativity
The experience falls within the Activity strand
Go to 8
This Activity involves “getting sweaty”; is a truly physical activity
Eligible for Activity
Could not be described as physical exertion
Not eligible for A, but could for C or S
The experience falls within the Service strand
Go to 10
This service engages with the community to address a need
Eligible for Service
Raising money for a cause
Go to 12
Awareness raising and communication with the beneficiaries
Eligible for Service
No awareness of the organization, routine activities
Not eligible for CAS
Arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
This may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts, crafts and composition. Students are encouraged to engage in creative endeavors that move them beyond the familiar, broadening their scope from conventional to unconventional thinking.
There are many approaches to creativity, such as:
- Ongoing creativity: Students may continue in creativity as part of a school group or club, or through some other form of sustained creativity. However, students could further extend and develop their participation if appropriate.
- School-based creativity: Students are encouraged to participate in meaningful creativity and to explore their own sense of original thinking and expression. Students can enroll in classes at San Juan College and/or participate in school clubs.
- Community-based creativity: Creativity experiences best occur with a regularity that builds and sustains relationships while allowing the growth of students’ talents, interests, emotional responses, and imagination. For example, students could 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: Solitary creativity experiences (composing music, developing a website, writing short fiction stories, creating arts and crafts, or painting a series of portraits) 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.
Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
Pursuits may include individual and team sports, aerobic exercise, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
There are many approaches to activity, such as:
- Ongoing activity: Students may continue an existing activity; however, they should set personal goals related to the principles of CAS. Students could extend and develop their participation if appropriate.
- School-based activity: These can include: PE class, a school sports club, or timetabled sports sessions. Students may elect to initiate a school-based activity such as basketball or volleyball and engage other students.
- Community-based activity: Single events of activity can lack depth and meaning. Activity experiences best occur with regularity. 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, or an aerobics class.
- Individual activity: Solitary activity experiences (attending a gym, bicycling, roller-skating, swimming, or strength conditioning) are of most benefit when they take place over an extended duration of time. Students should set personal goals and work towards these in a sustained and correctly applied manner. Keeping traditional activities sustained through Song and Dance, Pow Wow dancing, horseback riding, and rodeo are acceptable.
An unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student)
Four types of service action (engaging with different types of service is recommended)
- 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.
- Indirect service: Students must verify their actions will benefit the community or environment. Examples are: re- designing a non-profit organization’s website or writing original picture books to teach a language.
- Advocacy: Students speak on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest (hunger campaign, performing a play on replacing bullying with respect, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions.)
- Research: Students collect, analyze, and report on a topic to influence change (environmental surveys, effective means to reduce litter in public spaces, or interview people on topics such as homelessness or unemployment.
Approaches to service
- Ongoing service: When a plan of action is implemented over time, students develop perseverance and commitment.
- School-based service: Service needs met at a school may prepare students for further action within the larger community; for example, by tutoring within the school, students may then be better prepared to tutor at a center.
- Community-based service: This advances student awareness and understanding of social issues and solutions. However, single incidents of engagement with individuals in a service context can lack depth and meaning.
- Immediate need service: In response to a disaster, students quickly attempt to assess the need and devise a planned response. Later, the students should investigate the issue to understand causes and commit to further service.
- Fundraising: Students should develop their understanding of the organization they choose to support and the issues being addressed. Sharing the rationale for the fundraising educates others and advocates the chosen cause.
- International service: Students must understand the circumstances of an authenticated need to support their involvement. Students benefit most when able to make clear links to parallel issues in their local environs.
- Volunteerism: Before volunteering, student should gain prior knowledge of the context and the service need.
- Service arising from the curriculum: Teachers can plan units with service learning opportunities in mind.
Ideas for CAS Experiences
Activity Ideas: (Non-IB classes count for CAS)
- Team sport (on-campus or off-campus) – all practice and games count
- Individual sport (bowling, golfing, rodeo, swimming, mountain biking, running etc.) 3. Cheerleading, Dancing
- Martial arts classes
- Yoga, Pilates, Zumba
- Marathon or fundraising run (need to train for it)
- Join a gym, set up a workout plan and stick to it!
- Hiking expedition
- Learn to ski or snowboard this winter
- Teach sports to kids who don’t get an opportunity to learn (A/S)
Creativity Ideas: (Non-IB classes and clubs at school count)
- CCH classes (band, choir, robotics, art, etc.)
- Take driver’s license lessons to earn your license
- Singing in church choir or teaching Sunday school
- Learn a musical instrument or extend what you are already doing
- Debating or public speaking competitions, write for a magazine or newspaper
- Participate in a school musical, play, lip sync battle
- Design and create a mural at school (C/S)
- Learn an especially challenging piece of music/ dance routine (C/A, if dance)
- Choreograph and participate in a dance routine for dance production (C/A)
- Perform music or dance in a new or especially challenging context (public audience, competition)
- Plan a musical program and perform for hospital patients. (C/S)
- Teach art/music/dance to another person/group of people. (C/S)
- Design a website for a school/non-profit/charity organization. (C/S)
- Design a series of after school tutoring sessions. (C/S).
- Create a mini photography portfolio with a clearly defined theme, objective, and goal.
- Design video games, coding, set up video game competition to raise funds/awareness.
Service Ideas: (Need to find a variety of Service types)
- Tutor at a local elementary school
- Work as a teacher’s aide in a local elementary school
- Volunteer to help play with orphans at local orphanage
- Teach singing/piano/guitar as a lunchtime or after school club (S/C)
- Visit the hospital and chat to the residents, or teach them a new craft/skill
- Volunteer to teach a workshop at a local internet café on writing a resume (S/C)
- Organize a beach clean-up with your friends.
- Campaign the local government on an issue you feel strongly about
- Become certified in CPR/First Aid at local Red Cross.
- Serve as a translator for school activities as and when needed.
- Design and perform a creative skit about healthy eating habits for lower school (S/C)
- Design a poster campaign for healthy eating (S/C)
- Work Experience/Internship (unpaid work in a hospital, kindergarten) (C/A/S)
What is Not CAS?
CAS is not an hour counting exercise. It should be an interesting variety of experiences that you find intrinsically worthwhile and rewarding, and which is mutually beneficial to you and to your community. Generally, CAS is not taking place when you are in a passive role, but rather an active role. There should be interaction. If you are passive, nothing of real value, either for you or for other people, results from what you are doing.
Examples of activities that may be inappropriate are listed below:
- Any class, activity or project that is already part of the Diploma Program
- An activity for personal reward, financial or benefit-in-kind
- Simple, tedious and repetitive work
- A passive pursuit, e.g. museum, theater, exhibition, concert visits
- Work experience that only benefits the student
- Fundraising with no clearly defined end in sight
- An activity that causes division amongst different groups in the community
- Working in an elderly or children's home when you:
- Have no idea of how the home operates
- Have no contact at all with the elderly or children
- Actually do no service for other people/animals/environment
- An activity where there is no responsible adult on site to evaluate your performance
The five CAS stages are as follows and must be demonstrated in all series of experiences and the CAS project. A single one-time experience does not require these stages.
- 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.
- 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.
- Action: Students implement their idea or plan. This often requires decision-making and problem solving. Students may work individually, with partners, or in groups.
- 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.
- 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.
The IB and the learner profile attributes encourage students to be risk-takers; however, this does not mean that students or teachers should be encouraged to take unnecessary risks or place themselves in danger. The key to safely taking risks is having the ability to fully understand the nature of the risk being taken and how to mitigate potentially dangerous outcomes where necessary. As such, schools need to strike the right balance between protecting students from risk and allowing students to participate in CAS experiences.
When planning a CAS experience in which participants may be exposed to hazards, it is important that risks are identified and assessed. The IB requires that schools always comply with the pertinent local health and safety laws and regulations both in and out of the classroom. In addition, the IB provides the following guidelines on assessing the potential risk of a CAS experience.
- Schools and teachers should ensure adequate systems are in place to assess and mitigate the risk of any CAS experience.
- The school should ensure the staff organizing and supervising CAS experiences are fully supported throughout the risk assessment process.
- In order to prevent risk assessment from becoming a barrier to CAS experiences, schools should develop risk assessment systems that are proportionate to the level of risk. Although CAS experiences must be properly planned and assessed, experiences presenting a lower-risk level should be quicker and easier to assess and organize than higher-risk experiences.
- Where risks are identified, schools should ensure that all potential stakeholders (colleagues, students and parents) are informed of both the risk and any precautions or contingency plans that will be implemented in order to minimize the risk.
Reflection is a dynamic means for self-knowing, learning and decision-making. Reflection should occur before, during and after the CAS experience (one reflection is sufficient for single experiences). Four elements assist in the reflective process. The first two elements form the foundation of reflection. The last two elements add greater depth and expand perspectives.
- Describing what happened: Students retell their memorable moments, identifying what was important or influential, what went well or was difficult, obstacles and successes (include the learning outcome(s) they addressed).
- Expressing feelings: Students articulate emotional responses to their experiences.
- How did I feel about the challenges?
- What happened that prompted particular feelings?
- What choices might have resulted in different feelings and outcomes?
- Generating ideas: Rethinking or re-examining choices and actions increases awareness about self and situations.
- Why did I make this particular choice?
- How did this experience reflect my personal ideas and values?
- In what ways am I being challenged to think differently about myself and others?
- Asking questions: Questions about people, processes or issues prompt further thinking and ongoing inquiry.
*It must be possible for the IBO evaluator to tell: what happened, why it happened, how it happened, what value it was, what the student learned from it, and how they achieved each learning outcome.
Forms of Reflection
During CAS, the form of reflection must take into account student choice. The student who understands the purpose and process of reflection would choose the appropriate moment, select the method and decide on the amount of time needed. The ultimate intention is for students to be independently reflective. Student reflection may be expressed through a paragraph, a dialogue, a poem, a comic strip, a dramatic performance, a letter, a photograph, a dance, or other forms of expression. Students find greater value and purpose when they apply their own interests, skills and talents when reflecting. They discover that reflection can be internal and private or external and shared. It is possible students may wish to keep private certain reflections. As such, it is recommended that students decide which reflections will be placed in their CAS portfolio. Students should include reflections in their CAS portfolio that give evidence to achieving each of the seven CAS learning outcomes.
- Take photographs while hiking and use these to reflect in writing.
- Compose a song describing how they helped children.
- Dramatize a poem to capture a feeling of creative endeavour
- Produce a short video summarizing a CAS experience.
- Create a poster highlighting aspects of a shared experience.
There must be a minimum of three interviews between a student and the CAS coordinator/adviser where student progress is discussed and appropriate encouragement and advice is given. If concerns arise, particularly with respect to successful completion of the CAS program, a letter will be sent home to parents notifying that the student is in jeopardy of not meeting the requirements for the IB Diploma.
- Initial interview (September of Grade 11):
- The CAS coordinator ensures the student understands the requirements for CAS, explains the CAS learning outcomes and how the student might achieve these outcomes, discusses the student’s interests and ideas for CAS experiences, determines what form the student’s CAS portfolio should take, and reviews the CAS stages.
- Second interview (by end of Grade 11):
- The main purpose of the interview is to assess the progress of the student in CAS. The students should have committed to a range of CAS experiences, achieved several CAS learning outcomes, and carried out/planned a CAS project. The student’s CAS portfolio is used as evidence.
- Third interview (end of Grade 12):
- This is the summative interview for CAS. In this interview the student outlines how they have achieved the learning outcomes for CAS. In addition, they discuss and evaluate their overall CAS program and reflect on personal growth. The student’s CAS portfolio is used as reference in this interview.
How to Build your Portfolio
Students must maintain a portfolio throughout the 18 months of CAS for the Coordinator/Mentor to monitor at least three times.
- At the beginning of Grade 11
- At the end of Grade 11
- At the end of the CAS program.
The student’s portfolio must demonstrate the following:
In this section, students include their interests, skills and talents, plans and goals for their CAS program. At the start of CAS, students map their interests against the three strands of CAS to identify possible CAS experiences. Students should include their initial interest inventories and planning forms.
- Self-review questionnaire
- CAS Planning form
This section chronicles the student’s journey in CAS, incorporating a variety of reflections, learning moments, personal achievements, and how they have utilized the CAS stages. This section would demonstrate that the student has actively engaged in his or her individual CAS program. All throughout CAS, students can add their reflections regarding their ongoing personal development and self- awareness. You must complete your CAS experience in Managebac with your CAS planning documented in your description followed by evidence then by reflections.
CAS Activity worksheet (Managebac)
- Each experience must be pre-approved by the CAS Mentor before you begin.
- Enter a detailed description in Managebac that includes the needs/goals of your CAS experience
- Collect evidence to document your experience. Evidence could include, but is not limited to, planning documents, letters, emails, certificates, acknowledgments of participation and achievements, photographs, videos, and so on. Every CAS experience must have evidence uploaded.
- Reflection should be ongoing, not done one time at the end. The length of your reflection should match the length of your commitment. Students could correlate their involvement with the CAS learning outcomes and may extend their thoughts to future ambitions within and outside the CAS program.
- Reflections can be completed either by typing directly into Managebac or uploading a pre-written document, photos, blog links, podcast, etc. You can use photos, videos, interpretive dance, a skit and so much more as part of your reflection. See section XIII for more information.
Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB diploma and equally an OSSD diploma of graduation.
- Satisfactory evidence of CAS experiences continuing throughout the 18 months of the program and are balanced across Creativity, Activity and Service.
- Documentation and reflection of all CAS experiences with sufficient evidence of all seven key learning outcomes is shown.
- Met with the CAS Coordinator/Mentor three times throughout the two years.
- Satisfactory completion of at least one long-term group project that the student initiated.
- Satisfactory completion of Final CAS Portfolio reviewed at the end of the CAS Program in March of Grade 12.
Evaluation is divided into initial evaluation, progress evaluation and final evaluation.
- Completed in September/October of Grade 11
- CAS Coordinator will meet with the student to go over documents
- CAS Mentor will review and evaluate documents.
- CAS Mentor will complete the Formal CAS Monitoring Form
- Quarterly CAS Progress Monitoring Check is submitted to CAS Mentor
- Formal meeting with CAS Coordinator at the end of junior year to monitor student progress. CAS coordinator will complete the Formal CAS Monitoring Form
- In March of Grade 12, student will submit the full portfolio.
- Final formal meeting will be held in the spring and CAS Coordinator will complete the CAS Final Program Evaluation form
When a CAS project addresses the CAS strand of service (known as service project), students must take into account the opinions and expectations of others involved and focus on meaningful and authentic needs to ensure actions are respectful and reciprocal. Awareness of the possible impact and consequences of the students’ actions should be part of the planning process. Where possible, service projects should involve working alongside community members with ongoing communication. When the service project involves the use of an external facilitator such as a non-government organization or a commercial provider, care should be taken to ensure that the facilitator acts in accordance with the IB mission statement and CAS requirements.
A service project that includes interaction with and appreciation of diverse social or cultural backgrounds can increase international-mindedness and engagement with issues of global significance. International service projects are acceptable if clear goals and outcomes are established, understood, and based on the expectation of compelling benefits expected for all stakeholders. If a service project is conducted outside the local context, it is recommended that there is some form of continuation. For example, students could research the community served and educate themselves further about the issues involved, develop an advocacy programme for the served community, or develop greater awareness of a related need in their local community leading to some form of local action. This may inspire the next group of CAS students.
For any service project it is important to ensure that there is:
- A genuine need for the service project, which has been stated and agreed upon by the potential partners
- If required, a liaison officer who has a good relationship with the community where the service project is based
- An understanding of the level of student participation that is feasible in the service project
- A clear assessment of potential risks to participating students
- Approval from the school administration for the service project
- A demonstration of how the CAS stages were followed
- A thorough evaluation of the benefits of the service project for all involved.
Purposeful relationships between students and community members leading to sustainable service projects are potentially the most rewarding for all concerned. As community needs change, students’ responses should also evolve to meet these new circumstances. When a service project initiated by one group is adopted by other students, the new students must ensure the need is authentic or make the necessary adjustments and ensure their contribution is relevant.