When you think back to the most beautiful and positive memories of the school days, the mind usually recalls images that have little to do with classes’ times or sitting at a desk in front of a book.
More often, there are echoes of laughs among friends, compassionate words of a caring teacher, school’s sports competitions, group works and school projects.
The reason may be that our personal growth is formed beyond the school walls.
CAS is at the heart of the IB Diploma Programme, which pursues the development of the whole student personality, in line with the IB Learner Profile.
CAS is a core and mandatory part of the IB, whose holistic approach gives you the possibility to make choices helpful to strengthen your personality and support your self-discovery.
It consists of a collection of enjoyable and challenging experiences chosen by you, organized around three strands:
Creativity: A set of experiences that allows you to explore and develop your ideas, leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
Action: Physical effort and endurance leading to a healthy lifestyle and positive well-being.
Service: Collaborative and mutually beneficial community engagement in response to an authentic need.
(IB CAS Guide 2017)
CAS is not formally assessed, however it is an essential component to achieve your IB Diploma. Therefore, you are expected to document your progress, in a wide range of ways: pictures, blogs, writings, videos…
CAS is meant to help the student achieve 7 learning outcomes, including personal growth, new challenges, risks and initiatives, perseverance and commitment, collaboration, global engagement and ethics. The programme is run for about 18 months, balancing the activities in the three different strands.
Students cultivate different hobbies and are engaged in several activities outside the school hours: sports, music, theatre, book or movie club, helping young kids with their homework.
The most significant aspect of the CAS programme is that it allows hobbies, interests and passions to be considered core part of the student’s academic and personal growth.
What allows to turn something you do for fun into a valuable CAS activity is Reflection.
Reflection is the pivotal aspects of CAS, which is developed throughout the whole programme: it is what allows you to explore your ideas, your strengths and your weaknesses, to solve a problem and make your own choices.
The CAS Coordinator and the School Advisors will make sure that you are on the right track, supporting your reflections with interviews and meetings.
So, what is CAS?
A set of hands-on-life experiences that go beyond the school curriculum.
Many activities may fall within the CAS vision: some will be offered at School, others may be inspired by the students and developed according to their ideas and interests.
Get familiar with our Co-curricular programme by looking at our website.
And, how do I approach it?
Find out what you really want to experience and what is close to your heart. You will find the CAS opportunities that best fit you.
Then try to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, discovering new interests and taking some risks: but remember, it must be safe and enjoyable.
CAS is all about exploration and self-discovery. The outcome might be amazing: you will have the possibility to figure out what you want to become in life.
Once I was asked: “If CAS were a book, how would you have titled it?”
With no hesitation, I replied “A journey inside yourself”.
So take advantage of this opportunity and make sure you have fun!