Creativity, Activity, Service
Students in 11th and 12th grade are required to participate in and document activities outside of class, either community service, athletics, or creative activities. The recommended amount of hours is 2-3 per week. For most students, their regular extracurricular activities and sports count for these hours and they do not need to add anything extra to their schedule to fulfill this requirement.
The component’s three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:
•Creativity exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance. This may include visual and performing arts,
digital design, writing, film, culinary arts and crafts.
•Activity physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness
training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
•Service collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need. Through Service, students develop and
apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability
for their actions.
Service experiences can be approached using the Service Learning model. Service Learning is the development and application of knowledge and skills towards meeting an identified community need. In this research-based approach, students undertake service initiatives often related to topics studied in the curriculum, utilizing skills, understanding and values developed in these studies. Service Learning builds upon students’ prior knowledge and background, enabling them to make links between their academic disciplines and their Service experiences.
CAS encourages students to be involved in local, national and international activities as individuals and as part of a team, enabling them to enhance their personal, interpersonal, social and civic development. It can be both challenging and a personal journey of self-discovery. CAS activities are usually real and purposeful with significant outcomes, extending the student while involving planning, reviewing progress, reporting and reflection on outcomes and personal learning.
CAS activities are seen in a broader context, bearing in mind the maxim “Think globally, act locally”. Working with people from different social or cultural backgrounds in the vicinity of the school can do as much to increase mutual understanding as large international projects.
Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB diploma. CAS is not formally assessed but students need to document their activities and provide evidence that they have achieved all eight key learning outcomes.
Learning outcomes are differentiated from assessment objectives because they are not rated on a scale. The completion decision for the school in relation to each student is, simply, “Have these outcomes been achieved?” This focus on learning outcomes emphasizes that it is the activity’s contribution to the student’s development that is most important. The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is 150 hours, with a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service.
As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including reflections, there should be evidence that students have:
• Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth - They are able to see themselves as individuals with various skills and abilities, and understand that they can make choices about how to move forward.
• Undertaken new challenges - A new challenge may be an unfamiliar activity, or an extension to an existing one.
• Planned and initiated activities - Planning and initiation is often in collaboration with others. It can be shown in activities that are part of larger
projects, as well as in small student-led activities.
• Worked collaboratively with others - Collaboration can be shown in many different activities. At least one project, involving collaboration and the
integration of at least two of creativity, action and service, is required.
• Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities - At a minimum, this implies attending regularly and accepting a share of the responsibility for
dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities.
• Engaged with issues of global importance - Students may be involved in international projects but there are many global issues that can be acted upon
locally or nationally.
• Considered the ethical implications of their actions - Ethical decisions arise in almost any CAS activity, and evidence of thinking about ethical issues
can be shown in various ways.
• Developed new skills - As with new challenges, new skills may be shown in activities that the student has not previously undertaken, or in increased
expertise in an established area.
CAS and ethical education
Because it involves real activities with significant outcomes, CAS pro- vides a major opportunity for ethical education, understood as involving principles, attitudes and behavior. The emphasis in CAS is on helping students to develop their own identities, in accordance with the ethical principles embodied in the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile. Various ethical issues will arise naturally, and may be experienced as challenges to a student’s ideas, instinctive responses or ways of behaving.