The acronym CAS permeates our Upper School, but what does it mean? Broken down into the categories of Creativity, Activity, Service, CAS is an integral part of the IB Diploma Programme. However, for us, CAS programmes in the Middle and Senior Schools also facilitate sustained student engagement and learning in our local and global communities, often beyond the traditional classroom. At the heart of CAS is the goal to develop opportunities for youth to explore, embrace and embody the ethos of what it means to be a global citizen.
The idea is to balance these three elements, complementing the academic programme:
- Creativity: develops a student’s sense of original thinking and expression and is interpreted as imaginatively as possible. The form is limitless and may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts, crafts and composition.
- Activity: an element of physical recreation that promotes lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, aerobic exercise, dance, outdoor recreation, expeditions, and fitness training.
- Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit. It involves collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need. Students work to understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society while developing and applying personal and social skills in real-life situations.
Alongside these three areas of development, Mulgrave students identify growth opportunities in five competencies which promote global-local engagement and understanding: school engagement, collaboration, intercultural skills, leadership, and personal health and wellness.
CAS is an ongoing effort throughout the year. Right now, students in Grades 7-12 are setting goals related to efforts in creativity, action, and service, which focus on personal outcomes (vs tasks). With their advisor’s support, students monitor and report on their goals using the five competencies (G7-10) or IB CAS Learning Outcomes (G11-12) as the basis for their reflections.
Here’s an excerpt from a Grade 9 reflection related to a creative goal of joining various school clubs to broaden horizons: “During this (Model United Nations) conference, I engaged in discussions of real-world issues, proposing creative and original resolutions to the series of presented problems. This event helped me grow in both leadership and collaboration, as it required me to frequently discuss and work with other delegates to solve problems, and I was able to both take the position of a listener and a speaker. Moreover, this event helped me grow intercultural skills, as I gained more understanding of this world issue through research and tried to interpret it from the perspectives of various groups of people with different cultural backgrounds. Representing a country and discussing the topic from its view also allowed me to be aware of cultural differences and become more empathetic.”
For more information, see the MYP CAS Guide and DP CAS Guide.