Brent International School Baguio
Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s Diploma Programme experience. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. Over the two-year programme you must engage in activities outside the classroom and develop a number of personal skills and achieve the eight learning outcomes specified by the IBO. CAS activities should continue on a regular basis for as long as possible throughout the programme, and certainly for at least 18 months.
WHAT IS CAS?
CAS is about taking risks, exploring, challenging oneself, and personal development.
CAS is designed to encourage students to take up NEW ROLES and to learn NEW SKILLS.
Although there are three elements – Creativity, Action, Service, it is important not to consider them as mutually exclusive.
It is based on the philosophy of the International Baccalaureate programme – learning beyond the classroom.
CAS programme is a reflective process, and not merely a record of hours clocked in.
Creativity is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of arts and other activities outside the normal curriculum, which include creative thinking in the design and carrying out of service projects.
Action can include participation in expeditions, individual and team sports, and physical activities outside the normal curriculum; it also includes physical activity involved in carrying out creative and service projects. Action may involve participation in sports or other activities requiring physical exertion – such as expeditions and camping trips, or digging trenches to lay water pipes to bring fresh water to a village. Students should be encouraged towards group and team activities, and undertaking new roles, but an individual commitment is acceptable where the general requirements of CAS are met, goals are set, and the student reflects on progress.
Service involves interaction, such as the building of links with individuals or groups in the community. Service activities should not only involve doing things for others but also doing things with others and developing a real commitment with them. The relationship should therefore show respect for the dignity and self-respect of others.
WHAT IS NOT CAS?
Any class, activity or project, which is already part of the student’s Diploma Programme.
An activity for which a student is personally rewarded either financially or with some other benefit (unless this benefit is passed on in full to a worthy cause).
Doing simple, tedious and repetitive work, like returning school library books to the shelves.
A passive pursuit, such as a visit to a museum, theatre, art exhibition, concert or sports event, unless it clearly inspires work in a related activity in which a student is already engaged.
All forms of duty within the family.
Religious devotion and any activity that can be interpreted as proselytizing.
Work experience that only benefits the student.
Fund-raising with no clearly defined end in sight.
An activity where there is no leader or responsible adult on site to evaluate and confirm student performance.
Activities that cause division amongst different groups in the community.
One-off activities such as tree planting for a day, joining a beach cleanup day or joining a parade.
Generally, CAS is not taking place when the student is in a passive rather than an active role. There should be INTERACTION. If the student is passive, nothing of real value, either for the student or for other people, results from what the student is doing, and no real reflection is possible. In such circumstances the student will be able to meet the objectives of CAS only to a very limited extent.
AIMS of CAS
The aims of the CAS programme are to develop students who are:
Reflective thinkers – to understand your own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
Willing to accept new challenges and new roles
Aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
Active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
Balanced – to enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.
As a result of your CAS experience as a whole, including reflections, you should be able to demonstrate that you have met each of the following outcomes:
increased awareness of your own strengths and areas for growth
You are able to see yourself as an individual with various skills and abilities, some more developed than others, and understand that you can make choices about how you wish to move forward.
A new challenge may be an unfamiliar activity, or an extension of an existing one.
planned and initiated activities
Planning and initiation will often be in collaboration with others. It can be shown in activities that are part of larger projects, for example, ongoing school activities in the local community, as well as in small student-led activities.
worked collaboratively with others
Collaboration can be shown in many different activities, such as team sports, playing music in band, or helping in a kindergarten. It is required to have at least one project involving collaboration and the integration of at least two aspects of creativity, action and service.
shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
At a minimum, this implies attending regularly and accepting a share of the responsibilities for dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities.
engaged with issues of global importance
You may be involved in international projects but there are many global issues that can be acted upon locally or nationally (for example, environmental concerns, caring for the elderly).
considered the ethical implications of your actions
Ethical decisions arise in almost any CAS activity (for example, on the sports field, in musical compositions, in relationships with others involved in service activities). Evidence of thinking about ethical issues can be shown in various ways, including journal / blog entries and conversations with CAS advisers.
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.
You must achieve all eight learning outcomes to complete the CAS requirement. Some maybe demonstrated many times, in a variety of activities, but completion requires only that there is some evidence for every outcome. This focus on learning outcomes emphasizes that it is the quality of the CAS activity (its contribution to your development) that is most important. The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is approximately the equivalent of half a day per school week (three to four hours per week), with a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STUDENT
Your personal CAS programme should genuinely engage you and you should feel that you “own” it. It should be built on activities that are meaningful to you and to others. With the guidance of the school, you are given the opportunity to choose your own activities and to initiate new ones as appropriate.
You are required to:
Self-review at the beginning of your CAS experience and to set personal goals for what you hope to achieve through this programme.
Plan, do and reflect. That is, plan your activities, carry them out and reflect on what you have learned.
Undertake at least two interim reviews and a final review with your CAS Adviser/CAS Coordinator.
Take part in a range of activities, including at least one collaborative project of significant duration, some of which you have initiated yourself.
Keep records of your activities and achievements, including a list of principal activities undertaken.
Show evidence of achievement of the eight CAS learning outcomes.
Answer these questions:
What do I plan to do? Describe your activity.
Where will it occur?
When will I participate?
How will I be involved?
Why am I going to be involved in this activity?
What are my measurable goals?
CHOOSING AN ACTIVITY
You must choose carefully considering the CAS guidelines.
All activities must have new, measurable goals.
You must learn new skills and meet new challenges.
A project/activity must continue for a minimum of four weeks.
Each project must be documented and verifiable.
CAS is more than just volunteering. You must have a plan.
Join school activities that require active participation.
The most important aspect of evaluation is self-evaluation by the student. BISB, through the CAS Coordinator, will provide formative feedback on progress and offer guidance on future activities. The school also makes the final decision on completion, which is reported to the IB regional office.
Evaluation by the Student
CAS Folder (journal, diary, portfolio containing written, and perhaps visual, evidence of the student’s involvement) or CAS Blog
Evidence of planning and organization
Evidence of commitment and effort – activity log and supervisor evaluations
The student’s personal achievement and development, taking into account skills, attitudes and values at the start of the activity.
Evidence of reflection throughout their CAS activities.
Evaluation by the School
Evaluation by the Activity Supervisor, including comments on each activity/project supervised.
Evaluation by the CAS Coordinator (two interim review and a final review), including guidance given during the course of CAS
10 sample pages of student’s CAS (ongoing) documentation. These sample pages, which may, for example, be photocopied journal pages or printouts from electronic logs/blogs, must include a list of the principal activities undertaken and evidence of both planning and reflection. For one or more activities, it must be possible for the reader to tell what happened, why it happened, how it happened, what its value was and what you have learned from it.
Brent International School Baguio is required to compile and keep full records of each Diploma Programme student’s CAS performance. These records will facilitate the writing of full evaluation comments for future transcripts, for transferring to another school and for giving to the regional office on request.
REFLECTION, RECORDING AND REPORTING CAS ACTIVITIES
For any activity, it is appropriate to ask the following questions.
What did I plan to do?
What did I do?
What were the outcomes, for me and the team I was working with, and others?
Did I meet my goals? Why or why not?
The difficulty lies in the complexity of the possible answers. Writing is only one possible way to reflect. You may also choose to make scrapbooks, photo essays, or web logs. You may use journals or other varied portfolios.
Moving on from the “What…?” questions outlined earlier, experiential learners might consider, where appropriate, for themselves and others, and for each stage of an activity (before, during and after):
How you felt
What you perceived
What you thought about the activity
What the activity meant to you
What the value of the activity was
What you learned from the activity and how this learning (for example, a change of perspective) might apply more widely
Recording and Reporting
You should document all your CAS activities, noting in particular your reflections upon experiences. This documentation may take many forms, including blogs, illustrated displays and videos, and written notes.
THE CAS BLOG
The CAS Blog is a very important part of the CAS experience. In addition to providing an excellent platform for reflection, it is an important record of activities, which will aid you in the required self-evaluations.
The first blog entry for a new activity must include a clear statement of your goals for participation in the activity. Writing your proposal for the activity should fulfill this requirement. Your final entry for the activity should include information about whether or not your goals (and please indicate which of the learning outcomes you have achieved) were met, how, why or why not. Writing your Self-Evaluation on your blog should fulfill this requirement.
You may include photographs or videos of your activities. You may substitute a written self-evaluation with a recording of a reflective discussion or with a presentation.
CAS ACTIVITY SELF-EVALUATION: Guide for Final Reflection Essay
Students must complete a self-evaluation essay upon completion of each CAS activity. This must be written within two weeks of completing the activity. Your essay should explore your experience.
Consider the following questions when writing your essay:
Describe the activity. What did you do at each stage? Include dates where relevant.
What did you hope to accomplish by this activity? What did you actually accomplish?
What difficulties did you encounter? Did you feel at any stage that you were failing to achieve what you wanted from this activity?
What did you hope to learn from this activity, about yourself, about others, or about academic subjects? (For example: self-confidence, modesty, curiosity, objectivity, new skills, determination and the ability to meet challenges).
What did you learn from the activity and what evidence could support the learning that took place?
Did anyone help you during this activity? If so, describe the help given.
Read the CAS guide, take notes, ask questions, and actively engage in the process of owning your CAS programme. This is your CAS programme – you must develop, execute and evaluate it. You are required to fill up a CAS Planning form at the beginning of year 11 and at the beginning of year 12. Understand that your CAS programme is a constant work in progress, never static, always changing. Just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done. Think creatively!
Locate a worthy CAS activity/project to undertake.
All activities MUST have NEW, MEASURABLE goals.
You MUST learn NEW skills and meet NEW challenges.
A project/activity MUST continue for a minimum of four weeks.
Each project MUST be documented and verifiable.
CAS is MORE than just VOLUNTEERING. You must have a plan.
Join school activities that require active participation.
Your CAS programme should have a balance of activities in all three components of CAS.
Write a proposal as your first entry for your blog about the activity before starting it especially if it is monitored by an external supervisor and/or held outside school. Your CAS Coordinator needs to be aware of what you are doing so that s/he can have a record of your activities and verify it is an appropriate CAS activity.
Consider the following when writing your proposal:
Describe the activity you wish to undertake.
What are your personal goals for this activity? What do you anticipate learning?
Who will benefit from this activity?
Where, how often, and for how long will the activity take place?
Provide information about the activity supervisor (name and contact details)
Once the proposed activity has been approved, start your activity and update your CAS Diary or Blog at least fortnightly. Get your supervisor to log every individual time spent on the activity in your activity log. All this contributes to evidence of up to 10 sample pages from your ongoing CAS documentation.
Upon completion of the activity, properly reflect on your overall experience. The reflective essay must be written within 2 weeks after the completion of the activity. It must contain evidence that you have achieved the required learning outcomes.
Failure to meet the CAS expectations on a MONTHLY basis will result in a warning. A second warning will place you on probation for the remainder of the IB program. Parents and/or guardians will be notified and a plan to help you be successful will be developed. Failure to meet the outlined expectations could result in removal from the IB program.