Skip to main content
Catholic Central High School
Admissions & Registration
Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)

 

…if you believe in something, you must not just think or talk or write, but must act.”

(Peterson 2003)

CAS is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning from the PYP and MYP.

CAS is organized around the three strands of creativity, activity and service defined as follows.

 

  • Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance
  • Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
  • Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need

 

As a shining beacon of our values, CAS enables students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognize their role in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.

CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development. A meaningful CAS programme is a journey of discovery of self and others. For many, CAS is profound and life-changing. Each individual student has a different starting point and different needs and goals. A CAS programme is, therefore, individualized according to student interests, skills, values and background.

The school and students must give CAS as much importance as any other element of the Diploma Programme and ensure sufficient time is allocated for engagement in the CAS programme. The CAS stages offer a helpful and supportive framework and continuum of process for CAS students.

Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, students reflect on their CAS experiences and provide evidence in their CAS portfolios of achieving the seven learning outcomes.

The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the Diploma Programme and continues regularly, ideally on a weekly basis, for at least 18 months with a reasonable balance between creativity, activity, and service.

All CAS students are expected to maintain and complete a CAS portfolio as evidence of their engagement with CAS. The CAS portfolio is a collection of evidence that showcases CAS experiences and for student reflections; it is not formally assessed.

Completion of CAS is based on student achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes. Through their CAS portfolio, students provide the school with evidence demonstrating achievement of each learning outcome.

Students engage in CAS experiences involving one or more of the three CAS strands. A CAS experience can be a single event or may be an extended series of events.

Further, students undertake a CAS project of at least one month’s duration that challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, and develop skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making. The CAS project can address any single strand of CAS, or combine two or all three strands.

Students use the CAS stages (investigation, preparation, action, reflection and demonstration) as a framework for CAS experiences and the CAS project.

There are three formal documented interviews students must have with their CAS coordinator/adviser. The first interview is at the beginning of the CAS programme, the second at the end of the first year, and the third interview is at the end of the CAS programme.

CAS emphasizes reflection which is central to building a deep and rich experience in CAS. Reflection informs students’ learning and growth by allowing students to explore ideas, skills, strengths, limitations and areas for further development and consider how they may use prior learning in new contexts.

CAS learning outcomes

Student completion of CAS is based on the achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes realized through the student’s commitment to his or her CAS programme over a period of 18 months. These learning outcomes articulate what a CAS student is able to do at some point during his or her CAS programme. Through meaningful and purposeful CAS experiences, students develop the necessary skills, attributes and understandings to achieve the seven CAS learning outcomes.

Some learning outcomes may be achieved many times, while others may be achieved less frequently. Not all CAS experiences lead to a CAS learning outcome. Students provide the school with evidence in their CAS portfolio of having achieved each learning outcome at least once through their CAS programme. The CAS coordinator must reach agreement with the student as to what evidence is necessary to demonstrate achievement of each CAS learning outcome. Commonly, the evidence of achieving the seven CAS learning outcomes is found in students’ reflections.

 

In CAS, there are seven learning outcomes.​

LO 1Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
DescriptorStudents are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others.
LO 2Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
DescriptorA 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.
LO 3Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
DescriptorStudents 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.
LO 4Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
DescriptorStudents demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS.
LO 5Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
DescriptorStudents are able to identify, demonstrate and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.
LO 6Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
DescriptorStudents are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally.
LO 7Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
DescriptorStudents show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.

CAS learning outcomes can be more fully explained through the use of descriptors.  Please contact the IB Coordinator if you have any questions regarding CAS.


 

CAS project

A CAS project is a collaborative, well-considered series of sequential CAS experiences, engaging students in one or more of the CAS strands of creativity, activity, and service. CAS students must be involved in at least one CAS project during their CAS programme.

The primary purpose of the CAS project is to ensure participation in sustained collaboration. Through this level of engagement students may discover the benefits of teamwork and of achievements realized through an exchange of ideas and abilities. A CAS project challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, and develop skills such as those of cooperation, problem-solving and decision-making.

A CAS project involves collaboration between a group of students or with members of the wider community. Students work as part of a team, with all members being contributors. A CAS project offers students the opportunity to be responsible for, or to initiate, a part of or the entire CAS project. Working collaboratively also provides opportunities for individual students to enhance and integrate their personal interests, skills and talents into the planning and implementation of CAS projects.

All CAS projects should use the CAS stages as a framework for implementation to ensure that all requirements are met.

A CAS project can address any single strand of CAS, or combine two or all three strands. The following examples are provided to help generate further ideas without limiting the scope and direction of a CAS project.

  • Creativity: A student group plans, designs and creates a mural.
  • Activity: Students organize and participate in a sports team including training sessions and matches against other teams.
  • Service: Students set up and conduct tutoring for people in need.
  • Creativity and activity: Students choreograph a routine for their marching band.
  • Service and activity: Students plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community.
  • Service and creativity: Students identify that children at a local school need backpacks and subsequently design and make the backpacks out of recycled materials.
  • Creativity, activity, and service: Students rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home.

All CAS projects are designed with a defined purpose and goals. Individual students identify one or more learning outcomes to further guide their role and responsibilities in the CAS project. Students will likely identify more outcomes, or modify expected outcomes during the CAS project and/or at its completion.

A minimum of one month is recommended for a CAS project, from planning to completion. CAS projects of longer duration can provide even greater scope and opportunities for all participants and should be encouraged. Students should aim to undertake their CAS project locally and, if possible, engage in more than one CAS project over the duration of their CAS programme.

As expected throughout CAS, students reflect on their CAS project experience. Due to the collaborative nature of the CAS project, having occasions to reflect with others can prove most informative and assist students in gaining insights into the process of their endeavour as well as personal growth.

Service project

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. ​