CAS is a core requirement of the Diploma Programme experience. The Diploma Programme is a holistic curriculum, and the students' CAS experiences emphasize the importance of life beyond academics. The IB goal of "educating the whole person and fostering a more compassionate and active citizenry" is achieved as the students explore rich and diverse ways to meet the learning outcomes of CAS.
The CAS requirement encourages students to share their energy and talents with others; students might, for example, participate in theatre or musical productions, sports, community service and service learning activities. Through these activities, students should develop greater self-awareness and concern for others, as well as the ability to work cooperatively. Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of arts activities as well as the creativity students demonstrate in designing and implementing service projects. Activity includes participation in physical activity either or both as an individual or as part of a team. Service encompasses a host of experiential learning opportunities such as community, social service and service learning activities. Some examples include helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals and working with refugees or homeless people.
In CAS, there are seven learning outcomes
- identify own stregths and develop areas for growth
- demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
- demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
- show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
- demonstrate the skills and recognize the benfits of working collaboratively
- demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
- recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
The focus of CAS is on the learning outcomes listed above. These outcomes help to emphasize that it is the quality of a CAS activity (its contribution to the student’s development) that is of most importance. The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is approximately three to four hours per week, carried out on a continual basis over an 18-month period, including July and August between Year 1 and 2, with a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service.
The responsibility of the CAS student
CAS students are expected to:
- Approach CAS with a proactive attitude
- Develop a clear understanding of CAS expectations and the purpose of CAS
- Explore personal values, attitudes and attributes with reference to the IB learner profile and the IB mission statement
- Determine personal goals
- Discuss plans for CAS experiences with the CAS coordinator and/or CAS adviser
- Understand and apply the CAS stages where appropriate
- Take part in a variety of experiences, some of which are self-initiated, and at least one CAS project
- Become more aware of personal interests, skills and talents and observe how these evolve throughout the CAS programme
- Maintain a CAS portfolio and keep records of CAS experiences including evidence of achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes
- Understand the reflection process and identify suitable opportunities to reflect on CAS experiences
- Demonstrate accomplishment within their CAS programme
- Communicate with the CAS coordinator/adviser and/or CAS supervisor in formal and informal meetings
- Ensure a suitable balance between creativity, activity and service in their CAS programme
- Behave appropriately and ethically in their choices and behaviours.
(Creativity, activity, service guide, p. 13)