CAS stands for Creativity, Activity And Service.
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 and attitudes through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and views. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.
The course encourages students to be active in all three of these areas throughout the IB educational period. II. gimnazija Maribor offers many creative activities within the programme DrugaDruga, e.g., literary and art workshops, photography circles, theatre groups in Slovene, English, French and German, youth choir, student orchestra, student newspaper, film school, etc.
In the field of sports, students can choose from a range of elective sports (swimming, table tennis, badminton, aerobics, yoga, tai-chi, etc). They can also opt for an individualised programme within the Sports for Health project.
The students can volunteer at primary schools, kindergartens, youth homes, retirement homes, animal shelters and youth centres.
Additionally, IB students can be involved in the international project ‘SOLY’ (Special Olympics), the volunteer campaign ‘Symbiosis’ (running a senior course), the school cultural marathon, the organisation and implementation of charity events and music concerts. They can participate in international school exchanges, competitions and conferences (MUN, YPAC, WSC).
CAS is a core element in the curriculum, along with the extended essay and Theory of Knowledge. IB students are encouraged to be active in the local community, so they can also take part in activities in external organisations that provide creative, sports and volunteer activities.
The work of the students is monitored by the CAS coordinator as well as other mentors for each activity. The students write a diary and keep a portfolio throughout the course. At the end of the second school year, they make a public presentation in which they include a self-evaluation and a reflection on the activities performed.
CAS is compulsory for every student if they wish to receive the IB Diploma.
CAS offers students challenges in a variety of areas, teaches them how to plan and better organise their time, helps them master the process of self-evaluation and self-reflection, familiarises them with the importance of being aware of the development of their own abilities, helps them to gain teamwork skills, and fosters perseverance.
The CAS programme aims to develop students who:
- enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences,
- purposefully reflect upon their experiences,
- identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth,
- explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles and contexts,
- actively participate in planned, sustained, and collaborative CAS projects,
- understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
Understand what CAS is.
How do I do this: Read the CAS handbook in its entirety, take notes, consult with the CAS coordinator.
Develop a plan for completing your CAS requirements.
How do I do this: During the September of your IB 1 year, you must develop a plan where you outline how you are going to achieve the CAS experience. Typically, your’s CAS programme combines planned/unplanned singular and ongoing experiences. All are valuable and may lead to personal development. However, a meaningful CAS programme must be more than unplanned/singular experiences. A series of planned CAS experiences are recommended for a more engaging CAS programme.
A CAS experience must:
- fit within one or more of the CAS strands
- be based on a personal interest, skill, talent or opportunity for growth
- provide opportunities to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile
- not be used or included in the student’s Diploma course requirements
You will present your plan to the CAS coordinator at the beginning of October your IB 1 year. This plan should outline some of the activities that you will do over the next 18 months, have a loose timeline for when you will complete these activities, and identify the learning outcomes that each activity will address.
Please note that this plan is fluid and will change. Do not worry if your plan evolves over the 18 months of your CAS work.
Execute your plan, complete activities and reflect on each activity.
How do I do this: For singular CAS experiences, you may begin with investigation, preparation, or action. For ongoing CAS experiences, beginning with investigation is advised. In these ongoing experiences, the action stage may lead you back to investigation or preparation as you further develop, expand and implement new or related ideas. Your completion of CAS is based on the achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes realized through your’s commitment to CAS programme over a period of 18 months. These learning outcomes articulate what you are able to do at some point during CAS programme. Through meaningful and purposeful CAS experiences, you are going to 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.
You have to provide the school with evidence in your CAS portfolio of having achieved each learning outcome at least once through your CAS programme.
CAS activities must also be accompanied by ongoing documentation and proof of completion. This documentation can use the form of journals, weblogs, planners, scrapbooks, etc. In addition to this, you also have to provide evidence that you actually participated in the activity. This evidence can include the form that I’ve provided (diary, google classroom, …), but should also include other methods: pictures of you completing the activity, newspaper articles, visual presentations, portfolios, finished projects, registration forms, etc.
Purposeful reflection is about quality rather than quantity. The appropriate occasion, amount and method is your’s decision. You are not expected to reflect on every CAS experience; you should identify moments worthy of reflection. Reflection is most meaningful when recognized as a personal choice. If the emphasis is on quantity with a required number of reflections or with a requirement such as “I must complete a reflection for every CAS experience”, reflection becomes an obligation, which is contrary to the purpose of reflection in CAS.
Essentially, you have to keep a record of what you did, and provided proof that you did it.
Meet with the CAS coordinator periodically.
How do I do this: Every Monday at 10:30 to 11:00 you can talk with me
These meetings will take place at the beginning of the IB 1 year (this is where you will present your CAS plan), beginning of the second semester IB 1 year (check progress), end of the IB 1 year (evaluate your program), beginning of the IB 2 year (check progress), and February of the IB 2 year (final presentation). During these meetings, the coordinator will evaluate your progress, note any concerns, help you with your planning, and help you to stay on track.
Prepare your final presentation.
How do I do this: Use the CAS stages, planning sheet, reflections, … and devise a presentation that proves that you have met all learning outcomes (IB2 final essay). Your presentation could include multi-media elements, scrap books, portfolios, a presentation, etc.. In addition, you must provide 10 sample pages from your ongoing documentation (diary). These sample pages, which may, for example, be photocopied journal pages or printouts from electronic logs, 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 the student learned from it.
- thoroughly familiarise yourself with your schools CAS handbook and timelines,
- meet with CAS coordinator according to the timeline, at least three times over the duration of your CAS programme; be sure to come prepared,
- base your choices on your interests, skills, talents and areas for growth to stay motivated; challenge yourself!
- balance your experiences between Creativity, Activity and Service,
- initiate or engage in at least one CAS Project in collaboration with others that extends over at least one month,
- use the CAS stages as much as possible when considering, planning and undertaking your CAS experiences; be sure to apply these to Service and to the CAS Project,
- ask questions along the way when you need assistance or clarity,
- participate in meaningful reflection as a way to capture your experiences and summarize your evidence linked to the Learning Outcomes,
- enjoy CAS! That’s most important – to participate in experiences that assists your personal growth and offers you a world of possibilities.