The heart of the IB Diploma Programme is called "CAS" which stands for Creativity, Action and Service.

The IB Organization considers the following:

"The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the programme and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

· 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.

· Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects.

· Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities. Some examples include helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals and working with refugees or homeless people.

Although the IBO does not “require” a set amount of hours, the mission behind CAS is about the quality of the activities with a reasonable balance between creativity, action and service. Hour counting is not encouraged. Concurrency of learning is important in the Diploma Programme. Therefore activities should continue on a regular basis for as long as possible throughout the programme. This last statement is important as it leads us away from the notion of hour counting and heads towards continuity of CAS throughout the programme. Remember that CAS is about achieving the *eight learning outcomes.

Goals of the CAS Program

To provide a challenge to each student in the three areas- creativity, action, service
To provide opportunities for service
To complement the academic disciplines of the curriculum and to provide balance to the demands of scholarship placed upon the IB student
To challenge and extend the individual by developing a spirit of discovery, self-reliance and responsibility
To encourage the development of the student’s individual skills and interests.

Structure of the CAS Program

A student’s CAS program may consist of:

One activity or project provided that all three basic areas (creativity, action and service) are included and are in balance, or
Activities chosen from each of the three areas, or
A combination of the two

What type of activities are appropriate for CAS ?

Activities that express the spirit of CAS will encourage the student to share their energies and special talents while developing awareness, concern, and the ability to work cooperatively with others. The goal of IB is to educate the whole person by providing a refreshing counterbalance to the academic self-absorption some may feel within a demanding school program. IB recognizes the importance of life outside the world of academics. To best recognize appropriate activities the student should reflect on the motivation behind the activity. A student that decides to try writing poetry for their own pleasure or designs the plans for a dream house would be participating in creative activities. Action hours could apply if the student plans a poetry reading night for other students in school to read their poem(s) to each other. Activities should be active; a preponderance of passive pursuits, such as viewing art or museums, should be avoided. Programs should also avoid too many lessons such as piano or tennis instruction. Emphasis should be placed on the development of new skills, not simply practicing those already acquired. Many of the best most successful CAS activities are projects which combine all three elements as a total CAS experience. The purpose of the CAS experience is to broaden the scope of developing the mind of the IB student to include the development of the heart and body.

What type of activities are not appropriate for CAS?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, the activity or project will not count for CAS recognition.

Will this activity or project result in a grade, points, or credit in a class? Writing poetry for personal growth will not count if the poetry is handed in to a teacher for a grade or points.
Will you be paid for this activity or project?
Are you required to do this activity or project due to family or religious devotion? This refers to doing household chores for your family or attending church. If you are a devoted religious person, attending church is a practice that you will participate in regardless of the requirements of CAS. If you decide to work in the nursery or clean the church grounds, that would be appropriate for service hours.
Are you doing this activity for the sole purpose of fulfilling CAS requirements? Be careful. Remember that the spirit behind CAS is that you learn about yourself or others through the activity.

Evaluation Methods

The International Baccalaureate Program requires every diploma student’s CAS performance to be evaluated in two ways.

1. Self-Evaluation by the Student:

A record is kept on each CAS activity undertaken.
A final summary report is made at the completion of the program.

2. Evaluation by adult leaders and the CAS supervisor:

Adult leaders report on student performance based on personal knowledge of the student acquired through the leader’s participation in the activity and individual or group discussions with students involved in the activity.

At the conclusion of the CAS programme students will have an interview with the CAS supervisor. During this interview the student should present evidence that they have achieved the learning outcomes and support this with documented evidence which may include: journal notes, progress forms, weblogs etc. During the interview the student should reflect on their whole CAS experience and not focus on just one particular activity. The CAS supervisor may be asked to submit samples of three students’ CAS records to the regional office. The supervisor is then required to write a summary evaluation report on each student’s overall CAS performance based on the student’s self-evaluation and any other records compiled.

*IB/CAS Learning Outcomes

IB has identified eight outcomes to be achieved through the CAS program. The emphasis is on the quality of the CAS. As you are planning your CAS program, reflect on where you are positioned on the following eight outcomes.

Outcome 1:

· increase your awareness of your strengths and areas for growth

You are an individual with various skills and abilities, some more developed than others. You can make choices about how to move forward.

Outcome 2:

· undertaken new challenges

A new challenge may be an unfamiliar activity, or an extension to an existing one.

Identify new challenges that you would like to take on. Reflect on these challenges from creative, action and service perspectives.

Outcome 3:

· 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.

Outcome 4:

· worked collaboratively with others

Collaboration can be shown in many activities. At least one project, involving collaboration and the integration of at least two of creativity, action and service, is required.

Outcome 5:

· shown perseverance and commitment on your activities

A student needs to attend regularly and accept a share of the responsibility for dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities.

Outcome 6:

· engaged with issues of global importance

You are required to act on at least one issue of global significance. This activity may be an international project, but there are many global issues that can be acted on locally or nationally (for example, environmental concerns, care for the elderly).

Outcome 7:

· considered the ethical implications of your actions

Ethical decisions arise in almost any CAS activity. Evidence of thinking about ethical issues can be shown is various ways, including journal entries and conservations with CAS advisors.

Outcome 8:

· developed new skills

As with new challenges, new skills may by shown in activities that the students has not previously undertaken, or in increased expertise in an established area.