Creativity, action, 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 and is broken down into three strands:
Creativity: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student and a demonstrable worth to society, either locally, nationally or internationally.
CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and provides an important counter-balance to academic study. Both challenging and rewarding, CAS is a personal journey of self-discovery that can have a profound and life-changing effect on students. It broadens the mind, promotes teamwork and collective thinking and enables girls to become actively involved in matters of international importance.
CAS activities should take up at least half a school day each week throughout the diploma (150 hours in total) and should show a reasonable balance between Creativity, Action and Service. It is not formally assessed but girls need to document their activities and demonstrate their reflections on the experience.
Many IB graduates say that CAS was the most enjoyable and exciting part of their diploma experience and have continued with their pursuits into university and beyond. There is a high-level of personal choice involved in the CAS programme and it often enables girls to find an activity or cause they’re really passionate about. Whether taking part in a sporting pursuit, helping with a local community project or undertaking a world-trek for charity, our IB girls find CAS an inspiring and fascinating experience and an incredibly valuable enhancement to learning and life.
CAS Case Study
In October half term, 2012, Lower Sixth IB student, Kim Clifton, travelled to the Ashanti region of Ghana where she undertook voluntary work as part of her CAS programme. As well as finding it a life-changing experience, she also found it directly relevant to her desired career in medicine.
“I worked in a very rural clinic in Gyetiase for the Ashanti Development Charity. They provide remote villages in the region with water, sanitation, healthcare, education and income generating activities. The clinic performs medical and eye treatments in the hope of improving the health of the people in the area. This is a very important mission in Ghana and I was lucky enough to accompany some Community Nurses on their visit to another rural village, Bonkrong. There, we weighed all the babies and children under 5 as part of a growth monitoring programme. We also immunised the babies against the numerous deadly diseases which kill many in the region. For me this was the most interesting part of my visit as I am hoping to go into medicine after school and it showed me how important basic health care is, particularly in under-fives where the mortality rate in the area is 48%. My visit was an amazing experience in two weeks I helped fix a borehole, watched the sanitation of a village be improved with the building of latrines, was a VIP guest at a Witch Doctor ceremony, and met some amazing people in all the schools and villages I visited. Although the area is monetarily poor they are very rich in community spirit and they made our visit very special”.