CAS details

Exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance

Creativity in CAS provides students with the opportunity to explore their own sense of original thinking and expression. Creativity will come from the student’s talents, interests, passions, emotional responses, and imagination; the form of expression is limitless. This may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts, crafts and composition. Students are encouraged to engage in creative endeavours that move them beyond the familiar, broadening their scope from conventional to unconventional thinking.

If students are accomplished in a particular creative form, for example, music, painting or acting, they may choose to extend their involvement and deepen their skill level. Within their field, students can define new challenges and objectives to fulfil creativity in CAS. For example, a musician may compose and perform a guitar solo; an artist may create a new sculpture or photographic series; an actor may present an original dramatic piece. By striving for new possibilities, students may discover ways to meet challenges and identify strengths that carry them forward with curiosity and continued innovation. Creativity in CAS is not met by the appreciation of the creative efforts of others, such as attending a concert or art exhibition

Creativity experiences must be distinct from, and may not be included or used in, the student’s Diploma course requirements.

Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle

The aim of the “Activity” strand is to promote lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, aerobic exercise, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Students are encouraged to participate at an appropriate level and on a regular basis to provide a genuine challenge and benefit.
An outstanding athlete should not stop training and practising in order to engage in some arbitrary, invented CAS physical activity. However, modern approaches to sports coaching emphasize the notion of the reflective practitioner, so it is possible for the athletics coach to incorporate relevant CAS principles and practice into training schedules for the benefit of the student. Setting goals, and planning and reflecting on their achievement, is vital. “Extending” the student may go further, for example, to asking them to pass on some of their skills and knowledge to others. If their chosen sport is entirely individual, perhaps they should try a team game, in order to experience the different pleasures and rewards on offer.
Some excellent “action” activities are not sporting or competitive but involve physical challenge by demanding endurance (such as long-distance trekking) or the conquest of personal fears (for example, rock climbing). Alternatively, a student’s “action” may be physical exertion as part of a service activity, perhaps in a project as outlined in the section “Projects, themes, concepts”.

As with all CAS experiences, students reflect purposefully on their engagement with activity and may be guided to look for moments of personal significance or inspiration as a call for reflection.

Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need

Through service, students develop and apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem-solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability for their actions. Service is often seen as one of the most transforming elements of CAS by promoting students’ self-awareness, offering diverse occasions for interactions and experiences and opportunities for international-mindedness. Use of the CAS stages in developing a service experience is recommended for best practice.
Service within CAS benefits all involved: students learn as they identify and address authentic community needs, and the community benefits through reciprocal collaboration. Service fosters development of abilities, attitudes and values in accordance with the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile. As such, CAS service experiences are unpaid.
When defining “community”, consideration must be made to situation and culture. The community may be the school; however, it is recommended that service experiences extend beyond the school to local, national and/or international communities. Community involvement includes collaboration with others, as students investigate the need, plan and implement their idea for service.
It is essential that service activities have learning benefits for the student. Otherwise, they are not experiential learning (hence not CAS) and have no particular claim on students’ time. This rules out mundane, repetitive activities, as well as “service” without real responsibility. A learning benefit that enriches the student personally is in no way inconsistent with the requirement that service be unpaid and voluntary.

There is substantial research that indicates the benefits of service activities:

  •  enhances students’ willingness to take risks
  • promotes meta-learning (learning about learning)
  • develops students’ ability to communicate and make relationships
  • supports different learning styles
  • enables all students to achieve, that is, to experience success

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.
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. Evidence of achieving the seven CAS learning outcomes is found in students’ reflections of their CAS portfolio.
LO 1
Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
Students are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others.

LO 2
Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
A 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 3
Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
Students 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 4
Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
Students demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS.

LO 5
Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
Students are able to identify, demonstrate and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.