CAS stands for Creativity, Action, and Service, and it is one of three essential elements that every student must complete to receive the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, CAS provides opportunities for students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through hands-on learning.
One of the components of CAS is a ‘CAS Project’, a collaborative series of student-initiated CAS experiences over several months engaging students in one or more CAS strands (creativity, activity, and service). Following the five CAS stages of Investigation, Preparation, Demonstration, Action, and Reflection, students can explore their passions whilst challenging themselves to initiate purposeful action around defined goals. The following months will bring a series of interviews where the STC Media Team interviews different students around school to highlight their CAS projects and initiatives.
This week, Georgina Watt speaks to the STC Media Team about her CAS project, Knitting and Crochet Club, of which she is the leader. Her inspiration came over the summer holiday when learning how to crochet from her sister. The therapeutic and relaxing activity made her remember her time in the Knitting Club back in Y9, so she immediately thought of running the club as her project when the chance to run a CAS project opened.
Can you introduce the Knitting and Crochet Club? What intentions does your CAS project have?
I run the Knitting and Crochet Club alongside Ms Ducie (my CAS supervisor) and Ms Marshall. We want to promote mindfulness through the act of knitting and crocheting in the school community, which relates to UN SDG 3; Good Health and Wellbeing. We also want to keep the legacy of these two skills alive, as the popularity of knitting and crocheting has decreased over time.
We are also making and donating blankets made out of knitted or crocheted squares to two different charities; Crossroads Foundation and Knit A Square. Crossroads Foundation is a local NGO that provides donated goods to the underprivileged, which I saw as meaningful as I believe it is vital that we give back to the local community. Meanwhile, Knit A Square is a grassroots charity based in South Africa that STC has been donating to for many years, and they give handmade blankets to orphans and vulnerable children.
How has the pandemic affected your CAS project?
First of all, we could not run a face-to-face activity due to online school. It’s a shame because a significant aspect of the Knitting and Crochet Club is seeing everyone developing their knitting or crocheting skills. However, I knew from the start that a Zoom club would not work, so we had to build something different. However, inspiration struck when I figured that we could cultivate a sense of community by posting knitting-related news and other resources on Google Classroom since Ms Ducie did the same last year, and it was pretty successful.
Another implication of not having a face-to-face activity was the issue of materials. Usually, students can freely come into Ms Ducie’s room during break to collect the material, but this is impossible during online school. Therefore, I thought of sending parcels to students through the mail. Since then, the local courier post has been closed, so we are currently making a list of local and online suppliers.
What do you like most about crochet?
I like the monotony. Once you get the hang of it, it’s the same motions repeatedly, and you can completely switch your brain off. It’s my alternative to mindfulness, for I can do crocheting before going to bed, when I’m anxious for a test or bored in the house.
Working as a solo team can be difficult. What were some challenges you faced, and how did you adapt/overcome them?
I was scared at first; I thought I wouldn’t be able to run the club as my CAS project because I was not working with any other student. However, I realised that I’m not running the club alone – it’s just that my teammates are teachers!
Edited by: Kadence Wong