Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS Activities)

The final requirement for an IB Diploma student is involvement in CAS Activities.  One aim is to provide challenge in the three components established by the IBO.  It suggests that creativity should be interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover the widest range of arts and other activities and to include creativity by the individual students in designing and carrying out service projects.

Activity, as defined by the IBO, may include physical activities, both team, and individual, and also training for service.  As far as service is concerned, the IBO does not suggest exclusively social service, but also environmental and international projects.

The aim of CAS Activities is to provide opportunities for service, which could include contributions to the local community, the international community, and the school community.  Activities are also intended to compliment the academic disciplines of the curriculum and to counter-balance what is sometimes seen as the academic self-absorption of IB students and the privilege status of many IB students and schools.  Finally, such activities are intended to challenge and extend the individual student by developing a spirit of discovery and self-reliance and should encourage individual skills and interests.

Many requirements for CAS can be met by the extra-curricular activities offered at SWC.  Furthermore, many students may be engaged in activities not associated with the school which will fulfill IBO requirements.  However, as a general guide the IBO has determined that 3 to 4 hours per week should be devoted to CAS.  An alternative is to have concentrated periods of time devoted to specific projects.

The IBO has placed this expectation on Diploma students only, not on those preparing for certificates in specific subjects.  However, SWC places expectations on all IB students to take an active part in extra and co-curricular activities, in the community at large and perhaps even in the world community.  Such involvement is an important element in all students’ secondary education.

The IB CAS programme aims to develop students who are:

  • reflective thinkers – they understand their own limitations and strengths, they can identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
  • willing to accept new challenges and new roles
  • aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities toward each other and the environment
  • active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
  • balanced – they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences

CAS (creativity, activity and service) is at the heart of the program of IB. The three threads of CAS are characterized as follows:

Activity: physical exertion that contributes to a healthy lifestyle: learn a life-long sport such as cross-country skiing, or swimming, curling or golf, train for a half-marathon run, or a triathlon, playing on a school or community sport team.

Service: unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student, and should involve prior communication and full consultation with the community or individual concerned; working backstage for our mainstage production, volunteering to read to the elderly or very young, shopping or shoveling snow for seniors, starting a composting program in your school.

CAS opportunities must involve:

  • real, purposeful activities with significant outcomes
  • personal challenge – tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope
  • thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting
  • reflection on outcomes and personal learning
  • new opportunities; they do not replicate other parts of the student's IB program

Through CAS, IB students must achieve seven key learning outcomes. As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that the students have (all seven outcomes must be present for a student to gain in IB certificate or diploma):

  • increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
  • undertaken new challenges and develope new skills
  • planned and initiated activities
  • worked collaboratively with others
  • shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
  • engaged with issues of global importance
  • considered the ethical implications of their actions

Reflection may be public or private, individual or shared, objective or subjective. After each activity, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I plan to do?
  • What did I do?
  • What were the outcomes, for me, the team I was working on, and others?

CAS activities may not be part of your IB programme in any other way.

Avoid religious or politcal activites that could be considered proselytizing or devotion, or could worsen social relations or cause divisiveness amoungst people.

CAS must be completed throughout an IB sstudent's high school program and cannot begin until a student is accepted into IB and begins an IB course. 



CAS Defined

Service is not simply an emotional impulse, it is a demonstration of values.

  • Creativity - Exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive products or performance
  • Activity - Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
  • Service - Collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to a an authentic need

IB Learner Profile

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective
  • Caring
  • Principled
  • Open-minded

CAS activities should:

  • Be planned and initiated by the student
  • Be real, purposeful activities with significant outcomes
  • Involve personal challenges
  • Allow for reflection
  • Commitment over Grades 10 (second semester) , 11 & 12
  • Full IB student – used to be 150 hours
  • Partial IB student – used to be 75 hours.
  • IB no longer counts hours. However, when looking at your CAS program, a demonstrated commitment is necessary. This commitment will be shown through a balanced combination of CAS experiences and the CAS project.

CAS activities should NOT:

  • Include paid work (money or other benefits)
  • Include work done for another IB component or for credit in a class
  • Be trivial
  • Be completed in one year
  • Include activities before IB began
  • Include religious activities, or political events that promote exclusion
  • Guidelines to CAS experiences
It is not enough to be compassionate, one must act.

CAS Experiences vs. The Project

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

A CAS experience can be a single event or may be an extended series of events. Be sure to reflect on all of your experiences in a meaningful way. Consider how the experiences meet the Seven outcomes.

CAS Project

A collaborative, well-considered series of sequential CAS experiences, engaging students in one or more of the CAS strands of creativity, activity, and service.

At least one longer-term project, involving collaboration and the integration of at least one of Creativity, Activity and Service, is required. Consider the needs of your community or your school. Students undertake a CAS project that challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, and develop skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making. The CAS project can address any single strand of CAS or combine two or all three strands.

 CAS students must be involved in at least one CAS project during their CAS program. A CAS project involves collaboration between a group of students or with members of the wider community. Students work as part of a team, with all members being contributors.

CAS Plan

You should start planning your CAS activities as soon as possible. However, don’t expect to have the entire two years of CAS planned out. Please feel free to come talk to me about your plans.

CAS Plan

As you are at the beginning of your IB programme, provide a brief plan as you how you intend to address the seven learning outcomes of CAS.

The Seven Learning Outcomes:

  1. increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
  2. undertaken new challenges
  3. planned and initiated activities
  4. shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
  5. worked collaboratively with others
  6. engaged with issues of global importance
  7. considered the ethical implications of their actions

Of course, your plans will change as you move through your IB programme, but planning is a necessary part of accomplishing goals nonetheless. We would like to see what plans you have in place to gain experience in these CAS activities. In your plan, please:

  1. identify the category of the activity (CAS)
  2. indicate which outcomes you hope to accomplish with this activity, and how this will be achieved
  3. explain how this activity will help to make the world a better place

Please discuss this planning document with Mr. Taylor (Room 212) as soon as possible.

Sample Project Plan for CAS Project: 

I plan to take over the Science bulletin board across from room 241 and use it to better communicate event, competitions and opportunities for students of Science in our school. The project will last two years, and will be supervised by Mr. Ackerman. I will have to plan, create and organize the layout and contents, which will require me to communicate with Mr. Ackerman, and explore important science content in the media. I plan to update the bulletin board each month. This project involves creativity in the designs, and service in making the information available to students for their benefit. Likely, about 2 hours a month will be required. I believe that all seven of the Learner Outcomes will be addressed during this project because …

CAS Learner Outcomes

In CAS, there are seven learning outcomes. These outcomes should be reflected upon during your IB program and considered when reflecting.

LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
• Descriptor - Students are able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, of which some are more developed than others.
o See themselves as contributors to society with their abilities
o Make choices about how to gain more or further develop existing skills

LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
• Descriptor - 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.
o Either an unfamiliar activity or an extension to an existing one
o Try to learn an aspect art, music, sports, write a poem or short story for children, learn to cook or bake, learn to sew, learn to swap out tires on cars, learn to drive
o Learned and grew in areas previously under-developed
o Leave activities with new physical and personal skills as you complete CAS
o Be honest and reflective about evaluating your own existing skills
• LO 3 Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
• Descriptor - 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.
o Often in collaboration with others and can be part of a larger project
o Must be valid and needed activities that serve a need in the local or global community

• LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
o Descriptor - Students demonstrate regular involvement and active engagement in CAS.
o Not quitting projects
o Attending regularly as required
o Understanding and accepting the full expectations of others who supervise you
o Asking for guidance and help when required
• LO 5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
• Descriptor - Students are able to identify, demonstrate, and critically discuss the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.
o Team sports, playing music in a band, singing in a choir, assisting a teacher in an elementary school
o Should accomplish a needed goal of the local or global community
o This should not involve creating a club at school that overlaps existing clubs
o Simple club membership doesn’t count…you have to accomplish something worthwhile
• LO 6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
• Descriptor - Students are able to identify and demonstrate their understanding of global issues, make responsible decisions, and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally.
o Involved in international projects, or
o Acting on global issues in the local community
(care of the elderly, supporting the education of the less privileged, acting on environmental concerns, caring for youth, caring for the homeless, caring for abandoned animals…)
Think globally, Act locally!!!

LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
• Descriptor - Students show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.
o Making decisions about yourself and others based on compassion and responsibility
o Ensuring the perspectives of others are taken into consideration
o Being vigilant that damage to no one occurs from your actions, and standing up for those without a voice
Evidence of all 7 CAS outcomes must be clearly identified in a student’s CAS file, along with the clear reflection that all 7 were accomplished by the student. These outcomes should be considered when creating a CAS plan.

Stages of CAS


The forms to guide your reflection upon the completion of your CAS activities is available on the SWC website. Use the form as a coversheet for each activity and project you complete.

• Students should reflect on the CAS stages (investigation, preparation, action, reflection and demonstration)and keep them in their portfolio.
• Sample Project Plan for CAS

Project: I plan to take over the Science bulletin board across from room 241 and use it to better communicate event, competitions and opportunities for students of Science in our school. The project will last two years, and will be supervised by Mr. Ackerman. I will have to plan, create and organize the layout and contents, which will require me to communicate with Mr. Ackerman, and explore important science content in the media. I plan to update the bulletin board each month. This project involves creativity in the designs, and service in making the information available to students for their benefit. Likely, about 2 hours a month will be required.

CAS Reflection for Project

• I worked on the Science bulletin board, to better inform students about science events in and out of school. In doing so, I found I have to overcome my natural tendency to procrastinate, a weakness I hope to improve. Many people told me the board was useful to them, and participation in some valuable events increased. I tried to bring issues of global importance in science to the general population, and found that difficult to plan for. I found I have to work harder to communicate clearly. I ended up spending about 40 hours on this project, and deem it successful.
• Reflections – various methods
• Written journal
• Poetry
• Video journal
• Paintings
• Blog
• Etc.
• Just be sure that it can be turned in with your portfolio

CAS Reflection Cover Sheet
Student name ___________________________________________________
Through CAS, IB students must achieve seven key learning outcomes.
As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that the students have (all seven outcomes must be present for a student to gain in IB diploma course certificate or IB diploma):
1. increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
2. undertaken new challenges
3. planned and initiated activities
4. shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
5. worked collaboratively with others
6. engaged with issues of global importance
7. considered the ethical implications of their actions
As you grow through your IB programme, provide a reflection for each activity or project you complete, indicating at least:
o the specific nature (what did you do) and duration of the activity (when did you do it)
o specifically who benefitted from the activity
o your feelings, perceptions and observations of yourself and your community as you completed the activity
o the specific achievements you gained in this activity
o your growth areas during this activity
o any outstanding issues left at the completion of this activity
o a description of the degree of accomplishment of your goal(s) for this activity
o how this activity addressed at least one of the seven learning outcomes of CAS
Please reflect on experiences as you go through the process. These reflections will be submitted to Mr. Taylor when you submit your portfolio.

Responsibility of the CAS student
CAS students are expected to:
• approach CAS with a proactive attitude
• develop a clear understanding of CAS expectations and the purpose of CAS
• explore personal values, attitudes and attributes with reference to the IB learner profile
• determine personal goals
• discuss plans for CAS experiences with the CAS adviser
• understand and apply the CAS stages where appropriate
• take part in a variety of experiences, some of which are self-initiated, and at least one CAS project
• become more aware of personal interests, skills and talents and observe how these evolve throughout the CAS programme
• maintain a CAS portfolio and keep records of CAS experiences including evidence of achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes
• understand the reflection process and identify suitable opportunities to reflect on CAS experiences
• demonstrate accomplishments within their CAS programme
• communicate with the CAS coordinator in formal and informal meetings
• ensure a suitable balance between creativity, activity and service in their CAS programme
• behave appropriately and ethically in their choices and behaviours.

Meetings with Mr. Taylor
• All IB students meet with Mr. Taylor to discuss CAS plans and progress.
• If you cannot attend one of the general CAS meetings, you need to come see me. This meeting needs to occur and, typically, sooner is better than later. Don’t procrastinate.
• ROOM 212 – Please check the posted times OR ask for a specific appointment.
The CAS Presentation for DP Students
In late May, graduating IB students will gather for a presentation and recognition of the completion of their program. Each student is asked to make a short (1 – 3 min) presentation of their CAS program to their peers and teachers. Refreshments will be served.


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