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2021–2022 School Year
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Creativity Activity Service (CAS)

What is CAS?

CAS stands for Creativity, Activity, Service and is among the essential elements that students must complete as part of the IB Diploma Programme (DP). CAS helps students to change and to see the world differently. For many, CAS is the highlight of the IB Diploma Programme.

The ISL CAS Programme Coordinator is Mr. Dunn, who has been mentoring High School students with their CAS experiences for over 9 years.


CAS is...

  • An opportunity to have the things you do outside of academics recognized (CAS as a ‘balance’ to your academic life).

  • An opportunity to try some new activities and see new places/faces (e.g. ‘I’ve never tried tennis, but have always wanted to’).

  • A chance to help others with volunteer service and make a small, but positive difference in the world.

  • The chance to show your creative side (e.g. ‘Time to finally learn to play the guitar’).

Students choose a variety of CAS experiences through grades 11 and 12 and the IB expects regular engagement with CAS. They have free choice with the experiences they wish to pursue.

Most importantly, students have to meet the CAS outcomes to be able to graduate with the full diploma.

The CAS Strands

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

Creating something (from the mind):

  • Art
  • Photography
  • Website design
  • Singing/ Choir/ Band
  • Performance

Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle

Breaking a sweat! (from the body):

  • Sport or training
  • Playing in a team
  • Dance
  • Outdoor adventures

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

Helping others (from the heart):

  • Helping others directly/indirectly
  • Advocating for something (like environmental issues)
  • Raising funds for charity
  • Teaching/Training others

Some CAS experiences may involve multiple strands. For example, sewing face masks would be both Creativity and Service. A sponsored swim would be Activity and Service. The best experiences address all 3 strands.

Learning Outcomes

Students have to enter details of their experiences onto their ManageBac portfolios, showing evidence of meeting the 7 learning outcomes:  

  1. Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
  2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken and new skills developed
  3. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
  4. Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
  5. Demonstrate and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
  6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
  7. Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
Example Experience and Learning Outcomes:
  • Working in a primary classroom is mainly Service, but could also involve Creativity if it involved planning lessons.
  • Student reflections would look at the strengths and areas for growth and the experience would likely have led to the development of new skills (e.g. how to design a lesson plan).
  • A challenge might be teaching younger children while reflecting on the obstacles and difficulties along the way. If the student planned some lessons themselves, then it could satisfy the third learning outcome as well.
  • Commitment and perseverance comes with longer-term experiences (e.g. 6 months or more) and likely involves working collaboratively with staff and students.
  • Students may have done lessons linked to key global issues like poverty, gender equality, health and fitness, environmental care, worldwide education, targets found in the UN sustainable goals etc.
  • Ethically, you would have needed to keep the students safe, support them and their self-esteem when they make mistakes, etc.

Each individual CAS experience does not need to meet all of the learning outcomes; however, the collective experiences must have addressed all of the outcomes. Evidence will include text reflections, audio files, video files, photos, vlogs, podcasts etc. Quality reflections help students consider how their actions have impacted themselves as learners as well as how they have affected others. You can see some sample CAS reflections here.

Example ISL Student Experiences:

  • Using the UN World Food Programme website Freerice to donate food to people in need
  • Taking initiative with student council
  • Learning ice hockey and setting up a club to teach other students how to play
  • Creating an Environmental Club to encourage environmentally sound practices at ISL
  • Engaging in flexibility training and yoga
  • Supporting homeless individuals
  • Assisting teachers in Spanish class with their lessons
  • Daily swimming while removing trash in the water
  • Helping to create the ISL yearbook
  • Tutoring younger students
  • Learning to play guitar
  • Joining the ISL Eco Club to help us be a more sustainable school
  • Leading reading groups in Primary classes
  • Learning Japanese and Arabic
  • Participating in the ISL Model United Nations (MUN) team
  • Learning to ski, setting goals and tracking progress
A screenshot from freerice.com with the caption "Amazing you filled 10 bowls!"
Fundraising with Freerice
Students from the ISL Eco Club standing on stage in front of an audience
Eco Club Presentation
Data from fitness tracking app: Bests - Tap to see where it happened 83.3 km/h - top speed 1,432 m - tallest run 2,936 m - peak alt 9.3 km - longest run
Setting goals and tracking progress while skiing
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