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PTA Coffee Morning: CAS Showcase

Friday, 31 March, 2017

At a PTA Coffee Morning earlier in the academic year, the CAS Coordinator presented to parents on the CAS programme. The information provided in the session was very important in that it enabled parents to see what was required by the students and provided an opportunity to see how they could support their son or daughter over the 18 months of the programme.

CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning from the PYP and MYP.

CAS is organized around the three strands of creativity, activity and service defined as follows.

Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance

Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle

Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need

As a shining beacon of our values, CAS enables students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognize their role in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.

The emphasis in CAS is on helping students to develop their own identities, in accordance with the ethical principles embodied in the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile. Possibly, more than any other component in the Diploma Programme, CAS contributes to the IB’s mission to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
(IB CAS Guide)

That session marked the beginning of the CAS process, one that we hope will continue into the students’ adult lives. At this morning’s PTA Coffee Morning, parents able to witness the culmination of the process when they were treated to CAS presentations by four of the current eighty-two Grade 12 students.  Each with a different personal story, they shared the ‘journey’ they have taken over the past 18 months and how they have grown in so many ways through the CAS experience.

Framed by the IB Learner Profile and focused on the Learning Outcomes of:

  • strength and growth;
  • challenge and skills;
  • initiative and planning;
  • commitment and perseverance;
  • collaborative skills;
  • global engagement        and
  • ethics and choices and actions,

it was very evident that the students had learned many invaluable, long-lasting ‘life lessons’ from the programme, lessons that cannot be learned in the classroom alone.

Their presentations were masterful and the parents in the audience were impressed with what they learned about the students and their engagement with, and commitment to, their wide range of activities. All of the students demonstrated that, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. One parent was heard to remark, “We should have CAS for parents.”

Sincere thanks to Alma, George, Esther and Sascha for taking time out of their very busy schedules to share, ‘warts and all’, with us. Thanks, too, to Ms van der Pol for the initiative and all of her ongoing work with our students.