What is CAS?

CAS is an integral part of the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) that encourages students to learn more about themselves along with their local community. In order to be successful in CAS, students must be self-motivated and able to work collaboratively with others. While building highly valued soft skills, CAS fosters a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from their work and enables students to pursue their own personal interests. At CIS, CAS provides much needed break from the academic rigours of the IBDP, and students often describe their experiences as life-changing. Over the span of 18 consecutive months, students are encouraged to regularly participate in CAS experiences and at least one project. CIS, CAS Coordinator, Kirsten Marriott answers some commonly asked questions about CAS at CIS: Firstly, for those that don’t know what the three strands of CAS are, what do they stand for? Can you give us a brief overview of each one? The “C” stands for Creativity. In this strand, students are encouraged to use their creative thinking skills resulting in an original or interpretive product (e.g. a video, sculpture, mural) or performance (e.g. a song, dance, spoken word). Examples of Creativity experiences at CIS include: the Daily Bears, STEAM club, yearbook, MUN and photography. The “A” stands for Activity. In this strand, students are encouraged to get active, break a sweat and live a healthy lifestyle.  Examples of Activity experiences at CIS include: the volleyball, basketball and fitness training clubs. The “S” stands for Service. In this strand, students are encouraged to get involved in their school and local community by addressing an authentic need. Examples of Service experiences at CIS include: the Local4Local community shelf, Reading Buddies, Dress Down Days for Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC), Student Ambassadors and Student Council. While these are all examples of CAS opportunities taking place at CIS, students are highly encouraged to partake in experiences individually and within their local community. “CAS has allowed me to explore my passions on a deeper level, giving me opportunities to continue finding out what I am truly passionate about.”Zy Chea – IB Diploma StudentThat sounds like a lot! How do students undertake CAS projects and how are they assessed?  In addition to regular CAS experiences, IB students are also expected to complete a CAS project. CAS projects must be a minimum of one month in length and be collaborative in nature. Students may work with their peers and/or members of the wider community. At CIS, we ask that CAS projects also contain an element of service. This may be service within the CIS or the Phnom Penh community. Students do not receive a formal mark for their project, but it is a mandatory requirement for the successful completion of CAS. While students must complete at least one project, they may complete more during their CAS programme.What are some examples of projects CIS students have undertaken as part of Creativity, Activity, Service? Our Grade 11 students have only just begun their CAS programme, but there are already some exciting projects underway! In October, a group of our students started a permanent food collection initiative in conjunction with Local4Local, a youth run food drive in Phnom Penh. In celebration of Water Festival, another CAS student is currently organizing cardboard boat races for all MSHS students set to take place in early December. Later this year, other students will be creating their own Instagram fitness page while another student will be conducting a needs assessment of schools in rural Cambodia dealing with the effects of COVID-19. Finally, what advice would you offer to anyone undertaking Creativity, Activity, and Service? Simply put, CAS is what you make of it. Within the CAS programme, students have a safe space to take risks and explore their personal interests. My advice to anyone beginning their CAS journey is to engage in activities that interest them. Students are fully in charge of designing their own CAS programme, so it is best to fill the 18 months with experiences and a project that they are passionate about. Additionally, students should not be afraid to make mistakes. CAS is all about the process, not the final product. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes along the way as this is the space where the majority of learning and growing takes place. What our students say about Creativity, Activity, and Service“CAS allows me to not only challenge myself but it also lets me explore what I like to do while helping me build on my creativity. I think that some of the CAS experiences (e.g. Local4Local) I am currently involved in let me see how certain global issues such as poverty and hunger occur around me locally.”-Lina Im “Creativity, Activity, Service is a programme that is helping me discover new passions, develop skills and engage in local initiatives”-Richi Heng“CAS has enabled me to not only showcase and make use of my strengths, but it has also assisted in strengthening my weaknesses through enjoyable experiences that I have had the opportunity to be a part of. I look forward to successfully executing my CAS project alongside my group members, as it is a truly enjoyable and refreshing project to work on.”-Vatina Sok“CAS is a mandatory element of the I.B. Diploma Programme. Some of the goals of CAS are for you to identify your strengths, work on your weaknesses, all while promoting a healthier lifestyle and pushing you to build a better community.”-Rishi Verma To learn more about Creativity, Activity, Service at CIS and CAS learning outcomes take a look at our CAS handbook, or book a personalized campus tour. About the AuthorKristen Marriott is the IB Coordinator at the Canadian International School of Phnom Penh.Book a TourWe invite you to you and your family on a personalized campus tour.  

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