Creativity, activity, and service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s Diploma Programme experience. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows.
Creativity: arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme. Students are encouraged to engage in a program of CAS that is both challenging and enjoyable, a personal journey of self‑discovery. Each individual student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, but the hope is that for many, their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life‑changing.
For student development to occur, CAS should 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.
All proposed CAS activities need to meet these four criteria. It is also essential that they do not replicate other parts of the student’s Diploma Programme work.
Concurrency of learning is important in the Diploma Programme. Therefore, CAS activities should continue on a regular basis for as long as possible throughout the programme, and certainly for at least 18 months.
Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB diploma. While CAS is not formally assessed students are required to document their activities and provide evidence that they have achieved eight key learning outcomes.
Information on these pages is from the Diploma Programme Creativity, activity, service guide. International Baccalaureate Organization. 2015. Print.