14 August 2017

CAS - Creativity, Action, Service

According to several studies, a person learns 80% of what he or she experiences and it is through those real-life experiences that true and lasting attitude changes happen. Pursuing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is not simply about academic learning. It is also about learning from experience and rising to a challenge.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) 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. The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, include: Creativity - requiring boys to explore the arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking; Action - which promotes physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle; Service - an unpaid and voluntary exchange.

It is a universal truth within our community that a Scotch Boy is a busy boy, the effortless way that our students juggle academic, sporting, musical, theatrical, debating commitments, to name but a few, is a testament to their commitment to themselves and their community. The CAS programme exploits the pedagogical importance that such activities have for our students. It ensures that Diploma students in Years 11 and 12 are actively engaged in a variety of creative, sporting and service activities that provide an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of their studies whilst facilitating their personal and interpersonal development.

The purpose of the CAS programme is to enable students to learn through real life situations. It identifies that knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. However, CAS involves much more than just the activity itself. Students are required to plan, observe, and reflect on their activities. All of these elements are crucial in making the experience as valuable as possible. The learning process is meaningfully enhanced when people get in touch with their life experiences.

Annually in November, Year 11 diploma students launch their CAS programmes through participation in the City of Perth's Homeless Connect Day. Students work alongside volunteers to help set up a 'one-stop shop of on-going services to homeless people'. This activity is an introduction to CAS, a launch pad for students to start shaping and planning their personal CAS programme - a programme which should be challenging and enjoyable; a journey of self-discovery. Each individual student has a different starting point and therefore, different goals and needs but for most, CAS encompasses experiences that are profound and life changing.

Kate Webster-Blythe

CAS Coordinator