Service Learning and IB-CAS
Here, at McNally, we are fully invested in our local community and seek ways to be the change that makes a difference in the lives of others. We initiative and participate in a number of service initiatives including:
- 24 hour bike-a-thon for cancer research
- Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program
- Cops for Cancer
- Experiences” (M.A.S.S.I.V.E.) supports the Edmonton’s
- Food Bank, Red Cross, United Way, Adopt-a-Teen and
- Holiday pancake breakfast charitable fundraiser
- McNally Assists Students Serving in Volunteer
- Reading Buddy program
- Red Cross blood drives and awareness campaigns
- Walk for Water aiding clean drinking water in Africa
- IB CAS projects (individualized and personalized based on students' interests and passion)
What is the Creativity, Activity, Service program?
The Creativity, Activity and Service program (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. CAS is a scheme of experiential learning, which enables students to demonstrate the attributes of the IB learner profile.
Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma
Simply put, CAS continues your education outside the school. It is an opportunity for you to develop your own skills and interests, and contribute what you have to offer to various communities. CAS is intended to help you develop as an individual, through a process of self-discovery, self-awareness and reflection.
During this process, you will think about yourself and about how others see you. You will assess your strengths and areas to work on, and you will reflect on the activities as you carry them out. During and after an activity, you will have to reflect on what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what thoughts or feelings it creates for you. As a result, before you start, you need to stop and look at yourself and the activities, which you would like to take part in.
A good CAS program must relate to your personal qualities, aims and ambitions, so that it is relevant for you and has a powerful learning value. Setting goals, making plans to achieve them, and the assessment of your results are fundamental to experiential learning. It is essential that you develop the habit of critical reflection.
Naturally, CAS experiences should be something you both enjoy and feel are worthwhile to you and the community of our school and beyond!
Overview of CAS
CAS aims to develop students who:
- Enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences.
- Purposefully reflect upon their experiences.
- Identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth.
- Explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles.
- Actively participate in planned, sustained, and collaborative CAS projects.
- Understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
CAS consists of three strands. Each experience you engage in must include at least one of these strands.
- 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.
The “CAS stages” is a flexible “mental tool” which can be used to assist you in reaching goals in your life, such as organizing a trip, planning an art project, applying to university, doing a service action etc.
The centre represents the experience part of the process with four key elements: investigation, preparation, action and reflection (occurring intermittently in response to the experience). The outer circle has two parts and guides you in formally summarizing your experience: reflection and demonstration.
- Investigation: Students identify their interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities for CAS experiences, as well as areas for personal growth and development. Students investigate what they want to do and determine the purpose for their CAS experience. In the case of service, students identify a need they want to address.
- Preparation: Students clarify roles and responsibilities, develop a plan of actions to be taken, identify specified resources and timelines, and acquire and skills needed to engage in the CAS experience.
- Action: Students implement their idea or plan. His often requires decision-making and problem-solving. Students may work individually, with partners, or in groups.
- Reflection: Students describe what happened, express feelings, generate ideas, and raise questions. Reflection can occur at any time during CAS to further their understanding, to assist with revising plans, to learn from experience, and to make explicit connections between their growth, accomplishments, and the learning outcomes for personal awareness. Reflection may lead to new action.
- Demonstration: Students make explicit what and how they learned and what they have accomplished, for example, by sharing their CAS experiences through their CAS portfolio or with others in a formal or informal manner. Through demonstration and communication, students solidify their understanding and evoke responses from others. E.g. assembly presentations and articles for a magazine.