The value of CAS – a student perspective (submitted by Giovanna Iorio)

At Tracker Apps we believe strongly in empowering students, and where better to understand student motivation than talking to students? We talked to two IBDP students at Haileybury, an independent co-educational boarding school, located in 500 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire, UK, countryside. We asked them about their experiences of CAS in the IBDP and how they felt it had impacted on them.

Tom M.

When you pick DP as your form of 6th form studies then you are committing to something big. DP isn’t just the subjects you take but also the work you do outside of the classroom for yourself and for others. That is CAS, it helps develop your understanding of the world around you not just inside of your school. Through CAS IB students are given the opportunity to extend themselves outside the classroom and try new experiences while working towards a common goal. CAS is divided into 3 categories; creativity, activity, and service, however the breadth of these categories runs far; from academic work, to local service, and global challenges, all with the aim to make you grow as a person while progressing your 6th form studies. CAS allows you to extend your knowledge globally in a local context. With the help of the Haileybury CAS coordinator the opportunities presented to you are abundant and different to what you may do in any other school. 

Personally, CAS for the past year has been a vital part of my everyday life. Before starting IB, I would never notice the activities that I would do outside the classroom, they were often forgotten, and not carried out. However, after starting IB I have begun to notice the aspects of my life that count towards CAS, and a majority of the pupils begin pushing themselves towards activities that benefit both themselves and their IB diploma. CAS has allowed me to aspire to do certain activities that I may have never done before; and with CAS I often try something new and I end up enjoying it, because CAS promotes the idea of experiencing new aspects of the world. 

Throughout the first year of IB, I have carried out a large number of group CAS experiences and projects, and it is often evident that as peers and friends we have all grown through these experiences and found new bonds and hobbies which we can enjoy together during the final years of school. 

It is also an excellent way for me to keep a record of extra co-curricular activities, before applying to universities, as a CAS record is also an accomplishment by the end of IB. Similar to all aspects of the International Baccalaureate diploma, CAS allows you to extend your global knowledge, and exercise your ability to do more in the short 2 year period of IB, which at the end creates an everlasting memory. 

Urav S.

During my first year of studying the International Baccalaureate, CAS was one of the most exciting and thought-provoking areas of my studies. Before this academic year, without the motivation given to me by the CAS Coordinator and the goal of attaining my IB diploma I would have never tried to think so far outside the box, challenge myself more and try to improve other people’s lives in such a big way. CAS has given me an outlet to express myself outside of school in areas of charity, kindness and physical activity which has bettered myself and helped people around me. 

The physical and mental exercise of CAS matures you as a person and allows you to grow while still being surrounded by your friends. The different experiences that CAS comes to give you are endless but are also all down to you pushing yourself and not waiting on others to do the work for you. Like all of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, CAS is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to achieve something memorable. 

CAS is a staple for all students who take IB around the world and allows for everyone, no matter what their background, school life or situation to help their surrounding community and grow physically and mentally into a better person.