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DP Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

Grades 11 & 12

What is CAS?

The International Baccalaureate Programme in Carrollwood Day School requires that all diploma candidates fulfill the CAS requirement as defined by the IBO.  CAS is an acronym that stands for Creativity, Activity, and Service and is an important component of the expectations for the full IB Diploma Candidate.  The following is a general description of CAS provided by the IBO:

“The IB Curriculum offers a complete educational experience in which the traditional academic subjects and the less formal experimental parts are of comparable significance….. CAS is fundamentally an experimental learning component of the diploma and IBO stresses great importance on CAS as an integral element of the IB curriculum and for successful award of the diploma.”

Why CAS?

The main purpose of the International Baccalaureate is to develop internationally minded people who become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. CAS is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. Students will be involved in a range of experiences beyond the academic classroom. CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. It provides a counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme. It provides a personal journey of self-discovery while being challenging and enjoyable.

CAS allows one to:

  • Be a reflective thinker: one develops an understanding of ones' own strengths and limitations; one identifies goals and devises strategies for personal growth.
  • Be willing to accept new challenges and new roles.
  • Be aware of oneself as a member of communities with responsibilities towards others and the environment.
  • Be an active participant in sustained, collaborative projects.
  • Be balanced - one will enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative, and emotional experiences.

The nature of creativity, activity, service
... if you believe in something, you must not just think or talk or write, but must act.
                                                                                                       Peterson (2003)

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. The three components of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular experiences, are characterized as follows:

  • Creativity: Developing a broader view of the world and of oneself through the arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
    • Working in areas that stretch oneself beyond his/her comfort zone and embraces 'thinking outside of the box'
  • Activity: Physical involvement contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
  • Service: Unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
    • The Goal is to work with someone and not work for a person and/or organization.

Suggestions for
Community Service Opportunities

CAS experience/project must involve:

  1. Real, purposeful experiences, with significant outcomes
  2. A personal challenge - tasks must extend you and be achievable in scope
  3. Thoughtful considerations, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting
  4. Reflection on outcomes and personal learning

What CAS is not...

Generally, CAS is not taking place when you are in a passive rather than an active role.  There should be interaction.  If you are passive there is no possibility to conduct real reflection.  CAS is not...

  • Any class, activity, or project that is already part of your DP course.
  • An activity for which you are personally rewarded either financially or with some other benefit.
  • Doing simple, tedious, and repetitive work, like returning school library books to the shelves.
  • A passive pursuit such as a visit to a museum, theater, art exhibit, concert, unless it clearly inspires work in a related activity in which you are already engaged.
  • All forms of duty within the family.
  • Work experience that only benefits you.
  • Fundraising with no clearly defined end in sight.
  • Working in a home for the elderly or children with no contact at all with the residents.
  • An activity where there is no leader or responsible adult on site to evaluate and confirm your performance.


Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities each week during the two years of the Diploma Programme and are encouraged to reflect on their CAS experiences on a regular basis. Experiences engaged in before the start of the 11th grade academic year cannot count towards the student's CAS programme. Download CAS Guidelines Handbook.

Responsibility of the student

Students are required to:

  • self‑review at the beginning of their CAS experience and set personal goals for what they hope to achieve through their CAS programme
  • plan, do, and reflect (plan activities, carry them out and reflect on what they have learned)
  • undertake three formal reviews with their CAS advisor/coordinator
  • take part in a range of activities, including at least one project, some of which they have initiated themselves
  • keep records of their activities and achievements, including a list of the principal activities undertaken
  • show evidence of achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes.


All CAS experiences must be approved, in advance, in ManageBac by the CAS Coordinator/Advisory Teacher.  

Reflection is an essential component of the DP CAS requirement.  It is the element that helps to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.  

  • ManageBac
    Students utilize ManageBac to record and report CAS experiences and projects. ManageBac is an on-line portfolio system designed specifically to integrate with IB requirements, allowing students to manage their own CAS experiences. Students will submit proposals, reflections, and evidence through ManageBac. When IB requests material to verify student activities, it also can be easily accessed by IB.

    Students sign into ManageBac with their Carrollwood Day School email and a password of their choice.

Click here to login to ManageBac

Download CAS Guidelines Handbook