Creativity, action, service (CAS) is a mandatory core component of the IB Diploma Program. The CAS requirement is a fundamental part of the program and takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.
Types of Projects
- Creativity is interpreted broadly to include a wide range of arts activities as well as the creativity students demonstrate in designing and implementing service projects.
- Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects.
- Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities. Some examples include helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals and working with refugees or homeless people.
Diploma candidates are expected to spend 2/3 hours a week participating in activities in each of the three strands of CAS over the two year course of the IB program. CAS activities are intended to be spread out as evenly as possible throughout the school year, rather than be carried out in condensed periods. Students should undertake each task with clear goals and with an adult supervisor who is responsible for proving a supervisor report upon completion of an activity. All chosen activities should involve active participation by the student in order to affect positive and meaningful change in their own lives, as well as in the lives of those in local and global community.
Throughout the IB Program, students will be required to provide reflections and evidence of their activities along with a supervisor report from the adult in charge of the activity into a software program called Managebac, which is provided by BFIS.
Green School: BFIS has adopted the motto “Think globally, Act locally” in an effort to make our school a green school. While teachers in both the elementary and upper school tackle environmental issues in the classroom, volunteers have taken concrete steps to improve our school’s relationship with the environment. They have attempted to reduce waste and consumption, while raising awareness about green issues.
Recycling Team: BFIS has 3 recycling “Green Points” on campus, where paper, plastic can be disposed of. Each day volunteers take the trash to the city recycling bins.
Yearbook Club: Every year, our students work to capture our treasured moments and preserve them in the pages of the yearbook which is distributed annually at the end of the school year. The students work on the designing and creating the layout, sorting and organizing photos, adding text, drawings, graphics, etc. The yearbook team is a group of motivated, dedicated, and self-disciplined students with creative skills who show commitment to the publication throughout the year and a team-work spirit.
Peer Tutoring: This is a group of creative and personable High School volunteers to help teachers during small group activities in the classroom during the school day. There are also opportunities for peer-tutoring individual students and supporting them with their homework assignments after school.
Once Act Play: The One Act Play Festival is a collaboration between the Drama, English, and Spanish departments. Students are involved in all elements of production: from script-writing, to costume design, to acting, to tech. Although some of the plays emerge from theater classes, the vast majority of the work is done on a volunteer basis.
Middle & High School Musical: Students will be involved in the production of a full-length play (usually a musical) in the spring working as actors, leads or vocalists, chorus members, set designers and builders, costume designers and makers, makeup artists, painters, musicians (guitarists, drummers, bassists, pianists, horn players, violinists, just about anything), stage managers, prop builders, tech gods and goddesses, sound and lighting technicians, poster and t shirt designers, translators and editors.
Children at risk: Students work as volunteers in the Casals d’infancia ASSIS in the Raval.This after school center educates and looks after children, some of whom have been obliged to attend by social services. The Casal´s mission also includes defending the fundamental rights of children of the neighborhood, with a desire to create equal opportunity for all. The center is located on the Rambla de Raval with sessions lasting from 5 to 8pm weeknights. BFIS volunteers teach English, sports or just help the participants with their homework. Students also organize open days where they bring the children to BFIS on the weekend. It is our hope that this alliance will integrate our students into the community while bettering the education of our friends in the Raval.
Food Drive: In addition to our weekly commitment with ASSIS, our students organize an annual food drive for the Fundacio Centre Obert Joan Salvador Gavina. With the participation of BFIS families we create 150 holiday boxes, filled with food and other necessities, alleviating financial pressure on the Raval parents during the holidays. This tradition is just another way BFIS connects to the larger Barcelona community.
Retirement Home: at the Aura Retirement Home. Voluntary work consists of 60 minute weekly visits, during which students take part in a range of activities, such as: taking residents for walks, playing music, participating in various activities and holidays (Sant Jordi, Carnaval), arts and crafts activities (drawing portraits of the residents, decorating rooms, photography). This activity has become increasingly popular both with residents and our students.
Helping the homeless: Students in the past have had the opportunity to work in soup kitchens such as ARRELS. Such programs help homeless people and raise awareness about poverty and its impact on the people of this city. BFIS volunteers help prepare and serve food; allowing them direct contact with the people.
Working with disabled children: BFIS regularly volunteers with A.I.S. (Ayuda a la Infancia sin Recursos). This organization plans events to improve quality of life for the disabled and their families. Students have also worked as volunteers for ACELL, the Catalan Federation of Sports for People with Mental Disabilities. The work involves assisting in training for Special Olympics events, as well as local, intercollegiate, and regional sports leagues.
Best Buddies: This CAS opportunity offers students the chance to meet and spend time with students their own age who have Down´s Syndrome. This opportunity is offered to BFIS through the Kennedy Family Foundation called Best Buddies, which was initiated with the premise of integrating people with Down´s Syndrome into society. A student participating in this community service opportunity will be paired up with a Down´s Syndrome student his/her own age. The student will then be asked to call and chat with his/her buddy for a few minutes once a week, and also meet up with him/ her once a month to do a fun activity together such as an outing to the cinema or a bowling alley, etc.
Teaching technology to people with minor disabilities: Student volunteers are needed to teach very basic computer technology skills to a small group of adults with minor learning and physical disabilities who live in sheltered accommodation in the Poble Sec neighbourhood near Metro Parallel.The technology classes will take place once a week either on a Tuesday or a Wednesday from 5.30 p.m.to 6.20. Students wishing to participate in this program must be over the age of sixteen and speak fluent Castellano.
Teaching computer skills to newly arrived immigrants: This is an opportunity for male students over the age of sixteen who would like to teach newly arrived immigrants in Barcelona how to use basic technology. The classes are an hour long and take place on a weekly basis.
Habitat for Humanity: Each year the BFIS Habitat for Humanity Club travels to a developing country to help locals build adequate shelter. In addition, we work with underfunded schools and hospitals. This mutually beneficial project fosters responsibility and promotes global citizenship in our students, while forging a lasting relationship with our African partners. It is our conviction that working side by side with people of other races, religions, and cultures to accomplish a shared vision is the best way to promote world peace.
Model United Nations: also known as Model UN or MUN, is an extra-curricular activity in which students typically role play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. This activity takes place at MUN conferences, which is usually organized by a high school or college MUN club. At the end of most conferences, outstanding delegates in each committee are recognized and given an award certificate; the Best Delegate in each committee, however, receives a gavel. Thousands of middle school, high school, and college students across the country and around the world participate in Model United Nations, which involves substantial researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, as well as critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
Sometimes unique and rewarding moments come out of the most unexpected experiences – I can definitely say that visiting a Retirement home adds to our ‘personal book of knowledge`. However, it is the way that we learn that distinguishes this service opportunity from others. Mirella Shnaidmann, BFIS Student