Creativity, Activity, 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.
- Activity 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 and measurable goals. 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 into a software program called Managebac, which is provided by BFIS.
Therefore, menial and repetitive tasks such as taking out the garbage or filing documents are not considered CAS. Each proposed CAS experience will need to be approved in advance by the CAS coordinator.
Each student needs to complete at least 6 CAS experiences in total over the eighteen-month period of the IB. Each experience must be in at least one of the CAS strands which are Creativity, Activity, Service, and it must be connected to the learning outcomes. Additionally, every IB student must complete one collaborative CAS project. A CAS project must last for at least one month and challenge students to show initiative, perseverance, and develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving, and decision making. The CAS project can address any single strand of CAS, combine 2 or all 3 strands.
Eco Club: 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.
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.
One 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.
The Sketchbook Project
Helping out in the Library
Organizing/Participating in school clubs
Participating in Technovation
Organizing the BISA Talent Show
Knitting for the homeless
Helping our neighbor nuns with technology
Offering cooking classes to schoolmates
Helping the school at different events: Halloween, International Food Fair, International Expat Day, Spring Gala, Open House
Organizing fundraising activities for people in need or NGOs
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. During the summer, the students can also volunteer as monitors for the CasaI. 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 and Shoe Drive: In addition to our weekly commitment with ASSIS, our students organize an annual food drive for the Fundació 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 El Chiringuito de Dios. The students also do the Esperança Walk at the weekend. They distribute food and clothes to the homeless in El Raval and Poble Sec and interact with them. Such programs help homeless people and raise awareness about poverty and its impact on the people of this city.
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 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.
Farfalla Project: The Farfalla Africa Project, was created in 2017-2018 by a group of BFIS High School students willing to make a change in the life of many others in need. It is a new opportunity for BFIS to help to make a better world through the creation of a parallel community in a rural area of Ethiopia (Bahir Dar). The mission of this project is to allocate BFIS donations to a specific region. By doing so, our help can target specific needs throughout the years.
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