The Creativity Activity and Service (CAS) component is a vital part of the educational experience for all DP 1& 2 students at OSC. Our school recognizes, as stated in the mission statement, that education neither begins nor ends in the classroom or the examination hall. In fact, the essential aspects of education may exist outside both and the CAS program highlights this. An international education must go well beyond the provision of information and is inevitably involved in the development of attitudes and values which transcend barriers of race, class, religion, gender or politics. As per the IB design, CAS encompasses a broad range of extra-curricular activities including SAISA sports, creative pursuits, activities like COMUN and service to the community. The emphasis is on experiential learning and includes an expectation that students will be involved in a balanced range of activities reflecting creativity, action and service within this program.
Community service and service learning have a special place in OSC’s philosophy of education. At OSC students are encouraged to develop a positive and active approach towards service. In the Secondary School specific programs are offered to students which emphasize an awareness, concern and responsibility for service in the community. Some of these happen on a weekly basis (Thursday afternoons) after school while others are part of the Week Without Walls program (scheduled at the beginning of the 2nd term). OSC has been working with several local charities and programs and has an excellent relationship with these community outreach programs. The destructive 2004 tsunami was a catalysis for the school’s long term involvement with several primary schools in Hambantota and Galle. DP students are also expected to take on leadership roles and are encouraged to initiateactivities of their own. In the past students have organized and led medical clinics in the north of the country, played a key role in planning Thursday WWW service work, established recycling programs in their neighborhoods and much more.
CAS should extend the students. It should challenge them to develop a value system by which they enhance their personal growth. It should develop a spirit of open-mindedness, lifelong learning, discovery and self-reliance. It should encourage the development of new skills on many levels: for example, creative skills, physical skills and social skills. It should inspire a sense of responsibility towards all members of the community. It should also encourage the development of attitudes and traits that will be respected by others, such as determination and commitment, initiative and empathy.
DP students structure their CAS experience around seven learning outcomes that have been stipulated by the IB. These are broad ideas that help students focus their learning in the CAS program and help guide them in effective goals setting, action and reflection.
- Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
- Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
- Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
- Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
- Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
- Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
- Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
OSC has a unique and innovative approach to student reflection in the CAS program. Students use electronic blogs as a reflective space while managing their activities and feedback through Managebac. The reflective spaces are open to the community (see links on this page) and offer a kaleidoscope of different styles and approaches to reflecting about the key aspects of the CAS program. There are images, videos, written reflections and links to other sites. An effective CAS blog can provide important evidence of extra-curricular engagement that is useful for university applications.
Further information can be found in the OSC CAS Handbook 2016-18. At OSC we have a CAS coordinator (Mr. Ian Lockwood) who manages and supports student learning in CAS for DP students. OSC’sService Coordinator, Ms. Sonalee Sonalee Abeyawardene, handles the coordination of all the schools K-12 service projects. The two coordinators work with the DP coordinator, Secondary Principal and individual supervisors to make a rich and meaningful learning experience for OSC students.