Reflections

Warning: Each school has different expectations for the CAS reflections. These notes are a good starting point but not an exact guide, and it has been made because many IB schools give students no guidance with CAS at all. Thanks, IB...

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How to Survive

Also, my advice is that if at all possible, you try and fill in CAS reflections as you go along and don't leave them right until the end. I did this previously, and it's challenging to deal with because you have to make up so much crap for every single reflection, and after a while, you start running out of new ideas/phrases/words!

 

 

Main Points to cover

There are specific key points you need to hit:

Remember that CAS is a yes/no component of the course, so if you've done it and your reflections aren't too shabby, then that's fine. Having extra hours (and therefore more reflections on doing) or amazing reflections isn't considered useful. 

 

IB Requirements

Your portfolio should consist of evidence of the achievement of each of the seven learning outcomes. These are:

  1. Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth – analyse your abilities, skills, and weaknesses
  2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process – this could be taking on a unique experience or an existing one
  3. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience – describe the stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan for an individual or collaborative CAS experiences
  4. Show commitment to, and perseverance in, CAS experiences – demonstrate regular involvement in CAS activities, and show how you work around or overcome challenges
  5. Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively – critically discuss the benefits and challenges of working with others
  6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance – show an understanding of the global problems, make responsible decisions and take appropriate action in response to the issue either locally, nationally or internationally
  7. Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions – show awareness of the consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out your CAS experiences

Some of these learning outcomes may be achieved multiple times, while others may be completed less frequently. But you must provide evidence of having met each learning outcome at least once through your CAS journey.

 

 

Exemplars

"Again, I was frustrated by people not turning up to the meeting. We rely on them to do their part when they don’t turn up; they let us down. I’m not sure what to do - I don't feel I have the confidence to say something to them. I remember once I learned something about being assertive – time to look back at what it means and see if it can help me. Today a stat was shared – “1000 deaths by diarrhoea each year could be prevented through washing your hands” Firstly, how do they know? Who came up with this stat? Should I question it, or believe it? If it is true – I bet that it is people in poverty that are dying from diarrhoea, not privileged people like me." - http://wisibcashandbook.weebly.com/examples-of-cas-reflection.html

 

“Having returned to the sport of rugby after a two-year-long break, it has been highly demanding, both physically and mentally. As I have learned through the numerous training sessions and competitive games against other outstanding teams, this sport requires constant, tactical thinking as well as a high level of fitness - both qualities which I know I still need to develop further. As the rugby season progresses, I know I will make a conscious effort to improve my game.” - https://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/node/14165

 

"‚ÄčOne of the goals of my CAS is to address the Planning and Initiate Outcome. Through this goal, students are asked to plan activities/events with others and have personal input in their development. This goal was a new challenge for me; I’ve never had an active information or taken decisions for a charity or school/community event, I tended more to be a working hand more than the mind for something. I had to leave my very comfortable bubble of just following others, to be a leader or active planner for something. My first approach was the Diwali Ball. In this event, I was part of the organising team for the event; something I had never done before. I personally helped in the promotion of the event in the school, for example by creating awareness within the school of the celebration. This event was extremely helpful in showing me how much effort and work is put into these simple events and the coordination that must exist between the people for them to happen. It has completely changed my perspective on events and how they happen; it is a real, full-time job that requires months of planning in advance. I’m glad I had the chance to learn this at West Island School. My other important ‘Planning and Initiative’ job is my involvement with the Diwali Ball Committee and preparations. The Ball is organized by staff, parents and students, but they also like to have student input (which is great!), so I’ve been (and still am) attending meetings with the parents and helping with the organization of the event. This is a great opportunity as I get to understand how more formal events are planned and also, by representing the school along with fellow students, I have a position of responsibility and have to place others thoughts and wishes before my personal ones. Hence, I literally had to be very aware that I’m not just representing myself but being a leader for this event and the people involved at WIS." - http://wisibcashandbook.weebly.com/examples-of-cas-reflection.html

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What style does my reflection need to be in?

While most of my CAS reflections were written paragraphs, this doesn’t have to be the case. Find forms of expression that suit you and your various CAS experiences. Other methods of reflection could include:

Remember:

 

When do I need to do a Reflection?

You are not expected to write detailed reflections after every single one of your CAS experiences. Each IB school has a different expectation from 5 to 25 reflections (Yeah I don't get it either), But I would recommend identifying moments worthy of reflection, such as:

 

Do I need to do CAS?

While your CAS portfolio is not formally assessed, it is a crucial part of your IB Diploma. Remember, if you don’t pass CAS, you won’t achieve your Diploma. It is dumb, but IB likes failing students, and this is your life now, do CAS, trust me.

 

 

References

How to deal with CAS: Reflections | Part 3 | Lanterna Blog. https://www.lanternaeducation.com/ib-blog/cas-ideas-part-3/

Editors

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