The ISF Upper School Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) Programme for Grades 11-12 empowers students to take ownership of their learning experiences, by reflecting on how they can contribute to a better, more peaceful, more sustainable world.
CAS at ISF recognises that learning that happens outside a classroom, through the three strands of CAS, whether through acting in a musical (Creativity) playing sport (Activity) or working with refugee communities (Service), is just as important as what happens inside. CAS supports both personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning.
Our CAS programme offers a broad and balanced range of school and student initiated experiences, which are both internationally minded and uniquely Florentine, reflecting our mission and vision. Our teachers, coaches and members of the school community who offer CAS Experiences as part of our Extra Curricular Activities are qualified, passionate professionals, dedicated to nurturing understanding of our individual and shared responsibility for the impact of our actions on our interdependent world and promoting a culture of solidarity within and beyond our community. Students are expected to carry out a minimum of three Experiences per trimester, in addition to which, each student must complete an Extended Project, which must last for at least one month, and should show initiative, perseverance, developing skills such as collaboration, problem solving, and decision making. The Extended Project can address one or more strands. Each student has a ManageBac account, on which they keep their CAS portfolio. During the eighteen-month CAS programme, students have three compulsory interviews with the CAS Coordinator in which to discuss and monitor their progress.
CAS through the eyes of IB students
The CAS Coordinator conducts exit interviews with students at the end of the CAS programme. This is what CAS meant to some of our students:
“The CAS experiences have provided me with a variety of skills within the area of design that can help me find a job in the future. It has also given me the knowledge of different organizations in the area that I can help out in my free time to have something to do.”
“As a whole experience, I learned about local and global communities and had the opportunity to use my time and talents to benefit others as well as myself. I became a good communicator and much more open-minded.” “...enjoy it more than I did because with those experiences you can learn how to live, which is something that in school is not taught.”
“CAS helped me to open up my mind and to actually understand the situations that other people live in and the way that we can contribute to making them better, to making other people - who maybe don’t have the things that we have - feel special even for just moments or for one day because at the end of the day that’s what matters: that you feel you have a purpose......I feel like I’m a different person after doing CAS.”
ECA CAS EXPERIENCES
- Tuskan Times
- Student Council
- Figure Drawing
- Strozzi Project
- Literary Cafe
“A review of the documentation, conversations with the CAS coordinator, teachers, students and parents provide many examples of community projects, external speakers, visits and field trips that enhance learning within the DP programme. The school takes full advantage of a wealth of opportunities to interact with the Florentine community outside the School.”
“Conversations with teachers and students provide a comprehensive range of examples of student action and service-learning opportunities. These include student-led model united nations, student led clubs such as human rights club, tutoring club, links with Tuscan environmental society and a partnership with the local Angeli di Bello organisation and other community projects. Conversations with the CAS coordinator, the CAS handbook and student reflections show evidence of sustained action developing all learning outcomes. Commendation to the school for a comprehensive CAS programme that allows students to develop attitudes and skills that allow for responsible action.”