Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) is a fundamental part of life in the Senior & Middle School. All students, from Grades 7 to 12, are given opportunities for experiential learning or gaining knowledge through doing new activities outside of the classroom.
There are three levels of CAS: In Grades 7 and 8, students complete the Principal's Award. When they move on to Grades 9 and 10, they undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program, an internationally recognized award which they can do at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. In the final two years at Branksome, Diploma 1 and Diploma 2 students complete IB Diploma CAS.
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Every student must complete at least 40 hours of community service for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). This can be done at any time during their secondary school program. These requirements are stated in Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999 (OSS). Students completing the CAS requirements of the IB Diploma will meet and exceed these requirements.
The Principal's Award
The Principal's Award Program aims to promote Grades 7 and 8 students' awareness of community and the opportunities that exist for their participation. Students get involved in a flexible, non-competitive program of activities and keep a log book throughout the year, recording their activities and reflecting on their learning.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program
The Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program is internationally recognized and is based on a challenging program of leisure-time activities. It aims to broaden young Canadians' interests and experience in four areas:
- Public service
Any student 14 years or older can earn the award at the Bronze, Silver and Gold level of excellence.
All Branksome students will have the opportunity to complete their Bronze Award by the end of Grade 10.
In Grades 11 and 12, this program provides a number of excellent opportunities for the fulfillment of the IB Diploma CAS requirement.
IB Diploma CAS
In the Diploma Programme, students in Grades 11 and 12 complete approximately three hours per week devoted to a balance of creativity, action and service (CAS). Creativity
includes a wide range of arts activities, as well as the creativity students demonstrate in their 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.
REFLECTING AND GROWING
Perhaps more important than the time commitment, each student is asked to address and reflect upon the following areas of their own learning and personal growth:
- Increasing awareness of strengths and areas for growth
- Undertaking new challenges
- Planning and initiating activities
- Working collaboratively with others
- Showing perseverance and commitment in your activities
- Engaging with issues of global importance
- Considering the ethical implications of your actions
- Developing new skills