CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) is one of the three core elements of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and an important part of the curriculum at UWC ISAK Japan.
The three components of CAS are characterized as follows:
- Creativity – arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
- Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
- Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.
CAS projects challenge students to:
- Show initiative
- Demonstrate perseverance
- Develop skills such as collaboration, problem solving and decision making
CAS in Grade 10
In G10, students develop their personal strengths by focusing on the needs of others, both at school and in the Karuizawa community.
All G10 students participate in CAS on Friday afternoons. G10 students serve the Karuizawa community in various ways: helping local students and adults improve their English, organizing activities for elderly people and people with disabilities. Every G10 student is also committed to a number of on-campus services within the UWC ISAK Japan community. Students are both encouraged to develop a sense of care for their own school Community and to develop meaningful relationships with the local Community.
Beside the service experience, a number of sessions are also dedicated to “Activity” (outdoor sessions) and “Creativity” (workshops to develop creative thinking).
By working in the field, facing challenges (e.g. the language barrier), building relationships with fellow students, and trying to understand what is needed and how to respond to specific needs, students develop the crucial skills needed to become change-makers.
“Service is not just about being good to other people. It is about becoming an individual who has the awareness and the ability to respond to the opportunities and challenges of our world.”
-Raffaela Corrias, G10 CAS Coordinator
CAS in Grades 11-12
In G11 and G12, students work together in small teams on human-centered, collaborative, action-based leadership projects. Each project lasts a minimum of 16 months.
Leadership projects are student-initiated and student-led. We encourage students to create or join projects that are personally meaningful and significant.
While the mission and goals of projects are important, the success of a project is not solely determined by goals being met. UWC ISAK Japan’s aim is to empower students to become change-makers, so we are interested in cultivating the skills, attitudes, and approaches to difficult problems that will be resilient and life-lasting.
“Setbacks, problems and failures offer opportunities for learning that a sweetly running project may not deliver.”
-Jolyon Hinton, G11 & G12 CAS Coordinator
Work on leadership projects is ongoing, with special emphasis given during Project Week. Over the past few years, G11 and G12 students have carried out a range of leadership initiatives that have made a lasting impact within and beyond the school community.