REMEMBER- Your reflections are as important as the CAS experience!!!

NDIHS CAS student handbook 2019-2021

CAS Learning Outcomes

  • LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth

  • LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

  • LO 3 Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

  • LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

  • LO 5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

  • LO 6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

  • LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

NDIHS IB Students are expected to:

  • self-review at the beginning of each CAS experience and set personal goals for what you hope to achieve through their CAS programme and keep their ManageBac CAS page up-to-date with evidence and reflections added regularly

  • Plan, do and reflect (plan activities, carry them out and reflect on what you have learned)

  • Set-up three formal interviews with your CAS adviser

  • Take part in a range of activities that meet all three strand requirements, complete at least one project, some of which they have initiated themselves, that lasts for at least a month

  • Keep a portfolio in Google that is shared with your CAS adviser of all the activities and achievements you have done for CAS, including a document with list of the main activities undertaken

  • show evidence of achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes.

CAS interviews

CAS interview #1

This interview is to check that you have started your CAS experiences, you are reflecting/evidencing and you understand the programme.

You have a lot of choice in your CAS programme, but with that comes a lot of responsibility to actually do something!

First CAS interview Questions

CAS interview #2

Normally held towards the end of Year 1 of the DP.

This interview helps reflection and checks progress towards meeting all of the requirements and learning outcomes.

CAS interview two NDIHS

CAS interview #3

This normally happens towards the end of the programme. This is a chance to think back on what you have achieved and to check that you have finished. It should almost be a chance to celebrate a job well done.

CAS interview 3 Q

CAS stages:

How to plan an experience/ project

CAS Stages and steps

developing CAS experiences/project

There are two parts noted in the diagram. The centre represents the process with four key steps: investigation, preparation, action, and reflection. The outer circle has two parts and guides students in summarizing their experience through reflection and demonstration.

This video outlines the stages in relation to Service, but the same principles can be applied to Creativity and Activity too!

The five CAS stages are as follows.

Investigation: Identify your interests, skills and talents to be used in considering opportunities for CAS experiences, as well as areas for growth and development. Investigate what you want to do and determine the purpose of your CAS experience. In the case of service, you should identify a need you want to address.

Preparation: Clarify the roles and responsibilities necessary for the experience or project to be a success, develop a plan of actions to be taken, identify specified resources and timelines, and acquire any skills needed to engage in the CAS experience.

Action: Implement your idea or plan. This often requires decision-making and problem-solving. You might work individually, with partners, or in groups.

Reflection: Describe what happened, express feelings, generate ideas, and raise questions. Reflection can occur at any time during CAS to further understanding, to assist with revising plans, to learn from the experience, and to make explicit connections between your growth, accomplishments, and the learning outcomes. Reflection may lead to new action.

Demonstration: You make explicit what and how you learned and what you have accomplished. To do this, you could, for example, share your CAS experiences through your CAS portfolio or with others in an informal or formal manner. Through demonstration and communication, you solidify your understanding of the learning outcomes and could evoke responses from others.

​*You must show EVIDENCE and reflect on moving through the five CAS stages as you complete your project.

SMART Goals worksheet

Used to help plan CAS experiences/ project

SMART Goals for CAS

Does it qualify as a CAS experience or a CAS project flow chart


All CAS projects should have a defined goal. Individually, you should identify one or more learning outcomes you intend to meet to further guide your role and responsibilities in the CAS project. These could change as you complete the project.

Some examples of CAS projects are listed below.

  • A group plans, designs and creates a mural or wall display (creativity)

  • Organise and participate in a sports team over time, including training sessions and matches against other teams (activity)

  • Plan and undertake an unsupported expedition (activity)

  • Set up and conduct tutoring for people in need (service)

  • Choreograph a routine for their band or cheerleading squad (creativity and activity)

  • Plan, set up and run a not-for-profit business (creativity and service)

  • Plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community. (service and activity)

  • Identify that children at a local school need backpacks, and then design and make the backpacks out of recycled materials. (service and creativity)

  • Rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home. (creativity, activity, and service)

**Your CAS project should last a minimum of one month from planning to completion and you should follow the CAS stages.



  • is the process by which you turn an experience into learning.

  • helps you to see what you have achieved.

  • makes links between your experiences and the future.

  • gives you feedback and helps you to generate your own questions.

  • should help you to gain a better understanding of yourself, and of others.

Reflection is a required part of the programme but it shouldn’t be too arduous! You can reflect in any way which suits you.

The focus of your reflection should be affective. Try to move beyond just giving a commentary of what your experiences and actions were, and talk about how you felt and how the experience will change you in the future.

A useful structure to follow might be:

  • Describe what happened - retell your memorable moments, identify what was important or influential, what went well or was difficult, obstacles and successes.

  • Express feelings - how do you feel about your experiences?

  • Generate ideas - re-examine the choices you made and the actions you took.

  • Ask questions - what questions do you have about people, processes or issues as a result of your experiences?

  • You could also reflect on which of the learning outcomes you think you are achieving, and why.

Reflection is very personal but it doesn’t have to be totally individual. You could undertake some group reflection exercises or meet with a peer or an adult in order to reflect.

Stopping to think before, during and after an experience can really add value to it for you. The CAS questions section on ManageBac can also help you to reflect on your experiences.

Evidence is different from reflection; it is just information that corroborates you have done what you are claiming. A photo is evidence; a photo with commentary explaining how you felt about it is the beginning of reflection.

It is good practice to keep adding evidence and reflections little and often to your CAS portfolio. You can use your cell phone to add directly to your CAS portfolio via the ManageBac app .

DIEP Model

The DIEP model for reflective writing stands for:

D - Describe

I - Interpret

E - Evaluate

P - Plan for the future

The video by the University of Melbourne explains this model and shows that reflection is valued beyond school.

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

Another way of structuring the reflective process is by using the Gibbs reflective cycle. This video from Expert Program Management is job-based!

Here's a game you can play as a group. Make a group out of people who have shared the experience or project. Print out the cards (or create your own).

  • Cut them out.

  • Shuffle them.

  • In turns, take a card from the pile, and answer the questions. Feel free to give your answer to other cards too, or disagree with the answers.

  • If you like, you can record your group reflection and upload it to ManageBac as audio or video.

  • CAS Debrief Cards

CAS Debrief-cards-set-blank-school


Link a learning outcome (LO) to each of your reflections

LO1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth

LO1-The student is:

  • Aware of their own strengths and weaknesses

  • Open to improvement and growth opportunities

  • Able to propose experiences according to their own interests and talents

  • Willing to participate in different experiences

  • Able to undertake a thoughtful self-evaluation

  • Able to see themselves as individuals with various abilities and skills, some more developed than others.

LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process

LO2- The student:

  • Participates in an experience that demands an appropriate personal challenge; this could be with new or familiar experiences

  • Is willing to become involved in unfamiliar environments and situations

  • Acquires new skills and abilities

  • Increases expertise in an established area

  • Shows newly acquired or developed skills or increased expertise in an established area.

LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

LO3-The student:

  • Is able to articulate and use the CAS stages including investigation, preparation, action, reflection (ongoing) and demonstration, moving from conceiving an idea to carrying out a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences

  • Demonstrates knowledge and awareness by building on a previous CAS experience

  • Shows initiative by launching a new idea or process

  • Suggests creative ideas, proposals or solutions

  • Integrates reflective thoughts in planning or taking initiative

  • Is aware of roles and responsibilities when designing an individual or collective CAS experience

  • Shows responsible attitude to CAS project planning

  • Is able to develop a coherent action plan

LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

LO4- The student:

  • demonstrates regular involvement and active engagement with CAS experiences and CAS project

  • is able to foresee potential challenges to the initial plan and consider valid alternatives and contingencies

  • demonstrates adaptability to uncertainties and changes

  • gets involved in long-term CAS experiences and CAS project.

LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively

LO5- The student:

  • shares skills and knowledge

  • listens respectfully to proposals from peers

  • is willing to take on different roles within a team

  • shows respect for different points of view and ideas

  • makes valuable contributions

  • is responsible for participating in the group

  • readily assists others

  • is able to identify, demonstrate and discuss critically the benefits and challenges of collaboration gained through CAS experiences.

LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

LO6-The student:

  • recognizes the global implications of local issues

  • is able to identify global issues in the local or national community

  • shows awareness of issues of global importance and takes concrete and appropriate actions in response to them either locally, nationally or internationally

  • gets involved in CAS projects addressing global issues in a local, national or international context

  • develops awareness and responsibility towards a shared humanity.

LO7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

LO7- The student:

  • recognizes ethical issues

  • is able to explain the social influences on one’s ethical identity

  • takes into account cultural context when making a plan or ethical decision

  • identifies what is needed to know in order to make an ethical decision

  • articulates ethical principles and approaches to ethical decisions

  • shows accountability for choices and actions

  • is aware of the consequences of choices and actions regarding self, others involved and the community

  • integrates the process of reflection when facing an ethical decision

  • shows awareness of the potential and varied consequences of choices and actions in planning and carrying out CAS experiences.