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IB Core: Modelling the UN at STA

This week Michelle from Sg reflects on her first term of CAS and shows how her experiences have already allowed her to achieve a number of the CAS learning outcomes.

Term 1 of CAS has been fun, and I have enjoyed the process immensely, especially when rewarded with that triumphant feeling of having gained a new skill or knowledge.

Firstly, for my Creativity strand, I have Model United Nations (MUN) as my CAS experience. MUN is a platform where students act as delegates for a particular country and assemble to have diplomatic discussions or debates based on the topics given in each committee, similar to how an actual UN conference would operate. Myself and several others took on the challenge of organising St Andrews’ MUN (“STAMUN”) conference which will be held in April of this year, and will be the first ever three-day long international conference at St Andrews International School Bangkok. Unsurprisingly, organising this has been tough, way tougher than I originally anticipated. One of the most difficult aspects is trying to attract more schools to send a delegation to our conference, and with the nature of MUN where people are constantly pulling out or attending at the last minute, the planning process has been sluggish. The current number of “confirmed” attendees is much lower than we hoped for, despite our combined efforts in reaching out to others outside of our school, hence the disappointment that we have felt time and again. However, I am grateful for the Secretariat’s—we like to call ourselves the P5’s (‘Permanent 5’ members of our school’s MUN club)—determination in making STAMUN a success.

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As for my ‘Action’ strand, I have been attending the fitness extracurricular activity that the school offers. A fitness instructor has been provided to aid IB students with their fitness journey, and Coach Bolt has taught us numerous drills that will benefit us all in the long term. He provided helpful tips on how to prevent injuries that come from working out incorrectly, and also made us work our underused muscles, all of which are beneficial to us even in the future. Needless to say, I have learned a great deal from the coach, and do not regret participating in the fitness extracurricular in the least.

Lastly, I have TT (“Tuesdays and Thursdays”) Club for my Service strand. In short, this club aims to provide a chance for older students to hang out with the younger kids and vice versa; the purpose of this is to be able to support the new high-schoolers, acting as their mentors, but also as a friend who can perhaps impart some knowledge to help ease their transition from Primary School to High School. Frankly speaking, part of why I joined TT Club in the first place was just to have a constant ‘Service’ activity that I can use for CAS. As someone who never particularly enjoyed younger children’s company, I was pleasantly surprised at myself for growing to like being around them after several sessions. Not only have I learned to be more patient with children, I have also become better at active listening, which is a vital communication skill to have and develop in my opinion. The outcome from this experience was unexpected, but I have grown to appreciate having a TT Club at St Andrews, and will definitely continue to attend the sessions in the following terms.

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Overall, MUN has been stressful beyond measure, fitness has been informative, and TT club has been fun. On top of that, all of these activities have benefitted me in one way or another, and allowed me to develop my leadership, communication, and time-management skills. Admittedly, I have begun to appreciate the IB requirement of completing CAS...