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IB Core: Completing CAS

Towards the end of term 2 final interviews were held for year 13 as they completed their CAS program. Three of our year 13 students reflected on their interview.

IB Core: Completing CAS

Pat Sc

The final interview was an opportunity for me to reflect on the whole program. I have learned to take risks and try new things that I would not have expected myself to do. I have also learned to communicate more with new people and adapt to a new environment, which I found to be quite difficult to me at the start of IB as I am usually quite reserved, but I have learned to participate and contribute when necessary. These new skills that I have developed will definitely be useful for when I go to university abroad, meeting new people in a new environment. Something I wish I could have done better would be to take more risks, as I find that I have played it quite safe for most of my CAS activities, as I tend to choose to do creative activities that I am already familiar with despite trying out actions like rock climbing that I thoroughly enjoyed that I would not have expected myself to enjoy. Overall, CAS has given me the opportunity to expand my horizons as well as experience things more deeply as I reflect on them afterwards.

 

Natasha Sk

My CAS interview was quite successful. I think that I was able to effectively reflect upon my wide range of CAS activities. We discussed the CAS learning outcomes that were most significant to my CAS experiences, as well as the outcomes that I may have fallen short of. For example, my most significant CAS learning outcome was global engagement which I was able to obtain from my various service activities as well as largely from MUN in considering global events that I was previously unaware of. The hardest CAS outcome for me to achieve was possibly strength and growth, even though I was able to develop physical strength in activities such as Crossfit. We also discussed activities in which I may have not fully achieved my objectives, and for that one I would say it is ServICE; after ServICE I was really motivated to start up a student-led club in school involving supporting a Pakistani refugee group in Bangkok and even though we had carried out a few events (such as the Winter Carnival) and attempted planning, I was unable to fully achieve this goal. We briefly discussed what skills I learned for my CAS experiences. For example, in my CAS project I ended up taking on more of a leadership role and I learned that being a good listener was just as important as being a good contributor or speaker. I was also able to greatly improve my public speaking and communication skills through MUN. I was asked if I plan on carrying out my CAS activities in university, and I responded that I would be interested in doing more volunteering and MUN; as they improve my global perspective and help me gain skills that I would not normally develop in an academic environment. Furthermore, I was asked about advice that I would give to an incoming IB student, to which I recommended that they should do an activity that they actually enjoy because otherwise, it would be quite difficult to reflect upon the effects of your actions on yourself, as well as on your surroundings.

Emma Sh

My CAS advisor and I discussed some of the most important questions. I enjoyed organizing larger CAS projects, like Operation Smile for example, whilst working with other people and being able to help others. I found that throughout the whole CAS experience that it was difficult to overcome emotions and motivate others at the same time when being a projects leader. I found that time management was difficult in year 12 alongside IB studies, but after some adjustments were made I was able to make projects more manageable in year 13. I amended my projects to have 3 per week with more focus and dedication to them instead of many projects that had minimal time spent working on them. Operation Wallacea brought more attention to pollution and to single-use plastics, motivating me to completely stop the use of these, purchasing metal water bottles, straw, canvas bags etc. My CAS projects' expectations changed positively once the visit at the operation site took place (Operation Wallacea), I was more motivated once it was evident I could make a real difference with the children's lives there. Sports activities have allowed me to reflect on how to improve my physical and mental health. The CAS portfolio can be adapted to my future regarding trying out many different activities before deciding what really inspires me and what I generally enjoy the most. It can also we a form of a CV when applying for future jobs, portraying all my hard work regarding various CAS strands within real life. Reflection has allowed me to reflect on what I have learned that I can take away with me and practice in the real world. I believe reflecting developed the 'honesty' attribute of the IB learner profile the most, as the CAS activities were not activities we had to enjoy, we were allowed to show our likes and dislikes about any aspects whatsoever. Through working in collaboration with others I have learned to compromise and listen to everyone's opinions, I am usually highly motivated and enjoy planning but it can be difficult when others have different ideas. I have definitely learned to be more creative through the regular art workshops I attended, it allowed me to work better with different media, which I felt uncomfortable experimenting with before.My advice I would give any other student would be to always keep reflections up to date and not to leave them until last minute. Also to try and see the benefits of the reflection process and try to learn something new through these experiences.