The three core requirements are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding.
1) Creativity, Activity, Service – CAS
The CAS programme is part of the core of the Diploma Programme. The students need to obtain a Pass for his/her CAS involvement in order to be able to graduate.
This aspect of CAS is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of arts and other experiences and projects outside the normal curriculum, which include creative thinking in the design and carrying out of service projects. This could involve doing dance, theatre, music, or it could involve taking on a leadership role and designing a service project.
The activity aspect of CAS can include:
- Participation in ‘expeditions’, camping trips,
- Individual and team sports,
- Physical activities outside of the normal curriculum
- Physical activity involved in carrying out creative and service projects
- Taking part in theatre plays or concerts on stage or backstage
Service involves interaction, such as the building of links with individuals or groups in the community. The service experience or project should be about giving to the community, it being the school, the local commune, and the province, national or international.
Service experiences should not only involve doing things for others but also doing things with others and
developing a real commitment with them. The relationship should therefore show respect for the dignity and self-respect of others.
CAS encourages students to be creative, active and keen to serve others. The emphasis is on experiential learning through participation and experience; learning by doing real tasks that have real consequences and then reflecting on these experiences over time.
Successful completion of CAS is a graduation requirement for the Diploma Programme. The CAS programme should involve real purposeful experiences with significant outcomes, personal challenge, going beyond one’s comfort zone. The projects need careful consideration, planning, reviewing progress, reporting and
reflections on the outcome for the community and personal learning.
The most meaningful CAS experience comes from spending time with others to build relationships and
develop the self-worth of both server and served. In the design and construction of CAS schedules, students are asked to find a balance between the three areas Creativity, Activity, Service.
Students engage in creative, active and community service activities of their own choice and record details of these experiences and projects throughout the span of the diploma programme. They are expected to spend 3-4 hours per week (outside school hours) on CAS for at least 18 months. At the same time, attitude is what counts, not hours. CAS is about real commitment, being involved with others and doing your bit towards helping to create a better and more peaceful world.
2) Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
The Theory of Knowledge course is another core subject for all DP students. It provides links between
subjects and gives a ‘Birds-eye-view’ to the student on the concept of learning in general.
It aims to develop in the students a critical awareness of how knowledge is acquired and enables
students to think more deeply about the subjects they are learning. By reflecting on their own knowledge and
experience they should be able to make connections between the various subjects they study within the DP course, as well as become more critical of information in the wider context of daily life.
TOK challenges students to reflect critically on what they already know, on diverse ways of knowing and areas of knowledge and to consider the role which knowledge plays in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in a global society. It encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers, to
become aware of the complexity of knowledge and to recognise the need to act responsibly in an
increasingly connected world.
TOK is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is ‘How do we know?’ Classes are predominantly discussion based. Key topics that are explored include: ways of knowing such as through emotions, by reason, perception and through language. It is also looked at from a variety of disciplines point of view. This can be the sciences, mathematics, sociology, history, geography, the arts, philosophy and ethics.
School-based assessment of the course comprises class discussion, oral presentations, journal work and essays. DP candidates are required to submit one essay of 1200 to1600 words in length for external assessment. In addition every student gives an oral presentation, which is internally assessed.
3) The Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay is a core component for all DP students.
The EE is a wonder opportunity for an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects. It normally links to one of the student’s six chosen subjects.
The Extended Essay is intended to promote:
- High-level research
- Advanced writing skills
- Intellectual discovery
It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, leading
to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing. The Extended Essay is externally assessed and in combination with the grade for Theory of Knowledge, contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB Diploma.
Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest. The essay requirement acquaints students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities and therefore constitutes a very good preparation for university work.
The essay permits students to deepen their programme of study, for example by selecting a topic in one of their Higher Level courses. A student might wish to add breadth to his/her academic experience by electing to write in a subject not included in their programme choices. The essay may be written in one of 60
subjects, and in several languages.
The skills students work on include:
- Planning and pursuing a research project
- Formulate precise research questions
- Gather and interpret material from a range of appropriate sources
- Structure reasoned arguments
- Apply analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject and topic being researched.
The students will need to spend about 40 hours on their extended essay, including researching, drafting, writing and re-writing. Every student has an essay supervisor who will guide the student in their choice of essay topic and encourage the student in their research and writing of the essay. The supervisor will also conduct a 10 – 15 minute viva voce on student’s completion of their essay. The essay has a 4000 word limit (introduction, the main body, the conclusion and any quotations) and needs to include: a title page, an
abstract, a contents page, an introduction, a body, a conclusion, references, a bibliography and where
applicable, appendices. It is advised to students to use the summer vacation between Year 1 and Year 2 for writing DRAFT 1 of the Extended Essay.