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So I have just started my first year of IB and I am totally confused about how CAS works... Can someone please just explain a small overview about how everything works and what you have to do and how you plan for it because I am soo lost :((

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First of all, you have your CAS coordinator, he/she will organise general thing's that you can take part in such as bake sales for charity/any trips/etc, these will make your short-term projects to fill up Managebac (or whatever system your school uses). Then it's up to you to present her with your ideas, for example, I wanted to do a soup kitchen so she helped me organise that. These will be long-term projects typically lastly 3-4 months and can be anything from beach cleaning to food banks etc just something you'll be doing for a while. You should be aiming for 50+ hours of Creative, Action, and Service (Typically action and service go together most of the time, but if you manage to do a task that fits all 3 you only need to do 50 hours of CAS over the year). Most of the planning will be done by your coordinator, at least for me, it's just up to you to be proactive and search for things you enjoy, or you'll just end up doing last minute stuff you will find boring.

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General overview: CAS is basically just mandatory extracurricular activities. You must fulfill a requirement of at least 5 activities in each of the categories of Creativity, Activity, and Service. These activities must be spread throughout the two years of the diploma program, and must demonstrate growth, inititiative, perserverence, etc. (these are called CAS target outcomes). Basically, you do any activity that is creative, active, or helps others in some way, while taking some kind of proof that you actually did the thing (usually photos), then you record and reflect on the activity at home on your school's online tracking system.  My school uses a system called Managebac to help us record and track our activities, but I'm not sure if your school will use the same system. You'll also need a supervisor for each activity who can vouch for you and confirm that you actually did the activity.

Different schools may have different experiences with CAS. I know for our school the CAS coordinator doesn't actually help us with any of our CAS activities, we plan everything and track everything ourselves. The CAS coordinator just confirms our activities and consults on CAS matters. 

In our school we also have a thing called a "CAS project" which is basically a longer, sustained project in any of the three CAS categories. It's held over a month or a few, and we plan the whole experience ourselves. 

Hope this helped! Message me if you have any questions :)

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