The new year is now well underway in the Creativity Activity and Service programme of the IB Diploma. Students in both years are engaged in all three strands, many of them participating in school basketball and volleyball teams this term for their activity and attending art club, Model United Nations, music lessons and other creative pursuits.
All IB Diploma students go out into the community as part of their service, regularly visiting the 5 community schools and UTH children’s oncology ward that we support. A group is assigned to a school for half a year so they get to know the school and their charges well in this time. As you can imagine, it is a major undertaking to organize transport each week.
Our students are not teachers, neither do they know the curriculum in the local schools or are proficient in the local languages. However, they can offer an enrichment programme with creative and fun art, sport, music and drama activities, which can be delivered without much language. They also have the huge advantage of being young people connecting with young people.
We are delighted to have a new and much bigger CAS room this year which has been organized by some of our students. Everything in the CAS room has been donated or is being recycled. Students draw on these materials to plan activities for the children in the schools, learning vital skills of communication as they go. As time goes on we are creating a bank of successful activity ideas, although we are very aware that our very best resource is on our own doorstep: our own primary school and I am grateful to teachers for being willing to share their ideas. Our CAS room also functions as a transfer centre for school materials which ISL has finished with and which we can pass on to community schools which are desperate for resources.
If you are ever about to discard items which could be recycled in a creative project or could be used in a community school, please deliver them to the CAS room instead! Furthermore, treasures like old but usable paintbrushes, coloured cellophane or wrapping paper, fabric scraps, decorative string, extra scissors and rubber bands are really useful for us! We would also be delighted to accept any gifts of consumables like glue and children’s paint.
Cherry Gough, CAS Coordinator