The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme aims to holistically develop an open-minded student, through a diverse curriculum geared towards independence, understanding of knowledge theory, and engagement with real-world issues. This is the nature of the “Creativity, Activity, Service” (CAS) project that characterizes the IBDP, and sets it apart from other curricula in how it fosters students who aren’t just academically competent, but also well-rounded in a variety of ways. As part of the CAS core, students are enjoined to participate in more than just research and theoretical study. The Service component of CAS includes community service that is intended to instill a sense of civic responsibility in every student, and build character in a way that traditional education isn’t equipped for.
The IBDP mandates community service within the school, as well community service outside the school. This community service is unpaid, and must have learning benefits for the student. Studies have shown that this service directly contributes to the formation of a service ethic, improved maturity and confidence, and a greater sense of open-mindedness and community. Through the IBDP, students are suited to become productive members of a global citizenship, and they’ll need that sense of service to get there.
IBDP students will be at the forefront of many of their fields. It’s fitting that they must additionally undergo leadership training as well, alongside their community service. Such training allows not only for greater confidence in oneself, but also trust in others as well. A great leader should also know how to be a great follower, after all.
Swiss International School in Dubai weaves the International Baccalaureate Programme into every aspect of study, including the 100 hours of service and the 50 hours of training. Already we have a large list of activities in store for our students that will provide them with ample opportunity to carry out this service. Thomas Nolan, CAS Coordinator in Swiss International School in Dubai, believes that the IB is essential for giving our students the right tools to become well-rounded. “Harvard University recognises that ‘Students with good CAS performances have qualities and skills that other students don’t possess.’ At SISD we are focusing on building students with the skills necessary for shaping their own futures,” Mr. Nolan says.