CAS stands for Creativity, Action, Service: three components essential to a fully-rounded education.
CAS is a required component of the International Baccalaureate system for Sixth Formers, but at Aiglon we have chosen to embed the values of CAS across all age groups. Many of our students find CAS activities so enjoyable they do not think of them as part of their learning at all. And with more than 100 options, there really will be something to catch every student’s interest.
Junior School students are so enthusiastic for CAS. They are usually doing something every day.
Students choose one CAS activity from each of the three categories to pursue for a year, building up both proficiency and an appreciation of the rewards that come with persistence – even for activities that become more challenging the further they progress. CAS is about reflecting on what has been learned from an activity, as well as the more immediate excitement of participation, a process that helps instil valuable life-skills.
Not simply synonymous with artistic or design pursuits, the CAS philosophy recognizes creativity in its many forms, such as designing projects and interpreting goals.
So in the long list of CAS Creativity opportunities you’ll find such expected – and hugely enjoyable – traditional activities as crafts (including painting on glass, silk, or porcelain, wool craft, card making and paper engineering); cooking and baking; debating; and music (there is a school choir, swing band and rock band).
But options also include very contemporary creative skills such as scratch animation, creative writing, Spanish-language film club, theatre directing, and Photoshop. There are even opportunities to acquire ancient artisan skills such a turning a wooden bowl on a medieval foot-powered lathe!
It can be hard to imagine that Aiglon students have time to fit in any more active pursuits alongside the full programme of scheduled sport, inter-House competitions and expedition. But CAS Action gives students a chance to try such distinctly off-curriculum activities as ultimate frisbee and martial arts, such as karate and tai-chi.
There is also the opportunity to undertake awards in sports they already love, such as the BAGA gymnastics scheme, and to take lessons in pursuits otherwise outside the curriculum, such as horse riding.
For many students, the Service component is often the most memorable part not only of their CAS programme, but of their years at Aiglon. Students play an active role from the outset, working with staff to design and plan their CAS Service project. These often take teams of students and staff overseas: recent destinations have included Peru, where over a number of years Aiglon students have built and maintained a community centre high in the Andes; Rwanda, where students have worked in Kibungo Primary School and the Home of Joy Orphanage; and Thailand, where students have funded, built, taught lessons and trained staff at a school for refugees.
But service begins at home, and Aiglon’s links to the local community are only strengthened by our students undertaking projects in the schools vicinity, including clean-ups in the village and along Lac Léman; repairing a bridge along a popular walking route; taking disabled people skiing and on expedition in specially adapted sleds; and supporting senior citizens’ lunches.