CAS Service lets you to contribute to the improvement of the community we all live in now. Service is the most transforming and beneficial element of CAS, which happens through interactions with the other people and experiences out of classroom. CAS has the stages of investigating, planning, acting and reflecting, – we recommend that you think in that framework to plan your Service best.
Within Service, you identify and address certain community need and think how others can benefit from your knowledge, skills, resources and personal trait. We’d like you to also remember that CAS service experiences are unpaid.
When defining “community”, we consider our school, local community of Astana, interaction with other schools and the representatives of different culture face-to-face and via Internet, social media and networking. We would like you to to collaborate with others when planning and implementing your ideas.
When serving the community, think also of the global issues, understand and learn how they impact the local community. By helping improve the issue locally, we also contribute to fighting them globally. You can also broaden your experience through partnerships with other students in other cities and towns, countries and continents.
In this research-based approach, you can undertake service initiatives often related to topics studied previously in the curriculum.
CAS stages and Service (the CAS guide).
The service learning stages are:
1. Investigation: Students participate in social analysis of a selected issue, with identification and confirmation of a community need. Students are able to make choices based on their priorities and abilities and the designated need.
2. Preparation: Students design a service plan appropriate to the identified need, with clarification of roles and responsibilities, resource requirements, and timelines to successfully implement the plan. Any community partners are likely to be consulted. Students also acquire and develop the knowledge and skills needed for the experience.
3. Action: Students implement the plan through direct service, indirect service, advocacy, or research.Their service may be a combination of one or more of these types of service. Students may work individually, with partners, or in groups.
4. Reflection: Students examine their thoughts, feelings and actions applied to the context of self, community and the world. With service learning, reflection often occurs with greater frequency as students identify significant moments generated by new situations and insights.
5. Demonstration: Students make explicit what and how they learned and what they have accomplished, for example, by sharing their service experience through their CAS portfolio or with others in an informal or formal manner.
There are 4 types of Service.
We recommend that you engage with different types of service within their CAS programme (18 months).
• Direct service: Student interaction involves people, the environment or animals. For example, this can appear as one-on-one tutoring, developing a garden in partnership with refugees, or working in an animal shelter.
• Indirect service: Though students do not see the recipients of indirect service, they have verified their actions will benefit the community or environment. For example, this can appear as re-designing a non-profit organization’s website, writing original picture books to teach a language, or nurturing tree seedlings for planting.
• Advocacy: Students speak on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest. For example, this may appear as initiating an awareness campaign on hunger, performing a play on replacing bullying with respect, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions.
• Research: Students collect information through varied sources, analyse data, and report on a topic of importance to influence policy or practice. For example, they may conduct environmental surveys to influence their school, contribute to a study of animal migration, compile effective means to reduce litter in public spaces, or conduct social research by interviewing people on topics such as homelessness, unemployment or isolation.
Approaches to service:
• Ongoing service: Committed service in one area.
• School-based service: The service opportunities within the school setting. In all cases an authentic need must be verified that will be met through student action.
• Community-based service: Participating in service within the local community advances student awareness and understanding of social issues and solutions. However, single incidents of engagement with individuals in a service context can lack depth and meaning. When possible, interactions involving people in a service context best occur with a regularity that builds and sustains relationships for the mutual benefit of all.
• Immediate need service: In response to a disaster, students often want to move towards immediate action. Typically they quickly attempt to assess the need and devise a planned response.
• Fundraising: The preferred approach is for students to initially develop their understanding of the organization they choose to support and the issues being addressed. Students can draw from their interests, skills and talents to plan the method and manner of fundraising. Ideally, students directly communicate with the organization and establish accountability for funds raised. Sharing the rationale for the fundraising educates others and advocates the chosen cause. Students can also be asked to consider other ways to augment their contribution through direct, advocacy, or research service.
• International service: When participating in international service, students must understand the background and the circumstances of an identified and authenticated need to support their involvement. When direct communication with an overseas community is not possible, students could cooperate with an outside agency to provide an appropriate service.
• Volunteerism: Students often volunteer in service experiences organized by other students, the school or an external group. In such cases, students benefit from prior knowledge of the context and the service need. Being informed and prepared increases the likelihood that the students’ contribution will have personal meaning and value. Utilizing the CAS stages prior to volunteering is highly recommended.
• Service arising from the curriculum: Teachers plan units with service learning opportunities in mind, students may or may not respond and act. For example, while studying freshwater ecology in environmental systems and society, students decide to monitor and improve a local water system.
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