LO3 – Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

Students can articulate the stages from conceiving an idea to executing a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences. This may be accomplished in collaboration with other participants. Students may show their knowledge and awareness by building on a previous experience, or by launching a new idea or process.

The student:
– is able to articulate the CAS stages including investigation, preparation, action, reflection (ongoing) and demonstration, moving from conceiving an idea to carrying out a plan for a CAS experience or series of CAS experiences
– demonstrates knowledge and awareness by building on a previous CAS experience
– shows initiative by launching a new idea or process
– suggests creative ideas, proposals or solutions
– integrates reflective thoughts in planning or taking initiative
– is aware of roles and responsibilities when designing an individual or collective CAS experience
– shows responsible attitude to CAS project planning
– is able to develop a coherent action plan taking into account the aim or purpose, activities and resources.

I joined the horticulture club- previously known as the gardening club- at the beginning of grade 7. I was new to the upper school and very much into taking care of plants, having taken care of cacti at home, and was looking for something to join. The executives of the club at the time were in grade 11, and by the end of the following school year, the roles of executives were suddenly passed down to myself and some classmates. All being only in grade 8, we had little to no leadership experience for anything, and initially needed to employ the help of teachers to try and understand how clubs were run. We did very poorly in our first year running the club. Members decreased by almost half, leaving few more than the executives and a few friends we each brought in. This all changed when our teacher supervisor reminded us of the plant outreach programme.

The plant outreach programme was a system designed to give plants to teachers to keep in their classrooms, both in the upper and lower school. Being similar to a class pet, but much simpler to take care of, we decided we could try to reintroduce it. There had been embryonic iterations of the same project previously but the programme had never been fully developed. Planning the outreach was difficult. I created a survey that was sent out to teachers to gauge interest in the programme, which was reacted to with surprising enthusiasm. Other members prepared plants, and we each decided to team up in pairs to deliver plants to classrooms. The problem was, we had very few members to keep up with the high demand. We initially wanted to give already-grown seedlings to classrooms so that we knew that the seeds would at least germinate, but sometimes there was so much demand for a particular plant (such as mint) that it was hard to keep up and we had to give some classes freshly planted seeds. We gave mini-talks to classes teaching them how to take care of the plant- simple instructions like watering them twice or three times a day until the soil was just moist enough, giving the plant adequate sunlight, things of that nature.

Despite difficulties, the programme was ultimately a success, with many teachers even coming by our booth at the family fun fair to get extra plants for their classrooms. Every year we aim to improve the programme, and we hope that when we graduate that the younger members will carry on our tradition.

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