Friday, 17 November 2017

CAS Stages

A lot of people have started their projects.  Great work!  You now need to make sure you have added the CAS stages in the correct way. The CAS stages document can be found on the page at the side here - 'links to documents.' Or by clicking here. 

How to add the CAS stages document to your project

1. Each person in the group should take a copy of the document and rename it with his/her name and the name of the project. You should NOT have a shared document.  Parts of the document can be the same as other group members but there are sections you must fill in yourself.

2. Once you have created the document, click on share.  Make sure it is set to 'anyone with the link can view.'  Copy the link.

3. Next step is to go to your project on MB. Select 'Add Reflections & Evidence.
4. Once you are there you need to choose 'website.'
5. You then paste in the link.  

It is important that you follow those steps. Do not send just share the document with me!  Do not upload it as a Pdf.


English teacher wanted Mondays approx 15.30 - 17.00
An Afghani refugee has asked if I could find him an English teacher.  He has been learning Swedish for a couple of years, but doesn't really speak any English. He is 18 years old.  You need to be creative and able to communicate with a person who doesn't speak the same language as you (unless you know Dari or Swedish).  I can help you with ideas and maybe a book to use.  Please speak to me if you are interested.

Dutch Speakers wanted for Christmas Event
On Sunday 26th November, the Dutch Embassy is holding s traditional party for children and would like some volunteers to help out.  Click here for full information in Dutch

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Keeping on Track


CAS is not something you can do all in one go.  It is not something you can do 'afterwards.' The idea is that you participate in CAS experiences for at least 18 months of the IB Diploma programme.  This might mean that some weeks you spend several hours, another week just one, but you must always have a CAS experience that is ongoing.

Planning - writing a description and setting goals

CAS experiences should be planned.  Before you start you should have added your goals and a description of the experience. The experience should then be approved and you can start participating.  It should not happen the other way around.

Adding Evidence

This should be ongoing.  As soon as you start an experience, you should have some evidence of participation.  This can be schedules, emails, photos, planning documents, receipts for payments, membership cards, posters, recordings, minutes from meetings showing attendance, screen shots of websites you are working on etc. Do it as you go along and it will not be a big chore.  Wait until the end and it will take much more time.

Adding Reflections

By now you should be thinking about reflecting. If you started something at the beginning of the term and have not yet found a moment to do a reflection, start to think about it now.  Reflection can be done at any time - maybe after a match if you play a sport, at the end of campaign, when something significant happens.... Reflections can be in writing, audio recordings, videos, pictures that show how you felt.  They should show how you covered the learning outcomes, but can also be other points.  They can be done individually or in groups.

CAS Project Planning

CAS projects must follow the CAS stages.  The first stage must be filled in and completed and then approval gained from the CAS coordinator before you continue.  If you are doing a project and haven't followed this procedure, you are at risk of not being able to count it as a project. At this point, everyone should have an idea and start planning their project.

Deadlines - for green flags 

At the end of this week - November 17th you need to have the following to get a green flag.
  • planned and approved CAS experiences
  • evidence for all CAS experiences that you have commenced
  • reflection for all CAS experiences that have gone for longer than a month
  • the CAS stages document for projects - filled in to at least stage 1 for projects that have not started.  Filled in to end of stage 3 for projects that have already commenced.


Action10 is a nonprofit organisation operating in non-OECD countries. We have programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Colombia. Our vision is a world without extreme poverty.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Considering ethics of choices and actions

CAS and Ethics

This is one of the outcomes that many people find hardest to meet and reflect upon.  Here is an example.

A student in a dance performance had her leg in a cast after she tore a muscle and wouldn't be able to train with the other dancers in the last weeks leading up to the performance. The producers of the show had to make the decision to exclude her as she wouldn't have time to catch up when her cast was removed. Decisions like this that you have to make - accepting or not accepting people as part of a group, or their piece of work etc are important if difficult decisions that involve ethical considerations (Cannings et al.).

You can think about ethical decisions you have made in the following contexts: 
  • sport
  • dealing with other people
  • carrying out a service experience
  • in terms of academic honesty
  • reflection
Think about how often, "we make decisions in CAS relative to the feelings of our peer group."  This is especially so in experiences that involve working in groups.  I have met and spoke with some groups about this.  Who does the work?  Should everyone get equal credit?  These are the kind of questions that enable you to demonstrate that you have: Recognised and considered the ethics of choices and actions. 

Source: Cannings, John, María Inés Piaggio, Peter Muir, and Tom Brodie. Creativity, Activity, Service CAS for the IB Diploma An Essential Guide for Students. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Pr, 2015. Print.

Mostly green flags!

Most people have managed to add a number of CAS experiences and have them approved.  The next step is to start adding evidence and reflection.  Each experience should have some evidence at least by the end of October.  You should also consider a good moment to reflect.  By the end of November, you should have evidence and reflection for all experiences.  


You should all have started planning a project by the end of November.  That means you have the CAS stages document in the evidence section of your CAS portfolio - with at least the first section filled in.  Please check the sharing settings so that I can see it!  If you are having trouble with a project idea, please see me.

Creative Cats

Can you knit, sew or crochet?  Or would like to learn?  Heart Cats is a project where
people crochet cats with small red hearts for children undergoing heart surgery. These follow a set pattern that can be found in English, Japanese and Swedish. Cats or other figures can also be made for siblings - the difference with these is that you do not have to follow a pattern or even crochet - you can let your imagination go wild.

Once completed the cats/animals are sent to the HjärteKatt organisation, which then distributes them to the children. If you want more information you can go the website - it is in Swedish so if you don't understand come and see me or ask a Swedish friend to help you.  Look at the very cute pictures here!

Turn Activity into service

There is a free app called: Charity Miles.  If you use this app when you are walking, running or cycling companies donate money to a charity that you choose from a list.  Sounds like a great way to get exercise and raise money for charity. It is available on Apple  and and through Google Play.  

Amnesty Group - congratulations!

The Amnesty group has worked hard to gather 142 signatures to protest about the imprisonment of Amnesty activists in Turkey.  The hearings started this week and 2 of the activists have actually now been released after over 100 days in jail to await trial later next month.  Let's hope that the voice of our students is heard and that all the activists can have fair trials.   Well done!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Finishing an Experience

There are some people who have already come to the end of an experience.  Once you have finished you need to do the following:

  • check that you have added enough evidence
  • check that you have added reflections
  • fill in the CAS questions                       ↘↘↘↘↘

  • Make sure that you explain how you have reached the learning outcomes in your answer to the CAS questions.  
  • Send a 'request for review' to your supervisor
  • Make sure that you have a correct email address otherwise it won't work. If you don't have an email address for your supervisor, you can print it out and give it to the supervisor.  Once it is filled in, scan it and add it to your evidence and reflections.
  • Once all that is done you should get a green tick next to the experience to indicate that it is complete. You will not be able to make any changes to your experience once that green tick appears so make sure you follow the steps in the correct order.

Do you still have a red flag?

The deadline has passed for having started your CAS portfolio.  If you do not have approved experiences by now, you will have been sent a message to book at time for a meeting with me.  If this issue is not resolved before the break, I will need to contact you parents to inform them that you are in danger of not qualifying for the IB Diploma.

Next step

After the Autumn break I will be expecting everyone to have started adding evidence and reflections.  

Project deadline

Everyone is expected to have uploaded a CAS stages document for the planned project by the beginning of December.  

Some service ideas

If you are having trouble finding service ideas you can try Zooniverse.  There are lots of on-line research projects you can get involved in.  
Another good site with community science projects all around the world is Scistarter

Otherwise try volunärbyrån.  Don't worry if you don't speak Swedish.  They have some jobs in English and even if it is Swedish, ask a Swedish speaker to help.  Most organisations just want volunteers - they don't mind if you don't speak Swedish.  One of our students has already volunteered at a Redcross Shop.

Do you like to bake?  Jul in Gemenskap needs Christmas food - home baked cinnamon buns, ginger cakes and small biscuits

Still need ideas?  Come and see me!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Descriptions and Goals

This week there are still a lot of people with red flags.  Even those with green flags still have some things to fix.

What to think about when writing your description

Describe exactly what you are doing as part of this experience.  Some of you have very detailed descriptions of the the groups you are in, but neglect to say what you are actually doing as part of the group

What to think about when writing goals

These should be clear and personal.  What you will actually get better at, or try to improve.  They can be simple like to attend the gym 3 times a week for 6 months.  Or more complex - to improve my leadership skills by being the chairperson for this group.

What to think about when choosing learning outcomes

For every learning outcome you choose, you need to show how you will reach it.  

1. Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
You need to say what your strengths are and what areas you need to develop.  
e.g. I am already very physically strong but I do not have such good stamina so I will do more cardio exercise in order to develop my ability to run longer distances.

2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process.
You need to explicitly describe the challenges and the skills that that you think you will develop.
e.g. I have never spoken in public before, so debating with be a real challenge but I hope that I will develop better public speaking skills through this experience.

3. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience.
You need to show that it was you who came up with this idea and carried it through from idea and planning to completion.
e.g. I want to create a website about .... and I am planning to get others to work on it with me.

4. Show commitment and perseverance in CAS experiences
You need to mention what the commitment is
e.g. I will do .... every week for 6 months

5. Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively
You need to say how you are going to work with others and the skills that you might need to do this.
e.g. I am working with 3 others to make a film.  It will be important for us to communicate and plan together if this is to be completed by our deadline.  

6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
You need to actually say what the issue of global significance is.
e.g. As part of the rhino group, I hope to make a difference to the global issue of biological diversity and play some part in  protecting rhinos from extinction.
e.g. As part of the Nepal group, I hope to contribute to improving attendance at the school in Nepal as it has been shown that education is one way for people to take a step out of poverty. Poverty, is a global issue, that is big problem in this part of the world.  I will do this by ......
e.g. As part of the group playing football with refugees, I hope to make the Afghanis feel more welcome in Sweden.  Isolation and problems with integration are an issue for refugees all over the world.  Whilst this is not going to change their lives dramatically, I hope that is makes a small difference to this vulnerable group of people.

7. Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions
You need to give an example of how you think you will do this.
e.g. As part of this group......., we will have to make decisions about who can be involved and in what capacity. It might mean that not everyone can have a chance to speak/go on a trip/have a leadership role.  I will have to think about my role as a leader or group member and be sensitive to the wishes of others and try not to hurt people's feelings, but also keep what is best for the group as a whole in mind. (Your example should mention specific decisions).

Go back to your experiences that are not yet approved and make sure that you have addressed each of the learning outcomes that you have chosen and shown how you will reach them.  Look at the notes that I have written on your portfolio.

Add evidence and reflections

Opportunities this week

Climate Comic Contest

Calling everyone up to 25 years old! Enter our Climate Comic Contest by coming up with a climate change fighting superhero - the coolest, most phenomenal will be brought to life in a real comic. BAM!

I spoke to the woman from Habitat this week and she is interested in helping us get a trip together.  Possible destinations are Romania, Poland and Macedonia.  There needs to be at least 6, preferably 8, people who are interested in attending.  You would choose a time that suits you all - probably during sport or Easter break.  You go for one week and help to renovate a home for people with low incomes.  Costs are approximately: 350 - 400 US dollars for accommodation plus a donation of around 450 US dollars per person.  Travel to and from are additional.  You can fund raise to cover the donation.  See the link for more details.

Swedish Speakers Wanted
Fånga Framtiden Tillsammans  is a group that offers homework help to refugees.  They are in great need of  more people to help.  On Wednesdays between 6 and 8 pm they meet at Björngårdsgatan 21 on Södermalm near Medborgaplatsen. Let me know if you can come this week or next. It is on a drop on basis so you do not need to commit to going every week. You can go once or more times, It is up to you.  If you want to go next week, let me know and you can come with me the first time.  They particularly need people with maths skills.  They also meet in Mondays.  If you want details about that, let me know.

Halloween Party - PTA wants helpers
See last post for details

Friday, 6 October 2017

What do I need to do to get a green flag?

Last week I gave out red flags to a lot of people.  This just means that your CAS portfolio is not up-to-date.  It is important that you spend the time on your CAS portfolio current as there are many things that become harder or impossible to do if you leave them.

To get a green flag you need to:

  • have added experiences with descriptions 
  • each experience should have clear goals connected to the outcomes you have chosen
  • you have chosen outcomes for each experience (no more than 3)
  • you have started at least one experience and added evidence for it
  • you have uploaded your personal profile as a pdf in the document section of your CAS portfolio (see last post for details)
If you are not sure what you need to do - look at the note that I have left at the bottom of the your CAS worksheet.  

Experiences will not be approved if:
  • the description is not detailed enough
  • the goals do not make a connection to the all the learning outcomes you have chosen
  • you have chosen more than 3 outcomes
To get a gold cup you need to:
  • do all the items listed on the green flag
  • have started your CAS project
  • have provided a link to the  CAS stages document for the CAS project
  • have evidence for your some of your experiences
  • have some reflection


Halloween Helpers

Halloween is just around the corner and the PTA would love some help with the 3rd annual Primary Halloween Party at SIS. This event will take place on Friday, October 27th from 3:30-5:30 pm. Last year's event was a tremendous success.  There are plenty of opportunities available to pitch in with games, face painting, crafts and haunted walk through.   Although this is a rewarding and exciting event, the PTA's top priority is to entertain while keeping safety in mind. They would love some responsible DP students to assist us take care of the guests aged 4 to 11.

If you wish to help out at this event you need to attend a meeting on Tuesday, October 10 in the Main Building on the 4th floor in room 41 at 15.45. You should also email to let them know that you are coming. At the meeting the PTA will review the basics and you can place requests for the areas you might be interested in working with (there are no guarantees). The meeting should take no longer than 30 minutes. If you have a good reason for not being able to attend this meeting, but would still like to be part of the event please email Amanda. 

The PTA is looking forward to collaborating with you on another successful community event. Please feel free to contact Amanda  if you have additional questions.  If you know other students who might be interested in assisting, they can write her directly or attend Wednesday's meeting.

Ask me for Amanda's email address

International Development Experience

  • Action10
Action10 is a nonprofit organisation operating in non-OECD countries ( We have programmes in Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Colombia. Our vision is a world without extreme poverty. Action10 is managed by volunteer staff only and 97% of the funds we collect are transferred to our Target countries.
We are currently looking for more volunteers to join our Sustainable Economy (SE) work-group. The SE ensures Sustainable economy in all the Action10 programmes. The members of this group support the Programme partners with ensuring that all programmes are designed with a long-term sustainable economy plan in mind, most likely a business model. The group is also in charge of fundraising, for Action10 to be able to offer seed-money and investment capital to our Programme partners. SE develops and assess the Action10 fundraising strategy. Their work includes identifying and keeping a good relation with private, corporate and civil society givers and with grant giving organisations. They ensure safe and easy ways of donating as well as keeping givers content and well informed about what their contributions were used for (stewardship). The group also manages marketing, crowd funding, donor meetings, fundraising events, training on fundraising, and a compilation of givers.
When and where will the volunteering take place: 
Our meetings are held in Stockholm
Specific requirements and information: 
The volunteer is welcome to attend our monthly events.
Minimum time commitment: 
Ten work hours per month

Being a volunteer at the Stockholm Film Festival means that you get to be at the centre of events. If you give us your time and commitment, we will give you the opportunity to watch a lot of movies and get a unique perspective of the film world. 8 - to 19th November

Interested in knitting?

Ms Öman is an expert knitter and is willing to give advice to anyone who wants to start out. Minjueng has already started knitting.  Why don't you get yourself some knitting needles and yarn and so something creative for CAS?

Interested in learning Swedish?

Linnéa and Sophie are starting up a group to teach people Swedish.  Contact them if you are interested in this creative experience.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

There is no such thing as CAS points!

It is great that all the CAS interviews are done for the first round now.  Some of you have some really great plans - others are still thinking about what you will do for some strands.  The important thing to do now is to start adding to your portfolio in MB.  Make sure you add evidence as you go along and reflections when needed.  Remember - there can never be too much evidence.  Reflections should be done at meaningful moments - 2 - 3 times a term for longer term experiences.  

Please do keep in mind that:

There is no such thing as CAS points!

and we do not count hours.  That is why it is important that you have a good CAS portfolio with: 

  • evidence of participation in CAS experiences in the 3 strands, 
  • quality reflections
  • evidence of having met the 7 learning outcomes
  • a project documented using the CAS stages (must be an experience of longer than a month)
  • evidence of participation in CAS continually over 18 months

Personal Profiles

You should have received a message via google classroom to download your personal profile as a pdf and upload it onto your CAS portfolio under 'documents'

Please make sure to do this before the 8th October.

There are many activities being organised by people in the class - look out for sign up sheets and pay attention to announcements!  if you wish to send a message about something you are organising please speak to me - I can publish it here or send a message on MB.

Some ideas

Book Reviews
Ms Larsson is looking for people who are interested in writing reviews for books in the school library.  Contact her if you are interested in this creative experience. 

Rhino March
Every year in October, there is an annual march for Elephants and Rhinos organised worldwide.  In Stockholm the group that organises this march is Försvara Elefanterna.  This year they are meeting up at Mariatorget at 11 am on October 7th to give out information about Elephants and Rhinos. Everyone is welcome to support the cause.  The rhino group will make posters/signs.

Walk for Freedom
You are probably aware that human trafficking is a major issue right now that has grown due to the current world affairs as you are aware. A21 is an non-profit organisation working towards ending human trafficking around the world.This group is organising a walk on Saturday October 14 at 13.00 starting at Humlegården.  See this message from Ms Thompson who is a member of this organisation:

As part of the organisation, I would really like to encourage you to take part in the annual Walk for Freedom that will take place in Stockholm, as well as around 66 cities around the world. Saturday, October 14, at 13.00 starting at Humlegården. It is free to sign up and walk, but you can donate to the organisation by buying the black t.shirt with the logo, Walk for Freedom where all profit goes towards abolishing slavery. I would love for as many SIS staff, parents and students to take part in this walk that makes a difference to those caught in slavery around the world. 

Sign up using either of these links:

Film Festival
Don't forget to send in your application if you want to volunteer for the Stockholm film festival. See details here in Swedish and here in English.  It is November 8th to 19th.

Looking for more ideas?

It is great that so many people are involved with hemlö giving out food to homeless people in the mornings.  If you are unable to make it but would like to be involved in a similar project there is a group called Stockholm's Street Angels who meet up on Sunday afternoons to give out food.

Great work this week

Well done to William, Raman and Marc who turned up at 10am on Sunday to play football with a group of refugees from Afghanistan.