CAS enables students to live the IB Learner Profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognise their role in relation to others. CAS is organised around the three strands of Creativity, Action and Service defined as:
- Creativity – arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
- Action – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme
- Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.
Students develop skills and attitudes through a variety of individual and group activities that provide students with opportunities to express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment. Students are also required to undertake a CAS Project that challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, and develop skills such as those of collaboration, problem solving, and decision making.
Southbank has a long history of involvement in charity fundraising. Central to the ethos of the IB programme is Community Service and Action. From our youngest students in EC3 through to our diploma graduates, Southbank strives to nurture a sense that no action is too small, and every effort helps create a better community locally and globally. In the Primary Years Programme, the cyclical model of ‘Think – Act – Reflect’ is a constant in student learning and development. Students are encouraged to raise awareness of issues or take steps toward change.
The school works in tandem with the PTA promoting and supporting a range of charities. They might be local or global in their scope but the guiding rationale we employ is that our children can make authentic connections with charitable endeavour and develop a genuine sense that their actions, however small, can make a positive difference. As an IB school we also link such activity with the IB Learner Profile and PYP Attitudes.
Our major focus across our campuses currently lies with the following charities:
- Ashford Place– This charity runs a day centre providing services and support for homeless men in our local community. Many of our students have visited the centre to help deliver the proceeds of our annual charity collection, enabling them to meet and talk to the users of the centre. a town meeting.
- Kids for Kids– Internationally we support the charity Kids for Kids. Money raised goes towards providing practical assistance such as the provision of livestock and fresh water for families in Darfur. When they leave Southbank, students have a goat donated in their name to Kids for Kids. This is organised by the PTA.
- Henderson Court– Henderson Court is a resource centre near the school funded by the charity Age UK Camden which offers a wide range of day opportunities for anyone who is 60 or over.
- Make A Wish Foundation– The school choir chose to support this charity, which helps children and young people aged between 3 and 17 living with life threatening illnesses, by busking in the local community during December.
- Migrants Organise– This platform is where refugees and migrants organise for power, dignity and justice. They develop leadership and open up spaces for relational, organised participation of migrants and refugees in public life.
- Voice in a Million– This is a project founded in 2009 to help orphaned and abandoned children worldwide. The school choir has supported this charity through a performance at Wembley stadium.
Annual Trip to Tanzania
As part of the Creativity Activity Service (CAS) Programme at Southbank, Grade 11 students travel to Tanzania each year in the Spring term. The main purpose of the trip is to benefit local communities in Central Tanzania. The students take part in a number of activities such as upgrading classrooms and teaching in a local school. In 2017, students travelled to the same area where we helped with the following projects:
- Renovating two classrooms by painting the walls, doors and blackboards and drawing colourful and educational murals
- Fixing doors (some of them rotten) and windows (some of them without glass)
- Funding 50 new desks, which the students put together, painted and varnished on their own
- Renovating one staff room by fixing the ceiling board and painting the walls
- Renovating the Principal’s office
- Funding 6 tables and 6 chairs for the staff room
- Installing 180 windows in the classrooms
Students have found this annual trip to be both inspirational and rewarding. They have the opportunity to develop practical skills, build their team spirit and, most importantly, help others. Please see below quotes from students/teachers directly involved in the trip:
“The trip to Tanzania is one that I have been looking forward to from a very young age. Having attended the Kensington campus for all of my schooling years, the school trip to Tanzania was introduced to me from a young age. In the first grade, we had students from that year’s grade 11 come to Kensington and tell us about their trip. We also had the job of decorating and filling these shoeboxes that the grade 11’s took with them and gave to the children in Tanzania. In addition to this, my older sister went to Tanzania two years before I did and hearing about her experience only enhanced my desire to attend the trip myself. The activities that we did, as well as the experience in general was all that the hype had built it up to be. I was very happy with the outcome of the trip and would greatly recommend it to future students who are interested.”
– Former pupil at Kensington and current Grade 11 student at Westminster
“I have been incredibly privileged to be able to attend the last four trips to Tanzania. The interesting thing is that each trip has been very different, based on which school we have been helping, as well as the students who have attended. This almost makes each trip feel completely different, since the dynamics are so different. Another important factor is that we’ve been able to help three different schools in the area. This means we are not simply making one school look fantastic in what is otherwise a sea of poverty. One of the constants of these trips is the reactions of our students, who are surprised by how happy such poor people can be. The good thing is our students are able to articulate how surprised they were by this. They have frequently been able to articulate how much happier these students are than some of our Southbank students, who have so much more in terms of material goods.”
– Michael Sparks, Humanities teacher and Head of TOK at Westminster
Team London Young Ambassadors 2017
In March 2017, Southbank received notification from the Office of Mayor of London that Southbank Hampstead was approved as a Team London Young Ambassador Accredited School. This award is given to schools with a history of taking action to promote positive change locally, nationally or internationally. The accreditation team were impressed by initiatives such as Grade 5 gaining the John Muir Environmental Award, our links with local organisations and the wide range of charities we engage with and support.