CAS Essay


When I think of my CAS experience over these two years, he first activity that comes to my mind is Visual Arts, because without the compulsion and encouragement that a programme like CAS creates, I would never have taken such a big step outside my comfort zone. Through CAS, I have been able to rekindle my passion for sketching and painting, work on my fine motor skills and my patience. When I am sitting in the VA Room with music playing in the background, and slowly painting away delicate flowers on a thin muslin cloth, the problems of the classroom seem really far away.

Therefore, more than anything else, CAS has taught me the importance of being BALANCED. In my pursuit of meeting the prescribed CAS points, I feel I have become a fitter, more creative and more CARING individual. CAS has also made me more OPEN-MINDED, and willing to TAKE RISKS. For instance, previously, I would never even think of participating in SUO or going for a tree plantation drive early morning on a weekend. But after these experiences, my worldview seems to have expanded as I am able to look past the ‘effort’ factor and look to the ‘reward’ factor of activities.

These experiences have therefore taught me that even though I may not have total mastery in all the activities that I undertook, I should continue trying to learn new things to expand my horizons. I say this because although CAS is not academic, it has definitely been an extremely educational experience: my CAS project (FSMUN), has taught me the importance of being patient, tolerant and being a better team player; my participation in Tennis and Football has taught me the importance of hard work and perseverance; my participation in MUNs and debates has taught me the importance of creative problem solving.

I am also happy that my participation in CAS activities has been able to benefit others around me – as I mentored students to participate in MUNs, went on a tree plantation drive for the betterment of the environment and volunteered for the organisation of various student-led events.

Nothing good comes easy, and I faced significant difficulties in achieving all these positive outcomes. For me, I think the biggest challenge was being perseverant and committed when it came to sport because after a tiring day of school, going out on the field can become very tiring. However, after some initial struggles, as I grew to enjoy the sports that I was playing this difficulty was alleviated.

Moving forward, I think I’m definitely going to use the creativity – action – service formula when planning my schedule to ensure that I have a balanced and principled lifestyle that benefits me and others.

CAS Plan

Proposed Activities Duration Description of the activity Components (C/A/S) Start and End Dates Goals Learning Outcomes Location Ethical implications related to the activity (if any)
HMUN India Short Term Participation in HMUN India as head delegate Creativity Conference Dates 13 to 16 August. Preparation started from July. Getting experience of public speaking, debate and conflict resolution.
Learning about International Disputes and countries of the world. Representing the school at international level conference.
LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
Out of School: Hyderabad, Telengana When discussing about world issues as controversial as religious and ethnic conflicts, the language should be politically correct. The perspectives of different religions and cultures must also be respected.
Football Short Term Participation in Subroto Cup International Football Tournament (District Level) Activity 16th July 2015 Building physical fitness (strength, stamina)
Cooperation with teammates
Improving football skills and learning new skills and tactics
LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
In School Fair play
Session with IIMUN students Short Term Giving the students tips and advice for research, preparation and the actual conference. Service 17th July 2015 Help students from my school perform better at an MUN when representing our school. Help students understand about the complexities of MUN conferences. LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
LO 6 engagement with issues of global significance
In School
FSMUN (CAS PROJECT) Long Term Organising the FSMUN as the Secretary General. Overseeing the content side of the event. Creativity, Service 28-29 November 2015 Use what I have learnt in BM (Business plan, etc.) to plan the event.
Spread awareness abput world issues in school students.
Inculcate debate and public speaking skills in students.
Learn to work effectively in a team.
Get exposure by interacting with different people.
LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
LO 3 Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
LO 5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
LO 6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
In School
Arts and Literary Fest Long Term Segement manager for “Ads to Add up” event. Creativity, Service 22-23rd August 2015 Develop deeper understanding of how advertisements can be used to sell a product. Connect this learning with subjects such as BM, Englsih and Hindi. Develop organisational, management and planning skills. LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 3 Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
In School
Arts and Literary Fest Short Term Participation in Debate Competition Creativity 22-23rd August 2015 Develop reasoning, public speaking and criticial thinking skills. Use persuasuive skills learnt in English for speeches and argument LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
LO 6 Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
In School
Tennis Long Term Playing Tennis for recreation and fitness Activity All year long Imporve accuracy of groundstrokes. Minimize unforced errors.
Improve power and accuracy of serve.
Learn to use different types of strokes to advantage in match.
Develop endurance and agility.
LO 1 Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
Out of school
SUO Short Term Venue coordinator for Surat Ultimate Open Activity, Service 05-06 December 2015 Learn about ultimate frisbee
Meet new people who are engaged with the sport
Help provide a platform for people to explore the sport
LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
In School Following spirit of game, making sure everyone (players and OC members) are treated fairly
Visual Arts Long Term AS Visual Arts Creativity All year long Learn new forms of visual arts such as sculpture, painting, etc.
Develop creativity and fine motor skills
Learn about art histroy and famour artists
LO 2 Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills
LO 4 Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
In School Academic/ Artistic honesty, not taking credit for/ copying the work and ideas of other artists
Winter Trip: Naggar Short Term A class winter trip to Naggar, Himachal Pradesh where we took part in various adventure activities. Activity 27 Dec 15 – 4 Jan 16 Creating awareness about keeping the environment clean
Supporting local industries
Learning about a new culture and way of life
Participating in treks and hikes
Participating in various adventure activities
Learning to adjust outside comfort zone
LO 5 Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.
LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
Out-Of-School Eco-tourism
Supporting local cottage industries
Tree plantation @ KV School Short Term Planting trees at Kendriya Vidyalay School Opposite SVNIT Service 03-Sep-15 Contributing to the creation of a cleaner, greener city LO 6 Engagement with issues of global significance
LO 7 Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
Out-Of-School Ethical to give back the environment, society

CAS Profile


Me, my talents and my interests

Hi! My name is Aashna, and I’m 17 years old (well, I will be, by the time I finish CAS). People say I am particularly good at reaching things on shelves that are high up, reading pretentious books, and explaining things to people, (which is ironic, because they also say that I’m one of the most impatient people to have walked on this planet).

My greatest pleasure in life is travelling. And I am no lightweight traveller; I become super-immersed in the culture, beauty and history of the places I travel to. You could say that my in-built nerdiness follows me even when I am on vacation. I also enjoy laughing. By that, I mean, I enjoy seeing stand-up comedy, comic TV shows and reading books that tickle my tummy.

My outlook on life

I strongly believe that it is of utmost importance to live a balanced life. However, this is easier said than done when you’re in DP. That is why, when I find myself out in the rain transplanting trees a day before a Business Management test, or sitting quietly and colouring in the portrait of a flamenco dancer right before my EE submission, I feel extremely thankful to CAS for making it mandatory  to live a little.

Having said that, I believe that I still have a very long way to go to achieve the balance that I so idealistically preach about. Therefore, I believe I would like to be more involved with sports and service based activities in the future, and improve my skills in these avenues. My endurance, for example, has taken a nose-dive ever since I joined that DP, and I believe that the remedy for that will be investing more time into practicing sports that I enjoy – like tennis, and football. Moreover, through the medium of CAS, I have been able to take up visual arts, which I have found to be extremely therapeutic and calming. I’m sure if I improve my fine motor skills, I’ll find the arts even more calming as that sense of resignation that I associated with my artistic abilities will be mitigated.

My goals, and my dreams

I feel really strongly about education for all. Therefore I would like to go beyond just ‘feeling strongly’ and become more involved in making the world a better place in this aspect. However, I believe that when it comes to taking baby steps to solve an issue of global significance, it is important that my actions are as effective as possible, and therefore I would like to learn about the teaching methods and techniques that I can employ to effectively teach students who don’t have access to adequate education.

I am a history geek, and therefore I really want to try to increase appreciation for Surat’s heritage in its people. It is my dream that the beautiful, priceless Dutch, English and Armenian cemeteries in Surat’s old cities are preserved and well taken care of in a manner that people are able to appreciate the great history of our city.

Activity 11: AS Visual Arts | Creativity

Visual Arts used to be something I loved to do as a kid. However, for a long time, I had become disconnected from the field as I was caught up in a never ending stream of assignments and examinations.

CAS in Grade 11 and 12 gave me the opportunity to formally take up VA – something that had been restricted for too long to the end pages of my notebooks. This formal training enabled me to greatly develop my fine motor skills, as I dabbled in various art forms – ranging from wood-cut printing to fashion design. Before these two years of VA classes, I always thought of myself as someone who had a lot of ideas about art, but lacked the skills to make them a reality. Through systematic exploration of various art techniques – such as using photo-ink colours, polishing and carving wood, and painting on thin muslin cloth, I was able to use my skills to express these ideas.

Another learning that VA has given me is that of perseverance and patience. Because I was committed to making each of my art pieces the best versions of themselves, I was forced to go against my impatient, ineffectual attitude towards work to attain the desired perfection. Moreover, the weekly VA classes that I religiously attended for two years provided me with a much-needed breather from the humdrum of everyday life: in the VA room, sitting quietly and painting away tiny pastel flowers, the problems of the mundane don’t seem to matter all that much.

That is not to say that art completely disconnected me from the real world and its problems. As someone who cares deeply about humanitarian causes, I tried to incorporate messages about the world into my art. For instance, after the Paris attacks in Nov 2015, I made a woodcut print depicting the Eiffel Tower caught in Van Gogh-esque swirls to pay homage to the victims and their families. Speaking of great artists, I was also forced to consider the ethical implications and the thin line between ‘being influenced’ and ‘copying’ as I explored artwork by artists ranging from Dali to Mondrian. More locally, I had to be careful that I wasn’t subconsciously but unethically borrowing ideas from my exceptionally talented peers 😛

In all, I think this was a really positive experience for me in terms of development of new skills, commitment and perseverance and ethical implications.


Click here to view my VA Journal

Activity 10: Tree Plantation Drive | Service

I have always been a cowardly, overcautious kind of a person, which automatically translates into caring A LOT about taking care of the environment, lest one day it stops taking care of me.

I enjoy and appreciate nature’s prowess and beauty, and through this CAS activity, I was able to give back to nature in a small way. We went on a tree plantation drive arranged by Nature Club Surat and planted trees in Kendriya Vidyalay School in Piplod.

I initially thought it was going to be quite a boring activity that I would do just for the sake of getting over with CAS, but the whole experience so much more than that.

Going to KV School, I saw the wild plants in the playground, and the tall trees on the perimeter of the campus, I realized how natural beauty can make even a seemingly desolate place (a government school, on a rainy Sunday, early in the morning) appear to be an oasis. Being among all that greenery in the centre of the city was a very unique experience, because it made me realize, that all over the world, places of great natural beauty are being transformed into concrete jungles to suit the needs of human beings, that we are destroying the plant for our convenience, and that this is highly unethical.

With this thought in my mind, when I actually started transplanting the bird-friendly trees into pits and then filling them up with mud, I felt like I was taking a step (albeit a very small one) towards making a difference with regards to an issue of global significance. All cities desperately need more green places: not just to serve as lungs for the atmosphere, but also because human beings often needs respite from the harshness of concrete and traffic and noise, and there is no better place for the respite than nature’s green lap, surrounded by the majesty of trees and the chirping of birds. I am glad I was contribute to taking our reality a step closer to this ideal.


Activity 9: Winter Trip to Naggar| Activity

cam 1115Having been to the Himalayas 14 times before in my short life of 16 years, I can gladly say that going back to the dazzling snow peaks and scenic valleys felt like home. On the class trip to Naggar, I indulged in walks, hikes and treks in the backdrop of rustic villages and quaint backwoods. Walking in the mountains seems very pleasant and charming, but the strength and rigor it demands can make it anything but that. On a trek to Rumsu village, the almost vertical climb on the trail was very challenging for me because I have not been working out for so long and therefore I got the opportunity to work on my fitness in such a beautiful scenery.

Furthermore, every evening, fitness sessions with specialists (however unpleasant they seemed while we were panting in the cold) really helped me improve my fitness. Overcoming the physical challenges really helped me push myself and learn new skills that I am able to use every day such as certain Yoga stretches

The adventure activities (skiing, tubing, ATV ride) really got my adrenaline pumping and helped me appreciate how hostile and tough the Himalayan winter is.

cam 397A highlight of this class trip was reconnecting with my classmates; people who I am surrounded by 24×7 but don’t really talk a lot to (I’m going to blame IBDP for that!). On the trip, because we had so much time in the train and bus and at Naggar, I was able to spend quality time with my friends and this helped me realise that for all my talks for being independent and not needing anyone, I really do enjoy having friends around. My classmates were also a source of motivation during the treks and adventure activities when the adventure element was a little too much for me, and I believe I was able to do the same for them too.

Another thing that unintentionally became a major part of the trip was Ethicality. Going to the Himalayas is such a surreal experience because the hills and forests are untouched by humans, therefore we should make any and all efforts possible to keep it that way. We also realised that we couldn’t classify the advent of tourism in the Himalayas as pure evil because it has undeniably helped raise the standard of living of the local people there and therefore instead of stopping tourism completely, we need to make the industry sustainable.Therefore, during this trip, we tried our best to reduce or carbon footprint by switching off the heater when required, picking up wrappers if we saw any in the jungle trails, not buying water bottles, etc.  Another thing that I did to help the local tourism industry was to buy things exclusively from local cottage industry emporiums.

Overall, the trip was very enlightening, because I got to learn about religion, culture, nature, art and have an amazing time with the treks and adventure activities.

Activity 7: Surat Ultimate Open | Service, Activity

Volunteering as a venue coordinator for the SUO was an experience that tested my patience, and resilience unlike anything else.

First and foremost, I had to help organize an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, a sport that I am absolutely clueless about. I therefore had to learn new terminology, rules and procedures pertinent to the sport. This was challenging as Ultimate Frisbee is a sport unlike any other and a lot of the concepts such as spirit and soft caps/ hard caps are totally alien to people outside the Frisbee world. Apart from the theory of ultimate, I also tried out the sport practically, which turned out to be more difficult than it looks!

Spending all day in the sun at KG farm was also no easy feat and working and developing a friendship with the people around me definitely helped. From erecting umbrellas to devising innovative strategies to keep the sun out of our eyes, I think I worked well with the people around me to make sure that everyone was comfortable. We all also devised a system of alternating turns to make sure that no one person had to do all the work. Ask anyone you want, the team at KG farms turned out to be the most successful because of our synergy! 😀

I also interacted with the players who had come for this tournament from all over the country and the world. This not only helped me pass the time, but it also helped me understand the lives of people who have dedicated themselves to sport and social work, which was really inspiring.

Ethical was another noteworthy aspect of this event. The sport Ultimate Frisbee is centered around being ethical and displaying sportsman spirit and as a venue coordinator, it was my job to make sure that teams and players followed the spirit of the event to the T. I therefore did my best to ensure that all matches were, without fail, followed by the customary ‘Spirit Circle’ and that all teams filled out ‘Spirit Sheets’. In one of the matches, the teams had a disagreement on-field and so I forced them to do a ‘Spirit Circle’ which seemed to alleviate some of the animosity between them. All of this had two lasting impacts: firstly, it enlightened me as to why people like this sport so much (because it’s all about the spirit) and secondly, that I can use lessons about ethics learnt here in other the sports that I play and practice.

So overall, SUO was a pretty enlightening experience and quite different from my usual CAS activities that involve me sitting in an air-conditioned room in fancy clothes *coughs* MUNs *coughs*

IMG_0032 IMG_0048

Activity 6: Secretary General at FSMUN 2.0 | Service, Creativity


The objective of organizing a Model United Nations conference in the school was very simple: to raise awareness about global issue among the student community. I had noticed that there was a lack of basic global awareness in my peer group, and as someone who is aggressively interested in knowing what’s going on in the world around me, I took it upon myself to set that right. An MUN conference seemed like the correct choice to do this because I am an active participant in MUN conferences and I have found that they really help me improve my general knowledge, interpersonal skills and ability to think critically. FSMUN 2.0 gave me the chance to therefore work with and on the skills that I had as a MUNner and event coordinator to put together an event that would be enjoyable and educational for all involved


Since we started planning for the FSMUN, we were very clear about one thing: we wanted FSMUN to be a quality MUN. right from the agendas and executive board to food and utilities. Although we had a limited number of delegates and therefore a limited budget, we tried to do our best to make sure that we were able to provide everyone present with top-notch service. This is one of the things that we learnt from doing the MUN last year: do little, but do it well.

Although I was the Secretary General and my role was primarily overseeing the content side of the event, I became pretty involved in the organisation of it too. Organizing the event, working with several different departments, delegates from other schools, a diverse executive board and the school management taught me important lessons about keeping my cool, delegating work and working collaboratively with others. In the time leading up to the event I was able to figure out who was capable of doing what work how well and I tried to play on the department heads’ strengths.

I also worked with the supervising teacher, Ayman ma’am, to come up with creative yet workable agendas for each of the six committees to discuss. This involved a significant amount of research and creativity and greatly helped me engage with issues of global significance. Even for planning and executing crisis breaks in the committees, I had to constantly keep myself updated about the news leading up to the event.

I started working towards the FSMUN about 3 to 4 months prior to the event and almost every day I had some or the other crisis to deal with. Planning such a large scale event while juggling SATs, IB Exams and other extracurricular was not easy to do, and I think my hard work and time management really paid off when I saw the positive feedback from people involved in the event. There was a time during the planning stage when we just did not have enough delegates to make the event work and I was thinking of giving up and cancelling the event, but with the support from my peers and supervisors, I persevered and made sure that although we had few delegates, we had a successful event.


After about 3 months of frantic planning, when the event finally came upon us, I made sure that every minute detail that could be taken care of was taken care of. Obviously, there were some really scary mishaps that happened, like the school’s chef bailing on us the last minute, but I think all of that added towards making this event a great organisational experience. During the two days of the conference, I ran around so much, moving from committee to committee making sure things were right that I feel the need to mark this CAS project as “activity” along with creativity and service! But the running around paid off because I was personally able to take care of a a lot of the crises which I assume left our guests with a positive impression. Sometimes though I had to be tough on the EB, OC and delegates because there was just too much sloppiness in the event and the balance that I was required to have between being helpful and being though was really a life lesson.

Like any other MUN, FSMUN helped me meet new people and make new friends. Planning and executing the event also made me better friends with the people I see every day because when I was working with them, we were kind of all on the same team and a sense of camaraderie developed within the OC.

Final take away

My biggest take-away from organizing and executing the event  are:

  1. Being patient: because panicking does not help.
  2. Micromanagement works for me.
  3. People know what their job is and how to do it; they’re just tardy, not clueless.
  4. If you don’t work hard, thing won’t work out.
  5. You cannot do everything alone.


Click here to view the after movie of FSMUN 2.0

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Activity 1: Subroto Cup Football Tournament (District Level) | Activity

I participated in the district level football tournament on 16th July 2015. Although I have been playing football for a long time, this was a completely new experience for me as I played as I played a position that was new to me. Usually, I play football as a defender, but in this tournament, the coach asked me to play as an attacker. This experience taught me about the pressure that attackers feel when they are under a lot of pressure to score a goal. I used to think that defenders played under a lot of pressure, and that attackers always got second chances if they missed goals, but this experience taught me otherwise and made me realise that everyone on the team equally shares the responsibility of winning or losing the game. 


The activity helped me fulfill Learning Outcomes 1 and 2 particularly well as I was able to identify my skills as a footballer, and channel them into a new aspect of the game.  I think was able to handle my new position well because I ended up scoring two goals for my team and assisting several other key goals.

Learning outcome 3 was also fulfilled as football is a team game in which you will never win if your cannot collaborate successfully with your teammates.



An ethical dilemma arose in the tournament when we had a match against a team of very young children who were playing in the tournament  meant for girls under the age of 17. We were conflicted whether to be tough and play our game or to go easy on the kids. In the end, we decided to play an easy game, i.e. with minimal body contact, so that they wouldn’t not get hurt, but we did not compromise on the level of our game so that they could learn from us.

Winning this tournament has now given the team a chance to represent our district in the state level tournament, something that everyone in the team is eagerly looking forward to.



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