At the start of this academic year, as Lower Sixth students we felt quite intimidated by the idea of IB, unsure of what to expect. However, we were fortunate enough to depart on a short trip known as the Core Weekend. This weekend was intended to introduce us to the Core requirements of the IB Diploma and the attributes we should acquire in order to get the most of the experience.
Throughout the weekend, we completed several activities to introduce us to the CAS requirements. On the first day, each CAS group was given the task to build a catapult when given limited resources. The next day, we trekked up Bukit Belungkor, whilst also being informed about the different fauna and flora found in the area. Following this, we were assigned service tasks including a rubbish clean up and mangrove replantation. On the last day, we were challenged to build a raft, again given only limited resources, and then to row this raft out on the water. Whilst completing all three requirements of Creativity, Activity, and Service, we were also able to overcome several challenges we faced. Not only did we have to bond as a team, we also had to develop our sportsmanship and the ability to work collaboratively. This was especially important, as we had to be creative and come up with ideas for how to use the resources given most efficiently.
During some of the activities we had to reach outside our comfort zones, so perseverance, motivation and support were necessary. However, we were fortunately given some hard-earned free time in the hotel after our activities. During this time, we were able to continue developing our relationships on our own terms (volleyball was especially popular). This free time was definitely my highlight as I felt that I was able to fully enjoy the experience and the coastline area with my friends.
I genuinely feel that I have benefitted from this weekend for several reasons. Not only do I now fully understand the CAS and TOK requirements, but I have also been able to develop some essential approaches to learning. This includes the ability to think strategically, creatively and socially; and to be able to extend my boundaries and confidence when getting to know new people. This created a stronger bond within my CAS group.