Exploring a Model Global Village – Auroville: IBDP CAS Trip 2022
The CAS field trip was organised from 17-22nd December 2022 from Pune to Auroville, Puducherry. Puducherry, a French colonial settlement in India until 1954, is now a Union Territory. The trip is a reflection of experiential learning as it allows students to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings and reflect on their experiences in order to better understand themselves and the world around them.
The three CAS components of Creativity, Activity and Service were explored on different days during the trip. The students visited the Matrimandir, ‘soul of the city’, which is situated in a large open area called ‘Peace’, from where the future township will radiate outwards. The students’ journey of exploration started with the understanding of cob balls (the mud balls), and pasting them to an amphitheatre wall, which will be a reminiscence of their hard work. Students had a Q&A session with the field experts over various local and global contexts. The days were strewn with the experiences of an early morning meditation followed by different activities. The students had hands-on experience of all the processes starting with the weeding process and then handling the plant saplings by tying a rope to support the climbers during their visit to the Budha Organic Garden. The days were magical and musical as they got to experience the music from the bamboo instruments and various other types of instruments created by Swaram, during a demonstration and while visiting the sound garden at Swaram. Later, the students had an opportunity to choose bamboo pieces to make their own bamboo instruments to showcase their hard work and creativity. Another sunrise shined with the transcendent feeling for the students to meditate on the divine sound of the wind chimes at 6 AM in the open garden of the Sun farm. It was helpful to start the day on a positive and mindful note, feeling more centred, relaxed and focused for the day.
The students had a fun time at the beach while engaging with some sports, games and socialising. All were headed to the scuba diving Padi centre for a training session for the Activity strand of the CAS trip-Scuba Diving. All training was given by expert and experienced divers. The stroll with a local Puducherry guide and his two interns to answer every inquisitive question that the students have in mind, had been an amazing experience and got to know the fascinating story of Puducherry. The tour included most of the sightseeing places replete with monuments like French consulate and institute, divine temple of lord Ganesha, beach stretches, war memorial, stories of great personalities – Asharam, Shri Aurobindo and legends from a bygone era of Puducherry. It was an enjoyable experience amidst the laid-back rustic countryside of Puducherry.
CAS emphasises reflection which is central to building a deep and rich experience. Each day culminated with a reflection on their experience as CAS proposals and their final presentations in CAS context. Reflection informs students’ learning and growth by allowing students to explore ideas, skills, strengths, limitations and areas for further development and consider how they may use prior learning in a new context. The journey from the beginning was summarised with final presentations in the evening on the last day. Through CAS, the students continue to strengthen the approaches to learning they encounter and are encouraged to grow both personally and socially, developing skills such as cooperation, problem-solving, conflict resolution and creative and critical thinking, as well as developing their own identities. As a shining beacon of our values, CAS trip has enabled students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals and to recognize their role in relation to others.