What a way to start 2018…

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On Monday afternoons, the Unlock your Potential course has seen the girls’ resilience and perseverance build as they collaboratively work with their team. Each team worked through complex puzzles, identifying and searching for inferential clues, problem-solving their way through a range of topics from women’s suffrage to weather systems.

The puzzles have not been easy, with multiple attempts often required for each step to be solved. Though the first week saw frustrations rise at not being able to solve the problem within minutes and giving up being the easy option, the girls’ self-determination increased as they each realised their strengths, supported by her group members. Each small success was celebrated!

Each week the cognitive stretch and emotional endurance have certainly tested the girls. We can’t wait to see how the parents work through the puzzles the girls have created during the parent session at the end of our last session for the term.

This year we have extended our courses up into the Senior School years, with Solution Squad running on Monday afternoons for gifted girls in Years 7 to 9. Science specialist Dr Ellen Fortini has facilitated this course, fostering the development of skills and processes the girls are interested in exploring further.

The complexity and diversity of topics the girls chose to explore, investigate and design solutions for included:

  • investigating the hypothesis that the placebo effect is an effective way to optimise girls’ athletic ability
  • growing bacteria and testing the best conditions for its growth
  • exploring how hearing different languages can change people’s moods and whether age and previous exposure to the language effects this.

The girls’ engagement in their independent project is testament to the importance of future-focused pedagogy, fostering deeper learning through purposeful and practical exploration of areas of interest and curiosity. The final session for the term sees each girl presenting her findings to replicate similar responsibilities in research roles in society.

The Scientific Crusaders course has run on Tuesday afternoons throughout the term for gifted girls in Years 3 to 6. With hands-on experiments exploring complex scientific concepts, the girls have delved deeper to discover the ‘why’, the ‘how’ and where their new understandings could be applied for future developments in the field. Their scientific investigation skills have been significantly developed through the experimentation process. Scientific principles were explored, considered and utilised with creative thinking skills considering new possibilities. Rich discussions flowed with contemplative assertions. I wonder… I wonder …. I wonder…, the curiosity to explore, understand and discover driving the direction of this course each week. The girls can’t wait to share what they have been doing with their parents at the showcase at our last session.

The Inspo Girls course has run on Wednesday afternoons this term with gifted girls from Years 1 to 6. There is a buzz in the room each week as the girls develop their project, learning more about an area they are passionate about, inspired by or curious to know more about. They excitedly talk to each other, asking questions about each other’s project and how it is advancing. The girls have delved deeply into topics and in some cases, learnt and developed new skills from scratch.

The range of topics and projects is vast, including:

  • designing and making modern clothing on a mannequin
  • researching species of animal that live in the Amazon and creating a three-dimension model
  • researching Queen Hatshepsut, who was one of the most prolific builders in ancient Egypt, using her as a muse to create her own architectural design.

The girls often face difficulties through the process in taking their project from idea to design to creation. I will explore this process with gifted girls in a blog post a little later this year. The final session for this course includes a parent showcase in which students can share their project with their loved ones, and discuss their successes and challenges along the way.

The April holiday courses are almost sold out with limited places left in two of the courses. Further information can be found at www.trybooking.com/URHT.

The Term Two after-school courses were released a few days ago with places filling quickly. Information about these courses can be found at www.trybooking.com/UXAM.