Volume 31 Issue 3 18 Feb 2022 17 Adar I 5782

Gift & Talented 7-12

Craig Moss – Co-ordinator of Gifted & Talented 7-12

Academic Competitions and Extracurricular Programs

offered by the Gifted and Talented Department in 2022

The Gifted and Talented Department is looking to further expand the range of academic competitions and extracurricular programs available to High School Students. The table below is a summary of possible competitions and programs that could be organised this year. 

If any student is interested in taking part in any of the competitions and programs below then they need to complete this Expression of Interest Form

If you have any questions please email Craig Moss                  




Competition / Program


Year groups

Number of students

da Vinci Decathlon

The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. 

Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy.

Year 7-11

Five teams of eight students. One team per year group. 

Future Problem Solving – Global Issues Problem Solving

Global Issues Problem Solving is a team or individual activity in which participants research a series of global topics and learn a six-step creative problem solving process. Participants apply their knowledge and the problem solving process to address an imagined situation set in the future, called a “Future Scene”. From there, they address, critically analyse and solve a major issue in the Future Scene.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12

Teams of four


Future Problem Solving – Scenario Writing

Students develop short stories related to one of FPSs five annual topics. The story (1500 words or less) is set at 20-30 years in the future and is an imagined but logical outcome of actions or events taking place in the world.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12


Future Problem Solving – Scenario Performance

Scenario Performance is an extra-curricular, story-telling competition in which students develop and submit short videos of themselves orating a story. Students compete individually, telling creative and entertaining, short, futuristic stories related to one of the three allotted
FPSP topics for the year.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12


Future Problem Solving –Community Problem Solving

Community Problem Solving is a stand out extra-curricular project-based program for schools. Students select a real world problem from their community, identify a solution, and then actively implement their action plan to address the problem.

Community Problem Solving is ideal for developing strategic thinking, leadership skills and encouraging a wider contribution to community service.

Students in Community Problem Solving around the world, working both in teams and as individuals, have implemented a wide range of action plans, ranging from cleaning up hazardous waste, promoting indigenous literacy and finding homes for unwanted pets. Projects can be single or multi-year.

Middle Years 7-9

Senior Years 10-12

Individual or team

UN Youth Evatt Competition

Welcome to Australia’s most prestigious high school Model UN competition. The Evatt Trophy Competition engages high school students across Australia in world affairs and issues through debating mock Security Council resolutions from the position of an assigned country.

In pairs, delegates will be assigned a country and one resolution a week prior to the competition. They will then develop their stance on the prepared resolution from the perspective of their assigned country. On the day of their round, they will debate, amend and finally vote on the prepared resolution and also one impromptu resolution.

The competition provides a forum for high school students to meet other like-minded students and develop their public speaking and negotiation skills. It fosters learning through a non-teaching environment and creates a positive and empowering experience for students who are interested in international relations, politics and world affairs.

Years 7-11

Teams of two

UN Youth NSW Voice Competition

Voice is a unique public speaking competition running throughout October that invites New South Wales high school students from Years 7-10 to solve real issues that affect our community, our country and our world. Whatever the issue may be, we want to hear you pitch your big ideas. Voice asks students to think outside the box and put their design thinking skills to the test in order to develop innovative and creative, yet feasible, solutions to real world problems.

Junior Division (Year 7 and 8): 4 minutes

Senior Division (Year 9 and 10): 5 minutes


Mock Trial

The Mock Trial Competition is conducted by The Law Society of New South Wales and is a practical means of introducing students to the law and to increase understanding of the basis of our judicial system.

The cases are confined to simple criminal and civil matters heard in the Local or District Court.

A team may act as either the defence or prosecution during a trial, with each team member taking on the role of a barrister, solicitor, court officer or witness, pitting their skills against the opposing side – a team from another school.

Each trial is presided over by a Magistrate (a solicitor or barrister who will be allocated by the Law Society), who awards marks to each team based on a range of criteria, such as opening addresses, closing submissions and cross examinations. The team with the highest mark wins the trial.

Years 10-12

Teams of six

Mock Mediation

Mock Mediation is another initiative of The Law Society of New South Wales.

Mock Mediation is a structured problem-solving process designed to encourage the parties to identify the issue in dispute, consider options and work towards an agreement that will meet the needs of all parties. The skills required for mediation are particularly relevant to personal development. They include active listening, self awareness, questioning, analysing, empathising, speaking clearly and logically and creative thinking.

Mediation is based on values such as respect for self and others, accepting difference, personal integrity and a belief that conflict, if handled properly, can result in a change for the better.

Years 9-10

Teams of 6


HICES Debating is an independent inter-school debating competition organised across eight (8) geographic regions in four (4) age divisions.

The ability to speak confidently and to debate in public are skills to be encouraged in our students. Not only are they valuable talents that will be used throughout life in many different situations, they are also useful skills for oral assessments in the HSC and for practise in thinking rapidly and arranging arguments in a coherent fashion. Debating skills develop critical thinking and are particularly helpful in essay writing.

Year 7-12

Squads of 6


A number of chess competitions run by the NSW Junior Chess League

Year 7-12

Teams of four

Ethics Olympiad

The Ethics Olympiad provides schools with an unique opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The students (Eth-letes) are trained by a coach (usually a teacher at their school) in order to prepare for an Olympiad. Age-appropriate ethical cases are released each year and are provided to participating schools well before the event.

During an Ethics Olympiad teams engage with each other and teams from other schools on interesting and relevant cases. They work as a team to respond to questions while building and critiquing their own and others’ arguments. They engage with teams from other schools in other parts of the country and overseas. Participants report that they enjoy the opportunity to build arguments with each other in a framework that encourages careful considered responses to important ethical issues.

Senior Years 10-12

Middle Years 7-9

Teams of five

National History Challenge

The National History Challenge (from now on referred to as the NHC) is an exciting contest that encourages students to use research and inquiry-based learning to discover more about the past. Students are the historians. They can investigate their community, explore their own and their family’s past and consider ideas throughout history. The NHC encourages the use of primary and secondary sources and offers a variety of presentation styles. It rewards students with generous cash prizes and travel opportunities.

Year 7-12


What Matters?

What Matters? is a ‘catalyst for young thinkers and young writers to develop a perspective, a point of view, on where we’re heading as a society’.

Inspired by Gough Whitlam’s commitment to involving young people in the shaping of Australia’s future, the What Matters? writing competition is currently open to school students in years 5 to 12 from Australia. Responding to the simple question ‘What matters?’, entrants are free to express their views on any matter they care about.

The competition receives thousands of entries covering a wide range of subjects, putting paid to the idea that young Australians are disengaged and disaffected. Year after year we are reminded how passionate, observant and articulate young people are, and how deeply driven they are by a sense of social justice as they offer us a window into not just what concerns them, but what inspires them.

Year 7-12


More Able & Ambitious Study Day

This is a day for bright ambitious students who are interested in ideas. The best way to stretch clever youngsters is to give them a solid platform from which key questions and big ideas can be explored. Students will spend the day with like-minded youngsters all keen to reach the ceiling of their ability and share ideas. Experienced gifted educator, Julie Arliss and lecturers from Oxford University, Aberdeen University and London University will stretch and challenge your students. This is a unique, not to be missed, opportunity for your students.

Senior Year 10-12

Junior Year 7-9

10 – 12 places

Rostrum Voice of Youth Public Speaking Competition

Rostrum Voice of Youth is a national speaking competition which provides an excellent opportunity for secondary school students to gain experience and confidence in expressing their views and communicating a message.

Junior –
Year 7-9

Senior –
Year 10-12

Three students in the Junior Divisions

Three students in the Senior Division