Volume 31 Issue 15 27 May 2022 26 Iyyar 5782

Gifted and Talented Awareness Week

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

On the launch of Gifted Awareness Week, the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT) President, Melinda Gindy, stated, “Research shows us that gifted children learn best when they are appropriately challenged based on their readiness to learn. The most effective learning environment includes pairing with others of similar ability”.

Nina Thomas, Chair of the Gifted Awareness Week Australia Committee, reflected, “It is so very important for gifted individuals’ intellectual, social and emotional health to be given opportunities to connect with like minds in various domains with different aged peers.” 

We provide opportunities for students to connect with others of a similar ability, especially through extracurricular activities, ability grouping, acceleration, and more recently, our Project Based Learning days, which gave students the opportunity to learn with students in other year groups. Cluster grouping within classes and peer mentoring have also shown to be effective. 


Gifted and Talented Awareness Week was celebrated on campus in many different ways this week, including:

Ethics Olympiad Presentation

On Tuesday 24 May 2022 it was wonderful to celebrate the success of our Senior Ethics Team during Gifted Awareness Week and present Ella Hart, Alice Milner, Willow Gelin, Ashley Goldman and Gabrielle Utian with their bronze medals for finishing in third place in the Ethics Olympiad. On the day of the event, the team had to engage with each other and teams from other schools across New South Wales on a number of interesting and relevant cases. Over four heats the team responded to the questions posed for each case while building and critiquing their own and others’ arguments. The students enjoyed the unique, challenging aspects of the competition as well as the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers across year groups.

da Vinci Decathlon

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week students from Year 5 through to Year 11 took part in the da Vinci Decathlon. This 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, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy. The Decathlon is a great way to not only celebrate the academic gifts of Australian youth but also connect like minds, grouping students of similar ability to collaborate on stimulating and challenging activities. We will find out how they fared next week when the results are announced. 

Here are some more examples of academic competitions and programs offered at Emanuel School that help connect like minds: 

Mock Trial and Mock Tribulation

We have entered teams into the two competitions run by the Law Society this year. 

Our Mock Trial Team is made up of students from Year 10-12.  For each trial the team are required to act as either the defence or prosecution 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.

Our Mock Mediation Team is made up of students from Year 9 and 10. Students take the role of either a mediator or a member of one of the two parties in dispute. Mediations follow 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.

UN Youth Evatt Competition

On Thursday 19 May 2022 Emanuel School hosted a preliminary round to the New South Wales Evatt Competition. Six Emanuel students took part with 22 other students from a range of schools in an interesting and lively mock UN Security Council session. 

This is Australia’s premier debating and diplomacy competition and aims to educate young people about Australia’s place in the world and empower them as active citizens by developing public speaking, negotiation, teamwork, research, and diplomatic skills. 


We have two junior chess teams entered into the Metropolitan Secondary Schools Chess Teams Competition. The teams are students from Year 7 and 8. 

Future Problem Solving 

We have students across Year 7 to 10 entered into a variety of Future Problem Solving competitions again this year. FPS is an interdisciplinary program that encourages young adults to develop problem solving strategies through collaboration, and critical and creative thinking.

We had huge success in the FPS Community Problem Solving, Scenario Performance and Scenario Writing competitions last year.

Debating and Public Speaking

We offer a number of debating and public speaking competitions across the year, from The HICES debating to UN Youth Voice

Writing Competitions

There are also a variety of writing competitions we offer to students at Emanuel, such as What Matters and the National History Challenge.