Volume 31 Issue 16 03 Jun 2022 4 Sivan 5782

Primary News

Felicity Donohue – Coordinator of Gifted & Talented (K-6)

Extension, enrichment and extracurricular programs

At Emanuel, we provide a myriad of enrichment, extension and extracurricular programs across the school. In conversations with families, it’s important we clarify the purpose of these programs as they serve two different purposes that are both beneficial to the talent development of our gifted learners. 

Within a classroom context, extension programs are used to provide depth and complexity in the learning experience by grouping students according to ability to access curriculum at a level that is providing adequate challenge for our learners. Enrichment programs aim to broaden the learning experience by providing opportunities for students to apply their learning to new and different contexts (Davis & Rimm, 1989).

Extracurricular programs are used to offer extension and enrichment for students in specific areas of interest. These programs are offered to students to develop their skills in an area of interest or talent that may not be available within a classroom context. 

Implementing these programs within a well-planned unit of instruction has been proven to extend and motivate gifted students by enhancing their soft skills such as team-building skills, self-directed learning and self-satisfaction (Bicknell, 2008). Smith, North & Martin (2016) further support the efficacy of these programs and how entering students into enrichment competitions can build positive learning experiences for students by building problem-solving, personal motivation, resilience and engagement, whilst establishing social connections with like-minded peers. 

Recently, the Gifted and Talented Department has been busy coordinating a range of enrichment, extension and extracurricular activities, such as:


Our Chess teams receive coaching from Vladimir Feldman, a Chess International Master as well as weekly informal Chess sessions run by our talented secondary students. This opportunity has been opened to all students from Years 3-6. They compete in weekly competitions run by the NSW Junior Chess League. 

Last week, our Years 5 and 6 Da Vinci Decathlon teams participated in the annual academic event. Students competed in teams of 8 across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics, code breaking, art and poetry, science, english, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy. 

This opportunity was opened up to all Years 5 and 6 students to submit an application to join the team. We provided lunchtime clubs for interested students to build their skills before the teams were selected in a casual ‘Brain Training’ club.

Maths Competitions

Many students across Years 3-6 have participated in the Australian Maths Trust (AMT) Maths Challenge where they have been working through a range of complex mathematical problems. Working in groups or individually, students have been attempting to solve a range of multi-step mathematical problems over multiple weeks. In addition, we have students completing the Maths Olympiad competitions and also participated in the Kangourou des Mathematiques online competition. 


Our Year 6H class has been working through an individual inquiry focusing around an area of science that is of interest to them as they work through their transdisciplinary unit, Beyond Earth. Using a learning framework, students work through the scientific method, researching a topic in-depth and conducting their experiments. Upon completion of their investigation and assessment of their competencies, students will be awarded with a Blue CREST Award. 

You can find out more about the CSIRO CREST Program here.

National History Challenge

Year 5Y have been participating in this year’s National History Challenge as part of their transdisciplinary unit, Perspectives in the 19th Century. It provides students with an opportunity to be historians, examining Australia’s past, investigating their community or exploring their own roots. It emphasises and rewards quality research, the use of community resources and effective presentation.

You can find out more about the National History Challenge here.

In addition, we have provided this program to students across the Year 5 cohort and other interested students to participate in this program as part of a personal enrichment program for students who would benefit from this challenge.

Holiday Programs and other enrichment opportunities

There are a range of enrichment opportunities for all students to participate in over the break. If you believe your child would benefit from participation in any of the following programs, please reach out to myself and Julia Tritsch 

Dorothea Mackellar poetry awards

Entries close Thursday 30 June 2022
You can find out more about the Dorothea Mackellar poetry awards here

Write On Writing Competition

Open to all students from Years 1 to 6
Entries close at 4.00 pm on Friday 17 June 2022
You can find out more about the Write on Writing Competition here 

GERRIC Holiday programs

Open to students in Years 3-6. This holiday program aims to expand the minds of bright, inquisitive individuals looking for an intellectual challenge.
You can find out more about the GERRIC Holiday programs here 


Offers a range of online and face-to-face enrichment and extension opportunities for high ability and gifted students. Student will require a teacher nomination. Please contact the Gifted and Talented department if you wish to obtain a nomination. 
You can find out more about the Gateways programs here 

BRAINways Academicus

A holiday program offered online and face-to-face offering gifted student the choice they require in a large array of disciplines. Places are extremely limited and tend to sell out quickly.
You can find out more about the Brainways Holiday program here

We will continue to look out for additional opportunities for our students and will keep you updated regularly. If you require additional information regarding any of the programs listed, please reach out to the Gifted and Talented Department. 


  • Bicknell, B 2008, ‘Gifted students and the role of mathematics competitions’, Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 16-20.
  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (2019), Revisiting Gifted Education, NSW Department of Education, https://www.cese.nsw.gov.au/publications-filter/revisiting-gifted-education
  • Davis, G & Rimm, S 1989, Education of the gifted and talented, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Smith, S, North, B & Martin, A 2016. ‘Socio-affective influences on gifted students in enrichment programs: The Tournament of the Minds experience’, paper presented at the 2016 AAEGT National Gifted Conference, Sydney, Australia, 01 October.