It has been another busy week for Magis. Late Friday afternoon last week I joined a small working party at the Catholic Education Office. All secondary gifted specialists, we are working on joint programs to bring our gifted cohort together. Via polycom with Mark Gargano (Northam), Filipa Carvalho (Corpus Christi), Chrissie Fossie (Santa Maria), Val Martin (CEO Gifted Specialist) and I talked through what we are doing and what we would like to do. We discussed the problems we find in timetabling gifted programs and how to cater for senior secondary students. We are planning to develop some cross-campus initiatives this year bringing our school into contact with students in rural areas via polycom. We envisage a program that students work on in their individual schools and then regularly meet via polycom to conference their research.

On Monday I was able to attend a Secondary Gifted Network Meeting and PD. Peter Carey took us through some interesting Google Apps to manage, challenge and enrich learning. Dr Fossie from Santa Maria College then showcased their gifted program. It was affirming to see that we are all running very similar programs. I discussed some of our unique opportunities and was asked to share our Philosophy course with other schools. They also wanted the program for our Ethics and Genetics Workshop and a number of other Magis programs. Val Martin confirmed our testing and selection as the model for identifying gifted students, that is, our Magis students. We discussed the implications of NAPLAN information and tracking students through secondary education. We also had a presentation from Education Perfect that was interesting, but focussed on competition rather than learning. The consensus was that we are looking for extension teaching and learning opportunities rather than competition in secondary.

On Tuesday at lunch time the Magis Book Club met in X10. The keen readers are looking at starting a new novel, Only the Animals, by Ceridwen Dovey. Any interested Year 10 or 11 student can see me to borrow the book. The Club meets fortnightly. After consultation with Gerard Cotter we have decided to run our Magis Robotics Club on Thursday afternoons in the Library. This is available for any secondary student. We are getting all the equipment together and will need to purchase some new kits. Once preparations are complete I will put a notice into SEQTA for students. Interested students can speak with Mr Cotter or me. Mr Cotter is a science specialist with an interest in robotics. Astronomy Club will meet on Friday after school. As the GBLT is booked students should meet Mr Mazur at 7pm in the Café. On Saturday, for Open Day, the depth and breadth of our Magis program will be on display in the Library. Our Magis students will be there to talk about Magis and run some exciting activities.