Dr Annette Pedersen - Magis & Ignatius Centre Coordinator

This week invitations went out to gifted students in Years 8 and 9 to attend a Junior Gifted Study Day at Wesley College on 26 August. This study day offers a unique provision for academically gifted students.

The aim of this study day is to help gifted students to:

  • Improve their thinking skills
  • Begin to be able to identify what is fundamental from what is trivial
  • Become intellectually creative
  • Identify assumptions and distinguish between good and poor arguments
  • Think systematically and rigorously about relevant modern day issues


Preparation for the Eleventh Jesuit Schools Debating Carnival are underway. Four of our exceptional Year 11 students, Connor Jenkins, Therese Guerrera, Sophie Minissale and Breandan Kirwan will travel to St Aloysius' College, Sydney on 4 July to participate in this unique Ignatian event. The Carnival is framed by all that is held dear in the Ignatian tradition; community, the environment, education and Magis. Students are given topics with a strong social justice underpinning and are required to respond in a series of formal debates. While the Carnival is highly competitive, it is also a rare opportunity for our students to work with students from other Jesuit schools. Attending Mass as a community, working together and billeting with families from St Aloysius' are all ways for the students to deeply connect with the core values of John XXlll College. All four students were finalists in the 2014 Atticus Finch Justice Award.

Through IT and Magis we are running a programming challenge after school in the Library next term.

NCSS Challenge

Learn to program while you compete!

The School of IT at the University of Sydney is running a programming challenge for high school students over 5 weeks in Term 3, 2015 - starting on Monday 5th August. Unlike existing competitions, the NCSS Challenge is designed to cater for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Each week, a set of notes for either in-class or self-directed learning will be distributed to participants via email and online. A set of challenge questions testing this material will also be distributed. Each week's challenge set will range from relatively easy to extremely challenging allowing beginners to progress at their own rate whilst extending gifted students. The challenges will increase in complexity as more and more programming concepts are covered over the 5 weeks. Interested students need to speak with Mr Joosten or me.

The Year 6 Art and Philosophy Day hosted by the Art Gallery of Western Australia is fully booked with 80 students attending. The program I wrote for this day is based on Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences and designed to allow gifted students a unique way in which to explore both art and philosophy. It is a program initially written for Masters students I taught at UWA and has been successfully adapted for both secondary and primary gifted students. As with the Genetics and Ethics program I wrote for a gifted workshop last year, this day gives gifted students a rich learning experience. It is a collaborative learning experience and, unlike the secondary Philosothon, not competitive.