Academic Challenge

ALTIORA Gifted and Talented Program

St Brigid’s College offers senior students the opportunity to participate in Altiora, a Gifted and Talented Program which is open to all students. The program involves a series of academic competitions and challenges, with students gaining points towards Awards and final Certificates at different levels of achievement from Merit to Elite level. All competitions have a strong academic focus. A key aspect of the program includes developing the students as reflective learners who strategically review and plan for academic success. There is an Altiora Resources folder with hundreds of outstanding articles and powerpoints to assist students to achieve their academic potential.

Highlights of the program include Enrichment Camps at Rottnest or Annapana Ridge where the students have a range of activities and lectures one of the most popular of which is Tournament of Minds with its focus on developing creative intelligence and teamwork. There are also Seminar Breakfasts for each year group. Speakers at these informative sessions have included speakers from the Catholic Education office and the universities, and past and present top academic students. A sense of St Brigid’s as a real learning community has been enhanced by the involvement of year 11 or 12 students in talking to the year 10’s and past and present students acting as mentors. All Altiora students arrange study buddies, and mentors are available on request. An important requirement for Altiora participants is to enter at least one local, state or national competition in an area connected with learning. Programs like Tournament of Minds, WADL Debating and Titration Stakes will fulfil this criteria, but students are encouraged to also enter competitions in areas such as art, music and creative writing. A Creative Writing Camp will be held in 2013 to stimulate St Brigid’s involvement in the many writing competitions available.

Another very popular highlight of the program has been the very successful overseas and interstate educational tours. There have been three major tours to Europe in recent years, with learning experiences in England, France and Italy. In December 2011 the tourists visited Malta, Italy and England with key learning foci on Literature and Religion and Life. In 2011 there was also an excellent Australian Tour to Sydney, Canberra and Thredbo, and then an exciting Singapore Tour in 2012. Tour highlights for 2013 are America in July, visiting New York, Philadelphia and Washington, whilst a new feature in 2013 will be a Tour to Melbourne in August, with top students competing in the Frayne Speech Festival. The 2014 tour will be Rome, Paris and England.

For the elite students there are opportunities to participate in special programs. In 2013 these include The University of Notre Dame’s Cultural Decoding program, U.W.A.’s special courses, and the Julie Arliss Program for Gifted and Talented students. A committee of senior students play an important role in refining and developing the program. The Altiora Captain for 2013 is Adelaide Williams.

A comprehensive handbook is available delineating the multiple facets of the Altiora program. Please contact Head of Senior School Jim Miller on 9290-4206 for further details.