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Extension Studies

Our Extension Studies Coordinator works with boys, staff and families to provide a wide range of challenging and enriching activities, all guided by gifted education and talent development theory, pedagogy and best practice. The Extension Studies Co-ordinator is a member of the Scotch College Centre for Learning and develops extension programmes as well as working with academic Heads of Department on certain projects.
Scotch co-chairs the Boroondara Secondary Schools Gifted Cluster, and is a school member of the Victorian Association for Gifted and Talented Children and the World Council of Gifted Children. The Boroondara Cluster’s Simultaneous Challenge saw six schools work in collaboration with each other over seven weeks on a problem solving activity. Students met at the start and end of the programme, then virtually on at least four occasions using different forms of technology. The traditional classroom morphed into individual stations as students worked with their peers online at the other schools.

Boys are identified for extension using a portfolio approach combining elements such as passion, interest and demonstrated above level skill, classroom engagement, parent, self and /or teacher recommendation. To help facilitate the meeting of like minds, any different forms of extension are provided, appropriate to boys’ needs such as: single day enrichment; mentors; tertiary connected opportunities; research opportunities; external speakers; competitions; and, Olympiad and extended project opportunities.

Global Citizenship extensions invite boys to engage via activities such as Model United Nations, Student Constitutional Conventions, ASEAN and G20 simulations. This programme continues to go from strength to strength with boys participating at local, State and International levels. Over the past six years Scotch has attended International Model United Nations in the Netherlands, Singapore and New York. The learning experience this programme provides for boys is unparalleled in the Australian context. A recent History Extension for boys in Years 9 – 11 saw them take on roles within the Korean War context to deepen their understanding of this event’s complexity.
Boys attend a number of ongoing programmes connected to tertiary institutions including the semester research-based and mentored BrainStem programme at Swinburne University, the Monash University and Deakin University Forensic Science Days, Robotics at The University of Melbourne and Chemist for a Day with Victoria University. Drawing on the specialist knowledge offered through the Victorian Space Education and Science Centre, Philosothons, and the Melbourne Writers Festival, boys’ expertise in a particular area is swiftly developed.
Debating has strong presence and extension debating takes that further through teams in the National Online Debating Competition in all divisions: 7/8, 9/10 and Open, and a Challenge Debating programme at Year 8 which has boys debating against Year 9s. British Parliamentary debating is popular as are feature debates such as the Monash University Asian Studies Debate and the Economics Debate. In 2019, working with the School’s Chinese department, Scotch entered teams in the State Chinese Debating Competition. A Masterclass series run by Australian debaters enriches the debating programme overall.
Mooting, where boys act as QCs in a court of law, is another extension which sees Scotch teams successfully participate in the courts at Bond University, Latrobe University and Monash University, the latter also providing a Mock Trial team opportunity. Scotch participation in Student Constitutional Conventions held in Canberra continues at Regional, State and National levels. These provide opportunity to examine local and national political systems and relevant issues.
Various other academic competitions including the Australian History Competition, the Australian Geography Competition, National CAT Competition, Victorian Philosothon, History Bee and Bowl, and MAV Mathematics Games days provide further challenge and enrichment opportunities. In addition, writing extension programmes have been created in conjunction with other schools, and authors such as Arnold Zable.
The da Vinci Decathlon is a ten discipline activity completed in a single day of competition by a team of eight students. The Scotch da Vinci programme runs for several weeks and gives boys the opportunity to encounter new ideas, to make new friends and to develop real life skills such as teamwork.
Olympiad programmes in Mathematics, the Sciences, Informatics and Computational Linguistics are offered by Scotch academic departments or Extension Studies. In 2019 the Ethics Olympiad was introduced to boys with two workshop days of competition held at Scotch for interested schools.
Chess is played at varying levels from beginner to national championship level. Activities such as Chess create a community for boys wherein like mindedness supersedes age and year level. Chess club is a regular activity, with Chess Victoria competitions held at Scotch and in other schools. Masterclasses also enrich the chess programme for Scotch boys. Boys also play just for enjoyment and we recently celebrated International Chess Day with a week of chess in the Atrium area. For the third time, Scotch placed second in the State at the Chess Victoria final and was represented by its 25 players.
Each boy is encouraged and supported to create his own extension programme consistent with his interests and investment of time and energy. We aim to offer a wide range of opportunities to accommodate extension and enrichment for as many boys as possible.