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Thriving Minds Conference Report – ‘Junior Stretch and Challenge’

Years 5-8 Students at the Thriving Minds Conference

Years 5-8 Students at the Thriving Minds Conference

On Wednesday, a small group of students from Years 5 to 8 attended the ‘Thriving Minds’ Conference at Ascham school in Edgecliff. Ms Julie Arliss, a highly accomplished teacher and author, provided a day of multidisciplinary, university-style lectures and debates, designed to stimulate independent and creative thinking, connect different areas of study, upgrade students’ critical abilities, and encourage a philosophical perspective.

The day began with ‘Justice Truth and Beauty’, which explored the difficulties of achieving agreement about justice, as well as the point of punishment and what it is supposed to achieve.

Isaac Tait

Isaac Tait

This was followed by a guided community of inquiry. Students were placed in mixed school groups to discuss, ‘Celery Munchers vs Steak Stokers: Is Diet a free choice?’

After lunch, an introduction to ‘Quantum Mechanics’ was presented. Starting with the atom, this session took students into the quantum world.

Finally, ‘This house believes that freewill is an illusion’ was presented and students experienced a live debate and were encouraged to contribute and vote. 

For our students, the conference was challenging, yet engaging and exciting. The students said that they particularly enjoyed learning about quantum mechanics, including wave/particle duality and the double slit experiment, and the history of justice and the philosophy behind crime and punishment.

Jethro Venning

Jethro Venning

Ms Julie Arliss described the participants as, “mature, intelligent and a great credit to your schools.”

Thank you to the following students for representing our College:

  • Year 5 – Xavier Bautovich, James Draper, Jethro Venning, Sean McCarthy 
  • Year 6 – Quinn Brodie, Ishaan Jeena, Jack McCallum, Isaac Tait 
  • Year 7 – Finley Cromer, Luca Green, Leo Owen, Hamish Wilson
  • Year 8 – Aidan Carpenter, Henry Le Vay, Christian Richardson, Alex Tarasov


Ms Deanne Edwards

Learning Enrichment Teacher