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Some of our brilliant and creative Junior School thinkers put their collective brainpower to the test recently, competing in the Tournament of Minds (TOM) at Roseville College.
TOM is an inter-school competition, which sees teams of students devise and perform elaborate solutions to pre-assigned challenges in front of a panel of judges. Students have to tackle pre-assigned questions in the fields of The Arts, STEM, Language and Literature, and Social Sciences. Designed to reward critical and lateral thinking, TOM also encourages effective use of technology and the ability to collaborate - all skills that are heavily sought after by employers.
Teams in the Primary Division must be a mix of students from at least two year levels with a maximum of four students from any one year. Wenona entered two teams of students from Years 4 to 6. One team entered The Arts challenge and the other, Language and Literature.
Here is what Sophie in Year 6 had to say about the experience:
“This year, my Tournament of Minds team chose to complete the long-term challenge within The Arts discipline. We had to create a musical suitable for all ages, with the theme of ‘freedom’. The requirements included a dance from the 1920s, a piece of art from the 1940s, a song from the 1960s and fashion from the 1980s. In our Spontaneous challenge (4 minutes) we were asked to imagine that a playlist had been found and decide who owned the playlist, and what the songs were. We chose Dr Scott as the owner of the play list and the songs we chose were Never Give Up, I Believe I Can Fly, I Am Woman, and Brave. We chose these songs as they reflect Dr Scott as a feminist and a strong female leader who believes in resilience and persistence. I thoroughly enjoyed creating a musical, choosing the songs, making up dances, meeting girls from other year groups and mainly performing! It was an amazing opportunity to gain teamwork skills like cooperation, problem-solving, and communication, and to get to know students in other grades.”
While the spontaneous challenge is always the most difficult, our students’ philosophy of supporting one another, appreciating individual strengths, and making sure no one's ideas were rejected worked well. They also worked together to help each other fight off the nerves as they competed in front of a room packed with judges, educators, parents and rival schools.
Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator, Ms Renee De Rossi said, “The experience helped to equip the students with twenty-first century skills and strategies, including critical and creative thinking, a spirit of inquiry, enterprise, risk-taking and cooperative learning. The girls developed an appreciation of their strengths, and established friendships with students in grades different to their own. On the competition day, the girls all represented Wenona with pride, and presented their solutions with confidence.”
Well done everyone!