Sixteen Somerville House students across Years 5 and 6 took part in the 2019 Da Vinci Decathlon held at Nudgee College. The decathlon, an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students, requires students to compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines. The competition places a particular emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity.

The Year 5 team outperformed many schools in the state, taking out second place in the overall competition, as well as receiving first place in Ideation and third in English. Head of Junior School Mrs Arna Bennett was impressed with the students’ exceptional teamwork and dedication to independent study. “It was challenging, but our students thoroughly enjoyed the authenticity of the problems and having the opportunity to think outside the box,” Mrs Bennett said.

Commenting on her experience at the decathlon, team member Camille Daly said although the competition was challenging, she was motivated to take part in the competition again next year. ìI really like the Da Vinci Decathlon because it has fun and challenging tasks,” Camille said.I also like that you can work with your teammates.”

Competing in the Decathlon since early the 2000s, Assistant Dean of Literacy, Learning and Development Mrs Michelle Taylor said the competition offered students opportunities to expand their growth. “It is a great way for the school to engage students who are gifted and talented, so they can discover where their potential lies,” Mrs Taylor said.

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