Talent Galore

We are fortunate to be surrounded by such talented children at Carey Donvale. We see those who shine in music, highlighted during the many concerts presented to the school community; those whose talent is showcased in the many productions; and those who successfully demonstrate their sporting ability. There are numerous opportunities for the talents of our students to be presented to the School community.

Here at Donvale, we have once again had many of our students acknowledged for their creative and interesting Maths Talent Quest entries. Two of our students were selected to represent Victoria in the National competition in different sections, one being the successful entry, winning the best Year 3 entry in Australia. We received many high distinctions, distinctions and credits for the other 30-plus entries; more than any other primary school in Victoria.

There is another group I would like to mention in respect to academic achievement: a small cross-age group of talented children selected to participate in the Future Problem Solvers program. This is a research-based, academic program that teaches problem solving strategies, collaboration, effective communication, and critical and creative thinking. This program is an interdisciplinary approach that aims to develop ethical leadership skills and provides a unique opportunity for students to learn and apply essential life skills in the 21st century. This is the first year that we have attempted the program with the group being led by Mrs Alysha Byrne and assisted by our Talent Development consultant, Mrs Carolyn Giles. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented us from entering a team into the Global Issues Problem Solving competition this year, but we look forward to developing this program in the upcoming year.

Another area of this program involves Scenario Writing. This component requires individual students to write a short story on one of the topics chosen for the year and must be set at least 20 years into the future. This year we had a Year 6 student, Milo Costello, enter his story based on Wearable Technology. After months of writing, submissions for editing, consulting with Carolyn Giles and rewriting, Milo’s story was entered. He then attended an online masterclass where he had a second chance to write. This writing was undertaken with a small group of cross aged students from around Australia, bringing their skills together to write a joint scenario piece.

Milo and I sat nervously watching the live online award ceremony awaiting the results which were scored on the initial effort and the masterclass. It was with great excitement we heard announced that Milo had come second in his division and was selected to attend the International Finals mid-year 2022 at the University of Massachusetts in the United States. We congratulate Milo on his stellar effort and success.

We look forward to many more opportunities to develop the extraordinary talents of the students here at Donvale and celebrate their efforts and success.

Margaret Adams
Deputy Head of Junior School Donvale