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Flexible Learning Guide

View the Flexible Learning Guide created to assist parents and students in this time of home-based learning.

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Extension and Enrichment

​Competitions and Challenges and Opportunities

Looking to challenge yourself? Why not check out these options? The opportunities cover a broad range of curriculum areas from English to the Arts. Some are run by subject organisations, some are organised by government bodies and others by private organisations. Not all are of a competitive nature. Some are free to enter, others have entry fees.

[NEW!!] STUFFit Student Film Competition

STUFFit is a film festival competition open to high school students across Australia. Students can submit a film in any genre.

The winner and runner-up for each category will receive an awesome piece of film equipment for their prize.

Early-bird entries close on Wednesday 27 May, and final entries close Wednesday 8 July.

Find out more and enter here >

[NEW!!] Poetry Object Competition

Red Room Poetry Object is Australasia’s largest free poetry-writing competition for young people and their teachers. Poetry Object ignites imaginations by inviting poems inspired by treasured, curious, everyday, extraordinary, interplanetary, or talismanic objects.

Australian students or young people (aged 18 and under) or accredited teachers are invited to enter.
Entries are open until Friday 22 May.

Find out more and enter here >

[NEW!!] Stringybark Stories Tales with a Twist Award 2020

Stringybark Publishing is proud to sponsor the Tales with a Twist Award 2020.

Clean the spilt coffee out of your keyboard (or sharpen your goose quill) and start writing a 1500 word (max) story that will excite the reader. It can be set wherever your fancy takes you. It can involve characters from the past, the future or today. The only condition? It has to have a twist at the end of the tale! There is an award pool of over $1000 in cash and books.

Entries are open until Wednesday 13 May.

Find out more and enter here >

[NEW!!] 2020 Big Science Competition

The Big Science Competition is open to students in Years 7-10 of all abilities from Australian and international schools, including students who are home schooled.

The competition is a 50 minute, multiple choice competition testing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Questions are set in real-life, contemporary contexts, making them relatable (and interesting).

There are plenty of opportunities for those who perform well, like invitations to mentoring programs for girls.

Registrations for the online competition close on Friday 15 May, and you can sit the competition any time between Wednesday 20 May and Friday 5 June.

Find out more and enter here >

2020 Hilarie Lindsay Poetry Competition

Entries to the 2020 Hilarie Lindsay Poetry Competition are now open.

Students in K to Year 12 from around Australia are invited to enter a poem they have written on any subject. Entries are open until Monday 31 August.

Find out more and enter here >

Maureen Freer (FAWQ) Literary Competition

Entries to the 2020 Maureen Freer (FAWQ) Literary Competition are now open.

Writers can submit either a short story, poem or non-fiction article to be in the running to win cash prizes. Entries are open until Tuesday 30 June.

Find out more and enter here >

The 2021 Simpson Prize Competition

The Simpson Prize is a national competition for Year 9 and 10 students. The competition encourages participants to focus on the significance of Anzac Day and to consider what Anzac Day means to them and to Australia.

The student winners, runners-up and teacher chaperones from each state and territory enjoy a two-day trip to Canberra where they visit several of the capital’s museums and institutions, attend the presentation ceremony, and enjoy a special dinner. 

Accompanied by two teacher chaperones and a historian from the Australian War Memorial, the eight state and territory student winners will then travel to overseas battlefields.

For this year’s competition, entrants are asked to respond to the question “How do lesser known stories from the Western Front expand our understanding of the Australian experience of the First World War?” Entries are open until Friday 6 November. 

Find out more and enter here >

2020 Mercy Foundation Youth Awards

The Mercy Foundation Youth Awards is a photo competition open to high school students across Australia from Years 7 to 12. The competition aims to encourage young people to learn more about social justice issues in Australia.

This year, the competition opens Monday 27 April and the theme for 2020 is “Freedom – Ending Modern Slavery”. Entries close on Friday 3 July.

Find out more and enter here >

Écrire! Words Alike Short Story Competition

Écrire! is an annual short story competition hosted by the Words Alike team for new and aspiring writers.

Writers aged 13+ are encouraged to enter a short story between 5,000 and 10,000 words.

The theme for this year’s competition is “something you are passionate about”.
Entries are open until Monday 20 April.

Find out more >

Online Short Course on Fairy Tales from UON

The University of Newcastle is offering a free online short course called “Fairy Tales: Meanings, Messages, and Morals”.

During the three-week course, you will look deeper into the enchanting and surprisingly dark themes of several well-known European fairy tales.

If you have an interest in literature, writing, stories and fantasy, this course could be perfect for you. The course begins on Wednesday 1 April.

Find out more >

The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize

Entries for the 2020 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize are now open.

You can submit up to 5 poems of any theme or style. The 2020 winner of The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize will receive $3000, and two highly commended entrants will be awarded $500 each. Entries close on Friday 5 June.

Find out more >

2020 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards

Students investigate a topic about World War II. There are multiple forms from which to choose. These include film, speech, creative writing and PPT. 

Find out more >

2020 School Poetry and Short Story Writing Competition

Entry is open to the 2020 Schools Poetry and Short Story Writing Competition. Students all over Australia are invited to enter their poems or short stories, and battle it out for the great cash prizes on offer. There is no theme. Entrants are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and write on any topic and in any style. Students from all grades are welcome to enter – from Kindergarten/Preparatory to Grade 12. Entry is free and closes on Thursday 30 April

Find out more and enter >

ATOM Photo Comp

The ATOM Photo Comp is an initiative of Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM). It provides Australian and New Zealand student and adult photographers with the opportunity to submit a folio of three photographs adhering to a theme, and win fantastic prizes in the process. The theme for the 2020 competition is Fragility. Entries are open until Thursday 9 April.  

Find out more >

ABC Fierce Girls Competition

The ABC’s Fierce Girls podcast wants you to tell them about a fierce girl you admire! They’re looking for stories of adventurous girls, girls with guts and spirit, girls who dare to do things differently. To enter, write an original story (500-800 words) about an Australian girl or woman that you admire. They could be from your town or city, or anywhere in Australia. They could be famous, or maybe they’re your neighbour! It’s open to all kids in Australia between 7 and 16 years of age (inclusive). The five best stories will be selected as prize winners. Winners will receive the opportunity to have their story recorded as a podcast and published as an episode of ABC’s Fierce Girls podcast!  Entries are open until Sunday 5 April.

Find out more and enter >

CS50x – Introduction to Computer Science with Harvard University

CS50x is Harvard University’s Introduction to Computer Science subject, available to be studied fully online through edX. This entry-level course teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML. Problem sets are inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming.  The best part is it is completely free. The course requires around four weeks to complete and can be started at any time.

Find out more >

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards

Entries to the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards are now open for 2020. Students in all years from Kindergarten to Year 12 can enter. This year the theme is “We Used to Live There.” Entries are open until Tuesday 30 June

Find out more >

Enter SmartFone Flick Fest

SmartFone Flick Fest is Australia’s international smartphone film festival for filmmakers of all ages. This is a world-wide festival open to anyone with a smartphone or tablet and a great idea for a short film.  SF3 provides a platform for budding, emerging and professional filmmakers to bring their ideas to life and have their films seen by a global audience, without the need for lots of fancy equipment or a big budget. You can submit your movie any time before Saturday 1 August

Find out more and enter >

Google Applied Digital Skills Workshops

Google’s Applied Digital Skills Program offers a series of free videos where you can learn all about digital programs and skills to help you navigate the online world.

Their videos include a variety of topics from data analysis to research and communication.

Find out more >

Learn to Code with Scratch

Have you ever wanted to make your own games or animations? Scratch is a great free online resource that you can use. You don’t need to know any coding to start – it works using a “block” principle rather than writing lines of code. 

Find out more >

International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition

The International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition is an international science competition that enables students from all countries to prove their skills and to unleash their creativity in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. IAAC gives you the unique opportunity to apply your skills to challenging problems. Participants can receive certificates, awards, cash prizes, and global recognition. In order to participate in the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition, you have to be a high school or university student. Students from all grades and all countries are invited to participate.  Entries for the qualification round close on Friday 17 April

Find out more here >

MobileMuster Film Competition

Do you have a passion for film making and the environment? MobileMuster want you to create a one minute film encouraging your community to recycle their old mobile phones. The theme for the 2020 competition is “Small actions. Big Impact”.

You don’t have to be an experienced filmmaker to take part – all you need is an idea, imagination and motivation. Entry is free and is open to all primary, secondary and tertiary students in Australia. Entries are due Monday 21 September

Find out more and enter >

Mosman Art Prize

The Mosman Youth Art Prize exhibition features the diverse talents of the country’s young, aspiring and emerging artists and offers them the opportunity to exhibit their work in a public art gallery. This is a popular competition with close to 400 entries received annually with entrants from all over Sydney. Young artists aged between 12-21 submit artworks in a variety of media including; painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, video, photography and ceramics to win cash prizes, scholarships and art materials. Entries will open in late March. The artwork receipting day will take place on Tuesday 19 May.

Find out more >

National History Challenge

The National History Challenge encourages students to use research and inquiry based learning to discover more about the past. Students from Primary years to Year 12, 19 years of age or younger in Australian schools. The theme for 2020 is CONTESTED hiSTORIES’. Register on the site to receive an information kit. Submit your entry using the form on the site. Check the Key Dates for details for each state. [Only Tasmanian dates at time of inclusion].

Find out more >

Northern Beaches Young Writers Competition

The Northern Beaches Young Writers’ Competition has been running for ten years. Students write around a theme. The Young Writers’ Competition 2020 will open on Tuesday 14 April 2020.

Find out more >

Northern Beaches Art Prize

The annual Northern Beaches Art Prize (formerly Warringah Art Prize) began in 1955. Since then, it has become the Northern Beaches’ most prestigious art competition. There are four categories - General, Small Sculpture, Waste-to-Art and Youth. 

Find out more >

Wombat Books Illustration Challenge

Entrants must be aged between 7-18 years and school age. Students finishing Year 12 in 2020 must submit while they are still at school. Children must have parental permission to be considered for the challenge. All other details available from the site.
Selected illustrations from 2020 will be part of a book to be published in 2021. ‘This year there are new entry requirements, check the site for details. Entries close 30 November 2020.

Find out more >

NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge

The Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely’. There is now a separate Student’s Page as well as the main page. Challenge opens for student entries Monday 2 March 2020. Challenge closes for student entries Friday August 28 2020

Find out more >

Wool4School Design Competition.

Students design an outfit inspired by flora and fauna and incorporating fibres which are gentle on the earth.

Find out more >