Extension Programs

Robotics

We are so lucky to have such fantastic resources at St Paul’s. At present, all our Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 students are part of the Robotics Program. The curriculum is evenly divided between coding and robotics, with all students using the structured coding curriculum from code.org and using the school Sphero and Mindstorms EV3 robots.

Our Year 3 students have shown themselves to be very adept at coding and robotics. They have all shown great critical thinking skills as they solve the coding challenges. Their achievements in robotics have been amazing, starting with direct control of the Sphero robots, then using a series of interfaces to program them, including a drawn interface and block-programming. They are introduced to pseudo-code and have already started to write their own code using a text-based coding language.

The Year 4 students start out using the Sphero robots but quickly move up to the more sophisticated EV3s where they use the Mindstorms programming language to control them. The next step for them is to use the sensors to gather information about their environment to inform their movement. They also work through a series of sequential coding challenges in code.org.

Year 5 and 6 students begin to tackle a more complex coding curriculum and develop their analytical and problem-solving skills. This helps them in robotics programming as they continue to develop their maze-solving programs. They begin with being able to program their robots to solve a maze and have been able to write programs that will work for any maze, even those they have not seen before.

It is such a worthwhile program and together we look forward to continuing the journey as we embark on solving more and more complex problems.

Ad Astra

St Paul’s is proud of our enrichment program – Ad Astra. From the Latin, meaning “to the stars”, this invitational program has been developed for students who have demonstrated an aptitude for problem-solving, creativity, innovation and leadership. The program runs for Years 4, 5 & 6 and aims to tackle real-world issues in relevant contexts.

Students have been engaged in developing ideas that could be implemented for a new learning and outdoor play space. They have researched current trends in exploratory play spaces and contemporary learning spaces, with a view to designing a solution that is based on current best-practice and backed by rigorous research. They have considered materials, safety, budget, effectiveness and outcomes of a wide variety of suggestions.

It is hoped that some of their ideas will be incorporated into the final designs for these spaces and that they can have some agency over decisions that affect their community.

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