Term 2 Compact Programs

Years 1 and 2

Pursuing The Little Prince!  with Zuzi Fort
Years 1 and 2: Critical Thinking


“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Attention detectives! We need your help! The Little Prince from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel has gone missing! We believe the tiny traveller is hopping through books on an adventure through the literary universe. You must find and return him to the correct novel before anyone notices that he has disappeared. Luckily, the Prince is leaving a trail of evidence in his wake. To track the Little Prince’s journey, you will need to decode the notes he has left behind, analyse and sequence the texts that he is bounding through and question the characters who claim to have met him. Can you catch up with him and convince our intrepid explorer that the novel, ‘The Little Prince’ is his rightful home?

Zuzi is a published author and an accomplished theatre and television actor. She studied performance at the University of Western Sydney and Communication at the Sydney University of Technology. Zuzi has worked as an actor, director, scriptwriter, drama coach, radio/TV host as well as a stunt performer.

Starting from SCRATCH  with Jessica Buchanan
Years 1 and 2: Coding

Come and learn all about the fundamentals of computer science and computational thinking. Through live games and screen-based activities we’ll have fun learning how technology works as well as challenging our brains to get creative with code! During this workshop for beginners, we will learn how to navigate Scratch Jr, create a scene, and bring a character to life using code - we’ll even program our character to tell a joke!

Jess is a technology educator and instructional designer with a passion for STEAM education and the Maker movement. She has over fifteen years’ experience designing and teaching technology and has worked as a technology integrator in numerous Sydney schools. As Founder and Lead Educator at Flying Start Kids she enjoys designing education programs to ensure all kids have access to the tools they need to be confident and creative with technology.

Super Starters for Sensational Stories - Nemo and Dory to the Rescue!  with Aleesah Darlison
Years 1 and 2: Language and Literature

We’d like to be under the sea – so let’s explore the wonderful watery world of Nemo and Dory! After familiarising ourselves with the characters in this mega-popular movie series, we’ll create a new fishy adventurer to join them and brainstorm a new setting. We’ll then practice using different story starters with our new characters and settings to explore how the tone of our writing draws our readers in hook, line, and sinker every time!

Aleesah is the award-winning author of the hilarious League of Llamas series where the main characters are llamas … and secret agents! From an early age, Aleesah was surrounded by animals on her farm and in the bush. That’s why loves them so much and why she feels compelled to write about them now that she’s a grown-up author. Aleesah has written over fifty books for children, many of which feature humour or champion the cause of animals, the environment, and child self-empowerment. She has won, and been short-listed, for numerous awards for her writing.

Water Wizardry  with Robyne Bowering
Years 1 and 2: Science

*Please read EQUIPMENT LIST before enrolling*
Have you ever stopped to think about how wonderful water is?  It’s a very ordinary substance, but without it there would be no life on Earth! We drink it, clean with it, grow things with it and even swim in it!  We use water to dissolve or dilute things. We can freeze it, turn it into vapour or use it to create power! Come with us on a bubbling, stirring, splashing science adventure as we uncover some amazing ‘water magic’. Along the way, you’ll experience some exciting hands-on experiments which will transform you into a water wizard!

Robyne is a passionate and enthusiastic educator with over twenty-five years of experience teaching primary, secondary and tertiary students. Robyne is particularly keen on providing bright students with multiple opportunities to creatively explore their ideas and thinking through a range of hands-on, minds-on activities.

Where in the World is Waldo? with Kate Parker
Years 1 and 2: Maths

Back in 2017, the most expensive piece of artwork on Earth, worth four hundred and fifty million dollars, went missing!  It was rumoured that Da Vinci’s Salvatore Mundi had been stolen by notorious art thief, Waldo Woodward. After having been arrested, confessing to the crime, and imprisoned, he refused to reveal the location of the masterpiece. Now Waldo has escaped from Long Bay and ‘skipped’ the country. Interpol is on the trail, but they need some brilliant cartographers to help track him down. If you can find Waldo quickly, he will lead you to the missing artwork. If you are too slow though, he’ll be back in hiding and the artwork may be lost forever! In this race against time, you’ll have to use your mathematical investigation skills, decipher cryptic clues and solve mind-bending brain busters.  You’ll also need to apply mathematical concepts such as Pascal’s Triangle, conversions and algebra. Can you beat the clock, capture Waldo and retrieve Salvatore Mundi? The world is now counting down the hours. Here’s hoping you can do it!

Kate is a writer and science content communicator with a passion for teaching critical thinking and scientific method. As an experienced gifted and talented program developer, Kate has made it her mission to foster inquisitiveness and logical thought in children. She is excited about encouraging young minds to think outside the box and develop a process to problem solve.

Years 3 and 4

A Troubling Hawaiian Mystery with Florence Kermet-Florens
Years 3 and 4: Critical Thinking

Before the Polynesians came to Hawaii, it was inhabited by little people with mystical powers known as Menehune. Some say they were the size of dwarfs; some say they could fit into the palm of your hand. Some say they still exist and that Molowa is the last remaining Menehune on the Big Island – and that is why he is only four feet tall. Lately, little Molowa has been causing so much mischief that people from his village were complaining... and today, he disappeared. Who rid the island of Molowa and why?
In this workshop, you will learn strategies to develop your problem-solving skills before practising them through short improvisations and practical activities. Once your detective training has been completed, you will attempt to get to the bottom of Molowa’s disappearance by stepping into the shoes of one of the suspects or witnesses to roleplay, interviewing others and being questioned yourself to gather clues and solve the mystery. Good luck!

Florence holds a Masters of Literature and Civilization degree from Southern France, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from London and an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Stage and Screen Acting from Sydney. In addition to her fascination for intercultural communication, she has a passion for sharing her love of learning and helping children express themselves via creativity.

Can you SCRATCH it?  with Jacob Pini
Years 3 and 4: Technology

Can you Scratch it? Scratch is a very cool, block-based programming language initially created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. In this workshop you’ll be introduced to coding through a variety of activities which will help you to develop familiarity with the Scratch layout, vocabulary, and available code blocks. Can you figure out which code blocks perform which tasks? Can you write a program to get your scratch cat moving around different shapes? Master the basics and then you’ll be ready to springboard to more advanced programming where the possibilities are endless!

Jacob has completed a Bachelor of Aviation and a Masters of Teaching at the University of Melbourne. He has a strong passion for mathematics and digital technologies and believes firmly in firing imagination and interest in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with hands-on learning. Jacob considers himself an amateur yogi, an avid cyclist and a keen gamer and he is looking forward to sharing his experiences, and creating exciting new learning opportunities.

Count Like An Egyptian with Marianne Schmidt
Years 3 and 4: Maths

Spend some time as a student scribe at the Memphis School for Egyptian Scribes. We will be buddied up with an Egyptian boy, Nakht, who will take us on a journey of discovery into the world of Egyptian mathematics. Nakht will start with a glimpse into the history of Egyptian mathematics followed by a virtual tour of ancient Egyptian fields and workshops to find out how working scribes used the Egyptian number system to measure farmer’s fields, calculate harvests and determine the quantity of materials needed to construct buildings and monuments. Along the way you will learn how to read and write Egyptian numbers and fractions, use your body as a measuring tool, explore the purpose of a nilometer, do some canny calculations, learn about Egyptian calendars and discover how Egyptians performed multiplication and division without the use of times tables!

Marianne loves exploring the mysteries of ancient history and is fascinated by the symbolism encoded in ancient myths, art and languages. She believes that examining the past can teach us not only about the world of the past, but its relevance to our contemporary world view.  Holding degrees in science and management, and with a professional background in information technology, Marianne has the skills and experience to dispassionately examine the past whilst keeping her gaze fixed firmly on the future. Her experience with gifted children has led her to appreciate the importance of challenging and extending gifted young minds as they pursue their learning passions.

Is AI Coming to Take Over the World?  with Dimitri Douchin
Years 3 and 4: Science

Research into AI (Artificial Intelligence) aims to create technology that allows computers and machines to function in an intelligent manner. In an hypothesized takeover, AI would become the dominant form of intelligence on Earth, with computers or robots effectively taking the control of the planet away from the human species. If we want to be ready to tackle such a possible machine rebellion, we’d better equip ourselves with the language of machines! So… how do you write your name in binary? In hexadecimal? How can we compress this information to transfer gazillions of Gigabytes in the fraction of a second? Can a computer generate a random number? How can we measure the complexity of a language? There are so many questions when it comes to this area called Information Theory! After discovering how computers work, we’ll figure out whether information can be processed effectively by anything other than machines. On second thoughts, maybe we too are just machines moved by electrical signals!

Dimitri has travelled from France, where he studied physics, to Australia where he graduated with a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics. He shared his passion for the wonders of space and the Universe as an educator at the Sydney Observatory. Dimitri now devotes his time in researching and teaching children and adults how humans can live harmoniously on our Earth... and on other planets!

It's Barter On! with Leslie Mash
Years 3 and 4: Maths

The year is 2050 and an extraordinary co-incidence of events has occurred. First, a series of natural disasters has disrupted major utilities, then an asteroid has collided with the major telecommunications satellite orbiting the Earth! The world is in turmoil!! Two months later whole industries closed down, millions were out of work, and there was no indication that the internet would be restored any time soon. Then the banks collapsed! There was no choice but to turn back to the oldest form of trade, the barter system. 
In this new world, bargaining is your key to survival. You will need to identify your unique skill and learn to trade it for everyday essentials. Will you be a farmer or a woodworker, a baker or a tailor? And just how many mandarins should you trade for a house?
In this workshop we will explore the mathematics of value - discovering how prices are constructed out of time and effort, and then buffeted about by supply and demand. Finally, after examining the benefits and failings of the barter system, we will ask ourselves if the world is once again ready for money - and if so - how should we go about inventing it? 

Leslie has worn many hats in his career: he has been a film editor, a cinematographer, a drummer, and now an economist. He has a passion for maths and statistics and for the last few years has been teaching economics and econometrics (the statistics economists use) at the University of Sydney. When not teaching, Leslie can be found researching machine learning techniques, and turning maths into body percussion with the dance group Junkyard Beats.

Portals for Mortals with Andrea Blake
Years 3 and 4: Writing and Creative Thinking

A rabbit hole launched Alice’s adventures while Harry’s hijinks at Hogwarts began from a peculiar platform. The Pevensie children wandered into a wintry wonderland from a wardrobe and Max’s mad mind took him to where wild things are! So many of our favourite tales and characters truly do take us into new worlds. But how do they get there? It all starts with a portal, a magical entrance that leads from the known to the unknown! In this journey your imagination will be fired by creative thinking and writing challenges that get you inventing curious or unexpected portals. We read parts of tantalising tales by famous authors so that you can play with possibilities and come up with original ideas. Propel your story writing into new realms with portal power over two super sessions!

Andrea loves anything to do with words – reading, writing, discovering, inventing or investigating them! One of the things she enjoys most of all is working with enthusiastic young wordsmiths who love them too. An experienced teacher and specialist in Gifted Education, Andrea designs programs that inspire curiosity and ignite imagination, developing creative writing abilities and creative thinking skills.

Years 5 and 6

Ballistic Birds! with Sanjin Dedic`
Year 5 and 6: Maths

What do the flight paths of soccer balls, basketballs, rocks or projectiles have in common? They all fly through the air in an arc-like trajectory. For a long time, these trajectories held a mathematical secret which was ultimately discovered by the famous astronomer, Galileo Galilei. Many a war has been won by the army which could accurately aim their projectiles, and now it’s your turn to take aim!  Your task is to apply your mathematical skills so that you can accurately predict the flight path of a bird to hit the target. During this workshop you will develop these skills and learn about how projectile motion maths is also used in computer programs including most of your favourite computer games. The workshop will conclude with the ultimate contest of Python Ballistic Birds where your chances of winning will increase dramatically when you unlock the secret maths behind the trajectory of the birds. And, when it’s all done, you get to keep the game so you can keep perfecting your maths skills while challenging your friends and family!  

Sanjin Dedic` is a robotics engineer and an experienced educator in the field of Digital Technologies. Throughout his teaching career Sanjin has been at the forefront of the latest educational technologies, in 2013 he was already bringing Arduino, 3D printing and the Maker Movement ethos into the classroom. He has since authored Python curriculum used by dozens of Victorian schools and has co-authored a book on the BBC micro:bit.

Figurate It Out! with Katrina Sims
Year 5 and 6: Maths

Welcome to the fascinating world of Figurate Polygonal Numbers. Figurate numbers have fascinated mathematicians throughout history. Arrangements of these numbers as dot patterns have been found in Stone Age carvings and ancient civilisations gave them mystical properties. Pythagoreans studied their arithmetic and relational properties by arranging them into polygonal configurations. In this workshop we will investigate six figurate numbers and discover several intriguing number patterns. And then it will be your turn to arrange these dots into interesting number patterns and discover how to turn them into sophisticated algebraic formulae!

Katrina has a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education. She has taught enrichment mathematics classes for gifted students in the primary system as well as mathematics to students in Years 7 to 10. She is a member of the Australian Mathematics Trust Challenge Problem Solving committee and has a keen passion for problem solving in mathematics. Katrina is the recipient of a National Excellence in Teaching Award and a BH Neumann Award for her contributions to Enrichment of Mathematics for Australian Students. She has presented teacher workshops at National and international Gifted and Talented and Mathematical Conferences. 

Into the Unknown: An Adventure in Astronomy and Astrophysics with Simon Matheson
Year 5 and 6: Science

The study of astronomy dates back 5000 years. Initially it involved the mapping of stars and planets into outlines of gods and magical creatures – but astronomy is so much more than that. It is the scientific study of the contents of the entire Universe - stars, planets, comets, asteroids, galaxies, and space and time, as well as its history. In this program we will take a look at the stars in the night sky and discover the history and the various myths related to constellations. We’ll explore our own solar system and beyond as we investigate the prevailing scientific theory of the origin of our Universe, the so-called Big Bang theory. What evidence do we have to support this theory, and what predictions does it make for the future? We’ll find out how a star is formed and look at its life cycle, what this means for our own suns’ future, and how it is that we are all made of ‘star stuff’.

Simon is a physicist who has been involved in education one way or another for most of his life; first as a student, then as a secondary science and maths teacher, and as a developer and presenter of science outreach programs with CSIRO Education. Simon’s enthusiasm for science education is grounded in the belief that all citizens of the modern world need a firm grasp of the principles upon which science (and, by extension, the world around us) are built.

Making Rules, Breaking Rules - Writing Challenges Gone Mad! with Anna Jahjah
Year 5 and 6: Language/Literature

It is a wonderful feeling to write freely what comes to our mind. But what happens when nothing comes? How do we overcome writer’s block when we’re sitting there stuck with a blank page? More often than not, rules can help unlock the imagination. The international literary and mathematics movement Oulipo has been meeting once a month for over 50 years to try and find new rules to help trigger creativity. The most famous examples include George Perec, who wrote a whole novel without using the letter E, and Raymond Queneau, who wrote the same short story in 99 different ways! How about we play with some of those rules to trigger our own imagination and see what we can come up with?

Anna has a master’s degree in British and American Literature and Civilisation and a Bachelor of Arabic Literature and Civilisation from Aix-en- Provence University, in France. She has taught storytelling and creative writing techniques to French children for over eight years but one day realised that her heart belonged to Sydney! Twenty thousand kilometres and twenty-four hours later she found herself presenting writing and drama workshops to Australian children and has never looked back. 

Talkin' Tolkien with Kim Edwards
Year 5 and 6: Language/Literature

“Not all those who wander are lost…”
Prepare to journey into fantasy writer and medieval historian J. R. R. Tolkien’s amazing world of Middle Earth! Are you ready to trade riddles with the mysterious Gollum, decode the secrets of the Elf language, breath firey life into a dragon like Smaug, and hang out with fierce dwarves, mystical wizards and lovable hobbits? Come discover the mysteries of "mythopoeia" as we use Tolkien’s creative creatures, vast landscapes and epic journeys from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as inspiration to invent, design, draw and write about some imaginative beasts, daring adventures and fantastical worlds of our own!

Kim teaches English literature and creative writing to university and high school students, and drama and theatre skills to both adults and kids all over Melbourne. She has run book clubs and cabarets, performed Shakespeare and written sonnets, dabbled in Dickens and is best buddies with the Brontes, and while she loves a ripping good yarn, she is still convinced everything we get to read and write in our lives is always a thrilling new adventure!


"I just want to extend a huge thank you for all your efforts with our children. My child literally did not stop talking about G.A.T.E.WAYS yesterday. It was by far the highlight of his week.”

— Parent
"From an organisational perspective we have found the G.A.T.E.WAYS Online programs very easy to manage. At our school we have set aside Wednesday afternoons for G.A.T.E.WAYS and we alternate each week between the older age group and the younger students. The students gather together in the hall and they connect online with their G.A.T.E.WAYS group. There is a lovely buzz in the air as the students interact with the facilitator and other children from around Australia."

Emma Johnston-Robinson - Canberra Grammar ACT:
"I am blown away at how engaged my child was for two hours with the G.A.T.E.WAYS Online program. I loved watching her connect with the presenter and other children from across Australia and have that same thirst for learning quenched like your face-to-face programs offer. Normally we travel three hours to reach your programs but now we can access them from the comfort of our own home! Thank you!”

— Parent