Questions we are often asked

Who is eligible to attend the ACHIEVING POTENTIAL SEMINARS?

All Gifted & Talented students are eligible of course - but also we give a warm welcome to `bright sparks' and `tall poppies' who may simply excel or have a burning interest in one particular area and perhaps just can't be bothered with most of what goes on at school.   We cater to the child who thinks somewhat differently, who is perhaps considered to be a `loner', but who would like to follow a dream and fly just a bit higher.

How will my child benefit from attending a seminar?

It is difficult to assess the benefits for any particular student because they are all so different. However, throughout the years we have been involved in organising these courses, it has become apparent that the biggest single advantage is definitely the opportunity given to the children to work together in an intensive atmosphere, alongside others of like mind and ability. Ultimately it does not seem to matter which particular courses or classes are taken - again and again we hear from parents, teachers - and of course the students themselves, that it has been the opportunity, and the occasion itself that has proved to be of most direct benefit and stimulation.

Does my son need to bring lunch?

Yes, send him with lunch and a drink just as though it were a school day.

What else will he need to take?

Usually just a pencil and notebook – perhaps some felt pens also. However we are aware that many students simply hate to write anything down so this is a suggestion rather than a requirement.  Sometimes specific maths classes need a calculator but these extra requirements will be noted on the registration information we send back to you.

What if we have registered but can’t attend because of illness?

You can choose a refund, which may incur a cancellation fee or alternatively defer attendance to a future seminar.

Will I be able to `sit in’ on sessions as an observer?

From time to time visitors attend workshops - your attendance should be discussed with the course organiser in advance.

Some of the subjects described, are things my child has no previous experience of; does this matter?

We do not assume that any child comes to the seminar with a great deal of background knowledge regarding any of the topics offered. Although obviously some will have an interest or a passion for a certain subject.

Do you provide After Course Care for working parents?

This can probably be arranged and should be discussed with the organiser.  It will be charged for separately from the course fees.

How well supervised will the students be?

A full staff of supervisors is employed to escort the students to and from sessions, supervise during breaks and to be available during workshops to help those who need extra assistance, and simply to be on hand if someone has a problem. Parents or teachers can apply for these supervision duties. This full supervision leaves the teaching staff totally free to do just that - teach!

The seminars seem rather expensive - can I know something about the cost structure?

The present cost structure is based on an hourly rate to the students and their families of about $13 exclusive of GST. Everyone involved in Holiday Seminars is paid for their efforts - tutors, lecturers, workshop leaders, ancillary staff, etc. We try to locate the best possible staff, and our policy is to pay professional rates in order to ensure a professional outcome.

Is it possible to apply for sponsorship in cases of hardship?

Funding is often available through Local Rotary and Lions Clubs but should be applied for as far in advance of the course as possible. Contact your local club through Citizens’ Advice Bureau or library. Schools often apply for funding through local Pub Charities.In recent years a number of scholarships were made possible via a generous donation made to us by the Todd Foundation and other funding opportunities may present themselves during 2009.

Are Report Cards issued at the conclusion of the seminar so that parents have some idea of their child’s overall progress?

It is impossible to judge any student on the basis of a three day seminar. However, all attendees are issued with a Course Participation Certificate. High Achievement Certificates and prizes are also awarded to those who show aptitude in a particular area or leaps in understanding.

How can I tell if my son or daughter really is a suitable candidate for the seminar? I would like to be sure.

Schools send us students who are either performing in approximately the top 10% of their age group in at least one major aspect of mental ability - or those who have the potential to do so. Parents frequently nominate their own children. In 99.9% of cases both schools and families have made the correct assessment of the student concerned. Our policy is to be flexible in our approach and to encourage inclusion rather than exclusion. At any seminar over the past fifteen years, about half the attendees are returning for the second or third time. Most of the children greatly enjoy the Holiday Seminars experience.

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