Learning Enrichment Programs

The Enrichment Centre provides advice and assistance for students with individual needs, ranging from learning disabilities and difficulties, through to students with special talents and interests. The Centre is open every lunch hour and any student can pop in to meet with staff.

Selected students in Years 7-9 have the opportunity to participate in the Literacy and Numeracy Enhancement (LANE) program for a semester to consolidate core year level skills. We also offer some in-class support in Years 7-10.

While there are many opportunities available to students at Hillbrook the following are a few coordinated by the learning Enrichment staff to date:

  • ICAS Competitions
  • Maths Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA)
  • UQ Women in Engineering
  • Mooting – Mock Court competition
  • Science and Engineering Challenge

The Enrichment Centre staff are:

Judy Mulherin: judym@hillbrook.qld.edu.au

Christel Long: christell@hillbrook.qld.edu.au


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I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. 

Pablo Picasso

Personalized Learning 

At Hillbrook we seek to broaden and deepen our understanding of how adolescents learn.

We acknowledge that young people learn in particular ways today, largely due to their interaction with multi-media and information technology. We also acknowledge that people have different natural learning styles. All of this constitutes a strong foundation from which to address the teaching and learning of students at Hillbrook. Inclusion of support and enrichment for students is a natural part of the work of teachers and occurs across all subjects from Year 7 through to Year 12.

Learning Enrichment and Extension

The following examples show typical learning extension activities across a range of subjects:

  • English - Children’s Picture Book Competition / Writing Short Stories Workshop with Authors / Attending the Annual Writers’ Festival / Writing Project with QUT Creative Arts Workshop
  • Maths - National and WESTPAC Mathematics Competitions / Assignments which challenge students to problem-solve and discuss understanding and solutions
  • Science Junior - Aurecon Bridge Building and Science-Byte analysis Competitions / Engineers without Borders presentation
  • Japanese - Japanese exchange students buddying/hosting for language immersion / Trip to Japan for Years 10, 11 and 12 students for language immersion
  • Drama - Drama Festival / Every second year students can choose to be in a full length Theatre Production / Opportunity to develop Sound & Lighting skills for school productions
  • Sport - Regional and State Sporting opportunities / Curriculum leadership opportunities
  • Engineering - QUT Honours students run activities for the Year 11 & 12 students on particular subject areas such as ‘concrete’ or ‘bridges’ / Computer simulation software is utilized to reinforce theory (3D modeling, bridge builder)
  • Biology - Students can enrol in the Griffith University Biology Program and gain entry into Health Courses at the University – gain 1 bonus OP rung /Camp to UQ’s Moreton Bay’s 'Inspiration' Marine Research Vessel
  • Economics - ASX simulation game providing students with the opportunity to develop and extend their skills / Gifted students can enrol at Griffith University to do one semester of introductory Economics

This list is not exhaustive. Extension and enrichment opportunities are available in all subject areas.

Learning Support

The following examples show typical learning support activities across a range of subjects:

  • English – Weekly reading lessons in the library to encourage reading of books of all genres
  • Maths Junior – Essential Mathematics available in Year 10
  • Tech Studies and Graphics – A past Hillbrook student, currently studying Design at QUT, works with students to help them understand design factors and concepts.
  • Engineering – Hands on experiments to reinforce theory (e.g. Pulley systems, concrete, resin casting, friction)
  • Biology – Language support for terminology

These activities are in addition to the Literacy and Numeracy Enhancement (LANE) program, other in-class and exam support (as required), provided by the Enrichment Centre in Years 7 – 10.

Subject tutorials are held regularly, at lunchtime or after school, for many subjects including maths, economics and chemistry.

Year 12 Extension Subjects

Music Extension

Music Extension is an exciting and challenging course designed for students who have a real passion for music and wish to specialise even further.

Music Extension is available to students in Year 12 who are currently studying Music through Year 11 and 12.

As a composer, musicologist or performer students are encouraged to develop techniques and skills in their chosen specialisation and to communicate music ideas to an audience through compositions, musicological presentations or performances.

Because the focus is on self-directed, independent learning students play a large role in planning the course of study.

In the Composition specialisation, students will create their own music in a style or genre that allows them to best display their skills as a composer. Compositions may be vocal or instrumental, solo or ensemble, notated or recorded, and may be generated by electronic means and contemporary technologies.

In the Musicology specialisation, students will be engaged in a research-based study of music. This specialisation may involve document study, archival research, field research, stylistic analysis, and/or cross-disciplinary studies. The range of fields within Musicology includes historical musicology, ethnomusicology, philosophy of music, psychology of music, and acoustics.

In the Performance specialisation, students will perform as a soloist, a member of an ensemble, an accompanist, a conductor, or any combination of these. Students are encouraged to select repertoire in the style/s or genre/s that allows them to best display their emerging skills as a performer and which allow them to demonstrate the exit standards described in the syllabus.

See also:

Instrumental Music

What do I study?

Students will choose one of three specialisations:

  • Composition
  • Musicology
  • Performance

English Extension

English Extension offers Year 12 students an exciting and challenging two-semester extension of senior English.

The subject offers more challenge than senior English, including expectations of accelerated independence, increased intellectual demands and assessment task requirements.

This subject builds on the literature study students undertake in senior English, giving opportunity to specialise in the theorised study of literature for two semesters.

Literature includes a broad range of forms, such as novels, poetry, short stories, plays, film and nonfiction works. In this subject, students have opportunities to read with, across, and against these literary forms. It embraces texts across a range of cultural contexts as well as past and present works valued for their form and style and recognised as having enduring value.

English Extension is designed for students in Year 12 who have a special interest in literature and literary analysis. The nature of learning and assessment in English Extension demands that students are able to work independently on intellectually challenging tasks.

To study this subject, students must:

  • have completed two semesters of senior English or equivalent
  • be concurrently studying a further two semesters of senior English in Year 12


What do I study?

English Extension introduces students to a variety of theoretical approaches used to analyse and evaluate literary texts. Students learn about and apply a number of theoretical approaches to the literary texts they study.

A course in English Extension is organised around three sequential and developmental units of study:

  • Readings and defences
  • Complex transformation and defence
  • Exploration and evaluation

Unit 1 focuses on building students’ knowledge and understanding of different theoretical approaches and the application of these approaches to literary texts to produce individual readings. Students also learn to produce a defence by which they analyse the reading they have produced, explaining how the theoretical approach used has allowed them to make meaning of the text in particular ways.

Unit 2 builds on Unit 1 by exploring the relationship between writing practices and reading positions. This involves investigating the invited readings of texts that students might want to challenge and constructing alternative meanings by intervening in those texts. Complex transformation relates to repositioning readers in purposeful ways and must be theoretically defensible.

Unit 3 enables students to evaluate their learning, offering them opportunities for in-depth exploration of texts. This unit gives students opportunities to explore how theoretical approaches can complement one another or clash in producing close readings of literary texts.