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Academic Pursuits

St Pius X highly values pursuits of academic excellence. Teachers are committed to assisting all students to reach their academic potential through a range of academic endeavours outside of the classroom. These include the Science and Engineering Challenge, Mock Trial Competition, Public Speaking Competition, the Lions Youth of the Year Competition and Debating. Students are also encouraged to participate in various national competitions: Mathematics, English, Science, Chemistry, Geography, and Computers. All of these endeavours, in addition to many others, enhance the academic potential of our students.

Science and Engineering Challenge

St Pius X has competed with distinction in the Science and Engineering Challenge for the past eight years.

Mathematics Advanced Preparatory Class

Run: Wednesday mornings at 8.10am

The Advanced Preparatory Class is intended to give students an insight into the foundations of Mathematics, its more interesting ideas and some advanced techniques. A grasp of the concepts presented here will place students in an excellent position to excel at Extension 1 and 2 Mathematics in senior school. The two students with the highest scores will be awarded prizes at the Year 10 graduation ceremony.

The course is divided into four sections. The first and most important is Logic, which will introduce the ideas of:

  • Statements and logical constructs
  • Encoding English into symbols
  • Good structure and technique for arguments
  • Fallacy and paradox
  • Deductive reasoning and proof
  • Set theory

The second section is Number Theory, which will analyse interesting patterns and rules that apply to numbers. You will use the techniques you learned in Logic to prove some interesting and difficult ideas:

  • The properties of odd, even and negative numbers
  • Rational and irrational numbers
  • Infinity and countability
  • Prime numbers and the fundamental theorem of arithmetic

The third section is Proportion, Spaces and Aesthetics, which builds on the previous two sections. It will introduce concepts of geometric elegance, beautiful patterns and the ideas of abstract (that is, non-physical) space. In particular:

  • The philosophy of beauty
  • The five axioms of Euclid and their implications for space
  • Harmonics
  • Series, patterns and spirals
  • Circles, spheres, regular shapes and the Platonic solids
  • The golden ratio in number and geometry

The final section is Algebra, which will expose students to some advanced techniques in computation:

  • Quadratic inequalities
  • Absolute values
  • Surdic expressions and equations
  • Odd and even functions and two transformations