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from the senior school (cont'd) One of the primary benefits to be derived from the course philosophies and schools of thought which have governed is the imbuing of candidates with the ability and scholarship Western thought and writing in the past and today. I would to complete a research thesis, albeit in a shortened form for recommend the Extension course to any student with a HSC assessment. The skills learnt from such a process places strong interest in History, and I do believe these students will candidates in a position of advantage when transitioning to find they learn so much more than just History during their university-style assessments, which can often take the form of time in the course. an independent research thesis or essay. In support of these essay construction skills, participation in History Extension Luke McAlpin (SAC 2011) also provides an opportunity for candidates to learn how to conduct independent and scholarly research. This ability to The Bellarmine Academy – complete research on a relatively rigorous level is another Fides et Ratio key aspect of the course that provides invaluable skills for a Whilst there is direction from the outstanding staff Tthe College as intellectually challenging or as mentally successful academic experience at University. here are few extra-curricular activities on offer here at at the College, there are no in-class readings to ensure enriching as the Bellarmine Academy. In February research for the major work is completed. Each individual is this year, a selection of young and curious Year 11 minds thereby responsible for researching, reading and analysing from all walks of College life gathered for the inaugural sources, which assists in the transition from micromanaged meeting of the Bellarmine Academy for 2011, marking schoolwork into more independent university tasks. the commencement of what was to be an introductory and With its depth of research into both historians and fascinating journey into philosophy through time. historiographical concepts, the course challenges students For many – myself included – the Academy provided to open their minds to wider philosophical concepts rather our first exposure to the ideas of some of history’s greatest than simply memorise facts and structures, as is often thinkers; the philosophical arena facilitating much interesting the case in the HSC. This encouragement of students to and often controversial discussion and debate. Under grasp higher order concepts, ranging from positivism to the guidance of the Director, Mr Magar Etmekdjian, and post-structuralism, fosters a willingness to learn, and to frequent visitor, Father Rector, the group underwent a study question preconceptions, such as that history is simply about of a few of history’s more notable philosophers, examining the facts. in chronological order the works of such philosophers as Throughout my time in the course, as I was exposed Plato through to Bertrand Russell. to the theories and concepts which define the writing of The Academy comprised of Year 11 students (about history, I not only learnt about events in the past, but also the thirty in number) and over the course of the following eight Members of The Bellarmine Academy. St Aloysius’ College A Jesuit School for Boys _ Founded 1879 a l oy s i a d / page 40


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