Tournament of the Minds 2021 Regional Winners

St Patrick’s Primary School, Swansea was recently announced as the regional winner of the Language and Literature division of Tournament of Minds, a competition that offers students open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence, and teamwork.

The St Patrick’s team was coordinated by the school’s Year 5 teacher, Layne Wiseman. Our team consisted of seven girls – Peppa, Sheridan, Lacey, Macey, Tamika, Aisha, and Lara. The team’s task for the regional competition was to recreate a classic film using only promotional techniques, ensuring they did not give away the title of the original film. The team chose to recreate Aladdin. Under the COVID-19 safe rules, the entire presentation had to be rehearsed, performed, and edited over Zoom. As the team members were not able to communicate face-to-face, this added a new level of difficulty.

“In the lead up to the competition, I was both nervous and excited, but I knew we had a shot because we all worked so hard and put in our all for the past seven weeks”, said Aisha.

Tournament of Minds promotes higher-order thinking, independence, and collaboration. The adult coordinator oversees the project but is not permitted to intervene with suggestions or practical assistance. Tamika said, “During the preparation, I was a bit stressed because we had to do everything over Zoom, but I knew we could all push through it.”

The girls were overjoyed when it was announced that St Patrick’s had won.

"When I found out that we had won, I felt a rush of excitement and I was in pure shock," said Macey.

Layne Wiseman spoke highly of the team’s dedication.

“There were some stressful moments in the preparation phase of the tournament, but the team stayed calm and saw each challenge as a new opportunity to problem solve. We are so proud of the team and how they overcame the many challenges that came with the tournament.”

In the State Final, which will take place on September 19, the students will be given 15minutes over Zoom to solve a spontaneous challenge, and three minutes to present their solution. They will be judged on their ingenuity, creativity, and teamwork. The team has been meeting daily to prepare, using spontaneous challenges from previous years.


Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.