Academic Enrichment Programs

The Academic Enrichment component of the Co-Curricular Programs is designed to promote lifelong learning outside the classroom. The programs offer opportunities that enhance and develop students academically, cognitively and socially.

Please see below for an overview of the programs available at A.B. Paterson College.

Public Speaking

The College boasts a proud history of Public Speaking through the development of the A.B. Paterson College Public Speaking Competition, bringing together over 600 students in Years 4-12 from around the Gold Coast. The students of A.B. mark their calendar each year to compete in this event, as they develop an important lifelong skill. Public Speaking is never an easy task, generating anxiety in most people, but like many unfamiliar and uncomfortable experiences, practice definitely helps to build confidence.

The College offers Public Speaking classes for students in Years 4-7 leading into the competition, while students in Years 8-12 are encouraged to meet with the English Faculty prior to competing.

In addition to our own competition, each year we have students entered into the Lions Youth of the Year Competition.

Schools looking to compete in the A.B. Paterson College Public Speaking Competition should contact the Director of Co-Curricular Activities, Mr Nathan Burgess ( 


Debating offers our students the opportunities to learn many life skills, from critical thinking to conflict resolution and emotional control. Our program is extremely popular at the College and has recently grown to include our Year 5 and 6 students.

Students in Years 7-12 compete in the Gold Coast Debating competition, held on a Wednesday night from Term 1 through to Term 3. Students are mentored by experienced coaches to ensure they are given the best opportunity to succeed.

Students in Years 5 & 6 compete in the Queensland Debating Union Primary Competition in Terms 3 and 4. This competition is a fantastic introduction for students before they hit Senior School.

Creative Writing Club

The Creative Writing Club is open to students from Years 4 to 12, who are interested in writing and who enjoy creative collaboration. There is no emphasis placed on ability for entry; rather, we welcome students who have a passion for the written word. Within a safe and creative space, students are able to share their writing samples and receive feedback from others in the club. Feedback is framed very positively and students have freedom of choice when selecting which pieces to share.

The Creative Writing Club members are encouraged to gradually build the use of sensory detail in their writing, so as to engage readers on a more personal level. We work through an ‘object writing’ program in which timed writing activities are given each week. This program helps students to strengthen their use of metaphor and simile within imaginative contexts, and to move away from ‘literal’ thinking and expression. Students explore the power of verbs and learn to edit their writing effectively, developing control over use of adjectives and pronouns. The writing program also incorporates elements of music and drama through topics such as song writing and script writing.


Makerspace is a space or place where students can make, create and solve real-world problems. They are provided the opportunity to explore, create and develop their computational, systems and design thinking and use scientific, engineering, artistic and mathematical skills (STEAM – Science, Technologies, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics) within hands‑on practical experiments and investigations.

Makerspace programs are offered year-round to students in Prep to Year 9.

Chess Club

Chess is a game of strategy that benefits academic performance. Chess Master, Jerry Meyers, believes that schools which offer chess make kids 'smarter'. He states this is done by focusing (observing carefully and concentrating), visualising (imagining a sequence of actions before it happens), thinking ahead, weighing options, analysing concretely (evaluating results of specific actions and sequences), thinking abstractly (step back from details periodically and consider the bigger picture), planning and juggling multiple considerations simultaneously.

The Chess Club is offered to students from Years 1 to 12, including interschool competitions each year.