Academy Learning

Thriving Minds

Big Ideas for Curious Minds
Foundations for Success

About Thriving Minds

Welcome to our gifted and talented website, where we extend a warm invitation to all able and ambitious students, as well as educators, to unlock their full potential! Embark on a journey of intellectual growth with an Oxford Stretch Study Day.

At our events, you will have the opportunity to nurture your brilliance and unlock your potential. Whether you’re a student eager to explore your passions or a teacher seeking to enhance your skills, our programs provide a platform for embracing challenges and connecting with like-minded peers.

Additionally, we offer online learning opportunities for those who seek flexibility and accessibility in their educational pursuits. Our online courses provide a convenient way to engage with our content and continue your journey of intellectual exploration from anywhere in the world. Join us to unleash the power of your mind and discover new horizons of knowledge and achievement.

UK Conferences

Senior Stretch 2024

Nurturing Brilliance: Age 14+. Unleash Your Potential Big Ideas Senior stretch is an annual gathering of exceptional young minds.

Intermediates Conferences 2024

This study day offers a unique provision for academically gifted students. Year 7-9 / Ages 12-14.

Regional Senior Stretch

This study day offers a unique provision for academically gifted students: Years 10-13.

Australia and New Zealand Conferences

Senior Stretch 2024

Big Ideas For Bright Minds: Age 14+. A Conference For More Able And Ambitious Students.

Junior Stretch and Challenge 2024

Inspire Ambition: Age 11–14. Big ideas for curious minds. Celebrate a day of intellectual exploration designed for motivated and ambitious students.

Symposium 1 for Gifted Education 2024

The Symposium for Gifted Education emphasises the importance of delivering an effective gifted education.

Our Conferences

Gifted and TalentedUK Senior National events
Gifted and TalentedUK Senior Regional events
Gifted and TalentedUK Intermediates
Gifted and TalentedANZ Senior
Gifted and TalentedANZ Junior
Gifted and TalentedANZ Symposium for GATE
Gifted and TalentedOnline courses for more able students
EthIQaPhilosophy and Ethics A level

Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss is the Educational Director of Thriving Minds. She is an outstanding Gifted Educator, nurturing brilliance through a holistic approach. At the heart of Julie Arliss’ philosophy lies a deep commitment to unlocking the unique potential within every gifted student. She believes that gifted education is not just about cultivating academic excellence but also fostering holistic development, instilling a love for lifelong learning, and nurturing the well-being of each student. Thriving Minds provides talented students with the tools necessary to cultivate critical thinking, analyse complex problems, and innovate. This philosophy encourages students to question the status quo, explore new ideas, and develop solutions to real-world challenges. In placing great value on mentorship and guidance students benefit from the wisdom and expertise of educators who not only teach but also inspire and support them on their educational journey. Through steadfast commitment to this philosophy, numerous more able and ambitious students have not only achieved academic excellence but have also grown into compassionate, innovative and socially conscious individuals. Julie Arliss’ legacy extends far beyond the conference platform, influencing the lives of students who carry these values with them throughout their lives. For almost three decades Julie has collaborated with some of the greatest living thinkers delivering outstanding programmes for more able students across the UK and Australasia. She is currently based at the University of Oxford.

Learning Lab

The Academy Learning Lab is the leading provider of exclusive online learning for more able and ambitious students. Wherever you are in the world the lab is a secure place, built by highly experienced teachers, to provide extension work for students. The Lab offers stability in an uncertain world – where thinking deeply and getting the right qualifications still really matters. Learning is seamless and uninterrupted by world events or school closure.

A number of elite universities, such as University of Oxford, Exeter and Aberdeen, have generously helped craft the material for maximum impact and high achievement. Learning Lab content is typically polymathic, drawing inspiration from University academics with more than one area of expertise. We help students understand the subtle threads which link up areas of knowledge.

Inside the Lab is a world-class multi-media platform for blended learning. Packed full of material which really extends and excites this cohort, the teachers keep an oversight of student progress from the ‘cockpit’. Here the teacher can see how well a student is progressing and access resources, notes and the ‘answers’ to hundreds of multiple-choice questions, (ranging from art to mathematics, from geography to literature, from sport to music …and much more).

Join the learning lab and give your students a truly individual, transferable student-centred learning experience.


Try Our Online Learning Platform


Essential Reading!

The Thriving Minds Masterclass for senior students

In ‘Hiding behind the screen’ philosopher Roger Scruton examines the effects of modern technology on ourselves and the way we relate to others.

Our Media

Applauded by educators

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Templeton World

'No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness’

Attributed to Aristotle by Seneca