Educators often talk about giving children 'agency' in the classroom. In simple terms, 'agency' means providing students with the opportunity to make choices about how they approach their learning, and empowering students to identify the goals they wish to achieve, and to pursue those goals. One of the ways in which students gain agency at Helena College, is through the wide range of courses and electives on offer, across Junior School (Kindy to Year 5), Middle School (Years 6 to 9) and Upper School (Years 10 to 12).
Students are guided and taught by highly-qualified educators, including teaching staff, education assistants and specialist tutors. Many of our staff have 'real world' experience of the subjects they teach, and all are passionate about their chosen speciality.
The Western Australian Curriculum determines what the students learn and the Helena College Teaching and Learning Framework determines how they learn. The WA Curriculum provides for eight learning areas, and Helena College has a range of courses (including core programs and electives) on offer in each of those.
English is taught across the College, in line with the relevant WA Curriculum Syllabus for each year level. Literacy is a key focus area, especially in the early years, as it provides the foundation for students' ability to access other learning areas. There are three strands in the English learning area: Language, Literacy and Literature.
In Year 11 and 12, Helena College offers English ATAR, English General and Literature ATAR.
Our dedicated and passionate department of Physical, Health and Outdoor Education specialist teachers strive to offer students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities with the aim of helping every student find a passion that sets them on a path to living a healthy, active and fulfilling life.
Junior School (Kindy to Year 5)
Delivered by classroom teachers, Health is an integral part of life and learning. Key inclusions are Protective Behaviours, Healthy Eating, Cybersafety and more. The big focus for Physical Education is on students participating with enjoyment, confidence and skill. The lessons allow students to try a range of sports, with a focus in building students' strength, confidence, fundamental movement skills, spatial awareness, and game strategy. For the youngest students, the anchor of the program is fundamental movement skills, such as running, jumping, hopping, skipping, balancing, throwing and kicking.
Middle and Senior School (Years 6 to 12)
Students learn how the body moves; how to approach and resolve challenges; how to optimise movement performance; and the benefits of physical activity to themselves, others and communities. Through movement in a variety of contexts and settings, students acquire, practise, manage and refine personal, interpersonal, social and cognitive skills.
Students in Year 11 and 12 have the opportunity to study Physical Education Studies (ATAR or General) as well as Outdoor Education General.
The College’s fitness and weights facility is also made available to students in Year 11 and 12 for use before school and at lunchtimes.
In the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) learning area students learn about the world they live in. They study people and places and learn about the past and the present. HASS includes:
- Civics and Citizenship – introduced in Year 3 and carries through to Year 10
- Economics and Business – introduced in Year 5 and carries through to Year 10
- Geography – introduced in Pre-primary and carries through to Year 10
- History – introduced in Pre-primary and carries through to Year 10.
In Year 11 and 12, students can select from a range of HASS courses, including Business Management and Enterprise General, Careers and Enterprise General, Geography, Modern History, Politics and Law, and Workplace Learning.
In the Languages learning area, students learn languages other than English. While learning a new language, students build communication skills and learn about other cultures.
Junior School students from Pre-primary to Year 5, will learn Auslan from 2023, an exciting development for Helena College.
From Years 6 to 10, students are able to select from either French or Indonesian as their second language.
In Year 11 and 12, both French and Indonesian are available as ATAR subjects.
In the Mathematics learning area, students build numeracy skills and their understandings of mathematical ideas and processes. Numeracy helps students with their daily lives, and is an essential element of the Teaching and Learning Framework at Helena College. It is a core subject from the early years through to Year 10.
In Year 11 and 12, students can select from Specialist ATAR, Methods ATAR, Applications ATAR and Essentials General.
In the Science learning area, students develop a scientific view of the world and develop their understanding of science ideas and uses. They use this view to explore the world around them, and is a core subject from the early years through to Year 10.
In Year 11 and 12, students can select Biology ATAR, Chemistry ATAR, Human Biology ATAR, Physics and Psychology General.
There are two subjects in the Technologies learning area. The first is Design and Technologies. The second is Digital Technologies. Students develop skills in creating solutions for now and the future in both subjects.
Junior School (Kindy to Year 5)
From Kindergarten to Year 5, the students develop the skills and understandings to become effective users of the technologies that are now an integral part of our professional and personal world.
Through hands-on experiences and explicit instruction, the students learn how to use digital systems to investigate and create, communicate and manage data. The skills and knowledge developed in Computer Studies further enhance their use of classroom iPads and laptops, as well as devices at home.
Design and Technologies is incorporated in a range of ways in classroom learning, and is often part of cross-curricular activities. A highlight for Year 5s is the introduction of a cooking class is the specialist kitchen facilities available at the Darlington Campus.
In addition, elements of the digital technologies curriculum is enhanced by the Junior School's fun and engaging Electives program.
Senior Campus (Years 6 to 12)
Our Design and Technologies learning area includes Engineering, Dimensional Design and Food Technology, and incorporates Digital Photography, Applied Information Technology, Innovation, Robotics and Digital Citizenship. These are generally available as the rotation subjects for Years 6 to 8 and as electives in Years 9 and 10.
In Years 11 and 12, the courses available to students are Computer Science General, Dimensional Design General, Engineering Studies (Mechanical) ATAR, Engineering Studies (Mechanical) General, Food Science and Technology General.
The Arts learning area consists of Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. Subjects from The Arts build students’ creativity and communication skills. Students learn how to express their ideas and solve problems.
Junior School (Kindy to Year 5)
In the Junior School, a dedicated Performing Arts teacher at the Junior School works with students from Kindergarten to Year 5, building their awareness of dance, drama and music. In addition, students can access expanded range of dance, drama, music, pottery, and visual arts through the Electives program.
Another option is involved in the Wakakirri program, a story dance competition that is open to students from Year 3to Year 6.
Senior School (Years 6 to 12)
Through the rotational program in Years 6 to 8, and electives in Years 9 and 10, students participate in Drama, Media, Music and Visual Arts. An added opportunity is the Instrumental Music program which allows students to learn to play an instrument with specialist music tutors during school hours.
In Year 11 and 12, students can select from Drama ATAR, Drama General, Media Production and Analysis ATAR, Music ATAR, Music General, Visual Art ATAR, and Visual Art General.