Teaching and Learning at Helena College
Like all children in WA, our students learn the content of the Western Australian curriculum. Helena College is committed to an inquiry-based approach to student learning and teaching for conceptual understanding.
Our key principles for effective learning include:
- Students must feel secure in class and supported by their teachers so that they are encouraged to challenge themselves to succeed, while knowing that those times when they are not as successful are not failures, but rather, opportunities for further learning.
- The curriculum and the learning must be purposeful for students. Teachers must provide context for students about what they are learning and why it is important.
- Learning is most effective when students are able to make connections between new information and prior knowledge. This means that our curriculum must be planned and delivered in a sequential manner along with providing opportunities for students to make connections between subject areas.
- While learning specific knowledge and skills is important for every student, engagement with overarching conceptual ideas helps to facilitate a deeper understanding of the content knowledge, and to make connections between what students are learning today and new information they are exposed to in the future.
- Every student is unique and needs to be challenged appropriately, including having opportunities for self-directed inquiry and choice about their learning. Teachers provide opportunities for students to work slightly beyond their current knowledge and skills and provide ongoing, scaffolded support to all students.
- Assessments are an opportunity for students to provide evidence of what they know and can do. Before each assessment task, students must be provided with a criterion for success so that expectations are clear and feedback to students from the teacher is specific and easily understood.
- We are all part of a global community which means our curriculum must include opportunities for students to form global perspectives on a wide range of issues.
- Finally, the College has a responsibility to teach the Western Australian curriculum and to report to parents on their child’s progress towards meeting the achievement standards outlined in all learning areas at each year level.