Preparing for the future

As Upper School (Years 10, 11 and 12) students transition through adolescence, our focus moves toward their life beyond secondary school as self-directed, lifelong learners. Students are encouraged to strive to achieve their personal best both within and outside the classroom.

At Helena, our young adults in Years 10, 11 and 12 participate in an inclusive culture that values care, respect, compassion, integrity and responsibility.  They are supported by highly skilled and professional staff in class, through extra-curricular programs and pastoral care.  

We understand that life is about more than academic success. The wellbeing of each of our students is of paramount importance. By the time they leave Helena College, these young adults are ready to meet the future, whatever it may hold.
— Craig Hillman, Director of Upper School

One of the major objectives of Upper School is to give all students the opportunity to attain the requirements for their future studies (tertiary and vocational). The teaching and learning program for all students involves gradually increasing academic challenges and a wider range of course choices.  At Helena College, we have a comprehensive careers program, providing students with exposure to varying industries and tertiary institutions, interview experience and resume writing. All students participate in the Camps Program.

The Western Australian Curriculum determines what the students learn and the Helena College Teaching and Learning Framework determines how they learn.  

Upper School students come under the pastoral care, direction and leadership of the Director of Upper School who, with the support of homeroom teachers, also offers support and course guidance. Students build upon the relationships established in homerooms and on Year level camps to form a close relationship with their peers and teaching staff.

Year 10

At the first year of Upper School, Year 10 represents an important transition for our students. In Year 10, they consolidate knowledge and skills already in development, and lay the foundations for success in Year 11 and 12.  

In addition to the core program of Maths, English, Science and Humanities & Social Sciences (MESH subjects), Year 10s can select from a choice of electives, as well as participating in Health & Physical Education, Outdoor Education and a Workplace Experience program.  The electives available may vary each year. 

The Workplace Experience program helps students identify their personal strengths and passions and explore suitable career paths. They arrange their own week-long work experience placement and leave the program with a suite of transferable skills and an up-to-date job file including a Curriculum Vitae (CV).

During Year 10 students investigate their best options for Years 11 and 12, when they will undertake the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) which, for many, will include gaining their university entrance score (ATAR).  Our teaching and executive staff support them to make course selections based on their individual strengths, interests and aspirations.

The transition from Year 10 into Years 11 and 12 is a crucial step, and plenty of time is needed to decide on appropriate upper school courses. Students need to make careful, informed course choices to ensure that they achieve their WACE and meet the requirements for their chosen post-school pathway. Helena College provides a thorough and careful counselling process throughout the second half of Year 10 to discuss possible pathways with each students, as well as hosting information sessions for both parents and students. 

Year 11 and 12

In their final two years of school, our students undertake the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), which will lead most to courses of their choice at university or TAFE, while others will make a strong start to life in the workforce.

Helena College has a commitment to offering a full and broad range of courses even, where practicable, in situations where there is a smaller than usual number of students. Courses include options for ATAR, General and Endorsed Programs. We are also committed to developing each student as independent, self directed learners, through our timetabling of weekly private study sessions that are supervised by a teacher who can provide assistance or individual tutoring.

The aim is to provide a rich learning environment, equipping our students not just for further study or entry to the workforce, but for their lives as active and committed global citizens with a passion for life-long learning.

Course Booklets

Senior School students are fortunate to have a wide range of courses to enjoy at Helena College, all based on the Western Australian Curriculum.. 

In Years 6, 7 and 8 the the core curriculum covers Maths, English, Science and Humanities & Social Sciences (sometimes referred to as MESH subjects). In Year 6, the MESH subjects are taught by the Homeroom teacher, and by subject specialists in Years 7 and 8.  All Years 6 to 8 students are given an introduction to some of the specialist programs through semester-based courses in areas such as Drama, Food Technology, Media, Music and Visual Arts. Other learning areas may include Digital Innovation, Health Education, Information Services (Library), Languages and Physical Education studies.

In Years 9 and 10, students are able to choose to expand on what they enjoyed in Years 6 to 8, by choosing one of the many electives on offer in 2024:

In Year 10, students are supported through the decision-making process to help them choose a pathway that suits their post-school ambitions.For Years 11 and 12 students, course selection is focused on the requirements of the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), and students can choose to follow a General or an ATAR pathway at Helena College.  

We have put together some articles that may be of interest to families when considering subject selection for the final two years of school: