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.

The 2023 Course Selection booklet is available to download here