Curriculum

The curriculum at the Junior School (K-5) at the Darlington Campus and both Middle School (6-9) and Upper School (10-12) at the Glen Forrest Campus promotes the vision, mission and values of the College, providing:

  • Strong academic foundation for all students
  • Opportunities for students to be enriched, challenged and extended
  • Focus on whole-person development
  • Innovation in both teaching and co-curricular programmes
  • Focus on digital literacy through the laptop programme (Years 6-12)
  • Focus on values education
  • Electives Programme at the Junior School
  • Community service and action programme
  • Outstanding camps programme from Pre-primary to Year 12

The Helena College Teaching and Learning Framework

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. To ensure that students are learning in their zone of proximal development (The gap between the knowledge and skills a student has mastered and what they can potentially master with support and assistance) teachers must 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.

In schools, the planning for what students will learn and how they will be taught is presented within a curriculum framework.  Our curriculum framework features three key components:

Units of Study: The Unit of Study is the written plan for teaching a specific topic over a period of time. Each Unit of Study includes:

  • The details of what students will learn as outlined by the Western Australian curriculum, along with connections to overarching conceptual ideas.
  • The ways that students will be assessed to provide evidence of their learning.
  • The range of teaching activities which will be used to deliver the key learning within the unit, including differentiation strategies.

A Timeline: The delivery of the Units of Study are planned across the school year in order for students to build on their learned knowledge and skills, and to identify opportunities for transdisciplinary connections in the learning between subject areas.

Reporting: Several times a year, teachers are required to report to parents on their child’s progress towards meeting the achievement standards expected in a specific learning area.

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