Getting ready for change

Junior School Saturday, 01 July 2023

For some, the ‘tween’ years can be challenging to negotiate - both for young people and their parents. The pre-adolescent stage, defined loosely as the years between eight or nine to twelve, is when change is a given, but the time frame for those changes is not! 

Children in this age range may be growing and developing rapidly. They may experience changes in height and weight, while others may not do so for a while yet.

Their emotional development will be shifting too, as they develop their sense of self, their emotional intelligence, and begin to navigate more complex social relationships.  On a cognitive level, they will start building on their reasoning skills and showing an interest in more advanced concepts and ideas.  

It is also the time when students may begin using technology more frequently - and more independently. They will also be encountering more challenging academic content. They are likely to be more aware of global issues, and will be trying to figure out where they fit in the world. It is a lot to deal with!

At Helena College, our Year 4 and 5 program is designed to support your child and your family in coping with change, as well as  preparing them for the opportunities and the challenges of Year 6 and beyond.  Children have the greatest chance of success in negotiating the tween years when they feel supported at home and at school.  

Helena College’s Year 4 and 5 program is carefully developed to not just cover the required content of the Western Australian curriculum, but also to provide an environment in which children can thrive. For example, the ‘toolbox’ we provide our with Year 4 and 5 students includes (but is not limited to):

  • opportunities to develop and consolidate friendships in a supportive setting, with just two classes at each year level in Years 4 and 5
  • weekly class activities with our College psychologist covering topics such as friendship, resilience, self-esteem, emotional regulation and more
  • learning assessment and evaluation of students to identify and respond to areas of need
  • individual learning and enrichment programs for students of all abilities who require extra support or extension
  • tools to develop their organisation skills, build good study habits and self-management to prepare for more challenging school work in later years
  • development of leadership skills through our House Captains, Ministers and Aussie of the Month leadership programs
  • access to the Electives and Camp programs as well as unique classes such as weekly cooking lessons
  • develop familiarity with the environment and staff at the Glen Forrest Campus through occasional whole school events, and making use of the facilities at Glen Forrest for interhouse sport, performances and more - taking some of the mystery out of Senior School well before it starts. 

We also work closely with parents, arranging regular parent-teacher conferences and offering parent information evenings on a variety of topics, such as social media  and consent education. We firmly believe that we need to partner with parents to help create the best possible outcomes for our students.

Enrolling your child for Year 4 or 5  also guarantees entry to Year 6 at our Glen Forrest Campus, which is traditionally our largest intake year. For more information on our Year 4 and 5 program, or to book a tour of our Junior School, please get in touch with our Enrolments Coordinator at