The true measure of success

The Helena Experience Tuesday, 01 Aug 2023

At Helena College, we engage in regular reviews of our teaching and learning practices, our co-curricular programs, and our course offerings, as all good schools do. During a recent discussion, the question was posed about what makes Helena College different from other schools.

We looked at the data we regularly report on – our ATAR results, the NAPLAN scores, staff and student retention rates, staff qualifications and more. We also measured the responses we received in our annual community surveys of parents, students and staff.  Much of this is included in our annual report, which was published on our website in June. 

But despite seeing all this data, all the numbers and measurements, it didn’t quite seem to tell the full Helena story.  We know our Camps program is special, our elective choices are broad, and our approach to teaching is sound – but all good schools have programs that they are proud of.  So what, in marketing terms, is our unique selling point?

The answer is in the things that are more difficult to measure and report on.  Helena’s true value lies beyond grades and scores, encompassing the intangibles that shape a student’s character and lifelong success, such as:

  • Character Development: We aim to nurture qualities like resilience, empathy, and ethics, which helps shape young people into become compassionate and principled individuals.
  • Critical Thinking:  A ‘big picture’ approach and inquiry-based learning empowers students to analyse, synthesise, and solve problems, preparing them for life’s complexities, while explicit teaching ensures they have a solid foundation in literacy and numeracy. 
  • Creativity: We work towards unlocking curiosity and hidden potential enables students to become artists, inventors, and visionaries by giving them opportunities to work on long-term personal projects.
  • Communication Skills: We build confident communicators by encouraging active listening, empathy, and thoughtful debate.
  • Emotional Intelligence: We help students to navigate big emotions with grace, cultivating empathy and resilience in safe environment, through programs designed by our College psychologists. 
  • Celebrating Diversity: By fostering a culture of inclusivity,  that encourages participation and celebrates diversity, we can cultivate a global outlook that promotes positive change.
  • Intrinsic Motivation: We believe that fostering a thirst for knowledge beyond rewards fuels lifelong learning.
  • Ethical Values: Instilling integrity, responsibility, and honesty for compassionate citizenship is part and parcel of who we are. 

Embracing the intangibles allows Helena College to enrich education, unlocking each student’s potential and shaping a brighter future for each of them.

The best way to get to know who we are, and what we stand for, is tour our College on a normal school day. You’ll see classes in action and hear from students and staff about what makes Helena College a special place to learn and grow.  We encourage you to book a tour today!