The co-curricular program at Penrhos College is immensely rich and diverse. Experiences outside the classroom allow our girls to learn, to have fun, to acquire and develop skills and to develop new and productive relationships with their peers, staff and other adults. 

From her first day at Penrhos, each girl becomes a valued member of a community which recognises and rewards both joint and individual endeavours. The College motto, Strive for the Highest, underpins everything we do.

Striving to do one's best applies across the diverse and challenging curriculum, extending to the sporting fields, to the Rixon Theatre stage, to the music practice room, to the art studios and to voluntary community service. These activities provide a balance to the rigorous academic program, giving girls opportunities to explore interests and untapped talents outside the classroom.

There is something for everyone at Penrhos, across all areas of the whole person paradigm; Mind, Heart, Body, Spirit. Please click the links below to explore our rich co-curricular program.

Mind

Students interested in further academic pursuits are catered for with a number of activities designed to challenge, excite and extend them outside of school hours.

Chess Club

Chess Club is for all students from Years 5 to 12. Chess is fun, challenging and an opportunity to meet new friends. Research shows there is a strong link between learning to play chess and academic achievement. Chess helps students develop thinking and strategy skills, as well as the ability to foresee consequences. Being a member of the Chess Club gives girls the opportunity to be coached weekly, to play the game using taught skills and to be part of the Penrhos College team. There are a number of interschool tournaments culminating in state and national championships.

Debating

Debating is an exciting and challenging co-curricular activity that helps develop students’ public speaking ability, confidence, note-taking skills and teamwork skills. The debating team meets for coaching once a week and competes against other schools once a month. Students are given a topic at their coaching session, and then have one or two weeks to prepare a speech. Debating also has an ‘on-the-spot’ aspect, as the opposition may make a rebuttal, which encourages girls to think on their feet. In the excitement of the debate, girls discuss with their team mates, write notes, listen intently and present their speeches. An adjudicator presides over the debate and makes the final decision on who wins.

Evatt Trophy

The Evatt Trophy Competition is open to Year 11 and 12 Politics and Law students. It is a competition where teams are allocated a member nation who they represent at a session of issues. The students share the work of researching the policies of their country and speaking, negotiating and lobbying in the Security Council chamber. To be successful, teams also need to be aware of the policy positions of other countries so that effective strategies may be used against them. Negotiation is important as teams must be able to understand the arguments of others so they may convince them with their own arguments.

Future Problem Solving

Future Problem Solving (FPS) is a program that focuses on the development of creative thinking skills. In particular, it centres on the skills of problem identification and positive solutions to those problems. Above all, it aims to give students the skills to design and promote positive futures for the society in which we live. The FPS program at Penrhos is for students in Years 10 to 12. There is an interschool competition component and school teams have the opportunity to succeed at the state, national as well as international level.

Maths Mentor

The Maths Mentor Program is designed for very able students in Mathematics. Over 60 students follow a rigorous course designed by the Australian Mathematics Trust (based at the Australian National University in Canberra). This course broadens the experiences of students, provides opportunities to think about mathematical concepts and theories that enhances their critical and creative skills. The course increases their knowledge and gives them mathematical tools to enable them to solve problems. The focus of the course is not only on the ‘how’ but also on the ‘why’. Maths Mentors encourage students to become more involved in mathematical activities offered outside the College. There are weekly after school classes taken by the Maths Mentors. The Maths Mentors include teachers, university lecturers and top university students.

Mock Trials

The Mock Trial Competition is open to Year 11 and 12 Politics and Law students. It is a competition where teams are provided with legal cases which are argued between participating schools, with one side acting for the prosecution/plaintiff and the other for the defence. The uniqueness of mock trials lies in the combination of facts, legal principles and procedures, along with subtle theatrics. Cases are prepared beforehand and then presented in a two and a half hour trial held in the Supreme Court. The top two WA teams meet in the grand final in the Supreme Court before the Chief Justice, held in October each year.

Philosophy Club

Philosophy Club is a great opportunity for girls interested in social issues, literature and ‘the big questions’. Philosophy is thinking deeply and logically about the world and human existence. Each week the Club discuss a particular philosophical issue, ranging from aliens to assassination, charity to communism, truth, existence and everything in between. Philosophy Club is a casual setting, where students can discuss their opinions in an open and friendly environment. The club is organised by two UWA students, who introduce the topics, provide reading materials and guide the discussion. Events during the year include meetings with other schools, and in October, the interschool competition, known as the Philosothon.

Public Speaking

Students from Years 7 to 12 participate as volunteers to compete in an Interhouse competition run in Year groups. This usually occurs once a year and is run by the Head of each Year. Four lucky Year 10 students also compete in the Rotary 4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition. This is a very prestigious annual regional, then State, National and International competition.

Library Committee

Year 11 students are given the opportunity to contribute through service and advice to library users. Students are encouraged to use their public relations skills for this activity by providing a warm, welcoming presence at the Resource Centre help desk one lunch time each week. They assist staff and students by checking out items, assisting with requests, and various other duties.

SAGA Magazine

The SAGA Committee is a group of nine Year 11 students who assist in the collation, photography, design and editing of the College yearbook. Participating on the SAGA Committee is a prestigious activity and girls must apply for selection based on their literary, artistic and photographic expertise, and their ability to work as a valuable and productive team member. SAGA provides a wonderful opportunity for girls interested in learning more about writing, editing, photography and design.

Heart

Music

Penrhos College is a leader in music education and performance standards. We can offer your daughter a myriad of music opportunities as part of our comprehensive K-12 Music Program, made up of three major components:

  • Classroom Music
  • Instrumental/Vocal Tuition Program (co-curricular)
  • Performance Ensembles (co-curricular)

Our recent achievements include receiving a Gold rating for our Choir/String performance at the Washington DC International Music Festival, an acclaimed vocal performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, as well as outstanding adjudicated solo and ensemble performances at events such as the Fremantle Eisteddfod, the State Jazz Festival and the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association Schools’ Festivals.

The Rixon Theatre and Penrhos Chapel are exceptional concert venues, providing our musicians with the chance to perform regularly. There is an exciting performance calendar in place, allowing us to celebrate the talents of our students from K-12.

Instrumental and Vocal Tuition

An extensive instrumental and vocal program is offered at Penrhos College. Tuition is available in the following areas: 

  • Voice
  • Flute
  • Trumpet
  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Oboe
  • Trombone
  • Jazz
  • Piano
  • Suzuki Violin
  • Clarinet
  • French Horn
  • Electric Organ
  • Viola
  • Alto Saxophone
  • Euphonium
  • Harp
  • Cello
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Double Bass
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Tenor Horn
  • Drums
  • Bass Guitar
  • Bassoon
  • Electric Guitar
  • Acoustic Guitar

Choral Program

Membership in any one of the College’s Choral Ensembles gives students the opportunity to participate in a positive musical experience as well as developing musical skills using a sequential approach. Students develop correct choral and vocal techniques, part singing, sight reading techniques and stagecraft skills. Students have the opportunity to participate in the following choral ensembles:

  • Junior School Year 5 Chapel Choir
  • Junior School Chorale (Years 5-6, auditioned)
  • Chamber Choir (auditioned)
  • Sotto Voce Choir (Years 7-8, non-auditioned)
  • Penrhos Chorale (Years 9-12, non-auditioned)
  • Jazz Voice Choir (Years 9-12, auditioned)

Solo and Chamber Music Performances

The Penrhos College Music Department affords a very unique opportunity for all girls to be able to pursue and enjoy the wonderful world of Solo and Chamber Music.

A professional accompanist is on staff to work on solo and group performances for Principal, Awards and Year Assemblies, and the myriad of other occasions in the Secondary School calendar where music is performed.

In the Junior School, nominated outstanding solo performers are showcased at various solo performance opportunities within the school calendar, including assemblies.

The chance to delve deeply into music in a practical, rewarding and intimate learning environment ensures that girls are provided with invaluable experiences which will enhance their possible musical futures.

 

Drama and Dance

Dramafest

This is an interhouse competition which incorporates both Drama and Dance. There are two discrete events: a One Act Play performance and a self-devised Originals script. The one act play is under the direction of a Year 12 Director with a dance component included, which is choreographed by a Year 12 dancer. Both these activities involve Years 7-12 students who audition at the beginning of Term 1. The Originals item is directed by a Year 12 drama student and caters exclusively for Years 7-9 students. Rehearsals take place at scheduled lunchtimes during Term 1. Dramafest performances occur at the end of Term with a matinee for the whole school followed by an evening performance at which adjudicators allocate awards for several categories including best play, best choreography, best originals, best set design and best production process.

School Production

The Production provides an opportunity for interested students, generally from Years 10-12, to audition for the annual musical. Rehearsals are scheduled in Term 2, and an intense rehearsal schedule in the first week of Term 3 culminates in a three night performance season, preceded by a Seniors Matinee. Singers, dancers and actors perform and a backstage crew selected from Years 9-12 students, take production roles. The production is a great experience on stage and off stage for drama and dance students.

IGSSA Dance Festival

This is a non-competitive dance festival held in Term 3. There are two teams for this Festival: Junior for Years 8-10 and Senior for Years 11-12. Places in the teams are determined by auditions which are open to all students in the relevant Year groups. The junior item is choreographed by the Year 12 Dance Captain and the senior item is choreographed by the Dance Coordinator. The Festival is a fantastic opportunity for the girls to develop teamwork and technical skills and represent the College.

Speech and Drama

Speech and Drama is offered as an extension to classroom Drama and provides students with further opportunities to develop their vocal techniques and performance skills. Lessons are taught by specialist staff and are offered to all students from Years 3-12, as individuals, in pairs, trios and small group classes (four students). All lessons are held during class time; however, lunchtime lessons are available for Years 11 and 12 students. Lessons include poetry and prose speaking, choral speaking, oral reading, mime, improvisation, characterisation work, acting techniques and script work. Voice quality, richness and production are all areas of focus in speech and drama and the program encourages clear articulation and the development of correct and effective speech habits. As the year progresses, Years 3-12 students prepare for international examinations with LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) in Solo Acting, Duologue Acting, Group Acting or Speaking Verse and Prose at all Grade levels from Preliminary to Grade 8 (Gold Medal). These examinations are held in Term 4. Speech and Drama also provides additional opportunities for students to perform at school assemblies, annual events such as the Perth Speech and Drama Festival and at the Speech and Drama Showcase Evenings (for Years 7 -12).

Big Sister

The Big Sister program is made up of Secondary School students in Years 10-12 who act as mentors for students in Years 7-9. The Big Sister program encourages special bonds between different Year groups and often sees new friendships established.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a flexible, interesting and fun-packed program that allow girls to participate in a number of activities over a set length of time. It is entirely voluntary and is structured so the participants can design their own unique program centred around their interests and passions. There are three levels to The Duke of Edinburgh: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

 

Body

Penrhos College sets the standard in girls’ school sport in a number of major and minor areas. Year after year, Penrhos students achieve truly outstanding results while conducting themselves with grace and fairness.

From fitness-training before school, to state-level competitions, Penrhos’ sports and activities program offers something for every student.

Regardless of their experience or performance level, Penrhos students have the opportunity to participate, to challenge themselves physically and to achieve their personal best. The College’s outstanding facilities and dedicated coaching staff will ensure that no matter where their sporting interests lie, students’ enthusiasm, passion and dedication will be wholeheartedly supported.

In support of a balanced education, Penrhos students are encouraged to participate in whichever sport they desire and the College will endeavour to accommodate students’ chosen sports and create new teams where there is demand.

Secondary School students participate in IGSSA (Independent Girls’ Schools Sports Association) carnivals and competitions. The aim of IGSSA activities is to reflect the values and ethos common to its member schools and reinforce the appropriate components of their personal development, health and physical education programs. For those sports not offered by IGSSA, Penrhos enters local, State and invitational competitions and carnivals.

There are a number of non-competitive sporting activities available outside school hours to Junior School students. These include gymnastics, swimming, running and tennis.

A vast array of competitive and non-competitive sport is on offer to Secondary School students.

Students have the opportunity to choose from a large array of sporting activities throughout the year. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Waterpolo

Spirit

Chapel Committee

Reporting to the Chaplain, the role of students nominating for this committee is to assist the Chapel Captains. Two students from each Year group in Years 7-11 are selected by their peers to join the Year 12 Student Council Chapel Captains.

Community Service

Penrhos College has a strong ethos of service to others. The Learn, Live and Give Service Learning and Community Service Program has seen the expansion and enrichment of a wide and varied range of activities across the Secondary School.

Campus-based activities before and after school include:

  • Assisting at Junior School After School Care
  • Volunteering for the Penrhos Homework Club
  • Making rugs for foster care children and refugees as part of Rugs for Hugs
  • Donating blood for the Penrhos Vampire Club
  • Making Uthando Dolls for orphans at Art Club
  • IGSSA coaching and umpiring

A wide range of opportunities are provided and hosted by a number of community organisations/services such as:

  • Take Time Youth Group – disability services
  • Manna Inc – homeless soup kitchens
  • 40 Hour Famine
  • Marathon Club Events Fun Runs – assisting in set up and event duties

Junior School Co-Curricular Activities

  • Junior School Running Club
  • Chess Club
  • Art Club
  • Active After School Club
  • Gymnastics Club
  • Music – see ‘Heart’
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