Secondary School

Years 7 to 12

Our teaching and learning program aims to inspire girls to achieve their academic potential through varied learning experiences that engage, excite and challenge. It is our goal to provide a high level of academic care to our students, combined with a broad, balanced, vibrant and seamless curriculum that meets the needs of individuals and creates positive pathways for the future. In the context of the Penrhos College 'Whole Person Paradigm', teaching and learning is about the mind, and our College values of knowledge, growth and synergy.

Through the vast curriculum offerings at the College, we provide the girls the opportunity to understand themselves and their place in the world, rise to challenges and become independent learners who are focused on a positive future. The teaching and learning program aims to provide opportunities for our Penrhos girls to achieve their goals and become extraordinary women.

Click on the department areas below to explore our Teaching and Learning program.


The Penrhos Art department is an exciting, creative and inspirational learning environment, where students work collaboratively with teachers towards producing work of an excellent standard. Students are given the opportunity to work with a range of art media, and opportunities to interact with artists in residence.

Visual Art and Design enriches the life of the individual and society. The visual arts provide avenues for the development of personal expression and a variety of practical and transferable skills. In an increasingly visual world, young people can learn through visual art. Students learn how to give form and meaning to their ideas and communicate their experiences. Students will also consider the role of art in society and develop an informed and evaluative understanding of their own art and the work of others. The critical and creative thinking developed and employed in the visual arts provides a foundation and support to an individual’s learning.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

The girls are given the opportunity to explore and create in a range of media. Students develop creative thinking skills and come to understand the design process, while learning new skills and techniques. Students support their practical work by responding to their own work and that of other artists.

Over the course of a 17 week program, Year 7 students enjoy an integrated program including drawing, lino cut printmaking and ceramics. They look at the work and art practice of at least one local artist.

Learning activities:

  • Skill based drawing program
  • Creative thinking and design for production
  • Printmaking lino block: an edition and print on fabric
  • Hand built ceramics from inception to take home product

Year 8 Consolidation projects

  • Drawing from life
  • Design in 3D and composition
  • Production in, felting, ceramics and painting 

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

In Years 9 and 10, students build on their awareness of how and why artists, craftspeople and designers realise their ideas through different visual representations, practices, processes and viewpoints. They begin to refine their personal aesthetic through working and responding perceptively and conceptually as an artist, craftsperson, designer or audience. They identify and explain, using appropriate visual language, how artists and audiences interpret artworks through explorations of different viewpoints. They research and analyse the characteristics, qualities, properties and constraints of materials, technologies and processes across a range of forms, styles, practices and viewpoints. Students are encouraged to use traditional and non-traditional media, techniques, styles and processes to make new visual artworks that can be cross-media or cross-form.

Year 9 Art offers students an opportunity to revisit formal printmaking and refine and learn new skills and techniques in ceramic and textiles.

  • Preston prints
  • Slip casting with a local ceramicist
  • Asian inspired shibori and print scarves

Year 10 Art students undertake a variety of learning activities which extend their skills and develop their confidence, independence and personal expression that is essential for the Year 11 and 12 Visual Art course. Projects include textile design, pop art dresses and painting, ‘under the microscope’.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

At Year 11 and 12 the Art Department offers two courses.

The Visual Arts course encompasses the practice and theory of the broad areas of art, craft and design. Students have opportunities to express their imagination, develop personal imagery, develop skills and engage in the making and presentation of artwork. Wickes Northampton trade quality DIY and home improvement products at great low prices which are available to order in-store, online or by phone. They develop aesthetic understandings and a critical awareness that assists them to appreciate and make informed evaluations of art.

The ATAR course culminates in students submitting a Body of Work for examination and sitting a written paper.

Visual Art General places a greater emphasis on practical production (art making) over art theory and developing formal written responses.

Learning activities include:

  • Gallery visits and/or visiting artist programs
  • Drawing sessions
  • Using a journal to plan and document ideas, processes, commentary, analysis and design development
  • Studio art practice working in a variety of media
  • Image analysis and art interpretation using a variety of frameworks
  • Contextualising art history and practice
  • Presenting artwork to an audience (exhibition)


The Business Studies department at Penrhos College aims to provide courses that develop business and academic skills based on real business situations. Striving for the highest student achievement is the central purpose of teaching and assessment in the department, which involves providing opportunities and feedback for students to improve their work. The courses are regularly reviewed and developed in order to stay up to date with current practices. The department creates exciting and innovative learning activities, and most courses offer excursions to operating businesses to gain real insights into the world of setting up and operating a successful business. Lessons are developed to progress a range of skills including personal learning and thinking skills to provide the best opportunities for students. Activities are varied and practical in order to enlighten students about standard business practices and terminology. The Business Studies department offers elective subjects from Year 8 onwards.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

In Year 8, Enterprise Management is an elective. The subject explores what customer service actually means, and why some businesses go all out to ensure service is of high quality, while other businesses don’t seem to have a clue. We delve into the psychology of selling; the difference between internal and external customer service and how the two are inseparably linked. We learn that customer service is critical to any business. Without customers, businesses and livelihoods don’t exist. Everyone can relate to having experienced bad customer service at one time or another, but rarely do we experience amazing customer service that leaves us feeling valued and special. The 'wow' factor in customer service is often missing, and has certainly declined over the years. Students learn how customers' experience can make or break a business, especially in today’s high tech world.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

Business skills and knowledge are critical at any level, since students themselves are consumers of society. The Enterprise Management course is designed to provide students the opportunity to understand how small businesses operate. Students are introduced to business topics that affect businesses as well as basic bookkeeping principles and practices including elements of the GST. In Year 10, the course focuses on processes that are vital to business success and provides opportunities for students to explore and empower them to make decisions and become responsible for their choices. Students are provided with opportunities to become suppliers of goods and services and be provided with an understanding of the complexities inherent in owning and running a small business. The tasks are designed to enable students to work within a safe framework but where they are given considerable freedom to simulate business opportunities. In Year 9 and 10, these subjects are electives.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

The Stage 2 and 3 Accounting and Finance courses reveal the secrets of successful businesses. Without accounting systems and sound financial decisions, most businesses do not last five years. This course teaches students the difference between accounting and finance and provides them with a business language that is understood by all who engage in business activities. Students are taught essential knowledge and skills and are given the opportunity to engage in interesting discussions about why some managers and owners fall into traps that can bring a lot of harm to themselves and the general community. They are also introduced to important authorities who work to stamp out unfairness in business activities that ultimately cost the community. This is a list B ATAR course.

Digital Technologies

Digital systems are everywhere, mobile and desktop devices and networks are transforming learning, recreational activities, home life and work. Digital systems support new ways of collaborating and communicating, and require new skills such as computational and systems thinking. Technologies are an essential problem-solving toolset in our knowledge-based society. Digital Technologies provides students with practical opportunities to use design thinking and to be innovative developers of digital solutions and knowledge. Digital Technologies enables students to become innovative creators of digital solutions, effective users of digital systems and critical consumers of information conveyed by digital systems.

In Digital Technologies students are actively engaged in the process of defining problems and opportunities, designing, implementing and evaluating digital solutions, and creating and sharing information that meets a range of current and future needs. These solutions and information are created through the application of computational and design thinking, and technical skills.

All students across the College study Digital Technologies in Years 7 and 8, and the course is offered as an elective in Years 9 and 10. In Years 11 and 12, WACE courses in Applied Information Technology are offered at the ATAR and General levels.

The Digital Technologies department teaches students about the safe and responsible use of technology and different devices. The department offers up to date and relevant courses for students, and is constantly reviewing the content of the courses due to the rapidly changing nature of the subject area. Staff who teach in this area are regularly improving their skills in the subject, allowing students to gain the latest knowledge and understanding in technical developments.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

At this phase Digital Technologies focuses on developing understanding and skills in computational thinking, and engaging students with a wider range of information systems. Students create a range of solutions or simulations of relationships between objects in the real world. They explore and investigate the properties of networked systems and their suitability and use for the transmission of data types.

They acquire, analyse, visualise and evaluate various types of data, and the complexities of storing and transmitting that data in digital systems. When defining problems, students identify the key elements of the problems and the factors and constraints at play. They design increasingly complex algorithms that allow data to be manipulated automatically, and explore different ways of showing the relationship between data elements to help computation.

Students plan and manage individual and team projects with some autonomy. They consider ways of managing the exchange of ideas, tasks and files and techniques for monitoring progress and feedback.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

In Year 9 and 10, learning in Digital Technologies focuses on further developing computational thinking such as precisely and accurately describing problems and the use of modular approaches to solutions. It also focuses on engaging students with specialised learning in preparation for vocational training or learning in the senior secondary years.

Students consider how human interaction with networked systems introduces complexities surrounding access to and the security and privacy of, data of various types. They interrogate security practices and techniques used, and learn about the importance of data integrity and maintenance purposes.

Students explore data collection methods and use structured data to analyse, visualise, model and evaluate objects and events. Students explore how bias can impact the results and value of data collection methods.

When defining problems, students consider the requirements of a solution through interacting with clients and regularly reviewing processes. They consolidate their algorithmic design skills to incorporate testing and review, and further develop their understanding of the user experience to incorporate a wider variety of user needs.

Students have opportunities to become more skilled at identifying the steps involved in planning solutions and developing detailed plans that are mindful of risks and sustainability requirements. When creating solutions individually, collaboratively and interactively for sharing in online environments, students comply with legal obligations, particularly with respect to the ownership of information.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

Dynamic and practical-based courses are offered to students at this phase of learning. The General and ATAR Applied Information Technology courses aim to equip students for current and future study, employability and successful inclusion in a modern society. The courses focus on the application of computer technologies to living in the community and working in industry and business environments. It looks at the impact on workplaces, individuals and society. As such, it provides opportunities for students to develop knowledge and skills relevant to the use of ICT to meet everyday challenges. Students consider a variety of computer applications for use in their own lives, business and the wider community. In addition, they consider the ethical implications of ICT solutions and develop an appreciation of the role and impact of these technologies on their personal values, and those within a democratic and ethnically diverse society. Throughout the courses, using the Microsoft and Adobe software suites, students have opportunities to design and create a range of digital solutions, including websites, movies, animations, images, spreadsheets and databases. 

Drama and Dance

Drama is a vibrant art form and a celebration of life. Drama is a shared experience through which students entertain and communicate with each other and with an audience. The focus is on students having fun in a safe environment, developing confidence and working as a team.  

Dance at Penrhos provides a unique opportunity for students to develop physically, creatively, aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually. Individual exploration, group work and teacher directed activities all encourage artistic creativity and the active use of the imagination.

Through participation in the Drama and/or Dance courses, students develop transferable skills essential to their future. These include communication skills, collaborative teamwork skills, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, problem solving skills, as well as the ability to organise, analyse and evaluate. Four outcomes are covered at all Year levels, including ideas, skills and processes, responses and the role of Drama and Dance in society.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

Year 7 Drama focuses on mime and role creation culminating with a formal class item performed at the end of the year at Variety Night. Year 8 Drama explores melodrama and soap opera culminating with a formal class item performed at the end of the year at Variety Night.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

Year 9 Drama focuses on Improvisation which concludes with an Improvisation Survivor Evening for parents and friends. Art Imitates Life is another assessment task. Variety Night is the culmination of the year’s tasks as students devise a performance for public viewing. Year 10 Drama students explore scripts and perform scenes from plays across time. Examples include Shakespeare, late 19th Century/early 20th Century plays and Australian plays. A Design and Production task accompanies this script interpretation. Musical Theatre is also a focus in Semester 2, in which students focus on excerpts from musicals such as Grease, The Wizard of Oz and Cabaret, amongst others. Variety Night is the end of year highlight.

In Dance, Year 9 students focus on Popular Dance-Funk/Hip Hop/Jazz-along with developing Performance Skills and Choreographic Skills. The annual Dance Showcase is a highlight of the year, where students perform group devised pieces for a public audience. Year 10 Dance focuses on Contemporary/Modern Dance, exploring the techniques of dance icons such as Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Isadora Duncan. Students investigate methods of creating choreography and are introduced to duo work. The world of Dance on Film is explored as students investigate social media and create their own Dance on Film performance.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

Year 11 and 12 Drama students focus on processes including improvisation, play building, text interpretation, playwriting and dramaturgy, which allow them to create original drama and interpret a range of texts written or devised by others.  Their work in this course includes production and design aspects involving sets, costumes, makeup, props, sound and lighting. Students work independently and collaboratively, learning time management skills, showing initiative and demonstrating leadership and interpersonal skills. Drama requires them to develop and practise problem-solving skills through creative and analytical thinking processes.

In Dance, the course focuses on the inter-relationship between practical and theoretical aspects, the making and performing of movement and the appreciation of its meaning. It allows students to make and present dance relevant to their lives. The courses develop and present ideas through a variety of genres, styles and forms, providing a unique way for students to express their cultural views and understanding of the world. Through critical decision-making in individual and group work, movement is manipulated and refined to reflect the choreographer’s intent. Students use a wide range of creative processes, such as improvisation and the use of choreographic elements and tools, and draw on their own physicality and the interpretation of existing work of others to make dances work.


Studying English at Penrhos College is to be invited into different worlds and experiences through a variety of different texts. Whether it be the amazing stories of fictional and real-life people as depicted in novels, short stories, dramas, feature films and documentaries, or thinking about the issues that shape our present world views through photojournalism and other still images, feature articles, current affairs and news stories, all students are encouraged to think critically, creatively, and to ‘broaden their horizons’. They learn, too, how to express opinions and arguments in both written and verbal forms; how to shape their writing to construct interesting and thought-provoking narratives (and other forms of writing); and how to deconstruct texts, learning in the process about the power of language and how it can shape our thoughts, feelings, ideas and actions.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

In this stage of development, English classrooms aim to foster valuable skills that will stand students in good stead for later years of study, such as organisation, working effectively in individual and group situations, and adhering to timelines. A wide variety of texts and learning activities will, amongst other things, further develop students’ understanding and awareness of the experiences of people from other times, places, and cultures, and how these are depicted in texts – all the while aligning with the Australian Curriculum.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

Students begin to consider texts in terms of their depiction of wider issues and how these issues can impact on them personally. A deeper understanding of texts in terms of their genre is also emphasised. Independence in learning, increased responsibility, developing decision making skills, and exploring more abstract concepts are features of English during this phase of development. Courses align with the Australian Curriculum with a view to preparing students for study in future years, especially senior secondary courses.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

Whether it be English or Literature, courses in these subjects for 2014 will follow current syllabi, but from 2015 (Year 11) and 2016 (Year 12), both courses will be amended to align with the new WACE Australian Curriculum courses.  Planning for this change is already underway.  In both English and Literature, students are taught relevant and challenging courses that align with syllabus content by an expert team of staff, some of who are WACE markers.

Food and Textiles Technology

The Food and Textiles Technology Department aims to inspire students to be creative and innovative as they are introduced to the practical and theoretical knowledge, skills and techniques required in the Foods, Textiles and Design Technology areas. In Food Technology students study nutrition and look at foods, their selection, production and presentation. The couse aims to develop skills which enables students to make independent and informed food choices and decisions in their day to day life. In Textiles Technology the emphasis is on encouraging creativity while using different resources to create simple, useful garments and items. Design Technology sees students studying the design process, using production techniques and skills, and equipment safely and effectively to complete a range of practical activities and projects.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

Year 7 students complete a taster course called Design, Food and Textiles Technology for a Semester, where they have one period a week for each of the three contexts. In each context they apply the design process to complete a range of hands-on practical projects. Year 8 Food and Textiles Technology and Year 8 Design Technology classes are timetabled for three periods a week, all year. In these lessons, students master basic design, food preparation and practical construction skills and techniques.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

The Year 9 and 10 Food and Textiles Technology courses and the Year 9 and 10 Design Technology courses are timetabled for three periods a week, all year.  In these courses, students extend and further develop their technical skills and knowledge to complete more advanced, in-depth design, practical construction and food preparation projects. Students have input into choosing set projects to ensure these are relevant to their own abilities, needs and current food, fashion and lifestyle trends.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

Three WACE Courses are offered to students in Year 11 and 12, including Food Science Technology (Stage 1, 2 and 3), Materials Design Technology – Textiles Context (Stage 1, 2 and 3) and Children, Family and the Community (Stage 1 and 2).

HASS (formerly SOSE)

Humanities and Social Sciences is a dynamic subject that enables students to study people and places, past and present events, the economy and the globalised world, issues of international significance and political and legal systems and issues. Studying Humanities and Social Sciences helps students understand how particular social, cultural, economic and environmental events from throughout history define people’s life experiences as well as the interactions of people within Australia and the world. Knowledge of these events helps students to develop the ability to contribute to our culturally diverse society as active citizens. As part of their study of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penrhos College, students will study four disciplines in Years 7 to 10 including Economics, Geography, History and Politics and Law. They will have the opportunity to engage in a range of exciting learning activities.

The Humanities High Flyers program is a curriculum compaction and extension program for talented Year 8 and Year 9 Humanities and Social Sciences students. In addition, students of various years can participate in extra-curricular activities including Australian History Competition, Simpson Prize, Premier’s Award, Essi Money, National Geography Competition, UN Youth Voice, Evatt Trophy Competition and the Law Society Mock Trial Competition, to name a few.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

Inspiring and engaging Humanities and Social Sciences programs are developed for Years 7 and 8 students based on the Australian Curriculum. In Year 7 History, our historians investigate the Ancient World and explore their archaeological skills by conducting their own dig. They then use their historical skills to create their own primary sources from ancient China. Water in the world and place and liveability ensure an exciting and contemporary study of Geography. “Show me the money!”, the famous line from the film Jerry Maguire sets the scene for the Year 7 Economics unit. Rules, Laws and all that Jazz is an exciting Law unit in which students enact their own mock trial.

In Year 8, the Ancient to the Modern World is the focus of the History unit in which students investigate Medieval Europe and Medieval Japan and role play experiences of the Black Death. Physical Geography is studied through a unit on Landforms and Landscapes before inquiring into human migration in the unit Changing Nations. Who does the government think it is anyway? is a fun and interactive Politics unit in which students have the opportunity to run as a candidate in an election. Planning a budget for a 16th birthday party equips students with financial literacy as part of the Hey Big Spender! unit.

Humanities and Social Sciences students will be afforded the opportunity to partake in the Humanities High Flyers Program. This program involves curriculum compaction and the study of an additional program based on the theme of Global Citizenship.  Students identified as needing additional support in Humanities and Social Sciences have the opportunity of engaging in a modified course with a smaller group of students which aims to provide skill development and engagement for students.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

Year 9 students are inspired to achieve their academic potential in the Making of the Modern World through a study of the movement of peoples, making a nation and World War One. Students then rise to the challenge of Biomes and food security and Geographies of interconnections in the Geography unit. The students’ thinking skills are challenged in the Politics and Law unit by evaluating the effectiveness of the legal system through the Chamberlain case study and by analysing the likelihood of sustaining democracy in Afghanistan. In the short Economics course, ‘Creating wealth and financial freedom’, students gain an understanding of the financial world including insurance, shares and superannuation which will be important in helping them become financially secure in the future.

In Year 10 students engage in specialised programs in each of the four Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines: Economics, Geography, History and Politics and Law. These programs are designed to provide students with an introduction to concepts which will be covered in ATAR courses in Year 11 and 12.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

In Year 11 students have the opportunity to study ATAR Economics, Geography, Modern History and Politics and Law or any combination of these. Students can then progress to ATAR units in each of these courses in Year 12.

Students of Economics are valued for their decision-making, their research and analytical skills, and their experience in viewing problems in their national and international context. ATAR Economics provide students with the opportunity to investigate microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Geography seeks to engage and interest students through a study of the environment in which they live and build their confidence to take an active stance in the important world environmental issues that affect their lives. In Year 11 and 12 students study natural hazards and impact minimisation, sustainable resource use, climate change and urban planning.

Modern History helps students to gain insight into their own identity and understanding of others’ identity and cultural inheritance. It is a further aim that students become aware that change is a necessary part of human existence, and that their curiosity and willingness to extend their awareness of current issues be aroused. Students will be able to participate in conversations on history’s most notorious villains Hitler and Stalin, as well as investigating America between the wars and Australia since 1950.

Politics and Law introduces students to the fundamental political and legal concepts which underpin a modern democratic society. Students develop the critical awareness needed to enable them to develop an insight into the relationships between politics, law and society. They investigate political and legal systems within Australia and beyond, critically examine representation and justice in Australia, analyse who really has power and how Australia and other countries protect human rights. 

Years 11 and 12 Humanities and Social Sciences subjects are dynamic, engaging and are an incredibly important aspect of study for global citizens. Students at Penrhos College not only have the opportunity to study these exciting subjects, but also to attend excursions, camps, interstate tours, extra-curricular activities such as mock trials, and even commence first year university courses.

Languages (formerly LOTE)

Students have the opportunity to learn French, Italian and Japanese at Penrhos. The Languages department consists of a group of dedicated teachers who are passionate about sharing their language skills and imparting an understanding of the value of speaking another language to their students. Learning a second language offers students the potential to communicate in the target language, enhance their intellectual and social development and improve their understanding of their own language and culture. Students also participate in the life of another culture and gain an understanding of the similarities and differences between cultures to enhance their self-esteem and develop a sense of social justice. By studying another language, students increase their employment and career opportunities and earn a 10 per cent bonus on their WACE score for university entrance.

There is a focus on the four major outcomes for language learning, and assessments are conducted across each of these outcomes, including; listening and responding, viewing, reading and responding, writing and speaking.

Learning a language at Penrhos encompasses a great variety of experiences: classroom based learning which includes activities based on the text and workbooks, conversation with language assistants/native speakers, online learning, games, external examinations and competitions, cooking activities, watching films and music clips in the target language, quizzes with other schools, restaurant outings and food experiences.

The ultimate language experience is to participate in one of the biennial tours available to France, Italy or Japan. These occur around a school holiday period and last about three weeks. Students experience a total immersion in their chosen language and the culture of the country.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

Students learn to express themselves in written and spoken form in the target language using simple greetings and salutations, producing basic descriptions of people and things to do with school. They also begin to formulate simple questions. They start to gain an awareness of the cultures and customs of the country in question. Students may also complete activities such as producing a poster, a comic strip, a picture book, a family tree, a brochure, a PowerPoint presentation, or a menu in another language.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

These courses place more emphasis on the grammar and linguistic structures, including verb conjugations. Students begin to manipulate simple grammar structures to create language which is more detailed. Students start to develop the ability to converse with limited prompting in the target language. Their insight into the culture of the country is further developed. Other activities may include fashion parades, weather reports, radio and television commercials and podcasts.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

Students in Year 11 and 12 should be capable of expressing themselves with increasing confidence in spoken and written form in the target language. Students read and also produce a wide range of text types by experimenting with the language. They discuss world issues, thereby increasing their cultural understanding. By the end of their language studies, students should have acquired the skills necessary to manipulate more complex grammar structures, use a variety of different verb tenses appropriately, use the language in ‘real-life’ situations outside the classroom and interact with native speakers in preparation for tertiary studies and beyond.


The Mathematics department encourages success at every level and promotes an environment that gives the girls the confidence to think creatively, take risks and learn through their mistakes. Mathematics at Penrhos is a fun, inspiring and interactive journey. Our programs have been carefully designed to build upon previous concepts so that they have an organised and confident view of the world of Mathematics. Through many initiatives, we are able to offer our girls a range of opportunities that promote their ability to problem solve, think critically and explore ideas in a way that supports their development and ensures they are achieving to their potential.  By diversifying our curriculum delivery, we engage the students through a range of mediums that ensure a variety of learning styles are catered for. This is supported through our use of technology, which has become an integral part of classroom delivery and provides a different platform for students to learn, whether used as a visual aid that enhances their conceptual understanding or a tool that allows them to problem solve efficiently. We encourage our girls to be very self-aware and make every effort to graduate their progression towards becoming true independent learners. In addition to this, girls are provided with extensive support in the way of after school classes, additional resources for courses and teaching through media that they can access at home. The Mathematics curriculum is rich with content that spans from Algebra to understanding Finance, all with the emphasis of how it will relate to the real world as they will see it beyond school.    

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

Early adolescence is a very important time for the growth and development of a good Mathematical thinker. We strive to make sure the building blocks of Number are strong, so that the student can develop confidence as they work their way into the more abstract concepts found in Algebra. Much of this is done through hands-on tasks that give students the opportunity to explore concrete examples and make links between developing ideas.  It is an exciting time that engages our young minds and unleashes their potential.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

With strong foundations that have been built in the early years, Late Adolescence is a time to master a better understanding of how we learn Mathematics. Particular attention is given to promoting a level of self-awareness through constructive feedback provided by teachers, which allows our girls to map their own journey. We concentrate on making sure our students understand what makes a good mathematical thinker and how they can progress towards this goal, wherever they may sit on the continuum. This is done through rich content that prepares them for the rigors of the WACE courses. In these years, our girls learn how to cope with the depth, knowledge and understanding they will need to perform well in more specialised study.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

As a young adult, a Penrhos student should have a well-developed ability to think laterally, an organised view of the way Mathematics is built upon and an understanding of how they, as individuals, learn Mathematics. Through this shift in autonomy, we change our delivery of the curriculum so that it is current and provides our students with unique opportunities to explore the content of the course. We have many resources that have been specifically tailored to each course, so students have a choice of how they learn the content, whether that be through excellent classroom teaching, online lessons, after school support or the use of the Penrhos Study Guides. This unique delivery prepares our girls, not only for tertiary studies, but the world in which they will be working in. It is these attributes that allow our girls to achieve excellence in Mathematics during their time at Penrhos and beyond school.


Penrhos College offers girls a myriad of opportunities in its comprehensive K-12 music program. Areas covered in the Music program include Classroom Music, the Instrumental/Vocal Tuition Program and numerous performance ensembles. Penrhos College is a leader in music education and performance standards. During 2013, our achievements included receiving a GOLD rating for our Choir/String performance at the Washington D.C International Music Festival, 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. 2013 saw the excellent performances of ‘A Night at the Movies’, featuring an extended Back to Broadway segment in the second half, the Senior Music Recital, Music Quiz night, a Telethon performance of the Sotto Voce Choir and the sold out Jazz Soiree, to name but a few. As a result of our outstanding performance in Washington D.C, 27 of our choristers will return to New York City in June of 2014, to represent Australia at a world premiere performance of newly commissioned music for Treble Choirs, in arguably the world’s best concert venue, New York City’s Carnegie Hall. An exciting performance calendar allows us to celebrate the talents of our students.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

In the Year 7 and 8 Class Music program students will be engaged creatively in performing, composing, arranging, listening and responding in the study of music, in its various forms. The Year 7 Band Program is designed to allow Year 7 students the opportunity to receive free tuition on a concert band instrument, the free use of a College instrument and the use of the required tutor book for one Semester. Year 8 students will have access to the keyboard laboratory and various music software programs as technology is further integrated into the music curriculum. Over the course of these two years, students will be involved in podcasting, composing, arranging and transcribing music, and mixing and mastering their own solo performance recordings.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

Year 9 and 10 Music courses are diverse, focusing on a range of musical styles/genres including Western Art Music, Contemporary Music, Music for Film and TV, Rock and Roll, Jazz and Musical Cryptography. As part of this course, students will be heavily involved in performance and the use of music technology, for both composition and recording, creating film soundtracks, researching alumni musicians, creating websites, producing the Jazz Soiree concert evening and culminating in the creation of performance recordings and concert events.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

In Years 11 and 12, Stage 2 and Stage 3 (Western Art Music) Music Course of Study units are offered. Students can choose to specialise in Music Performance or Composition and can apportion 50% of their mark to one of these disciplines. Normally, students who aspire to university destinations will undertake these units, as this subject can count towards the student's ATAR. It is a requirement that students learn an instrument and have membership of at least one ensemble if they enrol in classroom music from Year 10 to 12.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education teaches students how to enhance their own and other's health, wellbeing and physical activity participation in varied and changing contexts. It offers students an experiential curriculum that is contemporary, relevant, challenging, enjoyable, and physically active. At Penrhos, Physical Education courses are delivered in the manner and environment most suited to the students’ learning needs and capacities at each particular age. In a variety of sports, great care is taken to tailor the courses to achieve maximum benefit for the student, to offer constantly greater challenges, and to produce the independent, resilient, and self-motivated students who graduate from the College. Our philosophy is based on fun, fitness and friendly competition, with a basis of good sportsmanship and teamwork to develop the whole person. The health, personal development and wellbeing of each individual girl is paramount to us, and our Health, Physical Education and Sport Programs reflect this.  Penrhos is a member of Independent Girls School Sporting Association (IGSSA). Sports included in the IGSSA competition are Track and Field Athletics, Swimming, Softball, Tennis, Hockey, Netball, Water Polo, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball and Cross Country Running.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

The Years 7 and 8 curriculum expands students’ knowledge, understanding, and skills that help them achieve successful outcomes in classroom, leisure, social, movement, and online situations. Students learn how to take positive action to enhance their own and other's health, safety and wellbeing. They do this as they examine the nature of their relationships, and the factors that influence people’s beliefs, attitudes, opportunities, decisions, behaviours, and actions. The curriculum for Years 7 and 8 supports students to refine a range of specialised knowledge, understanding, and skills in relation to their health, safety, wellbeing and movement competence and confidence. They develop more complex skills and understanding in a range of physical activity settings. They analyse how body control and coordination influence movement composition and performance, and learn to transfer skills and concepts across a variety of movement contexts. The health contexts to be explored include, but are not limited to, alcohol and drugs, food and nutrition, health benefits of physical activity, mental health and wellbeing and relationships. The movement and physical activity contexts to be explored in Years 7 to 8 include, but are not limited to, games and sports, health-related and rhythmic and expressive movement activities.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

The Years 9 and 10 curriculum supports students to refine and apply strategies for maintaining a positive outlook when making decisions and practise skills for maintaining respectful relationships and evaluating behavioural expectations in different leisure, social, movement and online situations. Students learn to apply health and physical activity information to devise and implement personalised plans for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. They also experience different roles that contribute to successful participation in physical activity by all. Students propose strategies that support the development of preventive health practices that build and optimise the health and wellbeing of their communities. In Years 9 and 10, students learn to apply more specialised movement skills and complex movement concepts and strategies in a range of movement contexts and environments. They also are provided with opportunities to use a range of concepts to evaluate and refine their own and others’ movement performances. The health contexts to be explored in Years 9 to 10 include, but are not limited to, alcohol and drugs, food and nutrition, health benefits of physical activity, mental health and wellbeing, relationships, sexuality and safety. The movement and physical activity contexts to be explored in Years 9 to 10 include games and sports, health-related and rhythmic and expressive movement activities.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

In Years 11 and 12 Physical Education Studies can be selected at Stage 2 and 3 as a Tertiary Entrance Scoring subject, or at Stage 1 as a non-Tertiary Entrance Scoring subject. The emphasis is on learning through movement encompassing the following unit areas; Exercise Physiology, Functional Anatomy, Sport Psychology, Biomechanics, Motor Learning, and Coaching and Developing physical skills, strategies and tactics.

The Stage 1 course is designed for students who want to further their Physical Education experience and, in the process, gain a variety of sports industry certificates that could be used for employment opportunities upon completion of Year 11 or 12.

The Stage 2 and 3 course caters for those students who want to use their strengths in Physical Education to support the knowledge they will gain in preparation for a wide range of university courses - primarily Human Movement, Exercise and Sport Science.


Students who take part in Photography or Media develop knowledge, skills and understandings in a wide array of photo/media works. Students become aware of the wide reaching influence of photography, media forms and design in our changing society. These highly practical courses encourage students to apply their knowledge and creativity in problem solving activities to produce analogue or digitally generated portfolios. Both Non-TER and TER courses in Design Photography are offered to cater for a wide range of interests and abilities. Students who participate in Media courses address the following outcomes; Media Ideas, Media Production, Responses to Media and Media in Society. Students participating in Photography and Design Photography courses address the following outcomes; Design Understandings, Design Process, Application of Design and Design in Society. Students develop knowledge through topic investigations, gain skills through exploration and experimentation in practical tasks and respond to photography and media works to demonstrate their understandings of the importance and power of these works.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

In Year 9 Photography, students learn traditional film and darkroom practices. They are guided through the theory and use of manual SLR cameras; a variety of light sensitive materials, the processing of black and white film and the practice of darkroom printing. Student knowledge and skills are progressed through a series of increasingly complex tasks. Students become progressively aware of the complexity and impact of photography through research and investigation of notable photographers.

In Year 10 Photography, students build on their experiences in Year 9. They are encouraged to think more analytically and plan their shoots thoroughly. They engage in analogue photography in the first Semester and are introduced to digital photography and photo-manipulation software in the second Semester. Year 10 students investigate and analyse a wide variety of photographic works and notable photographers as they relate to the scheduled topics, which include portraiture and street/urban photography.

Year 10 Media students engage in the theory and practice of print and film media. In the first Semester they are introduced to the codes and conventions of magazine structure and create a multi-page print media. Students are encouraged to put their research and theory into creative practice using photo-manipulation software in the creation of practical tasks.  In the second Semester, students are introduced to stereotypes and representation in the production of music videos. Working in groups, they generate a range of ideas, skills and processes to create their own media production based on collaborative consensus.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

Year 11 Design Photography is offered in two stages. Stage 1A/B Design Photography is designed for those students who elect a non-TER pathway. Stage 2A/B Design Photography provides a pathway for students whose choice is to pursue a university entrance ranking. Stage 1 A/B Design Photography is offered in two Semesters, and the focus for this unit is design basics and applied design. Students come to understand that design is a discipline area with its own history, traditions and tools and techniques. They are introduced to design elements and principles and design process and practice. They are guided through the design of images that are created to serve a particular purpose. Students are introduced to production skills and process, materials and technologies in the creation of tasks including prospectus covers, creative portraiture and movie posters. In Stage 2A/B Design Photography the focus is cultural and economic design. Students learn that society is made up of different groups of people who share different values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviour and needs; and that cultural communication communicates these values and beliefs. Students develop an understanding of codes and conventions, and analysing communication situations and audience in terms of demographics and target audience. They cultivate production skills and understandings of processes through the creation of portfolio tasks that include portraiture, motivational posters and magazine covers.

Year 12 Design Photography is offered in two stages. Stage 1C/D Design Photography is designed for those students who elect a non-TER pathway. It is anticipated that students who satisfactorily completed Stage 1A/B will continue into Stage 1C/D.  Stage 3A/B Design Photography provides a continuing pathway for students who satisfactorily completed Stage 2A/B. Stage 3A/B Design Photography is a university entrance ranking subject. In Stage 1 C/D Design Photography, the focus is personal and social design. Students understand that they visually communicate aspects of their personality, values and beliefs.  Guided through tasks such as photomontage, artistic portraiture and fashion photography, the students are introduced to communication principles, design elements and principles and design process and practice. They are encouraged to advance their production skills and process, through digital technologies and software. Stage 3 A/B Design Photography explores environmental and political design. Students become aware that their world is comprised of both natural and built (man-made) environments and that society is dependent on both. They understand that in a democratic society, different factions lobby for public support to gain greater social representation to effect change in government policy. They explore how to communicate values through the creation of photographic products such as postcards and political posters. They apply understandings of semiotics to create products that specifically target selected audiences. Students understand the power of propaganda techniques to persuade and affect audiences. A final 15 page portfolio that demonstrates the students design journey is submitted to the Schools Standards and Curriculum Authority for assessment.


The Library is a K-12 library with dedicated areas and resources for Junior and Secondary students. Through our information literacy programs, we aim to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in this complex and rapidly changing world; skills that are transferable between disciplines and beyond school.  Content can become quickly outdated and so our focus is developing student ability to independently access, critically analyse, and responsibly use relevant, current information and data. Self-motivation, creativity, cultural awareness, values and empathy are equally important in the students of today. An enjoyment of reading for pleasure is a significant part of this development; we do this through the promotion of recreational reading and a wider reading program, giving the students opportunities to meet and work with published authors and illustrators. Our extensive digital library enables students to borrow any time, anywhere and on a range of mobile devices.

Junior School
Students from K-6 have a formal library session once a week. During this session, students are exposed to a wide range of text types, different authors and illustrators as they develop their skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating.   Students are encouraged to develop a love of reading through book and author promotions and therefore develop independent reading habits. A cross-curriculum approach to information literacy enables students to learn content, whilst developing skills of research and analysis. Teacher Librarians plan cooperatively with the class teachers and aim to support them in implementing the history component of the Australian Curriculum. A particular emphasis is on developing knowledge, understanding and skills relating to Australia as a nation, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability.

Secondary School
Secondary School students participate in a wider reading program that aims to engage them with literary texts of personal, cultural, social and aesthetic value. Texts offered are of increasing complexity, designed to support and extend students as independent readers as they explore themes of interpersonal relationships, ethical dilemmas, challenge ideas and interpretations, and examine different perspectives. These texts include recognised ‘classics’ with enduring social and artistic value, as well as contemporary stories, and are drawn from a range of genres. Through the Portal, students are able to take part in an online book club. A co-curricular Book Club for Secondary School students is also available. Our collaborative enquiry and research programs enable students to develop their critical thinking skills as they collect, evaluate, analyse and interpret data and information. Students undertake all these activities with an understanding of the ethical principles involved.  

After school study areas are available for students from Year 7 to 12 from Monday toThursday, 3.30pm - 5.30pm. This is staffed by a Teacher Librarian.

In addition to regular opening hours, we offer an online ‘Ask a Librarian’ service, allowing students and parents to email queries at any time during Term time. Leadership opportunities are available to students to assist the College community as part of the Year 11 Library Committee.


The Science Department offers an engaging program, designed to meet the College aims. Teaching and Learning in Science is about exploring the universe in such a way that girls are challenged appropriately, and guided towards achieving their best. Our programs are built upon the Australian Curriculum and feature imaginative and stimulating learning experiences delivered by a committed and skilled Science staff. It is hoped that girls find their Science lessons interesting and challenging and that with an interaction with an inspiring teacher, they too will be inspired to pursue excellence in Science-related careers. The Science curriculum for Years 7 to 10 covers three strands. Firstly, there is the core of Science Understanding, the essential content as defined in the Australian Curriculum. Secondly, girls develop an understanding of the contribution Science has made to our world, via the Science as Human Endeavour strand. Thirdly, there are the all-important Science Inquiry Skills, taught to assist students in developing a scientific view of the world, through scientific techniques. Under the Science Understanding strand, our girls look at variety of content within the sub-strands Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences and Physical Sciences. In Years 11 and 12, students select their Science course or courses from Biological Science, Chemistry, Human Biological Science, Physics and Integrated Science.

Early Adolescence (Year 7 and 8)

Our Year 7 and 8 programs in Science recognise that girls often have a strong alignment with their peer groups and may begin to question established conventions, practices and values. Girls are encouraged to establish effective cooperative work strategies and are also encouraged to engage in discussions about their own interests, as these may extend well beyond their own community and yet be highly relevant and valued by the class group. Girls begin to develop concerns about wider issues at this age and also become more interested in the world and are able to focus on its impact on them. Links to the natural, social and technological world are explicit in our Teaching and Learning programs and girls are encouraged to explore these links. Therefore, participation in group-focused work, decision-making and activities that provide for the exploration of personal values are central to our curriculum.

Late Adolescence (Year 9 and 10)

In Years 9 and 10, students' growing independence and maturity is recognised through Science activities that offer students the opportunity to assume increased responsibilities, develop their decision making skills, explore values and further refine their social and collaborative work skills. The Teaching and Learning programs feature an increased emphasis on gaining familiarity and confidence with the methods, conceptual frameworks and the language of Science. As our girls’ understanding of the world and how it operates expands, we try to offer ways for them to participate in real-life applications, such as those in the fields of biotechnology and analytical chemistry. The nature of our experiences is such that students are able to draw on increasingly diverse and complex sources of information that facilitate comparison, contrast, synthesis, questioning and critiquing of information. We guide students towards higher-order concepts and thinking.

Young Adult (Year 11 and 12)

In the last years of school, students have a stronger sense of their own strengths, interests and goals. They have made choices about the Science areas they wish to study. Consequently, there is a meeting with like-minded specialist teachers all eager to share their passion for learning with students. Our courses of study are influenced by the use of more formal assessment, such as external examinations, the need for accreditation and certification, and the post school aspirations of students. They reflect a pragmatic approach, in which the need to prepare students for the rigours of WACE-level study is at the forefront of planning for learning activities. We are mindful of students’ desired learning outcomes and have designed our courses to assist students in achieving their goals. Along the way, it is our intention to maintain an inspiring learning environment, which for many students is one in which there is a great deal of depth to the learning experiences and in which extra support is available.

Download the Teaching and Learning Framework.

Download the Phases of Development brochure.