Learning Philosophy

At St Helena the purpose of all learning is to produce students who thrive and are fulfilled at each life stage so they can excel and continually realise their potential.

We believe the best learning conditions are created for students by our:

  • safe, nurturing environment
  • positive teacher/student relationships
  • structures, routines, policies and processes
  • broad ranging opportunities
  • contemporary facilities and access to a range of current digital tools and technologies
  • values and wellbeing education

  • personalised. It caters for the unique interests, needs and preferred learning styles of each child, is relevant, open-ended, involves choice and fosters autonomy
  • life stage appropriate. It meets the physical, intellectual, emotional and psychological needs of adolescents as they move through the mini-schools.
  • implemented by expert, dedicated teachers who adopt varied contemporary pedagogies
  • characterised by appropriate challenge and extension, support and scaffolding.
  • enquiry based and interactive. It fosters creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication
  • informed by data analysis, monitoring and effective feedback
  • empowering. Knowledge application, skill acquisition and values for life learning facilitates holistic development

We support all our students to be and do their best by holding them to a range of expectations.

Daring to be excellent doesn’t just happen. It requires a range of commitments.

To this end we expect and support all our students to:

  • strive for their best in all classes, all work, exams and co-curriculum programs
  • complete all coursework, school assessed tasks, SACs and examinations on time and to the best of their ability
  • spend at least the recommended time on homework:

          – Year 7-8, 30-45 mins/day

          – Year 9, 45 minutes/day

          – Year 10, 1-2 hours/day

          – Units 1 & 2, 2 hours/week per subject; up to 6 hours/weekends during          peak assessment

          – Units 3 & 4, 3 hours/week per subject; up to 6 hours/weekends during          peak assessment

  • spend no more than:

          – 15 hours/week on employment in Years 9 and 10

          – 10 hours/week on employment in VCE

  • independently find a Work Experience placement in Year 10 that aids in the discovery of a possible career pathway
  • abide by the college values and the Student Code of Conduct with good grace
  • treat all community members with respect
  • attend all classes unless ill or for an approved reason
  • represent the college in a positive way when participating in co-curricular activities.

Junior School





Humanities: History, Geography

Health and Physical Education


Music, Drama

Food Technology, Design and Technology



for our newest students to appreciate what an exciting learning journey is ahead of them at St Helena.

Year 7 students are welcomed through a comprehensive transition program that begins well before day 1 and extends into the year of commencement. Experiencing the supportive, inclusive environment, discovering what to expect, understanding the routines and processes, being assigned to a House, learning about the great range of opportunities on offer, and meeting caring staff and friendly peers all makes for a positive, happy start.

Our Year 7 students primarily occupy a discrete physical space on the campus. This provides an ideal context for their learning and development as a cohesive, cooperative cohort. They are supported by a dedicated team of Junior School managers and STRIVE teachers (two per form). 

Students and teachers work together to create the safe spaces and learning conditions that promote holistic growth and optimise outcomes for everyone. Integral to this is explicit positive education input and expert attention to individual learning needs.

The relevant, engaging and rigorous curriculum inspires success in all its forms. At St Helena, excelling is all about achieving your personal best. Understanding that, makes daring to achieve big things not just possible, but the norm. Our regular celebration of learning progress has fostered a culture in which, according to our students, it’s genuinely ‘cool to be clever’.

It’s in this first year of secondary college that students begin to engage with the possibilities for their future learning. Through STRIVE, students complete step 1 of their Career Action Plan. The ‘I Discover’ curriculum helps students discover their strengths and talents.

Middle School

Year 8-9
The learning and developmental needs of Years 8 and 9 students are addressed in the Middle School through the curriculum, co-curriculum and wellbeing programs.

The breadth and depth of opportunities in and beyond the classroom facilitate multiple expressions of excellence.

A core curriculum continues to provide a rich and balanced learning program for Year 8 students. The Sydney Tour, offered annually in September, complements the personal and academic growth agenda. Tour activities are linked to English and Humanities studies.

The addition of electives to the core curriculum at Year 9 provides access to the range of pathways offered in the Senior School.

All Year 9 Students undertake R3: Responsibility, Relevance and Relationships

This full year subject involves students in age appropriate, relevant projects that foster resourceful, reflective, resilient and independent learners. Integral to this program is a community service component.

Students can also apply for a place in The Outer Edge (TOE), an optional full year outdoor education program that incorporates completion of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.

Students in the Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment (ACE) Program study the same subjects but at an accelerated pace and in greater depth.

The ‘I Explore’ and ‘I Focus’ steps of the Career Action Plan are also undertaken by Year 8 and 9 students respectively as part of the STRIVE program.





Humanities: History, Geography

Physical Education


Music, Drama

Food Technology, Design and Technology








Health and PE



1 or more from Group 1: The Arts

1 or more from Group 2: Technology

1 or more from Group 3 Domains

* Italian is a full year subject, so is taken with 1 Arts elective in semester 1 and 1 Technology elective in semester 2.

Group 1 Electives: The Arts

Animation Café

Art in the 3rd Dimension

Fashion, Drawing and Illustration

Grand Design and Architecture

Music Legends of rock

Music Performance

Music Technology

Street Art and Design

The Artist’s Studio



Group 2 Electives: Technology

Create and Bake

Design it, Make it, Wear it

From Trees to Tables

Girls Fix Cars

Girls Design It and Build It


Rev Heads

Rockets and Rocket Cars

The World of Food

Group 3 Electives: Domains

English – Beanbags and Books

Maths – Maths in Sport

Science – Animal Science, Aviation, Practical Chemistry

Italian – Music and Film, Travel and Culture, Regional Cuisine

Humanities – Geography of Terrorism, Managers and Manufacturers, Monsters and Maniacs,

Women in Power

Health and PE – Athlete Development Program (selected students only), Girls Lifestyles and Fitness,

The Ultimate Fitness Challenge

Info Tech – Build Your Own Apps, Digital Gaming

Group 1: Arts/Italian

Group 2: Technology/Italian or Additional elective

R 3 . Responsibility, Relevance and Relationships

Term 1

  • My Identity

  • Developing understanding of identity; of self, others, the local and global community
  • Explore: ancestry, cultural and national identities, personal qualities
Activities, Skill Development

  • plan
  • research
  • present


  • Personal Project:
  • What’s your story?
Term 2

  • My Future


  • Reflect on skills, knowledge, interests and possible career paths
  • Exposure to work options
  • Visiting speakers
  • Subject pathways expo
Activities, Skill Development

  • teamwork
  • collaboration
  • research
  • communication


  • Team Research Project
Semester 2

  • My Community


  • City Experience
  • CBD excursions
  • City based research
  • Community service
  • Issues investigation: homelessness
Activities, Skill Development

  • independence – travel
  • interpersonal skills
  • initiative
  • citizenship

  • Community Learning Project

The Outer Edge (TOE)

  • Students opting into this program must commit to a 1 hour after school class on Mondays.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award involves completing a program of activities over four categories:

Service – to develop and encourage a sense of community spirit and responsibility to others

Skill – to encourage the development of personal interests and practical skills

Physical Recreation – to encourage participation in physical recreation and improvement in physical fitness and performance

Adventurous Journey – to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery

  • The St Helena expeditions: 2 x 3-day camps in Term 4 – The Grampians, the Alpine National Park
  • This program is subsidised by the Victorian Government.

Senior School

YEAR 10 Programs

Work Experience*

Ski Camp


YEAR 11 Program

Student Leaders Camp

Central Australia Tour

VCAL – Sailing Camp

Debutante Ball

YEAR 12 Program

Student Leaders Camp

Study Camp




G’day USA

Italian Trip (bi-annual)

World Challenge (bi-annual)


Performing Arts Tour

Band tour

Year 10-12
Senior students at St Helena are educated
in a supportive and enriching environment.

Students are offered a range of pathways, subject choices and learning approaches that cater for their varied interests, needs and aspirations. Students work productively with their teachers and peers to succeed now and in the future.

In these years, our focus remains on the holistic development of students; their growth as confident, resilient, resourceful, autonomous, healthy and principled community members.

The positive result of having dared to excel is evident in our students’:

  • outstanding academic results
  • stellar performances – productions, music, drama and dance
  • wide ranging sporting achievements
  • Arts/Technology exhibits
  • achievements in the commercial kitchen, the automation centre and any of our specialty technology centres.

Personal growth and skill development is further facilitated through our:

  • Athlete Development Program
  • International tours
  • Camping and outdoor education programs
  • Community service endeavours
  • House traditions and events
  • Student leadership structure.

Each student’s Career Action Plan develops further with progression through the ‘I Plan’, ‘I Decide’ and ‘I Apply’ steps facilitated through STRIVE. The incremental planning, decision making and application process ensures pathways are chosen intentionally, with a deep appreciation for where they lead and the learning/career opportunities they afford.


Year 10

Students have a number of pathway choices including the:

Standard Program

Early Start

Specialist Choice

Specific Requirement

Accelerated and Curriculum Enrichment Program


Year 10

Standard Program

English or Flying Start English

Mathematics (several options)

Science, Science at Work or Flying Start Science

Humanities, Contemporary Humanities or Flying start Humanities

Four elective subjects


Create and Bake

Design it, Make it, Wear it

From Trees to Tables

Girls Fix Cars

Girls Design It and Build It


Rev Heads

Rockets and Rocket Cars

The World of Food


Standard Program plus Two VCE or VET subjects

No elective subjects




This is an individual program for specific students.

Entry is strictly in consultation with the Year 9 Manager


Flying Start English

Extension or Pre-Methods Mathematics

Flying Start Science

Flying Start Humanities

At least one VCE/VET subject with two electives or two VCE/VET subjects with no electives

The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is usually a two year course of study.

It is implemented and managed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

All studies are organised into semester units. Units 1 and 2 are usually undertaken in Year 11 and Units 3 and 4 are usually undertaken in Year 12.At St Helena, students typically take 12 Units in Year 11 and a further 10 Units in Year 12.

VCAA stipulates enrolment in both Units 3 and 4 of a subject.Student performance in Units 3 and 4 is assessed by:

  • School Assessed Coursework (SACs). These tasks are mainly completed in class time under teacher supervision. They are directly linked to classroom teaching programs.
  • Externally set examinations


English: English, English Literature

Health and PE: Health and Human Development, Physical Education,VET Early Childhood Education, VET Sport and Recreation

Humanities: Accounting, Australian and Global Politics, Business Management, Economics Geography, History – 20th Century (Units 1 &2), History – Global Empires (Units 1 & 2), History – Revolutions (Units 3 & 4), Legal Studies, Philosophy

Info Tech: Information Technology, VET Information Technology

Maths: Foundation Maths, General Maths, Specialist Maths, Mathematics Methods

Languages: Italian

Science: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology

Technology: Products Design – Wood/Metal, Plastics, Products Design – Textiles, Food Studies, Systems Engineering, VET Automotive, VET Building and Construction, VET Furniture, VET Hospitality

The Arts: Art, Dance (Units 3 & 4 only), Drama (Units 3 & 4 only), Media, Music Performance, Music Investigation (Units 3 & 4 only), Studio Arts – Photography, Theatre Studies, Visual Communication and Design, VET Dance

Our VCE Results

VCE Results

St Helena Secondary College’s VCE results are consistently excellent with impressive percentages of both girls and boys achieving at the highest levels.

Our students consistently rank above the State average, with median ATAR scores above 65 and median study scores of 31.

Approximately 55% of students achieve an ATAR of 60%+, placing them in the top 40% in the state.

When predicted results are compared with achieved results in each subject, our students, on average, gain 1.5 points above the expected subject score. This is attributed to the School’s rigorous academic culture.

A large number of students consistently achieve personal best VCE results.

Almost 100% of VCE students who apply for a tertiary place are offered courses of their choice.

State Awards

Premier’s Award

VCE Season of Excellence:
Include the following areas of study…

Top Arts

Top Class

Top Designs

Top Acts

Vocational Education and Training

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) program lets students take their VCE and a VET Certificate at the same time. VET programs provide for a combination of vocational and general education.

The national recognized qualifications and programs offered by St Helena Secondary College may also contribute to the completion requirements for a student’s senior secondary school certificate. Qualifying students may also be eligible to receive a contribution to their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

First year classes are conducted at various locations on Wednesday afternoons.

Second year class times may differ, depending on course selection.

“St Helena SC belongs to the Northern Melbourne VET Cluster (NMVC) providing access to a broader range of VET courses.”


Welcome external students wanting to undertake a VET subject at St Helena Secondary College in 2021.

Dear Students and Parents,

Due to Covid19 restrictions we cannot formally welcome you onto our college grounds and run face to face VET Tasters with you, instead we present to you our super informative and engaging VET program presentations for your perusal. Our trainers have been busy developing these just for so please go to the VET subject of your choice below and press play it’s that easy.

If you would like to know more about this VET program please contact your VET coordinator, they will then email me and we can get the ball rolling with respect to your enrolment for 2021 as you will be expected to fill out an ‘Online Application Form’, it’s that easy.

Look forward to meeting you in 2021.

Please see below links to pre-recorded presentations by our dedicated Teachers (and students) detailing the Year 10 and VCE/VET subjects on offer to you in 2021. You are encouraged to consume as much of this important information as needed (and involve your parents!) to make informed decisions with respect to your 2021 program. The presentations identify key staff that you may wish to contact for more information about specific subjects.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the staff who invested a lot of time and effort into creating this wonderful set of resources for our students, which will complement our Pathways Handbook (available  here) and Pathways Guide.


St Helena Pathways Team

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a recognised senior secondary qualification and should be chosen for its hands on approach and suitability for a student’s career ambitions.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a rigorous, challenging program that focuses on practical work-related experience, industry specific skill development, literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work.

The school runs two classes of approximately 20 students, one at Year 11 (Intermediate) and one at Year 12 (Senior). Students are enrolled following a successful application and interview process.

To be eligible to undertake the VCAL students must have:

-been enrolled at St Helena Secondary College for a minimum of 12 months

-completed a Career Action Plan

-completed Work Experience and received positive feedback from their employer

-enrolled/applied for at least one VET subject

-demonstrated consistent maturity and responsibility

-the ability to work independently and as part of a team

-the ability to keep accurate, up-to-date and complete records, a strong work ethic, and the persistence to see tasks through.

Instructions to register for your USI number

 Before you get started you will need to have the following information;

· a) Your Medicare number details

· b) Be aware of your legal name

· c) Please enter an email address on your registration application that you will be able to access once you leave school

· 1) Link to Unique Student Identifier (USI) website: http://www.usi.gov.au/create-your-USI

· 2) Complete your application on the USI website

· 3) Once you have applied, you should receive your USI number online within a few seconds

· 4) Your USI number is with you for life and will be required if you enroll in any certificate or course in the future, i.e. First Aid, Etc

· 5) Record your USI number in a place that you will remember where to find it for future reference, i.e. with your parent


Take a look at our information on our ACE information evening and College tours.