How Penrhos College prepares our girls for the future of work
Our world is changing at the speed of information. Technological innovations touch every part of our lives, forcing a shift in how we approach everything from primary education to employment.
By the time today’s students enter the workforce, they will be pursuing careers that didn’t exist a decade ago and using technologies that don’t exist yet either.
So how do we prepare our girls for a world where work, life, and success will be defined differently from what we know today?
This existential question is driving change across the education sector. Here at Penrhos College, an all-girls private school in Perth, we are creating flexible learning environments where critical thinking and spontaneous collaboration encourage the pursuit of discovery.
A generation ago, these spaces were called ‘classrooms’. Now Perth’s best high schools are evolving physical learning spaces to meet the needs of the next generation.
A vision for Science and Innovation
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, collectively known as the STEM subjects, are the fields of knowledge which are increasingly recognised as vital for future success. Typically, they are highly-skilled and highly-paid. More than 75% of careers in fast-growing industries already require STEM skills – that figure is expected to rise to 90% in two to five years.
STEM skills such as critical thinking, digital literacy, logical problem-solving, inquiry, creativity and collaboration are the main building blocks of tomorrow’s careers.
Fostering these skills in the context of a private girls’ school means making sure our students are encouraged to discover and pursue their STEM interests – one of the ways we do this is by rethinking the physical classroom, approaching learning in a new way and challenging the status quo.
State-of-the-art Science Innovation Centre
In January 2021, we opened our signature $11m Science Innovation Centre, where progressive programs, first-class resources and inspiring educators come together.
Every corner of the Science Innovation Centre was designed to inspire scientific and creative thinking. Flexible learning spaces, break-out collaboration zones, multi-functional labs and a presentation amphitheatre integrate the feeling of a real-world work environment into an education setting.
Outdoor spaces like an outdoor lab and rooftop garden tended by robots connect today’s social challenges with tomorrow’s technological innovations.
And throughout the Centre, embedded technology encourages our girls to discover, share and test their knowledge, creating one of the most encompassing and progressive STEM programs for high school girls.
Championing girls in STEM
Australia’s economic future depends on strong women in STEM careers. But the disparity in STEM enrolments through upper secondary school and university creates a “leaky pipeline” where females are critically underrepresented in STEM study and careers.
Through a dynamic K-12 STEM education program, we are gearing our girls up to thrive in the future.
Both the Science Innovation Centre and the College’s numerous development programs aim to address the underrepresentation of girls in STEM by removing barriers imposed by traditional gendered expectations and by providing a cycle of positive reinforcement.
Creating lifelong learners in a girls’ private school
By preparing tomorrow’s adults with the skills to face change and emerge as leaders, Penrhos College earns its place among the top private schools for Perth girls.
It begins with fostering an educational environment, in which individuals are encouraged and empowered to thrive. Surrounding those budding innovators with the tools, technology, information and resources they need to discover new knowledge directs their energy towards passions that might one day change the world. Throughout each personalised learning journey, setting challenges and offering access to global STEM programs stimulates adaptation, collaboration and critical thinking in each of our students.
Work, life and recreation will continue evolving at a rapid pace. In a future where everything is up for grabs, curiosity will be one of the most valued (and valuable) traits.
Together, our girls are perfectly positioned to navigate the complexities of a changing world.