Logo for Penrhos College
Events Toggle Search box

Secondary School

Private High School for Years 7 to 12

Teaching and learning

Our goal is to inspire, so every girl finds what she loves to do, creating a brain-state that combines high focus, high motivation, high effort and low stress.  Helping all girls to achieve their personal best is our challenge.  We recognise each girl will have her individual strengths and challenges and thus teaching staff cater for the range of girls in their class supporting and extending each student.

Our focus is providing opportunities to grow for each girl.  This includes learning of both subject specific content and skills, combined with the 21st Century Skills and dispositions she will need to be future ready for the changing world she will embark upon.

As a community, we recognise that our staff are our greatest asset.  They are collectively a passionate, innovative, caring group of professionals who are experts in their subject area. The expectation of consistent, high quality teaching and learning is supported by professional learning, development and growth based on sound educational research.

All staff are trained in the use of Visible Learning and 21st Century Learning Design to support their practice in the classroom.  Educational leaders work with staff to refine their practice providing feedback to aid reflection. Each teacher is an active member of the professional learning community who work together to achieve the College purpose, “To inspire girls to become extraordinary women.”, through a process of continual improvement guided by the Teaching and Learning Framework.

Our staff across Year 7 to Year 12 work in partnership with parents and students to facilitate the best possible learning outcomes whilst supporting individual difference, as each student finds a balanced path for her journey through school. We are proud of the strong academic results we have achieved consistently with our students. These results show high performance but also great depth of achievement by our students.  With a large range of subject offering at the College, Penrhos has various pathway to support our students to find their passion and grow to become the best versions of themselves.

Find out more about our programs including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Gifted Education

From the Dean of Teaching and Learning 

Nicole Blyth


Pastoral care - thrive

thrive describes the range of programs, experiences and connections that support the wellbeing and personal growth of our girls. Learning to thrive at Penrhos is achieved through a pastoral curriculum based on best practice in positive psychology.

You can see the full thrive program here.

YEAR 7 thrive

Year 7 students participate in transition and social and emotional learning activities. They learn strategies to assist with emotional regulation (for example, anger and worry) and are introduced to helpful thinking frameworks: optimism, putting things in perspective, developing ‘grit’ and the ‘gratitude attitude’.


Year 8 students explore coping strategies, helpful thinking and mindsets. They develop a tough times toolkit and have an opportunity to delve into the personal values that guide them. They participate in the Media Smart Program which challenges media messages to young people, particularly with regards to body image.


Year 9 students are provided with a framework to investigate their personal values, character strengths and leadership qualities while examining local and global issues.


During pastoral time (pastoral period, Form and Connect Form), activities, guest speakers, workshops and assemblies are organised by the Head of Year or a member of the Pastoral Care Team.


Students learn to build a range of skills, knowledge and behaviours to assist them to stay safe online. The focus is for students to think before they act and to engage positively when online.


The Protective Behaviours curriculum is a personal safety program that teaches children, young people and adults a range of skills and strategies to: identify, respond to and find help in a range of unsafe situations while developing healthy and respectful relationships.


In Secondary School, Connect Form is a student wellbeing initiative to connect older and younger students in House groupings several times a year.


Big Sister is our peer support program where older students are role models and mentors to younger students in the Secondary School over a three-year period. The Little Sister program encourages interaction between girls in the Secondary School and the Early Learning Centre.


Leadership opportunities exist for students in Years 7–12 based on the whole person paradigm; mind, heart, body and spirit. Our structure recognises that students have different interests, abilities and talents, and various leadership positions allow them to harness these and develop their unique leadership style.


Student social events are organised with the intent of promoting positive interactions in a well-supervised and fun environment, with students from our school and, when invited, students from other schools.


The establishment of a quiet, tranquil zone in the Secondary School provides girls with a dedicated space to use mindfulness, meditation and reflection to promote their own wellbeing and stress management.


Read more about the thrive program

Striving to do one’s best applies across the diverse and challenging co-curriculum program. These activities provide a balance to the rigorous academic program, giving girls opportunities to explore interests and untapped talents outside the classroom. Activities vary from term to term and from year to year and are encouraged, not compulsory. There is something for everyone at Penrhos, across all areas of the whole person paradigm; Mind, Heart, Body, Spirit.

From the Dean of Co-Curricular
Paul McCarthy


  • Chess Club
  • Debating
  • Future Problem-Solving Program
  • Just Start It!
  • Maths Mentor Program
  • Mock Trials
  • Profs@Perkins
  • Tech Team

  • Classroom Music
  • Instrumental/Vocal Tuition Program (co-curricular)
  • Performance Ensembles (co-curricular)
  • Dramafest inter house competition
  • Annual School Production
  • IGSSA Dance Festival
  • Speech And Drama extension classes

IGSSA Competitive Sports

  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Waterpolo

Non-IGSSA recreational sports

  • Women’s Self Defence
  • Personal Training – Fitness Centre
  • Badminton
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Rock Climbing
  • Introduction to AFL
  • Surfing
  • Equestrian

  • The Learn, Live and Give Service Learning
  • Community Service Program
  • Philosophy Club
  • SAGA Magazine Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Chapel Committee
  • Bible Study
Spirit and community service

Community service activities may be school-oriented, or community-oriented, providing a service in an area of need within the broader community. For Penrhos Graduation, all Year 12 students will need to complete a minimum of thirty hours (30) community service during their time in the Secondary School.

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. Community Service will continue to be an integral part of our students’ learning journey, along with the implementation of service learning into the classroom.

Through the Learn, Live and Give Program we seek to develop in our students, a spirit of giving and social participation, a recognition of human need, an understanding of self and others in the context of the local and global community.

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) or the 40 Hour Famine and UnitingCare West.

The Learn, Live and Give Program also provide opportunities for student leaders and the Year 12 Student Council to provide support for others in the community and develop projects of student and community interest.  Students in Years 7-11 will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills in this area by nominating for the position of Community Service Year Representative.

Extended hours at the Penrhos library

To provide extra support for our students, after school study areas are available in the library from Year 7 to 12 from Monday to Thursday, 3.30pm – 8.00pm, this is staffed by a Teacher Librarian or a supervisor past 5:30pm. On Friday we are open from 3:30pm – 6:00pm.

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.

An enjoyment of reading for pleasure and study is a significant part of development. Our extensive digital library enables students to borrow any time, anywhere and on a range of mobile devices.

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.