The home stretch at Penrhos College

Year 10 is a critical year for girls embarking on the home stretch of their schooling, as course selections begin and students begin to consider a more focused direction for their learning journey, whether via ATAR or Vocational and Education Training pathways. So why does Penrhos College consider it’s worth the disruption of a move to an all-girls private education at this vital juncture?

“Due to the ongoing pressures of the economic climate, we know that families struggle to prioritise private schooling for their daughters; many tell us that, although they have chosen to defer enrolment from primary to secondary school, for instance, they still hope to send their girls to Penrhos for those important ‘finishing’ years,” says Principal Meg Melville. “We think it’s important to remind them that they can!”

Penrhos College achieves consistently high ATAR results, ranking in the top 11 on the published WA school rankings since 2012. These academic credentials are extremely desirable to families who are looking for an exceptional all-girls teaching and learning program, particularly as their daughters enter their teens.

“The teenage years are notoriously full of distractions — our girls are more able to focus their attention and develop their strengths in a single-sex learning environment, free from gender stereotypes. They become generally more confident and assertive, which is an excellent grounding for strength in leadership, career and personal success,” continues Meg Melville.

Regional families may also find themselves looking for education options in Perth if their local district high school doesn’t have a full offering to Year 12; the Harris family from Esperance, for example, sent their daughter Taylor to Penrhos as a boarder from Year 10 for this very reason.

“I had the worst study habits at school in Esperance,” says Taylor. I found it easier to focus at Penrhos because of the routine of boarding school. I found I love schedules; study time, dinner time, bed time — it really worked for me.” Taylor and her parents were extremely proud that she ultimately achieved her target ATAR score of over 95. “I don’t think I would have done my best without the motivation I felt in my final years at Penrhos.”

Boarding at Penrhos

Penrhos’ academic credentials certainly speak for themselves — the college’s award-winning teachers are committed to help each student achieve her personal best in the WACE examinations and beyond through a highly personalised learning program.

“I noticed how the relationship with teachers shifted in Year 11; they treated us like adults in preparation for the big, wide world,” said Penrhos student Emily O’Leary, who enrolled in Year 11.“Penrhos gave me the incentive I needed to accelerate my learning. My teachers and peers have encouraged me to believe in myself, to identify my goals and to think about the future.”

Whether students attend the College for just one year or from Year One, Penrhos claims its graduates for life as Penrhosians enter into an alumni community that is now almost 10,000 strong and based in more than 40 countries around the world. “Our girls establish bonds that last a lifetime and grow valuable networks on which they can draw throughout her future,” says Principal Meg Melville.

Penrhos encourages parents to proactively consider later entry points to ensure their daughters have the opportunity to capitalise on the benefits of a private education in the home stretch i.e. from Year 10.

Recent trends indicate parents seeking this kind of later investment for their daughters are prepared to travel further to secure the best learning environment. Penrhos typically attracts applications from across the southern corridor — from Yokine to Rockingham, and as far as the Perth Hills.

If your daughter has outstanding academic or musical ability, she may be eligible for a scholarship. If she is an all-round good citizen with an enthusiastic approach to learning and personal growth, then perhaps one of the special Penrhos Red Dragon bursaries might help make it financially possible for her to enjoy all the college has to offer.

Scholarships close 17 April 2020. Find out more at

Scholarships at Penrhos

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