Senior Secondary


​​​​​​​​​​​​​QLD ATAR

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is the standard pathway to tertiary study for Queensland Year 12s.

Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) explain the procedures (PDF, 337KB) used to calculate students' final subject results in General subjects. For more information, updates and tips please visit ​

​​​How can parents help their senior students?

1. Lifestyle makes a big difference to results: healthy eating, lots of water, lots of sleep, exercise and time for relaxation are essential. Make sure students are eating healthily. Provide healthy snacks, drinks and meals. It is important that students look after their health during this period as stress can take a huge toll on the body. A nutritious diet and a bit of exercise not only help students think more effectively but will help them deal with stress as well.

2. Ask students what they need from you and what you can do. Offer to help with revision, to go and buy and books or stationery needed. Be their PA this year and help with exam timetables, preparation, lunches etc.

3. Keep communication open. Listen. See if you can have a weekly meeting to give students a chance to talk through where they are with each subject, what is going on and if they are having any difficulties. Remember that you are the convenient target for anger (that isn't really directed at you), but that you also might be a good shoulder to cry on. Seek professional help if you feel your student needs it.

4. Focus on a positive outlook and personal best: encourage students to be proud of their successes and what they achieve and constantly assure them that all you want is for them to do the best they can and walk away feeling proud of their efforts this year. Avoid criticism and negativity. Remember there are always multiple paths in life to get to where you want to go.

5. If students are stressed or worried first let them vent then talk together ways they could approach their issues. Who could they talk to at school on ways to improve or ways to manage their stress? What outside resources do they have?

Senior School HONOURS Program

Honours Philosophy

Helensvale State High School is committed to providing the best possible Academic Pathways for our students in the Senior School and to preparing them to achieve to their best.

Helensvale State High's Senior School Honours Program is an extension of the EXCITE Academy Program in the Junior School and aims to provide the opportunity, support and environment where our very high achieving and committed senior students can aspire to their desired goals and prepare for their Tertiary and career pathways in the 21st Century. 

The vision of the Senior School Honours Program is One Mind Sparks; Together We Glow – is a collective belief that when our highly academic students connect, collaborate, critically think and creatively problem solve together that success is inevitable.

Honours Opportunities

The Honours Program allows Senior students to:

  • Select subjects that provide the foundations to senior ATAR General Subjects,
  • Attain vital skills in leadership and critical and creative thinking.  It will focus on Academic behaviours of building resilience, curiosity, open-mindness and persistence  
  • Participate in workshops with outside provides focusing on:
    • developing Study Skills, Time Management, Memory & Mnemonics and Student Elevation, and
    • educating our students in the meaning of being a leaders and global citizens who are empowered to take part and be active in their communities
  • Have a Teacher Mentor allocated for their Senior School journey
  • Make connections to Tertiary Institutions
  • Build Honours Study Groups to collaborate and study together on/towards assessment.​

​​Honours Expectations

When students are working with like-minded peers; when a learning environment is engaging, yet challenging and when teachers have high expectations for students, students succeed.  When students build self-esteem, a belief in themselves and their abilities and they are acknowledged for their efforts and achievements, they increase their confidence and improve their academic performance.  Helensvale State High School has clear expectations of students who accept their placement into the Senior School Honours Program:​

Research shows that there is a strong correlation between regular school attendance and student achievement. It is expected that our Honours student's attendance mirrors that of the school's expectation that the minimum required attendance for the year is 93%, which equates to no more than 14 days total absence throughout the year.

Behaviour is the actions and mannerisms made by individuals in conjunction with themselves and/or their environment.  Our Honours student's behaviours should mirror that of Helensvale State High School's Student Code of Conduct and the school's Learning Values of being Respectful, being Responsible and being Resilient. For reporting, it is expected that Honour's students achieve Excellent or Very Good for Behaviour across all subjects studied.

Effort teaches students that they can do more than they thought.  Students learn new skills and abilities when they take the time to put in consistent effort.  Every new success that they achieve through their efforts increases their confidence in themselves and their abilities.  Effort keeps students focused on success.  For reporting, it is expected that Honour's students achieve Excellent or Very Good for Effort across all subjects studied.

Level of achievement:
Achievement levels are based on collective judgments about what students should know and be able to do relative to the body of content reflected in each subject-area assessment.  For reporting, it is expected that Honour's students achieve results of an A or B across all subject studied.

The Senior Schooling Honours Program is not just a bolt-on program – Honours is a community that aims to provide students with academic pathways to their future aspirations.  Excellence is expected – excellence is who we are; it is a state of mind – and when our Honours students fire – when they spark . . . they all glow. 

Honours Selection

When shortlisting suitable Year 9 students for enrolment into the Senior School Honours Program, a number of key selection criteria are taken into account.  Successful candidates for the Honours Program are students who:

EXCITE students:

  • Were a member of the EXCITE Academy program in Year 9
  • Achieved academic levels of achievement of A and/or B across their 6 x Year 9 subjects at the end of Semester 1 Report
  • Achieved Very Good or Excellent for Effort and Behaviour in all 6 x Year 9 subjects at the end of Semester 1 Report

Mainstream students:

  • Achieved academic levels of achievement of a minimum of 2 x A's and 1 x B in English, Maths and Science
  • Achieved Very Good or Excellent for Effort and Behaviour in all 6 x Year 9 subjects at the end of Semester 1 Report

These criteria, along with a work ethic, which displays the attitude and commitment towards achieving their full potential, are key to the success in achieving within a student's foundational year of Senior (Year 10) through to their academic studies across Years 11 & 12.  With this comes a responsibility to meet the requirements of the school so that their development is multifaceted across a student's well-being, personal development and academic success. 

Our process of selecting and inviting students into the Senior School Honours Program includes:

  • Analysing End of Semester 1 Year 9 Reports
  • Analysing students' effort and behaviour across their suite of subjects, including anecdotal feedback
  • Analysing students' attendance and general behaviour concerns
  • Shortlisting and inviting students to participate in the Senior Schooling Honours Program
  • Shortlisting students who are under review and process for prospective invitation
  • Holding a Parent/Student Information Evening for prospective Honours Students​

​Honours Programme Requirements

Successful students are required to select and enrol in Year 10 subjects that lay the foundation to General ATAR Year 11/12 subjects. 

 hese subjects include:


Last reviewed 26 May 2022
Last updated 26 May 2022