Upper School

The Upper School at Pymble is for girls in Years 9 and 10. During this time they are guided to develop into young women of compassion and determination. Girls are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and for the welfare of others. They are given the opportunity to expand their horizons and achieve their best in both academic and co-curricular areas of education.

Outside of the direct curriculum experiences, learning activities from the Upper School have been designed to promote communication, problem solving, creativity and collaboration. With close reference to current research in the provision of effective and engaging personal development experiences, students in the Upper School participate in learning activities focused on Pymble’s core values. External speakers are regularly included in Upper School programs, with leaders in the field connecting the girls to key issues influencing society locally and internationally.

Community and Service Learning

For Pymble’s Years 9 and 10 students, the Community and Service Learning program offers students the opportunity to participate in community service activities, supporting a broad range of organisations. The program is a powerful means of connecting students with the world and fostering a belief that they can be active and informed citizens, capable of making changes in their own lives and others.

The Year 10 Service Learning Program provides students with a team-centred experiential, program-based learning experience. The student-led initiative draws on the skills and understanding from many of the courses studied in Year 10, and enables the girls to develop and deliver a project in response to an identified need in the community. The girls investigate social justice issues, and through their skills of problem solving, communication, planning and decision making, they liaise closely with a partner organisation throughout the year and participate in a substantial period of service in support of the organisation.

Girls have the opportunity to participate in a range of projects which support organisations and communities locally, nationally and internationally. Under the guidance of a Year 11 student-mentor and an academic member of staff, the girls investigate a community issue which resonates with them. They seek to advocate on behalf of individuals and groups affected, as well as providing practical support.

In true Pymble spirit, our girls will make a real difference to the lives of others and this benefit is seen through the practical service experiences and the substantive relationships forged with the partner organisation. In the first weeks of the school year the girls identify the projects they would like to participate in. Parents also receive information on each of the programs and intended learning outcomes for each of the experiences. The Service Learning program takes place in lieu of a Year 10 Camp.

Exchange Program

In Years 9 and 10, Pymble offers a large variety of academic, cultural, leadership and language exchanges to a diverse range of countries. Each year over 100 students from the Upper School travel to a range of countries. Student ambassadors are wholly engaged in the life of the host country and return to Pymble with fresh eyes to the world. Students from these countries are then reciprocally hosted at Pymble and this provides for a wonderful international flavour. These experiences contribute substantially to the philosophy of the Upper School of providing learning experiences which are personalised and challenging, whilst offering opportunities for students on a global stage.

Student Wellbeing Program

Spirituality and developing a sense of meaning, along with social responsibility and community service, are key elements of the Upper School Student Wellbeing Program. Career education and the development of practical skills, such as time management and goal setting, are introduced to assist girls with the transition to the Senior School.

Student Leadership

Students are strongly encouraged during their time in the Upper School to consider the virtues and characteristics of an effective leader whilst considering female role models in the community. Student leadership opportunities are available to all girls in the Upper School. The positions are designed to enable all girls, irrespective of previous experience or areas of interest, with an opportunity to pursue formal leadership roles. The student voice is respected and recognised as a crucial element in shaping the culture of the experience in the Upper School. Co-designed approaches to school activities are instituted in all school programs and students are mentored by senior Upper School staff as they undertake their positions of responsibility.

Opportunities for leadership are offered in the Chapel, Student Representative Council, Peer Support, House Liaison, Monitress, Service Learning, Media and the Upper School leadership committee.


In Year 9 students study the following core subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies
  • History

Year 9 girls may continue with one or both of their elective subjects chosen in Year 8, or they may choose new electives from the following:

  • Food Technology
  • Textiles Technology
  • Drama
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Commerce
  • Physical Activity Sport Studies (PASS)
  • Classical Languages
  • Modern Languages

In Year 10, students are given the opportunity to choose from a range of electives, including:

  • PASS
  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Dance
  • Marine and Aquaculture Technology

Film and Media

Students with an interest in storytelling, acting and cinematography are provided with opportunities to learn the skills of film making throughout their time in the Upper School. With extensive access to the College’s dedicated Audio-Visual suite, students are encouraged to be involved with the Mini Film Bites competition held each term, and also BillboardPymble’s annual Film Festival.

For more information about Media at Pymble, please visit the Curriculum and Activities section.