As a parent of a year 6 or 7 student moving into a government secondary school next year, you may have some questions about how they will fit into a secondary school environment.
We spoke to the project’s Director School Implementation and former principal, Pam Kent, who answered some common questions around the move.
Q: I’m worried my child won’t know anyone at their new high school. What support is there to help them make friends?
Children start high school every year and making new friends is a part of this change.
Students will have opportunities to connect with other students during transition days in term 4, so they can make new friends before they start high school.
Some high schools have ‘buddy’ systems where students can seek support and guidance from older students and develop positive connections.
As a parent, it’s important you support your child’s social outlook from the very beginning of their high school journey. Encourage them to be open and friendly with their peers, which in turn will see them build new and strengthen existing relationships through the rest of high school.
Q: Will my child be safe with older students?
Frameworks exist in public schools to manage interactions between students of different ages.
These already operate in our B-12, R-12, area and primary schools. School staff are very conscious of younger students joining the school and are ready to support their interactions with older students.
In planning for the move, schools will consider implementing dedicated spaces for year 7 and year 8 students that are away from older students to help create a reassuring environment until they build confidence and familiarity with their new school.
Our pilot schools noted the importance of making sure year 7 and 8 students had access to outdoor spaces and lunchtime activities. They tested designated areas for year 7s and 8s and found that halfway through the year, the students had stopped accessing this space exclusively and were happy to venture outside and mix with other year levels or find their own niche areas to interact in.
Q: The learning expectations are different in high school. What if my child can’t keep up?
We know from our pilot schools that year 7s enjoy the challenges of high school.
Your child will be supported to adjust to new routines and different academic demands through support systems provided by their school. Individual student needs will also be taken into account.
Care group teachers will quickly learn the unique needs of your child and will ensure they benefit from all the opportunities that high school has to offer. This includes exposure to different subjects and friendship groups.
How to stay updated