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From specialist learning facilities and teachers to extra-curricular opportunities and new friends, your child has a lot to look forward to starting high school. Some of the benefits you can expect are listed below.
Moving year 7 to high school also brings South Australia’s public schools in line with other states and school sectors.
Watch this video to hear from students, teachers and principals at schools that have already welcomed year 7s. They will describe what the move has meant to them.
There’s a lot to look forward to in 2022 video transcript
Emily Langton: I think the best thing about the year seven's coming to the high school is their enthusiasm. You see them out in the yard and they run around and play chasey, and they're just bubbly, and you go into the class and it's the same. I think that they bring a really great energy to the school.
Lee Shaw: The energy that they've brought and their enthusiasm has really brought an extra buzz to the school. So I think they've been doing really well.
Cara Fiebig: We've obviously benefited hugely by having year sevens in our school. They have benefited from being in a high school setting. It is scary at the beginning. There's a lot of work. There's a lot of negotiation involved, but just trust the process because in the end it's worth it.
Fiona Perry: It is a huge process and there's a lot of work to be done, but if everybody's positive and we work together, I think that it's going to be amazing for our students and their outcomes in the future.
Belinda Jones: We're very aware that we are the last state to have year seven go into high school and so we sort of know that this is coming and it's best to embrace it. And it's best for the kids too, that we help them to transition into it and not see any barriers.
Caroline Fishpool: It is a key opportunity in South Australia to actually deliver the Australian curriculum as it should be in seven and eight, in the same setting.
Roger Nottage: They love visiting specialist areas. They love having some diversity in teachers and they actually love being in a larger cohort where there's greater opportunity for friendships.
Sharryn Daly: Our year sevens get to try tech studies. They get to try home ec. They do media. They do drama. So they get an opportunity to experience eight science within their science curriculum. So they have a whole range of specialist elective type subjects with specialist teachers and specialist facilities.
Pilot School Student: You get to meet so many great friends and you've got lots of role models in higher years as well that can help you and they're really supportive here.
Students:I like changing into different teachers, not always having the same teachers for every lesson.
Sharryn Daly:Both the boys and the girls, I've noticed, are very ready for a secondary setting. The benefits are that the students are able to connect with a wider range of students. A lot of them have friendships across different year levels and I think they aspire to what the secondary students, or the older secondary students, are able to do at school. Roger Nottage:So you get some real energy about the place. And look, I've got to say, for us, the teachers who have come on board as part of this program have really added to the skill set in the mix of our group. They are also energetic, enthusiastic, have really added value to our school.
Students:Going to a new school is fun. You get to meet new people. You get more friends, I guess.
Students:Yeah. It's not as scary as you think it is. When we first come, we didn't know many people. We were really scared. But after two weeks, or a week or so, you just feel normal.
Pilot School Student:It's been really good. I've met some great friends.
Caroline Fishpool:It's a big change for South Australia and it's a big change for a lot of people involved in actually leading that piece out, but are year sevens ready? Absolutely.
[End of transcript].
All South Australian students learn the Australian Curriculum at school. For year 7s, the curriculum focuses on specialist courses and is designed to be taught in a high school setting.
Moving year 7 to high school will mean students benefit from specialist teachers and resources. This includes:
- learning in fully equipped science labs
- performing art spaces
- design and technology facilities.
Neuroscience has taught us how the brains of early adolescents are changing. So, we’ll be giving teachers access to evidence-based approaches to further engage students.
This move is a big change and we will make sure our early adolescents get the best learning opportunities from their new high school environment.
In many cases, learning will extend beyond the classroom as our high schools provide opportunities for students to access a wide range of extra-curricular activities, such as sports, clubs and music groups .
The new high school environment will expose year 7s to different teaching styles. It will provide opportunities for more peer interactions, independence and responsibility.
We can see in many of our R – 12 schools, and from the interest in our pilot schools, that year 7s are ready and keen for high school.
Watch Wirreanda Secondary School’s video below to hear year 6s talk about being among the first year 7s in high school in South Australia.
Wirreanda Secondary School video transcript
Jackson: I'm Jackson, and I'm going to be one of the first year sevens to come into a high school in South Australia. Yeah, I'm getting a lot more comfortable. It's coming down pretty quick.
Caroline Fishpool: We do have a strong belief that apart from all the different questions and uncertainty at the moment across the state, we do believe at Wirreanda Secondary School that they should be in our secondary school setting. We're obviously making preparations to ensure that can happen. There's a mixture of obviously excitement about coming into a secondary school setting. There's a mixture of uncertainty, but I think that's obviously the case with any change process. It's about what we put into place.
Blake: I'm pretty excited.
Interviewer: Yeah? Tell me why you're excited.
Blake: Because I'm moving onto a high school. Knowing that I'm going to be a year seven, I would love to have a year seven jumper.
Caroline Fishpool: Our transition processes are really clear here about making sure that we know the students, and obviously I think embrace that excitement about, what are the students excited about? Not what they're nervous about, but what are they excited about? And how we build on that with a strength-based approach.
Jackson: I was pretty down because I didn't get to get a year seven jumper. Then today when I heard that we were going to design our own year seven's jumpers, I was pretty excited.
Caroline Fishpool: I think year sevens are very ready to start secondary school. I think it's a big change for South Australia, and it's a big change for a lot of people involved in actually leading that piece out, but are year sevens ready? Absolutely.
Katrina Axford: Sometimes what will happen is the adults will be the more anxious ones than the students. Kids adapt a lot better than adults, you can see that today out in the spaces that they're just getting on with it. There are students in different uniforms right now that have known each other for an hour, but we've set up structures and processes that we put in place because we know that this stuff works, and we know that the kids will just get over those bits that make them anxious.
Caroline Fishpool: We know that obviously as year sevens in primary schools, from what primary schools tell us, they get halfway through the year and then looking for additional opportunities. Secondary schools provide that with the structures that we have in place with those specialist pathways for them to kind of have a bit of a dabble, and then move forward.
Blake: I feel good.
Jackson: Yeah, excited.
[End of transcript].
There are several ways to support your child when they start at a new school. See changing schools for more information.
Safety and wellbeing in high school
Your child’s wellbeing is just as important in high school as it is in primary school.
Frameworks already 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 to manage younger children interacting with older students.
Schools will provide dedicated wellbeing support to help year 7 and 8 students adjust to new routines and different academic demands. The support will vary across schools, so it's best to check with your new high school about how this will work.
Our high schools will also offer transition and orientation programs to help year 6 and 7 students moving to high school in 2022 feel confident, welcome and ready for the new year.
Transition programs are organised individually by our schools each year to suit their communities, but they all have an emphasis on forming friendships. Many include transition visit days, peer mentor support and camps. Contact your local high school for more information.
Support for students with a disability
Moving from primary to high school is important for all students, and especially so for students with disability.
Our key focus remains on setting students with disability up for success.
We have established extra specialised education options (formerly known as ‘special options’) for the move of year 7 to high school in 2022. These are in addition to the schools that already have these spaces. You can read more about the high schools receiving the new facilities.
These schools were chosen based on where we expect families will need disability support the most.
Two new birth to year 12 schools are also being built in the north and south of Adelaide, which will open in 2022. Each will have capacity for 100 inclusive learning spaces for students with disability.
The specialised education options process will remain the same. Students will continue to be reviewed in their final primary school year to assess their specialised education option placement for high school.
If your child is moving to high school as a year 7 in 2022, the review process will take place when your child is in year 6 this year. This means that in 2021, both year 6 and year 7 students will be reviewed and offered places for high school in 2022.
Your primary school is your key source of information about the move to high school in 2022. They will keep you informed with assessment, panel and transition information including transport eligibility criteria where applicable speak to your school in the first instance.
We understand the importance of marking the special occasion of students finishing primary school. This is a local school decision, however we expect schools will celebrate students finishing primary school at the end of year 6, along with year 7s who are moving on to year 8.
Out of school hours care (OSHC) options
High schools don’t generally provide OSHC but do offer alternatives such as after school study in the library. Contact your local high school for more information.
Child care subsidy
If your child is starting high school in 2022, is aged under 13 and can access an Out of School Hours Care service, you may be eligible for the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy.
To check eligibility, visit the Child Care Subsidy eligibility for children attending secondary school page on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s website.
This subsidy is managed by Services Australia (formerly Centrelink). You may have to state why your child cannot be left at home unsupervised, and that an adult is unable to provide suitable care.
The subsidy is also available to children with disability or a medical condition. You will need to provide evidence of your child’s disability or medical condition.
To see if the subsidy will be an option for your child, visit Services Australia’s website: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au.
Year 7 to High School Project Team
Email: Year7toHS [at] sa.gov.au