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Our public education system is changing. Year 7 public school students will be taught in high school from term 1, 2022.
The move of year 7 to high school brings new opportunities for our students, workforce and system. It brings opportunity for us to do things better at a system level and supports our journey of continuous improvement and working towards delivering world-class education.
Many primary-trained teachers will move into high schools to support the year 7 to high school move. Students will continue to benefit from their extensive knowledge of year 7 curriculum and teaching methods.
Watch the video of teachers and staff from our pilot schools talking about how primary-trained teachers add value to secondary settings.
Bringing primary teachers to high school video transcript
Cara Fiebig: If you're a leader who is feeling apprehensive about hiring primary school teachers into your high school setting, then don't. They have been invaluable in providing us with the skillset that we were perhaps missing.
Roger Nottage: We've been able to recruit teachers who have been leaders in maths and numeracy throughout their primary schooling experience, and provide tremendous add-on value to our school. What I want most of all is passion, energy, and commitment to the job.
Caroline Fishpool: It is a key opportunity in South Australia to actually deliver the Australian Curriculum as it should be in 7 and 8, in the same setting.
Cara Fiebig: Involving our primary school teacher recruits in curriculum planning was vital. They could work with curriculum leaders and the rest of the faculty to develop curriculum. We found that this gave us a holistic view of 7-to-9 curriculum, not just a Year 7 curriculum, so that we had that continuity of learning.
Roger Nottage: We want to enable staff to grow and develop further. I couldn't be happier with the group we've recruited. They seek advice from colleagues, they visit other schools. They refer to university lecturers or others for advice, and they're involved in professional learning. Bringing Year 7s into our school gives us an added opportunity to learn from what happens in primary years, and to bring that along with research provided throughout our nation and internationally, and to reshape what we're doing in Year 7 to 9. I don't see it as a limitation at all. In fact, I think it's a fantastic opportunity to advance our organization.
End of transcript.
Applications for secondary teaching opportunities arising from the move of year 7 to high school in 2022 have closed for the first phase of recruitment.
Wirreanda Secondary School, Mitcham Girls High School and John Pirie Secondary School welcomed their first year 7s into the pilot program this year, ahead of the statewide move in 2022.
The year 7 to high school pilot program review (PDF 737KB) is now available, giving schools insights to inform their planning for the statewide move in 2022.
The review captures the experiences of our 3 pilot schools in a range of areas such as student wellbeing, workforce planning, continuity of learning, communication with families and transition processes between primary and high schools.
It also includes feedback from pilot school families and feeder primary schools, so we can learn from their experiences to benefit other high schools when year 7 moves in 2022.
An overview of the key findings is available to provide schools with a snapshot of learnings, with the takeaway message being that year 7 students are ready for high school.
A $13m package of professional learning for teachers and principals will help deliver full value from the move of year 7 to high school.
It includes funding for further tertiary qualifications for primary teachers moving to high school. It also includes professional learning for high school teachers to expand their knowledge in teaching and supporting early adolescents.
We will also consider the professional learning needs of School Services officers (SSOs) and other ancillary staff, to support a successful move.
The professional learning will be modelled on successful programs delivered in Western Australia and Queensland, where they recently moved year 7 to high school. It will also be guided by feedback from our teaching workforce.
You can watch the video below to hear primary and high school teachers talk about how they planned curriculum for year 7s during a professional learning session at Wirreanda Secondary School.
Wirreanda Secondary School is 1 of 3 pilot schools that welcomed year 7s to high school in 2020.
Wirreanda Secondary School video transcript
Caroline Fishpool: Today and we've been really fortunate, obviously as a year 7 pilot to invite year 6, 7 local teachers that have been interested to come and work really closely with us, and as a school we do think it's a really opportune time to tap into their skills. For some of them they've taught year 6, 7 curriculum and different approaches for a long time. Some obviously are just new within that scope, but why recreate the wheel? There's some really, I think unique new approaches that will happen in secondary schools with year 7s moving in. But we also want to work really closely with our year 6, 7 teachers to see that we're on the right track, and so they can contribute to the curriculum planning that we're doing currently.
Belinda Jones: This morning, the Wirreanda Secondary School teachers have been talking to us about how they're going to structure bringing year 7 students onto the high school setting and how they're looking at timetabling their learning when they come over to high school. I think it's a really exciting project and certainly our students who have signed up for the project are really excited to be coming over.
Katrina Axford: What we're actually doing is using the skill set of the primary schools and taking on their knowledge and understanding of year seven and then using that to value-add to what we're doing here at Wirreanda. They are giving us some really great ideas that we can implement here and then they're learning about our journey as well and what we're doing here as a middle school to bring in the year 7s.
Belinda Jones: It's an ultimate time for us to actually bring in the primary school staff into that curriculum aspect. Not for us to show them what we do in a secondary school, but to actually bring them into it to have things that we have not thought about or we don't have experience in doing.
Belinda Jones: It has made me think of, well where am I going to fit now. Will I staying in a primary school setting? Will I be going to a high school setting? And so, I'm looking at, well maybe that's the next part of my professional development.
Belinda Jones: There are some staff that are ready to make that jump. They really want to go into secondary schools, whether that's about the breadth of curriculum that we can offer in a secondary school. Some are obviously sites, much bigger such as ours, whether it's about some particular areas and obviously them wanting to retrain to specialise in those particular areas. And there's obviously of course some primary school staff that are not sure at the moment, but we think obviously, and are trying to show this through the pilot program. That it is a really, really exciting time, and it is really an opportunity to embrace primary skills in secondary settings.
Belinda Jones: I know they're talking here today about project-based learning, which is probably a lot to do with integrating across all of the areas of the curriculum. And so, I think a primary teacher probably does a lot of that already in their classrooms.
Caroline Fishpool: When we talk about the Australian curriculum and across most areas it is set up as 7 and 8. So, at the moment I think we do have that hurdle in South Australia where there's that division. Where there's the delivery of the curriculum in the primary school at year 7. And as much as we try and set up transition programs and work really closely together with our primary schools, then that's a hurdle to jump into eight, where it's delivered very differently into a secondary school as well. So, it is a key opportunity in South Australia to actually deliver the Australian curriculum as it should be in the 7 and 8 in the same setting.
Belinda Jones: I think as well in South Australia, we're very aware that we are the last state to have year 7 going 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.
End of transcript.
Year 7 to High School Project Team
Email: Year7toHS [at] sa.gov.au