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Year 7 to high school information for schools

Year 7 public school students will be taught in high school from term 1, 2022. 

This move brings opportunity for us to do things better at a system level. It supports our journey of continuous improvement and working towards delivering world-class education.

Year 7 to high school 2020 pilot

Wirreanda Secondary School, Mitcham Girls High School and John Pirie Secondary School are giving families the opportunity to register interest for their child to enter high school as a year 7 in 2020. 

This is part of a pilot that will provide early insights into workforce planning, funding arrangements, wellbeing, curriculum and transition processes between primary and high schools. These insights will provide information for the statewide transition move of year 7 to high school in 2022. 

Participation in the pilot is voluntary. Normal transition and enrolment processes will continue at all schools for current year 7s enrolling as year 8s next year.

Registrations of interest are now closed and the enrolment process is being finalised. 

Read more about the year 7 to high school pilot update

Pilot school recruitment 

Recruitment is underway to fill vacancies in the 3 schools piloting the move of year 7 to high school. There are opportunities for professional learning and funded release time. 

A custom recruitment process was developed to fill pilot-related positions. This allowed primary teachers to get the most out of these opportunities while minimising disruption to schools.

The insights from the pilot recruitment process will feed into the design process for the broader workforce recruitment, as we prepare for the statewide move.

Workforce planning

We will design a workforce strategy for teachers and support staff who want to switch from primary to secondary school when year 7 moves in 2022. 

This will be finalised and communicated in 2020. 

Professional learning 

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. 

Read more about the professional learning package.

You can also 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 will welcome year 7s to high school in 2020.

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.

Support resources

Schools will be supported with various resources throughout the move of year 7 to high school. 

Planning resources  

We are providing individual implementation plans for each high school that reflect local community needs. Primary schools will also be supported by a planning tool to help them adjust to the change. 

The plans will be in place by 2021 and will cover workforce planning, facilities and resource management and parent engagement. 

Teaching and learning guide 

A teaching and learning guide is being developed to give high schools direction on learning for early adolescents and to ensure the wellbeing of year 7s.  

We know students entering their teenage years experience neurological changes as their brain prepares for adolescence. Secondary teachers will explore new teaching methods focused on learning for early adolescents.

For more information see year 7 to high school – suite of tools.


Year 7 to high school project team

Email: Year7toHS [at] sa.gov.au