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Starting high school is a big change. In high school you have more independence and responsibility. A new school can be daunting, but it can also be really exciting.
We learned a lot from our year 7 pilot program families and students. There are things you can do now to prepare for high school in 2022. Read the tips and watch the videos below to learn more.
Hear from year 7s who have already made the move to high school.
What it’s like to start year 7 in high school video transcript
Student 1: On my first day I realized that there's nothing to actually worry about and your teachers are here to help you, and they really helped me through the process.
Student 2: I thought that there be a lot more of a high expectation, but the teachers are really understanding.
Student 3: It's a lot different to what I expected. I thought it was going to be quite scary, but it's good. I enjoy it.
Student 4: The oval is massive. It's a good area to just hang out with your friends.
Student 2: It's really great because you don't have one teacher that teaches you everything, you've got teachers that have specialised in it for a couple of years now and they know everything about that subject.
Student 5: I think they've been really good with providing lots of different clubs and activities, like knockout sports, so you can meet people with similar interests.
Student 6: I'm into sport a lot, and I got into the special sport corps so I'm really excited about that.
Student 2: On the transition days we played lots of games that got to know different people from different backgrounds, and even though the camp was later on in the year when we'd started school, we got to learn even more. And we got to have bonding time with everybody.
Student 7: I liked my first day, it was really interesting to get to know my way around the school.
Student 8: Going to a new school is fun, you get to meet new people. You get more friends, I guess. Yeah.
Student 1: It's not as scary as you think it is. So 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.
Student 5: It's been really good. I've met some great friends.
In high school, you will move around more for your classes. You’ll get to learn in new facilities like fully equipped science labs and design and technology facilities. You’ll most likely have different teachers for these different subjects and the school bells might ring between lessons, not just at recess and lunch.
The workload in high school is different and builds on the things you’ve already learnt in primary school. You might find the work more challenging. Remember that your teachers will be there to help you develop more advanced knowledge of subjects and give you the support you need to handle the workload.
Here’s what you can do:
- ask your teachers if you don’t understand something - they are there to help
- plan to work through assignments slowly and steadily so they don’t get left to the last minute
- talk to your school’s wellbeing officer, counsellor, or your home group teacher if you are feeling worried about schoolwork.
Some of you will attend your new high school with your primary school friends. For others, there will be changes to your friendship groups. You’ll make new friends, and may even stay in touch with old primary school friends.
Our pilot program research shows most students make friends by the end of term 1, which for many students is a highlight of their high school experience.
It’s okay if you are nervous at first. If things feel really tough, don’t worry as there are people available at your new school to help you adjust. This can include your home group teacher or even a school wellbeing leader.
Here’s what you can do:
- take part in all the activities your high school organises to help you feel welcome. These might include transition days, tours and welcome evenings.
- if your school offers a camp, this can be a great opportunity to get to know new people while trying fun activities.
- get involved in sports and clubs/groups on offer before and after school or at lunchtimes.
Finding your way around school
High schools are bigger than primary schools so it is understandable to wonder how you will find your way around. Your teachers will show you where you need to go, and many schools also have older students on hand to help.
Here’s what you can do:
- take part in tours and transition days offered by your high school
- many schools provide new students with maps and timetables. Ask a teacher if you have any questions about reading them
- if you are catching public transport to or from high school, do a practice run before school starts so you know exactly where to get on and off
- if in doubt, ask a teacher or the front office staff for help
There will be opportunities for you to attend transition days at your new school to help you adjust and become familiar with your new environment. See changing schools for more information.
Your new high school will send you and your family more information about its transition days and other activities it will offer to help you settle in.
High school has many extracurricular activities that you can try. It’s a great time to explore new interests and try new things.
Your new high school will have more information on the activities that are available.
Year 7 to High School Project Team
Email: Year7toHS [at] sa.gov.au