Starting Secondary School (Year 7)

​​The move from primary to secondary school is a major milestone for your child. It's a time of big changes in their development, education and life. You can have confidence that your child's future is in good hands in a Victorian government school. We are committed to ensuring we are giving our kids the education that industries will need, and the skills that employers will expect them to have.

Secondary school covers Years 7 to 12, where students are usually aged 12 to 18. By law, your child must complete Year 10 and remain in some form of education or training until they are 17.

Secondary school provides opportunities to challenge your child and to develop the valuable skills they will take into adulthood.

Easing the transition

The more informed and involved you are in your child's preparation, the more likely it is that the transition will be positive.

From day one your child will experience many changes, each of which will bring questions and new things to do:

  • more subjects and teachers
  • more homework
  • more challenging school work
  • the responsibility of getting to classes in different rooms on time
  • the need to manage themselves, their learning and their equipment
  • using lockers and carrying books between classes
  • adapting to different teaching styles
  • having no 'home' classroom (although many schools have a designated area for Year 7 students including one large multipurpose classroom where a team of teachers will work with the students).

With the help of family and school staff, students usually adapt quickly to their new environment.

Transition programs

Most secondary schools work with primary schools to make transition easier. A school's transition program may include:

  • student talks at their old primary school
  • secondary school teachers' talks or introductory lessons at primary schools
  • Year 6 visits to secondary schools
  • buddy systems at secondary schools, teaming older and younger students.

Orientation days

As part of the transition from Year 6 to Year 7, students in government secondary schools participate in an orientation day. All government schools hold this orientation day on the same day - often the second Tuesday of December.

​Orientation Day for ​2017 will be held on ​12 December. Please confirm with your school beforehand.

At the orientation day, your child may:

  • tour the school
  • meet teachers and ask questions
  • find out about the dress code
  • learn what they will be doing in their first year
  • meet other students.

For more information about your child’s orientation day, contact your child's new school.


FIRE UP for Transition is about parents' perspectives on starting secondary school.

See: FIRE UP for Transition