Teacher tip: Practice principles that support students transition from primary to secondary school

​​Parents, carers, peers, community members and teachers all have a role in supporting educational transitions.

When adolescents are supported, they understand that by learning they can grow, and they know who they can seek out for support through transition experiences.

As a classroom teacher, you support students during the transition from primary to secondary school by focusing on quality relationships with your students and creating a positive climate for learning.

The following practice principle actions describe the specific teacher practices which support students during the transition from primary to secondary school.

Practice principle actions that support quality relationships with students

  • 1.1 Teachers convey high expectations of learning, effort and engagement for all students
  • 3.2 Teachers co-design opportunities for students to exercise authentic agency in their own learning
  • 2.3 Teachers develop student capacity to collaborate
  • 6.3 Teachers provide regular feedback to students on their progress against individual learning goals and curriculum standards
  • 8.4 Teachers and students collaborate in learning partnerships in and beyond the school

Practice principle actions that create a positive climate for learning

  • 2.1 Teachers build quality relationships that enhance student engagement, self-confidence and growth as a learner
  • 2.2 Teachers ensure all students' cultural backgrounds, needs and abilities are recognised and addressed in the learning program
  • 2.4 Teachers maintain an energised and focused learning environment.3.2 Teachers co-design opportunities for students to exercise authentic agency in their own learning
  • 6.3 Teachers provide regular feedback to students on their progress against individual learning goals and curriculum standards
  • 8.1 Teachers support students to explore their role as global citizens
Explore Professional Practice Note 13: Supporting students during the transition from primary to secondary school

See ​START in action
Explore how Lilydale Heights supported student wellbeing during transitions

​​​​​To explore other practice principles and actions, see: Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning

Developing primary-secondary partnerships

In addition to developing consistency in teaching practices across classes and year levels, primary-secondary school partnerships highlight some simple ways to create an environment of continual learning and establish positive learning relationships with students.

Partnerships between primary and secondary schools in the same catchment areas or geographical locations support students and their parents or carers with the changes that happen throughout the primary to secondary school transition period. A partnering or cluster approach can also help address any professional barriers between primary and secondary schools that may impact on the continuity of learning and the achievement of students.

The sharing of student data supports teachers to understand their students. Sharing data as early as possible, and in turn, taking time to understand the student data, can provide a steady foundation for continual learning. Secondary teachers who can reference primary school data when sharing student growth with parents and carers provide a positive framework for continual and supported learning.​

Explore primary-secondary partnerships at work
Read about how Victorian schools developed a continuous curriculum ​across the transition

Resources for primary-secondary school partnerships

For more information, or to share your feedback, email: professional.practice@edumail.vic.gov.au.