Transition and orientation activities

​​​​​Providing a range of transition activities in Years 5 and 6 can enable primary school students to prepare for their move to secondary school. Orientation activities in Year 7 can also demystify new routines for both students and parents/carers and are best planned for and carried out well before the first day of secondary school.​

Transition activities in Years 5 and 6

Involving students from both primary and secondary schools in the planning and implementation of transition and induction activities ensures they are appropriate to their needs.

The following are some key activities that have been identified as good practice to support students in their move from primary to secondary school.

Primary schools can:

  • hold 'Practice Year 7’ days in primary school where students move between the Year 6 classrooms for different lessons throughout the day
  • group primary students according to their destination secondary school and get them to undertake a small research project looking at what to expect at their new school
  • provide opportunities for Year 6 students to 'trial' Year 7 style work, including homework.

Secondary schools can:

  • hold sessions for Year 6 parents/carers and students to meet with new principal and Year 7 teachers
  • invite Year 6 students and parents/carers to attend secondary school musicals, art shows or concerts 
  • offer Year 7 ‘taster’ sessions to Year 6 students

Joint activities:

  • hold joint primary-secondary school development days with a focus on pedagogy and the years 7-8 curriculum continuum (F-10) 
  • Years 5 and 6 students in high-ability programs supported to participate in similar secondary school programs
  • years 7 and 8 students invited to perform at various primary school gala days
  • match primary school students with secondary school mentors. If possible, these matches should be made prior to transition and the younger students should have access to their mentor throughout Year 6
  • provide workshops or similar opportunities that allow students (primary and secondary) to talk about their hopes and fears relating to transition.

Orientation activities in Years 7 and 8

The following are some key activities that have been identified as good practice to support students in their orientation at secondary school:

  • implemen​t a Year 7 peer support program
  • provide ​a strong Year 7 orientation program
  • develop individual learning and/or behaviour plans for specific students
  • provide information to parents/carers about how they can support their children to become professional learners
  • hold Year 7 parent evenings each term with a focus on how parents/carers can help their child learn
  • organise Year 7 management team and teachers’ meetings to discuss and plan for individual students and incoming cohorts
  • create a Year 8 ‘tutoring’ program with Year 7 students
  • hold regular teacher interviews with Year 7 students regarding their academic progress or issues
  • ensure that students are aware of all the different ways various members of the teaching staff can be of support
  • provide 'study skills' workshops throughout Year 7 that support students to gradually learn the skills they need for secondary school.