Partners in transition
Successful transitions involve schools, parents/carers and students working together in a meaningful partnership with a focus on student learning and engagement and wellbeing outcomes.
Both primary and secondary schools need to be aware that the transition to secondary school is an important time for parents/carers as well, and should take time to reflect on how parents/carers may be feeling, and how the school could best then support them.
Primary and secondary schools need to work closely with parents/carers and students and ensure that information:
- is readily available and accessible in a range of formats
- a central point of contact and coordination is provided.
While parents/carers are often heavily involved with their local primary school and invested through the transition to secondary school process, it is equally, if not more, important that they are encouraged and supported to be engaged through Year 7 and beyond.
Parental involvement in their child’s secondary education through either direct participation, academic encouragement or expectations for attainment play a critical role in student outcomes, with this having special significance during the transition into Year 7 and as students adjust to secondary school.
Resources for parents
There is increasing attention placed on listening to the voices of students about transition, and schools should continue to explore how students can be involved appropriately in their own transition planning process.
Resources for students
Student Voice plays an equally critical role. Student Voice is a key component of the Education State vision and acknowledges that students have unique perspectives on learning, teaching and schooling. This extends to the importance of students having an active voice and role in transition - one that goes beyond articulating views or being consulted to investigating and acting upon transition issues. See:
Transitions project - a student perspective
In 2015 the Department of Education provided funding to the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC), the peak body representing students in Victoria to undertake the VicSRC Transitions project and provide a student perspective on transitions.
Through this project the VicSRC asked 155 students about:
- their views on the transition from primary to secondary school
- the key challenges faced
- how they could be better supported.
The report identified six recommended areas around which the Year 6 to 7 transition can better be supported. The six recommendations were:
- ensure students have access to strong support networks before, during and after transition
- align students’ workloads so that the increase in academic expectations post-transition is manageable
- provide formal and informal opportunities that foster collegiality and friendship among students
- reduce the 'unknown' for students prior to transition wherever possible
- provide clear avenues for students to access information about their new school
- employ effective strategies to address bullying.
For practical implementation ideas for each recommendation, see: