Teaching frameworks

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Applying the FISO Improvement Model to Year 6 - 7 transition

To help focus on improving student outcomes through the Year 6 to Year 7 transition, schools can use an evidence-based, practical resource. See the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO)

Across the Improvement Model, there are strong links to transitions across three of the four state-wide priorities, Excellence in teaching and learning, Positive climate for learning and Community engagement in learning.

Using the FISO priorities and dimensions many secondary schools and school improvement teams are able to include transitions as one of their focused improvement initiatives to lift student outcomes in their school:

Applying the Improvement Cycle to Year 6 - 7 transitions

The Improvement Cycle is a holistic approach that can be help develop and implement identified improvement initiatives. For more information, see the Improvement Cycle.

The Improvement Cycle can be used at a number of levels, whether at whole school, class or individual levels. This includes being used for initiatives targeted at a specific Year level, such as transitioning Year 7 students.

Four key components of the Improvement Cycle can be applied specifically to transitions:

  • for evaluation of students' performance successes and challenges regarding transition into Year 7, including their achievement and wellbeing, engagement and productivity, see Evaluate and diagnose
  • for improvement strategies and initiatives that have the greatest impact on transitioning students’ learning, see prioritise and set goals
  • for improvement strategies and initiatives to improve transitions, see Develop and plan
  • to implement selected improvement strategies and initiatives for transitioning students and the impact these have on student learning, see Implement and monitor

Applying the Continua of Practice for School Improvement to Year 6 - 7 transitions

In developing initiatives to improve outcomes for transitioning students the Continua of Practice for School Improvement (the Continua of Practice) can support schools to identify current performance and what practice would be demonstrated if improvement was made.

Being able to see progress along a continuum can be very helpful in supporting change in teacher and school practice by articulating both the subtle and more significant differences required to make real change.

The Continua of Practice can support schools to:

  • self-assess their current transition practice on an improvement-focused continuum
  • develop an understanding of what improved transition practice could look like
  • focus teacher observations by providing a common instrument to locate evidence
  • develop a shared language for describing transitions practice
  • engage in conversations about improving transitions practice.

Schools that choose transitions as part of an improvement initiative may wish to use one or more of these continuum resources, along with the Improvement Cycle, to assist, develop and guide their transition initiative.

Using the curriculum as a framework for Year 6 - 7 transition planning

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling. For more information, see Curriculum planning.

A well-planned and coordinated approach to year 6 - 7 transition using the Victorian Curriculum F-10 is recommended and can assist teachers to:

  • maintain continuity of learning and development for all students
  • maintain and build on academic performance of all students
  • support and develop the social and emotional wellbeing of all students
  • maximise constructive professional relationships between settings and schools.

Using curriculum planning as a framework to support transition can be further enhanced when integrated with:

Self assessment tool

The following questions from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) curriculum area self-assessment tool can assist in the development of a successful transition strategy underpinned by collaborative curriculum planning.

Does the teaching and learning program for each learning area and capability:

  • provide an overview of the overarching concepts/ideas to be developed?
  • outline the contexts/topics that will be used for the development of the knowledge and skills?
  • outline the sequencing of the key knowledge and skills to support the progression of learning?
  • include the achievement expectations? 
  • include the approximate time allocations for contexts/topics?

For more information, see Interactive Self Assessment tool - By Curriculum Area.

Further information

Addressing the gender differences in Years 6-7 literacy and numeracy outcomes

Gender differences in achievement outcomes through the Year 6-7 transition, most notably boys’ lower performance in literacy, is highlighted in The Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) 2015 Performance Audit: Education Transitions.

Differences between boys and girls in literacy and numeracy can impact not only on their learning throughout school but on wider social and economic opportunities in their adult lives. Broader societal factors may partially explain the advantages girls have in literacy and boys in numeracy, but there is wide scope to redress the imbalance through classroom teaching and learning practices and school culture.

Importantly, most research concludes that strategies have to be based on high-quality teaching that attends to the individual learning and social needs of students through an orderly, supportive and stimulating learning environment. The focus needs to be primarily on individual need not the assumed needs of groups.

A review of the research regarding gender gaps in Years 6-7 literacy and numeracy was undertaken in 2016. A summation of the evidence along with guidance and resources to address the gender gaps through teacher practice will be available for download soon.

This evidence and guidance of the research was informed by  a summary of  past research and research findings from investigating practices in English and mathematics classes in Victorian secondary schools. To view these in full, see: