Working with families
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 poin t of contact and coordination is provided.
W hile 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.
Advice for parents/carers on the steps for students moving from primary to secondary school, is available at: Moving from primary to secondary .
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.
Transitions project — a student perspective
In 2015 the Department 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 6 recommended areas around which the Year 6 to 7 transition can better be supported. The 6 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 effe ctive strategies to address bullying
For practical implementation ideas for each recommendation, see the Resources tab — Student involvement.
Reviewed 09 February 2023