education.vic.gov.au

Policy last updated

29 August 2023

Scope

  • Schools

Date:
March 2020

Policy

Policy

This policy sets out school obligations for the application process from primary school to secondary school and the support schools need to provide students to assist in a smooth transition from Year 6 to Year 7.

Details

Year 7 application process – annual placement information packs

The Year 7 application process, including annual placement information packs and application form, has been moved to Year 6 to 7 placement.

Supporting student transitions

A successful transition from primary to secondary school involves a student being able to move as seamlessly as possible to their new setting. To ensure all students are supported in their transition to secondary school, schools must ensure their transition practice and programs provide appropriate personal, social and academic supports to promote student engagement and wellbeing.

In the context of the disruption to schooling over the past few years, the department has developed more detailed guidance in the following document: Supporting a positive transition to secondary school in 2024 (DOCX)External Link which provides up-to-date information and support for schools to plan and implement effective transitions programs for the 2023 to 2024 schools years. This document should be read in conjunction with the guidance and resources tabs.

Contact

For school queries, transition packs, and support

Contact the regional Youth Pathways and Transitions Managers (one per Region), School Improvement Division, Schools and Regional Services.

For school queries or feedback on this Transition — Year 6 to 7 Policy

Partnerships and Priority Cohorts
Email: Secondary.School.Transition@education.vic.gov.au


Guidance

Guidance on successful transitions — Year 6 to 7

This guidance contains the following chapters:

  • Overview
  • Planning and preparation for transition
  • Transition and orientation activities
  • Student data transfer
  • Teaching frameworks to support transition
  • Student wellbeing
  • Vulnerable students
  • Working with families
  • Transitioning to secondary schools — students with disability

Overview

Overview

A successful transition from primary to secondary school involves a student being able to move as seamlessly as possible to their new setting. This requires appropriate personal and social supports to be in place to promote student engagement and wellbeing, and to enable this, schools need to be able to work together and to share information and data.

These supports and data sharing, alongside the necessary teaching and learning frameworks, will give each student the best environment to maintain their learning continuity.

Why a smooth transition is important — the research

Moving from primary to secondary school is an important step in the next stage of a child’s education. This happens alongside the transition from childhood to adolescence and includes many changes — both physically and emotionally.

Transition from Year 6 to Year 7 can negatively affect students in a number of ways. Data from the Attitudes to School survey highlights that after students commence Year 7:

  • students are consistently less engaged in their schooling
  • absence rates rise
  • student connectedness to school declines
  • declines in academic outcomes

The data tells us that this ‘dip’ in engagement and academic outcomes can be difficult to rectify for many students, and can be the start of their disengagement from education.

A well-planned and coordinated approach to transitioning students from primary to secondary school over this extended period can make a significant difference to a student’s achievement, engagement and wellbeing outcomes.

Getting started — your school's individual transition plan

Schools are encouraged to develop a transition plan to support the process of transitioning students from Year 6 to 7. This plan can be in the form of an individual transition plan, or developed as a cluster transition strategy, in collaboration between feeder primary schools and secondary schools. Transitions plans can be an important starting point to ensure information about the expectations of your students and teachers is realistic and well documented.

If your school does not already have a transition plan in place, or if you are in the process of reviewing your school's transition plan, a number of tools are available to help you gather and analyse information and identify a plan for your school.

While an individual school transition plan will benefit students moving from Year 6 to Year 7, cluster strategies developed in collaboration between feeder primary schools and secondary schools will have better impact.

Transition goals are far more likely to be realised when schools commit to forming a cluster and working on the co-development and implementation of a cluster transition plan.

For tools and resources to assist schools to develop cluster transition plans refer to the planning and preparation section of this guidance.


Planning and preparation for transition

Planning and preparation for transition

The Year 6 to 7 transitions framework

The following diagram outlines the key stages and actions for planning and preparing for Year 6 to 7 transitions.

Year 6 to 7 transitions framework

Year 6-7 transitions framework
Year 6 to 7 transitions framework

Responsibilities

Before transfer to Secondary School

Primary and Secondary schools

  • Planning and preparing for transition
  • Work with Parents/carers/students as partners in transition
  • Use Teaching frameworks to support transition
  • Create cluster transition strategy
  • Transition activities Year 5 and 6

Primary Schools

  • Send student data transfer

Primary and Secondary Schools

  • Create cluster transition strategy
  • Transition activities Year 5 and 6

Primary Schools

  • Import student data transfer
  • Identify plan for vulnerable students

Point of transfer to Secondary School

Secondary schools

  • Orientation activities Years 7 and 8
  • Parents/Carers/students or partners in transition
  • Teaching frameworks to support transition
  • START – Student resilience
Download Year 6 to 7 transitions framework

Planning and preparation for transition

One of the most important factors in successful transition is the relationship between primary and secondary schools.

A strong relationship between a secondary school and its feeder primary schools can facilitate smooth transitions. 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 Toolkit for Transition Clusters: Primary to SecondaryExternal Link has been developed to assist schools to develop cluster approaches, and includes information on:

  • identifying current transition processes, the cluster group and personnel to attend cluster meetings
  • holding regular cluster meetings
  • creating a cluster collaboration strategy
  • documenting a cluster transition plan

The steps below provide an overview of the processes involved in establishing a transition cluster group.

Step 1 — Identify current process at your school

Before meeting with your cluster group, it is essential to gather information about your students and teachers. Questions to consider include:

  • Are there any areas where students have a performance dip?
  • What are the gaps in student learning and how to address these? How many students are likely to face transition difficulties?
  • What are your teachers’ opinions about the quality of your current transition arrangements?
  • What are your teachers’ experiences of transitions? Are they new to the school and therefore may not understand their role in transition?
  • Do your teachers know what best practice is?

Use Tools 1 to 6 of the Toolkit to help gather and analyse this information and identify appropriate strategies.

Step 2 — Identify cluster group

Usually clusters consist of one secondary school and between 4 to 8 primary schools.

To become an effective cluster, teams must become productive working groups that are built on trusting relationships. Members need to meet regularly and be engaged in cluster processes. So school proximity and membership size are factors that need to be considered.

Natural cluster groupings

In some locations it is obvious which schools should form the transition cluster as there is only one secondary school to transition to. A natural grouping is one where the majority of a primary school’s exits are enrolled in a neighbouring secondary school where these exits provide the school with a ‘significant proportion’ of its new enrolments.

Complex cluster groupings

In some areas, cluster composition may not be easy to determine as destination patterns reveal that students are exiting to a wide range of secondary schools and that enrolments are derived from small intakes of students from many primary schools. In such situations the perspective of the secondary school generally takes precedence.

Step 3 — Identify personnel to attend cluster meetings

Principals

In the initial stages school leadership is heavily involved in determining the strategies to be included in the Cluster Transition Strategy.

Principal participation is important as transition commitments need to be negotiated to achieve cluster-wide agreement about what needs to be done to overcome transition discontinuities.

As cluster strategies become accepted practice, leadership participation need not be as intense.

Teachers and administration staff

Schools generally nominate a staff member to be the Transition Coordinator. Their involvement is essential but not sufficient on its own.

Equally important is the participation of Year 6 and 7 teachers as they will be responsible for implementing many of the transition strategies. Release time should also be provided so Year 6 and 7 teachers are able to attend meetings and engage in discussions about transition concerns and how to address them.

The Business Manager and/or Education Support staff will work directly with the Transition Coordinator to ensure CASES21 is updated and assist with any other administrative requirements.

Step 4 — Hold regular cluster meetings

Monthly meetings are generally needed to progress the development of a cluster transition strategy.

Some questions that the cluster schools are advised to investigate:

  • How are students fairing as they move from primary to secondary school?
  • What are Year 6 and 7 teachers’ opinions about transition processes?
  • What transition strategies are provided for teachers, students and parents?
  • What needs to be done to improve transition outcomes?

Step 5 — Create a cluster collaboration strategy

Many strategies that are a component of an individual school’s transition strategy plan will also be relevant for a Cluster Transition Strategic Plan.

Discussions of the implications of schools’ student data and the findings from the teacher opinion survey, school practice audit and gap analysis survey will have surfaced many ideas and proposals for improving cluster transition arrangements.

These transition priorities emerging from the data need to be collated, discussed and tested for their likely benefits and implementation issues. Once strategies have been identified as meeting an important transition they need to be marshalled into a Cluster Strategic Plan.

Questions to ask in order to ensure the strategy becomes actionable include:

  • What priority is the strategy addressing?
  • Will it have a strong impact?
  • Is it practical — can it be implemented?
  • Do its benefits outweigh implementation difficulties?
  • What is the expected timeline for implementation?
  • How will it be implemented?
  • Who will be responsible for implementation?
  • What resources will be needed?
  • How will the strategy be evaluated?

Use Tools 7 and 8 of the Toolkit for Transition Clusters: Primary to SecondaryExternal Link to help with establishing priorities.

Step 6 — Document cluster transition plan

The Cluster strategy is an overarching document that includes strategies that all cluster schools have agreed to implement. Individual school transition strategies will include all those actions from the cluster strategy that the school has committed to implementing and actions that are a part of the school’s response to local transition circumstances.

Tool 9 of the Toolkit provides a framework for documenting transitions plans.

Once sign off has been received from the leader of all schools involved, schools can develop their transition and orientation activities. See the section on transition and orientation activities for further information.


Transition and orientation activities

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.

Supporting a positive transition to secondary school in 2023

Supporting students transitioning to Year 7 in 2023 will be a key shared priority for primary and secondary schools.

To support this process, the department has developed more detailed guidance to help primary and secondary schools to support an effective transition to secondary school for Year 6 students moving to secondary school in 2023, in the context of the disruption to schooling over the past few years. Refer to Supporting a positive transition to secondary school in 2023 (DOCX)External Link . This resource should be read in conjunction with the information contained in the Transition Year 6–7 Guidance and Resources tabs.

More support is available from your relevant Regional officeExternal Link . See below for more general guidance on transition and orientation activities.

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 to 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:

  • implement 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.

Student data transfer

Student data transfer

Data transfer is key to a successful transition

The timely and accurate transfer of student information is critical to the success of a transition.

This requires primary schools to update student data and information and then transfer this information to the secondary school once a Year 6 student has had a Year 7 placement offer confirmed. Ensuring the destination secondary school has a minimum set of information about a newly enrolled Year 7 student is possibly the most important component for a successful transition.

It is equally important that secondary schools import and use the information provided to enable the school to offer the best possible support for a successful transition, as well as meet their legal and duty-of-care obligations.

Regardless of whether a student is transferri ng from one government school to another, transferring interstate, or transferring to a non-government school, it is important that current information and data is transferred with them.

Student data transfer — Year 6 to 7 process

Primary schools must:

  • identify the secondary school placement and determine which scenario is applicable
  • ensure current student information is accurate including student’s wellbeing, welfare and legal information.

CASES21 is the computer software provided to Victorian government schools, used to support administrative, financial and reporting processes. This includes a web-based component called eCASES.

Schools with eCASES access

Teachers and coordinators may have access to update student details. This information will automatically update in CASES21. Further information about eCASES can be found in Chapter 18 — eCASESExternal Link (staff login required) of the CASES21 Administration User Guide.

Schools without eCASES access

Generate the Current Student Details (CSD) report within CASES21 for each student transferring. Teachers/coordinators/welfare staff should check the information on the CSD for each student and update the form as appropriate for data entry into CASES21.

For transfers to another Victorian government school — using CASES21

CASES21 provides a secure means of transferring student information from one Victorian government school to another. This includes a student’s details, primary, alternative and additional family information, medical conditions, wellbeing, welfare and legal information along with their achievement data.

It is a mandatory requirement for schools to transfer student information using CASES21. Primary schools must export student data and destination secondary schools must import student data.

For detailed instructions on how to import and export student data, refer to Chapter 24 — Student Data TransferExternal Link (staff login required) of the CASES21 Administration User Guide.

For transfers to Victorian non-government schools including Catholic schools

Primary schools are required to follow the Manual Exit of a Student instructions in Chapter 12 — Exiting StudentsExternal Link (staff login required) of the CASES21 Administration User Guide. The transfer note must be generated from CASES21, along with information on any foreseeable risks (if applicable) and sent to the destination secondary school. Primary schools must ensure the enrolment is confirmed.

For transfers to interstate schools

Primary schools are required to follow the Manual Exit of a Student instructions in Chapter 12 — Exiting Students of the CASES21 Administration User Guide in conjunction with the information found on the Education CouncilExternal Link website. The site contains downloadable forms, protocols and fact sheets.

Schools are required to use the Interstate Student Data Transfer Note (ISDTN) in accordance with the protocols jointly developed and agreed by the Australian Government, state and territory education authorities, the independent and Catholic education sectors through the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood.

For transfers to overseas schools

Schools are required to follow the Manual Exit of a Student instructions in Chapter 12 — Exiting Students of the CASES21 Administration User Guide and choose 'Overseas' as the destination school.

All schools

All schools are to ensure that whichever approach is taken, all student information is accurate.

Primary schools must:

  • ensure that all Student Supports reports and files, which are unable to be sourced from CASES21, are sent separately to the destination secondary school.

Secondary schools must:

  • follow-up with primary schools any outstanding attachments not received from the primary schools, (additional reports and files related to Student Supports).

For further information regarding the Department's student data transfer requirements, refer to the transfer section of the Enrolment Guidance.

If you require additional information regarding CASES21, refer to CASES21 PortalExternal Link or if you have additional queries regarding CASES21 submit a request to the Services PortalExternal Link .

Timelines

Primary schools

Following notification to parents/carers of placement (generally August), primary schools must:

  • update student details in CASES21*, including
    • the transfer date as the last date the student attended/ will attend class
    • transfer note (if applicable) that has been reviewed by the transferring principal
  • initiate Year 6 Student Data Transfer process in CASES21 by selecting and exporting students to placement schools.

* CASES21 automatically updates the Victorian Student Register (VSR).

Secondary schools

Once families have accepted the placement, secondary schools are required to:

  • import student data received from the primary school to CASES21
  • generate Student Enrolment Information Form (SEIF) and send to new parents/carers to update. No other admission/enrolment form is required.
  • update student data on CASES21 with changes provided by parents/carers.

When a Victorian government school student transfers to another Victorian government school:

  • that student’s personal, achievement and health information must be sent to the new school via CASES21
  • any other information relevant to promoting that student’s wellbeing or safety or to assess or manage family violence risk should be sent to the new school as well, either via CASES21, or any other means of sharing.

As the Department, including all Victorian government schools, is one legal entity, parent consent is not required to transfer this information.

Sharing information between schools for student wellbeing or safety

New Information Sharing Schemes have expanded permissions for authorised organisations, including government and non-government schools, to share information with each other at any time when certain requirements for sharing are met, for the purpose of promoting the wellbeing or safety of children or assessing or managing family violence risk.

For student transfers between Victorian government schools, schools should transfer any information that may assist the new school to promote the wellbeing or safety of children or to assess or manage family violence risk and for any other purpose as outlined in the Schools’ Privacy Policy — refer to Privacy and Information Sharing.

For student transfers between government and non-government schools, schools can use the Information Sharing Schemes to transfer any information that may assist the new school to promote the wellbeing or safety of children or to assess or manage family violence risk.

More information and support about using the new Information Sharing Schemes is available at Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes.

Further information on transferring information, including the limited circumstances when schools may transfer information prior to the student being accepted at the new school, is available in the transfer section of the Enrolment Guidelines.


Teaching frameworks to support transition

Teaching frameworks to support transition

Applying the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) Improvement Model to Year 6 to 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, refer to: Framework for Improving Student Outcomes.

Across the Improvement Model, there are strong links to transitions across 3 of the 4 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 to 7 transitions

The improvement cycle is a holistic approach that can be help develop and implement identified improvement initiatives. For more information, refer to the improvement cycleExternal Link .

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:

Applying the Continua of Practice for School Improvement to Year 6 to 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 to 7 transition planning

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 sets out what every student should learn during their first 11 years of schooling. For more information, refer to Curriculum Planning.

A well-planned and coordinated approach to Year 6 to 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 the Interactive Self-Assessment tool — By Curriculum AreaExternal Link .

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

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

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 to 7 literacy and numeracy was undertaken in 2016. Practices in English and mathematics classes in Victorian secondary schools were also investigated. The data analysis and report are available on the Resources tab.


Student wellbeing

Student wellbeing

Year 6 to 7 transition impact on student health and wellbeing

The engagement of students in their learning and development, including attendance and participation in school activities, is a strong predictor of their academic outcomes. A student’s physical and emotional wellbeing and their sense of belonging and connectedness to school will impact on their engagement and are similarly critical indicators of future success.

The transition from Year 6 to 7 is both a social and academic turning point for adolescents which can impact on both their engagement in learning and their wellbeing.

For students, the move from primary school to a more challenging environment with new procedures, new types of learning activities and new peer relationships can lead to them feeling vulnerable and potentially disengaged.

While many of the activities described in the transition and orientation activities can help minimise negative impacts on engagement and wellbeing, assisting students to develop resilience will also assist them to make a successful transition from primary to secondary schooling.

Student Transition and Resilience Training (START)

The Student Transition and Resilience Training (START) resource has been specifically redesigned in partnership with clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller to enhance the ability of schools to enhance the capacity of schools to build student’s resilience during their transition from primary to secondary school.

START is aligned with the Victorian Curriculum Foundation-10 and complements both the Department’s Building Resilience model and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) materials, which are for use with students across all years of schooling from Prep to 12.

These resources incorporate the latest evidence on adolescent learning and development, key predictors of positive resilience in young people, students’ learning and wellbeing needs during the Year 6 to Year 7 transition period, and strategies to enhance students’ learning and resilience during their transition from primary to secondary school.

See the Resources tab — Student wellbeing — to access these resources.


Vulnerable students

Vulnerable students

For some students the transition from primary to secondary school can be a time of particular vulnerability, and where there may be additional risk of their disengagement from school. This may include young people who are in out of home care, students and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and Koorie students.

Identifying students who may require additional transition support

There are a range of factors that may contribute to a child or young person becoming disengaged, or at risk of disengaging from school. For more information on how to identify these factors, see the fact sheet on Identify Students at Risk of DisengagingExternal Link . For information on student engagement more generally refer to: Student Engagement.

Additional transition support for vulnerable students

If your school has students in Year 6 that have already demonstrated significant disengagement from school and you consider at further risk of disengagement through the Year 6 to 7 transition process, they may be eligible for support through several Department programs:

  • School Focused Youth ServiceExternal Link — funds community organisations to work with schools to support young people aged 10 to 18 years who are attending school but are vulnerable to or showing signs of disengagement from school.
  • Navigator programExternal Link — provides wrap-around case management support in eight locations for young people aged 12 to 17 years who are disengaged from school.
  • LOOKOUT Education Support CentresExternal Link — designed to boost the capacity of schools, Child Protection Practitioners and out-of-home care services to improve educational outcomes for children and young people living in out-of-home care. If a school has students who are in out-of-home care, transitioning from Year 6 to 7, who may require additional supports, schools should contact their regional LOOKOUT Centre.
  • Koorie education coordinators (KEC)External Link can be contacted where Koorie students transitioning may require additional support, identified either by the school or the student’s parents/carers. The KEC may arrange for additional support to be provided by a Regional Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO).

Students with a disability

For information on supporting transition for students with a disability, refer to the transitioning to secondary school — students with disability section of this guidance.


Working with families

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.

Parent involvement

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 schoolExternal Link .

Student involvement

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.


Transitioning to secondary schools — students with disability

Transitioning to secondary schools — students with disability

The principles and intentions that guide effective transition planning are shared for all children and young people, including those living with a disability.

What may differ for students with additional or complex needs that arise from disability is the need for transitions to be clearly planned over a longer duration, and for schools to recognise the impact that such changes may have on the student, and on their parent/carer(s), siblings, peers and teachers.

When planning transitions for students with disabilities, considerations include:

  • the nature of a student's disability
  • the impact of a disability on a student's access to and participation in the educational setting
  • what modifications the primary school implemented to accommodate the students disability
  • the extent to which exi sting transition programs take account of the individual needs of the student, their family and the receiving school
  • PSDMS fundingExternal Link (this is triggered from within CASES21)

Best practice programs that help with the transition of primary school students with additional or complex needs arising from disability to secondary school:

  • begin well in advance of the point of transition
  • are person-centred and tailored to the individual needs of students
  • are collaborative and involve the student and parent/guardian/carer(s) as vital partners
  • provide the student and parent/carer(s) with information to make an informed choice about future educational settings/options
  • are adequate ly resourced
  • are facilitated by a Transition Coordinator who can communicate across all sites to ensure collaboration is effective and that all aspects of the transition planning process are addressed while supporting students and parent/guardian/carer(s)

Key people involved in the student’s transition

A trained and experienced Transition Coordinator can be a great resource for a student and their family throughout the transition process. Other key people involved may be:

At home

  • the student’s parent/carer(s)

At primary school

  • Year 6 teacher
  • assistant principal and/or principal
  • Transition Coordinator
  • education support officer
  • student support services
  • visiting teacher

At secondary school

  • Year 7 teacher
  • year level coordinator
  • assistant principal and/or principal
  • Transition Coordinator
  • education support officer
  • student support services
  • visiting teacher

Student support group

It is recommended that all students with a disability have a student support group (SSG).

The SSG plays an important role in planning and monitoring a student’s transition from one school to another. They also make sure the student gets the personalised learning and support they need.

Key considerations in a successful transition process

See Transitioning from Primary to Secondary School: Supporting students with additional or complex needs that arise from disabilityExternal Link for full guidelines on supporting students with disabilities to transition from primary to secondary school.

Students with disability may have complex transition needs, and schools may need to be mindful of how they engage with students and their families. This may include:

  • helping families identify their role in the transition to secondary school
  • updating the student’s parent/carer(s) about their child’s progress
  • understanding the developmental needs facing students
  • recognising and acknowledging how moving from primary to secondary school may impact a student
  • considering the school environment. For example, students with physical and mobility difficulties may experience difficulty because of distances and/or stairs between their classrooms.
  • making sure signage is clear, and school staff are easily identifiable at orientation days
  • having additional opportunities for the student and their families to visit the school and meet their teachers before the start of the school year
  • providing professional development for school staff to help them understand the additional needs of the student

Transition planning overview — suggested roles and timeline

The following planning timeline gives suggested steps for the transition of students with additional or complex needs. Schools may use these steps with consideration to the unique needs of the student and their educational settings. The student’s parent/carer(s) are also involved in the transition process.

  • Year 5, term 4

    • start talking to the student’s parents/carer(s)

    Year 6, term 1

    • identify potential secondary school to invite to a future student support group meeting

    Year 6, term 2

    • submit Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) application, if applicable (Year 6 review or new applications) and consider inviting the secondary school to the application student support group process
    • support parent/carer(s) as required in the nomination of secondary school preference
    • begin gathering transfer information including health and wellbeing reports

    Year 6, term 3

    • coordinate and submit PSD applications, for new applications if applicable
    • receive notifications of Year 6 Review applications and notify parent/carer(s)
    • identify a Transition Coordinator to help the student to prepare their ‘student profile’
    • develop Transition Statement
    • organise a SSG meeting with the secondary school to help them in preparing supports for the student

    Year 6, term 4

    • Finalise the Transition Statement at the SSG
    • Complete the student’s transfer information. This may include:
      • details about the student’s support needs
      • PSD eligibility
      • potential receipt of PSD Transition Support Funding for Year 7 students in 2019 who are no longer eligible for the PSD after their Year 6 review

    Year 7, term 1

    • confirm dates for the SSG to meet in term 1 at the secondary school
  • Year 6, term 3

    • identify staff professional learning needs
    • consider planning for student access needs

    Year 6, term 4

    • begin school orientation
    • consider strategies for preparing the student for timetables, larger classes and facilities
    • make sure transfer information includes details about:
      • the student’s support needs
      • PSD eligibility
      • potential receipt of PSD Transition Support Funding

    Year 7, term 1

    • receive student’s transfer information including Transition Statement from the primary school
    • talk to student’s parent/guardian/carer(s) in the SSG and develop of personalised learning and support planning
    • consider access needs of new student. For example, storage of medication, a private area for personal care and planning for Year 7 camp

Information on transition timelines for all students is updated annually and available on the Resources tab.

Transition statement

Schools are responsible for managing information for students during times of transition.

Transferring student information to the student's next Victorian government school is in their best interest because it helps the new school provide the best education and support.

A transition statement provides an overview of the student's support needs and profile.

For template Transition Statements and further resources and guidance on implementing positive and effective transitions for students with a disability and additional needs, refer to the Resources tab.

Transition support funding

Transition support funding is available to government secondary schools to support students starting Year 7 in 2019 who are no longer eligible for the Program for Students with DisabilitiesExternal Link after their Year 6-7 Review.

See Student Resource Package — Equity Funding (Student Based Funding) for funding to support the delivery of personalised teaching and learning programs to meet the student’s needs.

Resources

Refer to the Resources tab — Transition for students with a disability, for additional information and resources to support the transition from primary to secondary school for students with additional or complex needs.


Resources

Resources for the Year 6 to 7 transition process

Supporting a positive transition to secondary school in 2023

The department has developed more detailed guidance to help primary and secondary schools to support an effective transition to secondary school for Year 6 students moving to secondary school in 2023, in the context of the disruption to schooling over the past few years. Refer to Supporting a positive transition to secondary school in 2024 (DOCX)External Link . This resource should be read in conjunction with the information contained in the Transition Year 6-7 Guidance and Resources tabs.

Year 6 to Year 7 placement information packs and the placement timeline for 2022 to 2023 has been moved to Year 6 to 7 placement.

Planning and preparation for transition

A toolkit for transition clusters: primary to secondary (DOCX)External Link has been developed to support clusters of schools to collaborate in the development of a comprehensive and shared primary to secondary school transition strategy. It describes a process that was used to assist five Victorian government school clusters to develop or review their cluster strategic plans for transition and provides examples of the tools that aided this process. The tools from the toolkit are also provided as individual documents below.

Transition for students with a disability

The following guidelines provide information and advice to support and implement positive and effective transitions for students with a disability and additional needs.

Transitioning from Primary to Secondary School: Supporting students with additional or complex needs that arise from disability (DOCX)External Link

The guidelines include:

  • an overview of the transition planning process including key elements and considerations
  • suggested timeline and checklists for transition planning activities
  • Transition Statement templates that schools may use to strengthen their transition processes
  • information on student support and targeted programs
  • contact details and links to resources and additional information.

Schools may use these steps with consideration to the unique needs of the student and their educational settings. The student’s parent/carers are also involved in the transition process.

Vulnerable students

Resources and case studies below.

Student involvement

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.

The VicSRC Transitions Project Report (PDF)External Link identifies 6 recommended area around which the Year 6 to 7 transition can better be supported.

Teaching frameworks

Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO)

Applying the FISO Improvement Cycle to Year 6 to 7 transitions

The Improvement cycle is a holistic approach that can:

  • help develop and implement identified improvement initiatives
  • be used at a number of levels, whether at whole school, class or individual levels (including 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, refer to:

Additional resources

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

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:

Student data transfer

A range of additional support materials have been developed to provide schools information and assistance with the student data transfer process.

For CASES21 support queries contact Service Desk on 1800 641 943.

Student wellbeing

Student Transition and Resilience Training (START)

START incorporates:

  • the latest evidence on adolescent learning and development
  • key predictors of positive resilience in young people
  • students’ learning and wellbeing needs during the Year 6 to Year 7 transition period
  • strategies to enhance students’ learning and resilience during their transition from primary to secondary school.

START features a teacher resource and a student workbook, handouts and portfolio, which form a set of activities that can be tailored to students in either Year 6 or Year 7.

The activities are intended to support students' ongoing reflection and personal development throughout their transition period, including students who may not have used the resource in Year 6.

Additional social and emotional learning resources

For further information on creating and maintaining safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments, refer to:


Reviewed 21 May 2024