27/10/2020 | John Gardner MP | Better Services

South Australian families are embracing the move of Year 7 into high school, with enrolments at the state’s three pilot schools set to rise in 2021.

368 families have already enrolled their child in Year 7 at Mitcham Girls High School, Wirreanda Secondary School and John Pirie Secondary School next year, up from the already strong figure of 340 enrolled this year.

All the schools have reached their Year 7 enrolment cap for the 2021 school year.

It comes as the State Government released the findings of a review of the Year 7 pilot project, which indicates that Year 7 students are ready for high school and are thriving in a secondary environment.

Key findings explore the role that primary schools can play to support the transition, the skills and expertise primary teachers moving into high school can offer and the support they’ll need to be successful, and the role of communication and relationships between teachers, students and families once in high school.

Education Minister John Gardner said the Year 7 move was on track and feedback from the pilot program was overwhelmingly positive.

“The Year 7 to High School pilot project has resoundingly told us that Year 7 students are ready for high school,” said Minister Gardner.

“Moving Year 7 into high school will bring South Australia in line with the rest of the nation and will present new opportunities for our students, teachers and wider workforce.

“The national curriculum is designed for Year 7 students to be taught by subject specialist teachers in the specialist facilities available in a high school setting, and these pilot schools are demonstrating that students are thriving in this environment.

“This in-depth review has found that students are enjoying the responsibility, interaction and learning opportunities that high school has to offer.

“It is fantastic to hear that parents of Year 7 students in these pilot schools are sharing their experiences with other families and encouraging others to make the move.

“The growing interest from families demonstrates their confidence in the process, and schools have shown us that the transition of Year 7 into high school has been a positive experience for students and staff.

“Insights highlighted in the review will be highly valuable to other schools as their planning to transition a double cohort of students for the 2022 school year intensifies.

“Making this move a success requires everyone to work together at every level. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make the move as smooth as possible for everyone.”

The Year 7 to High School Pilot Project review can be found on the Department for Education website.