Year 7 Transition
The transition from primary to secondary school for students and their families can be daunting.
For many students, the first year of high school is a time of great change. Year 7 brings new routines, teachers, friendships and responsibilities. For every student, a new stage in their schooling is an opportunity to develop a sense of competence and self-worth. At De La Salle College, making this transition smooth is not about removing the obstacle itself, but instead giving our students skills to manage the change.
During their transition, students are confronted with many new challenges, including:
- a large student population
- a wider range of subjects
- new teachers
- a new timetable
- travelling on public transport
- making new friends, and
- a greater demand on being organised and independent.
Our Transition Program has been designed to provide support and direction for our Year 7 students during this time of change, ensuring they build a solid foundation for their secondary schooling.
Preparing for Year 7
Preparation commences in Grade 5, ensuring students are prepared for the first day they walk through the school gates in an iconic Blue and Gold blazer.
The first stage of the transition process is the enrolment interview, which is conducted when prospective students are in Grade 5. The interview offers the College a chance to get to know each young man applying to become part of our community. Through the interview, the College begins to build a transition profile for the student, gathering first-hand information, including his strengths and weaknesses, his co-curricula pursuits and interests, and his connections to past, current and future De La Salle community members.
Details obtained through the interview process are recorded on the student file and made available to teachers and Class Mentors. The interview is also an excellent opportunity for applicants and their families to ask any specific questions and to make a connection with a senior staff member.
In August of the year prior to commencement, Year 7 students are invited to attend an entrance assessment. This assessment assists the College to understand the ability of each of the student before they commence at De La Salle. The results are then used to track learning progression throughout the secondary years.
The entrance assessment day is also the first time the Year 7 cohort come together as a year level. In addition to the testing component, the day includes a fun and interactive introduction session and offers an opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with Tiverton Campus.
In December of the year prior to commencement, an Orientation Day is held. Students meet their Class Mentor and new classmates and are able to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. The day involves a number of games, activities and demonstrations as well as briefings and presentations from the Year 7 Coordinator and other key staff members who will be influential in their upcoming year. The day is energetic and fun and ensures students feel less overwhelmed about starting Year 7 and gain a sense of anticipation for the year ahead.
Our young men look to their parents and caregivers for clues on how to manage this important transition. Hence, as the primary educator, parents play an important role in ensuring that the transition is a positive and successful experience. An attention to making the transition a positive and exciting challenge can ensure that students remain engaged with their learning. In Term 1, De La Salle offers an evening with Headspace to learn about the unique challenges of Year 7 and to discuss strategies, supports and interventions to ensure your son thrives in his first year at the College and beyond. Every challenge can be a plank in building a child’s confidence so that he can survive and thrive in a world that will always change.
Settling into Year 7
The Transition Program continues throughout the first term for Year 7 students, with a number of programs and structures in place to further ensure a solid foundation for the secondary school journey.
Year 7 staff resources and structure
Each class group is supported by a Class Mentor. Mentor Groups meet for 15 minutes every morning and during this time the Class Mentor is able to assist and monitor the transition of every student in the class whilst forming a strong bond with each individual student. A Year 7 Class Mentor teaches their Mentor Group in at least one subject and preferably more. This allows teachers to form meaningful relationships with their students and helps students transition from the primary years where they have one teacher for the core curriculum.
The Year 7 Coordinator with assistance from the School Psychologist, provides support to the Class Mentor and every Year 7 student, dealing with the day-to-day issues associated with life in Year 7. The Year 7 Coordinator’s office is located in the Year 7 building, ensuring she is easily accessible to all Year 7 students throughout the day.
Year 7 Camp Program
During Term 1, each Mentor Group participates in a camp program together. The camp runs for four days at Jan Juc on Victoria’s Surf Coast. The camp provides students with a great opportunity to develop friendships within their class whilst participating in a range of exciting outdoor adventure activities. Parents are invited to a family barbecue at the completion of the camp, giving them the chance to meet other families in a relaxed atmosphere and share in their son’s camp experience.