Transition From Primary To Secondary School

The move from primary to secondary school is another major milestone for your child. It’s a time of big changes in their development, education and life.

Secondary school covers Years 7 to 12, where students are usually aged 12 to18. By law, your child must complete Year 10 and remain in some form of education or training until they are 17.

Secondary school provides opportunities to challenge your child and to develop the valuable skills they will take into adulthood.

Leaving primary school can be exciting and daunting, and there are ways you can help make this move as smooth as possible. For tips on how to prepare your child for secondary school, see:


Transition to Secondary School

To help students adjust, primary and secondary schools work together to ease students through the transition period. Secondary students revisit their old primary school to tell Year 6 students what secondary school is like. This can also be taken a step further with the buddy system, where secondary students are teamed up with primary school students and regularly meet face-to-face or communicate by email.

Your child will be in bigger classrooms and will be learning a variety of new subjects from multiple teachers. Primary schools work to help your child prepare for this different teaching method. Many primary schools have a team of teachers working with Year 5 and 6 students to get children used to working with a range of teachers rather than just one. Teachers from secondary schools also often visit local primary schools to take small groups for lessons or to talk about secondary school.

Some secondary schools offer learning environments similar to primary schools, for new students, to aid a smoother transition. These secondary schools often have a designated area for Year 7 students including one large multipurpose classroom. A team of teachers will work with the students rather than individual subject teachers. This allows the students and teachers to start to get to know each other.

These transition programs between primary and secondary schools will help your child to quickly settle into secondary school life.


Orientation days

As part of the transition from Year 6 to Year 7, students in government secondary schools participate in an orientation day. All government schools hold this orientation day on the same day – often the second Tuesday of December. The orientation day may include a school tour, meeting fellow students and teachers, and taking part in special lessons and activities.

For more information on your child’s orientation day, contact your child’s new school.


Enrolling in Secondary School

During the first half of Year 6, you will be asked to nominate the secondary school your child will attend the following year (Year 7).

Most children attend the government secondary school closest to their home. Families, however, may choose to send their child to a different secondary school because the school has a specific focus, such as music, science, art or sport, if there are places available.

Exploring your options early will also give you time to visit different schools, attend information sessions and find a school that meets your child’s needs and aspirations.

Your child’s Year 6 coordinator can help you with any questions you might have about the process and they will also help you to get the appropriate paperwork for enrolling your child into secondary school.

If you are moving to a new area, interstate or from overseas, you can enrol your child in a Victorian government secondary school at any time throughout the year once you have a residential address in Victoria. Enrolment is made directly with the school.

When a student transfers from one school to another the school you are leaving will provide the principal of the new school with a transfer note. This note includes information about the student like name, address, emergency contact details, any medical conditions the student may have as well as their academic records.


How to enrol

Enrolling your child in a Victorian government secondary school is a straightforward process. You will need to fill out an enrolment form for that school. You will be asked for particular information including:

  • evidence of your child’s date of birth (if they were not born in Australia, a passport or travel document such as a visa)
  • your contact, phone and address details, and that of any other parent, guardian and/or carer names and contact details of emergency contacts
  • health and welfare information
  • information about the language/s your child speaks and hears at home

For Grade 6 students, forms are provided by the primary school. Students wishing to enrol at Years 8, 9, 10, 11 &12 please select complete an Enrolment enquiry form.



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