In 2015, the Western Australian Department of Education moved year 7 from primary school to secondary school. Such a significant educational shift brought both positives and negatives. The year 7s will benefit from specialist teachers’ expertise and secondary resources and facilities. However, lumping preteen12 year olds with late teen 17 and 18 year olds can bring social and emotional troubles. In primary school, year 7s benefited from one main classroom teacher and the contact time with that homeroom teacher.
Heritage College is mindful of both the positives and negatives of moving year 7 to secondary school and has designed a system that will provide our year 7s with the best of both the old and new worlds. At Heritage College, year 7 is a secondary transition year incorporating the strengths of both primary and secondary school.
Our year 7s receive:
- Direct instruction from secondary specialist teachers in Maths, Science, Design and Technology, Society and the Environment, Health and Physical Education
- Science in the secondary science lab, Design and Technology in the technology room and Cooking in the commercial kitchen
- Personal iPads to augment their school and home learning
- Daily contact with a homeroom teacher
- A year to transition into the increased demands of secondary schooling while receiving support and direction
- A homeroom environment where the emotional and social needs of 12 and 13 year olds are met
Our 2015 cohort of year 7s demonstrated the success of our secondary transition year by enjoying school, engaging in their own learning journey and feeling socially and academically safe – while earning excellent academic results. With 85% of the year 7s working at least one year ahead in maths (three were two years ahead!) and more than 70% one or more years ahead in spelling, we can be assured of both the emotional and academic success of the year 7 secondary transition year at Heritage College.