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Starting secondary school

Moving from primary to secondary school is a significant event in every child’s education journey.

As a parent you have helped your child adjust to many new and sometimes challenging situations. A new school, with new teachers and new ways of learning requires some adjustment so be prepared to support them as they settle into this new environment.

Our school staff have transition plans and programs to support children in their move from primary to secondary school.

You also play an important role at home. By preparing for and talking about the move, you can make a big difference to how well your child makes the transition. If you are well informed and knowledgeable about the move, you are better able to support your child.

Preparing for school

Here are some things you can do to help your children get the best start to secondary school:

  • In most cases, the primary school organises transition programs with the local secondary schools. Make sure your children attend these important days as they get to meet other students, as well as discover where their classes are, who their teachers are and the location of amenities like the administration building and canteen.
  • Attend school orientation or parent information evenings and introduce yourself to the teachers. If your children did not attend a transition program organised by their primary school, bring them along. It is an excellent opportunity to find out what lesson plans look like, and to ask questions or raise concerns. If you cannot make these sessions, speak with your children’s teachers directly.
  • Practise the morning routine the week before school starts. This is especially important if your children are taking public transport or walking to school.
  • Buy uniforms, school materials and equipment early.
  • Make sure your children eat nutritious meals and are well rested.
  • Ask for a map of the school.
  • Buy your children a study planner (if they do not get one from the school) so they can organise their time.
  • Talk with your children about what they expect school will be like. Talk about the extra programs and activities they can be a part of. Remind them it is okay to feel nervous about starting something new.
  • Talk about the subjects they will learn and how it is a time to see what they like before deciding on what to focus on in later years.

Find out more about transitioning through school.

Arriving at school

It is important to ensure your children arrive at school on time so they have time to settle in, and are relaxed and happy before class starts. Where possible, take them to school for the first few weeks to make sure they are on time.

If they arrive after the school day has started, they need to sign in at the front office – this is a legal requirement.

Attending every day is important

Western Australian law stipulates that all school-aged children must go to and attend school every day.

Developing the habit of going to school every day is vitally important so children and young people do not miss out on important ideas and skills they need for future learning. Did you know:

  • missing half a day of school each week equates to one month of missed learning per year
  • the attendance habits set by children when they first start school continue throughout their school life
  • if a child misses half a day of school each week between Pre-primary and Year 10, they would miss almost one full year of learning
  • learning is cumulative – if your children miss a day, it is harder for them to catch up.

You can help by making sure your children arrive at school on time; making sure they eat nutritious meals and get enough sleep; making appointments with doctors, dentists and specialists, and making holiday plans during school holidays and not during the school term.

If one of your children is unwell and unable to go to school, let the school know straight away by telephone or by the school mobile app if they have one. If they miss a day it is important you talk with their teacher to find out how you can help them catch up.