Transition to high school – What Works Best in practice

This resource was originally published 4 July 2024.


Transition to high school practical guide

This resource is a practical guide for school leaders and teachers on how to support students’ transition to and through high school with What Works Best teaching practices. It supports schools’ efforts to deliver Our Plan for NSW Public Education by ensuring every student is known, valued and care for as they transition to high school. It presents the research findings of 2 new studies from NSW public high schools using Tell Them From Me data, and explains how teaching support starting in primary school can support student motivation and engagement across the transition and through high school.

This resource has been aligned to the following 5 key drivers of What Works Best:

  • Advocacy at school increases students’ sense of belonging and wellbeing.
  • Effective classroom management creates an environment that minimises disruptions and maximises instruction time by making rules, norms and goals explicit.
  • Explicit teaching ensures that all students have an opportunity to understand new content.
  • Effective feedback provides students with relevant, explicit, ongoing, constructive and actionable information that guides their progress.
  • High expectations encourage and empower all students to strive for excellence, persevere through challenges and take ownership of their learning.

Transition to high school discussion guide

This reflection guide is a practical resource for teachers and school executive staff to support students’ transition to and through high school. It draws on evidence presented in the practical guide, Transition to high school – What Works Best in practice. This accompanying reflection guide provides examples of strategies to support students’ engagement and belonging in their transition. Read the examples and reflect on your practice using the discussion questions.


  • Practical guides for educators
  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • What works best

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
Return to top of page Back to top