In-depth student journey

This in-depth student journey provides a deeper view of the different stages, experiences and findings from recent research.


Early in the student journey (Year 0-Kindergarten) there are a range of factors influencing the decision-making process of parents/carers:

Parent/carer’s own experience of education impacts heavily on their decision-making process.

Questions asked include:

  • Where did I go to school?
  • What did I study?
  • When did I leave?
  • How did I handle transitions?
  • What results did I achieve?
  • What kind of relationship did I have with my teachers?
  • What was my social experience like?
  • What role did my dad or mum play?
  • How engaged were my parents?
  • How did I cope with the pressure?
  • How did I deal with stress?
  • How did I learn best?
  • What are my regrets?
  • How was my experience disturbed?
  • How helpful was school for the rest of my life?

These experiences/conditions are either:

  • consciously recreated
  • unconsciously recreated
  • consciously subverted.

There are many factors that parents/carers take into consideration when choosing day care including:

External factors

  • social influence
  • family influence
  • media
  • cultural factors.

Parental factors

  • parental independence
  • career ambitions
  • arrival of another child
  • circumstances (for example stay-at-home parent versus working parent).

Student factors

  • social development needs
  • intellectual development needs.

Provider factors

  • availability
  • location (that is proximity to home and/or work)
  • convenience (for example opening hours, full service)
  • environment (for example facilities, cleanliness, outdoor space)
  • staff (for example experience, connection).

Progression factors

  • academic (for example developing beyond day care curriculum)
  • physical and emotional maturity (for example outgrowing other students).

There are many factors that parents/carers take into consideration when moving their child from day care to preschool including:

External factors

  • prerequisites for kindergarten
  • social influence
  • family influence
  • media
  • cultural factors.

Parental factors

  • personal experience
  • educational aspirations for the child.

Student factors

  • social development
  • intellectual development
  • academic preparedness
  • outgrowing day care
  • preparing for preschool transition.

Provider factors

  • location (for example proximity to home and/or work)
  • environment (for example facilities, cleanliness, outdoor space)
  • staff (for example experience, warmth)
  • teacher-to-student ratio
  • curriculum.

Progression factors

  • academic (that is reading, writing, counting)
  • expert opinion
  • mental maturity
  • physical maturity.

There are many factors that parents/carers take into consideration when choosing a kindergarten including:

External factors

  • social influence
  • family influence
  • media
  • cultural factors.

Parental factors

  • personal experience
  • educational aspirations for child
  • does it “feel” right
  • personal beliefs and values
  • financial (for example cost versus preschool/day care).

Student factors

  • engaging/developing interests
  • engaging/developing personality
  • developing social skills.

Provider factors

  • reputation in community
  • school rankings/results
  • interaction of students in public
  • teaching methodology
  • extracurricular activities
  • is it in our catchment area?
  • will it feed into the right middle/high school?

Progression factors

  • dominant narrative about what’s best for student
  • expert opinion
  • parent’s personal experience
  • media influence
  • what fellow students are doing
  • financial trade-offs.

Key findings by year

You’ll find key motivators, broader trends and key factors and forces at play. These can be viewed in broad terms in three stages:

  • Years 0-Kindergarten
  • Years 1-6
  • Years 7-12

Age 0: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Student experience
  • Everything I know about the world is shaped by my parents/carers.
  • If in day care: spending time away from primary carer/family. Being exposed to different ways of sharing the world and potential education.
  • If in day care: education through play.
Parent experience
  • Reduced income while mum or dad is not working.
  • Parenting advice from family, social, and support network.
  • Day care or family care are the options.
  • community groups
  • doctor appointments
  • mothers’ groups
  • family and friends
  • media
  • day care apps
  • other parents.
  • Parents make decisions for their child based on advice from other friends and family members with children in day care.
  • Parents draw on their own school experience to help inform where and when their child might go to day care.
  • For parents there is a tension between getting their child into “a” day care or the “right” day care.
  • How does a day care centre match my beliefs or behaviours?
  • Should I send my child to day care at all?

Age 1: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Student experience
  • If in day care: spending time away from primary carer/family. Being exposed to different ways of sharing the world and potential education.
Parent experience
  • Consideration of whether or not to go back to work. These include financial factors and career ambitions.
  • Independence can be regained by sending a student to day care.
  • Considerations for day care include availability, affordability, convenience (operating hours, location), level of service, staff, educational credentials.
  • Monitoring other children to understand what “normal” is.
  • Parents start putting plans in place for the student’s future education based on personal experience.
  • Setting of expectations for day care/education (see quote below)

P1 (parent): “I want her to be a good person rather than being bombarded with education.”

  • How does a day care centre match my beliefs or behaviours?
  • Should I send my child to day care at all?

Age 2: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Student experience
  • Learning basic education at home.
  • Exposure to other children at day care (see quote below)

P1 (parent): “If we met one of our friends who had kids her age, she would want to play with them but she wouldn’t know how... So we did decide that it would be good for her if she went (to day care) one or two days.”

P17 (parent): “I put him in occasional care once a week just to get him in the habit of being with other children.”

Parent experience
  • introduction of learning through play
  • monitoring for development issues
  • establishment of parent and student education routines
  • updates from day care on development (see quotes below)

P6 (parent): “You can log in, you get photos, or you get a notification when your child’s in a photograph or activity for the day. So you actually feel connected to what they might have done, and you can actually talk about it on the way home, or at dinner, about what they did, how they felt about something. That’s really nice having that connection to her day, without even being there.”

  • Parents are unsure of how to gauge if the child is developing normally.
  • Educate parents on the breadth of “normal” development.

Age 3: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Student experience
  • creativity fostered by parents
  • introduction to devices as learning/entertainment tools
  • experience of structured learning environment
  • development of personal interests.

P5 (parent): “Because he is so into learning, I actually enrolled into one of those I Can Read classes by the time he was three.”

Parent experience
  • formal educational materials introduced (for example flash cards, apps)
  • parents begin to cater to interest categories of the child (for example music, sport)
  • passive research of kindergarten options through conversations with friends and family
  • active research of preschool
  • handover of the student to “the system”
  • starting to look for a kindergarten (see quote below)

P5 (parent): It’s a process. You don’t really start looking. It’s an ongoing thing from preschool.”

  • finding a preschool that aligns with values (see quote below)

P6 (parent): “On choosing a preschool: And I went there, and it was like walking into a hospital. There was no feeling there.”

  • preschool an option.
  • Learning Potential app
  • preschool collateral
  • forums/social media discussions
  • online search for educational resources (see quote below)

P1 (parent): "I Googled it. I learned about Reading Eggs but I think you have to pay for it. I didn’t want to pay for something at that time, so I started looking for something free and this was free. It was actually a very nice one."

  • child not being socialised
  • parents unclear on suitable materials for first learning experiences (see quote below)

P2 (parent): “We got Benjamin started on exercise books from Office Works.”

  • guidelines/stimulus for parent-led education.

Age 4: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Student experience
  • students with undeveloped social skills forced to adapt
  • abilities measured for progression to Kindergarten (social/intellectual/behavioural)
  • being psychologically prepared for school by parents (see quote below)

P1 (parent): “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s such a nice place.’ We were talking a bit loudly, so she could hear us. We weren’t talking to her directly. We were just talking to each other and saying, ‘Ah, it’s such a nice place and look at those kids. They’re having so much fun.’”

Parent experience
  • consideration of kindergarten options. There is a perception of kindergarten as the start of the school experience (see quote below)

P6 (parent): “I was pretty confident she wasn’t going to go through private school., But I needed to ask other parents to see, in case there was something I hadn’t thought of, in case there was a different way of looking at it."

  • future education decisions about school firmed up
  • active research of kindergarten options
  • election/enrolment of kindergarten
  • childcare experts provide information/recommendation of child’s suitability to progress to kindergarten
  • weighing up the cost of preschool versus suitability for kindergarten
  • choosing kindergarten according to what “feels right”
  • social/familial pressure on choice of education style/institution
  • reintroduction to the education system for the first time since parent/carer's own experience.
  • kindergarten selected.
  • My School website
  • Kindergarten collateral (for example brochures and website)
  • forums/social media discussions.
  • relative cost of kindergarten over preschool
  • parents appraising schools in a different way to the department
  • no qualitative comparison of schools
  • parents unsure of what to expect from schools (see quote below)

P6 (parent): “I haven’t been in a classroom since high school.”

  • Alignment of parental enquiries and the department's guidelines for school websites.
  • Identify important qualitative measures and metrics for school.
  • Start a conversation with parents about school before the selection process begins.

Age 5: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Parent experience
  • “letting go” of children
  • confirming they’re doing the "right thing" for their child (see quote below).

P6 (parent): “It was a child psychologist/teacher who gave us some information about what we should look for ... how we could help them transition into primary school – a few dos and don’ts. It was nice to know that her recommendations were kind of things that we were doing.”

  • Parents consult and judge if the child is ready for Kindergarten (see quote below)

P10 (parent): “When I put him in (when he was in preschool), they told me, “We don’t think he’s ready.”

  • Am I pushing my child into school or holding her back? Are they ready?
  • Parents (rather than a childcare professional) making a decision about the school readiness of a child.
  • Official guidelines/entry criteria for entering Kindergarten.

Kindergarten: Help my parents/carers choose the best start for me

Student experience
  • Goodstart Early Learning Interviews help prepare the student for school by interviewing with the teacher before Kindergarten starts (see quote below)

P2 (parent): “The transition was handed over because they had Goodstart interviews. It’s where each child goes to see their teacher for about 30 minutes a week in the period leading up to the first day. So the teacher and child are introduced and not total strangers on day one. And the teacher gets a feel as to what each child’s abilities are.”

Parent experience
  • The concern with how the child will go now they’re in "the system”.

P3 (parent): [On parent/student days at the start of Kindergarten] "It really builds confidence in the capabilities of teachers."

  • Development of child brought into sharp focus by grading and comparison to classmates (see quote below)

P3 (parent): “My daughter started earlier so we know she is in the average reading bandwidth. We’re happy to accept that.”

  • costs of school, activities and maintenance become apparent
  • establishment of parent/teacher interventions and expectations
  • engaged, concerned and "pushy" parents seek one-on-one time with the teacher
  • parents aspiring to "normal" development of the child (see quote below)

P5 (parent): “That was the best thing I’ve ever heard from a teacher – that he is just a normal little boy."

  • confusion of parents as to how they should supplement school learning (see quote below)

P10 (parent): “They [teachers} could send spelling words home. I couldn’t pick my own words because that’s not what he was learning at school.”

  • Kindergarten starts.
  • school materials
  • open days/nights.

Year 1: Help me fit in and find my 'normal'

Student experience
  • deeper social connections established (see quote below).

P2 (parent): “He won’t generally talk about what’s been taught at school. He won’t talk about English, literacy or mathematics, or things like that. He’ll be talking about the relationships he’s having with the kids.”

  • behavioural issues impact the ability to learn and keep up
  • abilities measured and quantified
  • personal relationships with teachers start to emerge.
Parent experience
  • primary school engagement start to be ‘normalised’
  • learning/social issues become more apparent (see quote below)

P10 (parent): “He wouldn’t say 'boo'. He never asked any questions or anything. So he missed out on a lot there. Yeah, so I think that’s also played a part in it. Because when he got to Year 1, the teacher had to really put her time and effort into my son, and that’s when he started to learn to read.”

  • academic success not yet a priority (see quote below)

P2 (parent): “We don’t want him to fall behind. We don’t want him to necessarily be the head of the class, but we certainly don’t want him to be at the bottom where he feels that he’s struggling.”

  • parents, who are informed of social development issues, must decide on a course of action (see quote below)

P5 (parent): “I did search for a lot of child behaviourists, about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms, but I really don’t think James fits much of them. He probably fits one or two, but then all kids fit one or two, right? I looked up a lot of the symptoms and called one or two counsellors. I made an appointment and cancelled because my husband said ‘there’s nothing wrong with him [my son]’.”

  • primary school starts.

P4 (parent): “I thought every parent was meant to see these [statements], but only about half of them have.”

  • parents become decreasingly engaged with the education process of subsequent children as it grows increasingly familiar
  • a lack of transparency about how development issues are identified by teachers can lead to mistrust and stress.
  • evolution/maintenance of the Transition to School Statement
  • transparency about progress for identifying social issues and measures for parents
  • coping strategies for parents of children with issues.

Year 2: Help me fit in and find my 'normal'

Student experience
  • self-driven learning and exploration
  • homework starts (see quote below)

P5 (parent): “It’s like suddenly you’re bombarded with homework and it’s really hard to grasp that concept. They emerge from ‘Oh, I get home and play’ and now they have to go home and work. I don’t want him to have that sort of mindset. I want him to get used to a bit of homework every day. He enjoys it anyway. He thinks he’s smart.”

  • immaturity of younger students becomes apparent.
Parent experience
  • intervening to provide shortfall in school’s offering (see quote below)

P3 (parent): “My son went through a massive issue one year [with a substandard teacher] then we had to catch up quite a bit. So we thought it was a good idea to get coaching which helped. He’s virtually in the top 10% of his class in most things.”

  • peers influencing student's behaviour (see quote below)

P10 (parent): “I’d rather he had no friends than bad friends.”

  • focus on social development
  • student's desire to go to school is a metric for success for parents, as it indicates when they’re enjoying themselves
  • parent-teacher nights become part of school rhythm (see quote below)

P4 (parent): “Parent-teacher nights mean you get 10 minutes and it’s all them telling you about your kids. Then at the end, with two seconds to go, they ask 'do you have any questions?’ Then time's up. They have a strict policy where you only get 10 minutes before the next person.”

  • lack of soft-skills curriculum or metrics makes progress in social development difficult to gauge.
  • educating parents on how to assist with social development
  • embedding key values and principles within the curriculum
  • empower teachers to actively coach personal and social development.

Year 3: Help me fit in and find my 'normal'

Student experience
  • critical point for “catching up” versus “developmental issues”
  • homework continues.
Parent experience
  • approach to education comes into focus (see quote below)

P12 (parent): “I want her to have a good education, I don’t want her to flunk out of school like I did.”

  • routine of school provides stability (see quote below)

P9 (parent): “Cause [sic] kids are very big on security and routine. So if the routine’s not happening and homework was a part of that routine, there’s tension and kids get frustrated and everything just goes haywire.”

  • school acting as a sanctuary (see quote below)

P5 (parent): “The principal intervened and said ‘this is a place of routine, don’t let what’s going on outside impact here. It’s a safe place.'”

  • parents rely on teachers to identify developmental issues (see quote below)

P5 (parent): “I was advised by the teacher that I should seek counselling for my child. I find that really disturbing and I was really, really upset because that’s my first child. I have no experience with kids. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my child, but then the teacher’s a professional, and she said that.”

  • NAPLAN test.
  • substandard teachers have the potential to let down the system and curriculum.

Year 4: Help me fit in and find my 'normal'

Student experience
  • homework continues.
  • provide parents with the knowledge to deal with social disruption.

Year 5: Help me fit in and find my 'normal'

Student experience
  • peer influence increases
  • homework continues.
Parent experience
  • consideration of the use of tutors to prepare for high school (see quote below)

P3 (parent): [On extra tutoring for student] “I was really the black sheep of my school. My teachers at school and my counsellors hated me ... I’m just trying to give him as much opportunity as possible.”

  • awareness of schools offering selective entry exams.
  • mismatch in student/parent ambition.
  • supply extra materials and advice
  • handover process from primary to high school
  • help parents understand the skills and value of tutors in a standardised way.

Year 6: Help me minimise the stress of moving to a bigger pond

Student experience
  • focus on studies and results
  • personal expectations/ambitions impact on mental health
  • prepare for high school (see quote below)

P17 (student): “In the second to last week of my primary school, in Year 6, the teachers did a special high school week for us. They made it feel like we were in high school.”

Parent experience
  • transition to focus on academic
  • single parent filling both support and authority roles
  • parents begin to lose influence on the child as peer influence increases
  • choosing the right high school (see quote below)

P15 (parent): “To be honest, I really just tried to cater to each of my kids individually in terms of what their talents were, and she’s exceptionally good at sport.”

  • graduation from primary school.
  • responsibilities are given to students as they get prepared for the autonomy of high school
  • limited interactions with the teacher
  • students exposed to generic structure/methodology of the school
  • parent’s expectations of high school can influence how a student prepares for transition.
  • customisable parent-teacher meeting agenda.

Year 7: Help me fit in and define my 'normal'

Student experience
  • social media becomes important
  • class streaming based on academic performance
  • social upheaval, student anxious to settle in (see quote below)

P21 (student): “It’s like 'The Hunger Games'”.

  • complex social dynamics become prevalent due to the changing structure (independence increases), higher expectations and biological changes.
  • student is given the first taste of autonomy
  • students stop sharing everything with parents
  • exposure to sex, drugs and rock&roll
  • moving from primary school friends to high school friends

P17 (parent): “The boys weren’t keeping in touch with him either and he wasn’t getting invited over to their places ... they had their other friends there and it just felt that it wasn’t the same as it was in primary school.”

  • sports and other extracurricular activities are seen as a way to help define who I am.
Parent experience
  • establishing a new community of parents (see quote below)

P12 (parent): “They talk about schools and what happens in these schools or they’ve heard of bad experiences at other places or schools.”

  • establishing a new community of students (see quote below)

P17 (parent): “In the first year at high school, he never ever told us much about his friends at school. He would say, ‘I’ve got friends’. I would say ‘Who’s your friend Ross?’ ‘Oh, I’ve got plenty of friends.’ I would say ‘Who’s your friend Ross? Would you like them to come over, you know, for a visit?’”

  • supporting social development while ensuring a safe environment and reduced risk (see quote below)

P13 (parent): “It’s difficult to control who they become friends with. You just hope their friends are a good bunch of people and not idiots.”

  • sport becomes a source of structure and discipline (see quote below)

P12 (parent): “I’m glad that Brayden was playing football ... I think that’s important to keep them occupied so they don’t fall into the wrong crowd or the wrong scene.”

  • fostering student’s increasing independence (see quote below)

P16 (parent): “It was really hard to step back and not be in control as a parent and try to fix it, and kind of just walk her through so she can fend for herself.”

  • parents unclear as to who is responsible for their own child as they move through multiple teachers
  • mismatch of expectations and reality of how the department provides support with the transition.
  • high school starts.
  • NAPLAN test.
  • schools not helping shy high school kids integrate
  • academic decisions impacting social experience
  • no single point of contact for parents looking for information on the student (expectations set by primary school experience)
  • parents lose visibility on child’s social experiences as students stop sharing
  • parents concerned about child being lost in "the system"
  • students in selective streams fearful of being downgraded.
  • standardised/recommended student socialisation drawn from best practices across all schools
  • help students better understand the importance of early academic decisions.

Year 8: Help me understand why I’m learning this

Student experience
  • finding their voice but feeling they are not being heard
  • engagement drops between the excitement of high school and the pressure of HSC
  • growing independence and making choices (see quote below)

P16 (parent): “She loves high school in that she got to have more say in the subjects she learns, and to do more stuff she really enjoys. So for her, just feeling like she has a little bit more responsibility, that she has more say in her own life, was really great for her.”

  • adjusting to new teaching routines and styles (see quote below)

P18 (student): “From 7, 8 and 9, well more like 7 and 8 ... it was like a test. It was seeing how good you were, pushing a bit of work on you, but not too much though.”

  • weighing up personal ambition versus what their friends are doing.
Parent experience
  • deciding on the main focus – all-rounder versus pursuing strengths (see quote below)

P16 (parent): “She’s not academic, she’s more sort of well rounded. The school bases more of an emphasis on being a good person, and doing things she can, rather than sport or doing those sort of academics.”

  • maintaining student's enthusiasm for high school (see quote below)

P17 (parent): "I said to him 'You’ve got a new year Ross. Let’s have a new start.’ And then at Year 7, you know what to do, you’re 13 years old. You’ve done one year of high school.' And I said ‘Do you love high school?’ I kept asking him ‘Are you happy at school?’ because that’s my main concern – about bullying because it’s got a reputation about bullying.”

  • offering ongoing support (see quote below)

P14 (parent): “I’m always here to help him if he needs it.”

  • parents are unclear as to who is responsible for their "child" as they now have multiple teachers.
  • student feeling in control of own education by making choices on courses
  • students lack a sense of the impact education will have on their life
  • students feeling of independence not matched by the ability to provide input on education.
  • create closer ties between the curriculum and the real world.

Year 9: Help me understand why I’m learning this

Student experience
  • seeking a greater understanding of the world outside of school
  • student starts to feel in control of their education (see quote below)

P15 (student): “In Year 9, I started taking control of everything and realising everything that was actually going on and what I could do. So if there’s something [an issue] I don’t need to call my mum. I can see if there is a way to figure it out myself.”

  • student learning to deal with pressure
  • schooling gets 'serious'
  • school and parents start applying pressure about the future
  • older sibling’s experiences inform expectations as to why they are being 'learning this'
  • questioning of authority and worth of education.
  • NAPLAN test.
  • modes of learning restricted to teacher’s abilities
  • students not being challenged become disengaged.
  • translate the curriculum into multiple learning modes.

Year 10: Help me understand why I’m learning this

Student experience
  • focus on HSC raises doubts about the importance of current work (see quote below)

P15 (student): “In Year 10 homework felt tokenistic.”

  • choice of HSC subjects: personal interest, parent's interest or subjects that scale (see quote below)

P15 (student): “Some people are doing it on subjects, which one was going to scale higher but I did it more on just which I actually enjoy and would stress me out less.”

  • work experience takes place
  • teachers with real-world experience becoming increasingly valued (see quote below)

P14 (student): “He went to Japan for a long time and can teach us easily.”

  • study becoming the primary focus
  • results start directly impacting future opportunities
  • becoming better informed about career opportunities (see quote below)

P15 (student): “In year 10, you get a lesson every two weeks with your careers teacher, so your whole class just has a careers lesson. She’ll just talk to us about options and different unis and pathways.”

Parent experience
  • parent’s experience of exams/HSC comes into play
  • tracking student's progress with respect to future plans
  • parent guiding decisions but supporting student’s decisions
  • enabling increased student independence
  • supporting social development to ensure a safe environment and reduce risk (see quote below).

P13 (parent): “It’s difficult to control who they become friends with. You just hope their friends are a good bunch of people and not idiots.”

  • students being prepared for HSC rather than future
  • parents, students and teachers have different ideas about when school gets 'serious'
  • parents have been taught differently to students, so have difficulty helping with studies.

Year 11: Help me make the right choices for my future

Student experience
  • increased workload and final academic push
  • pressure on academic performance from parents and teachers (see quote below)

P15 (student): “I feel like a majority of the pressure comes from my teachers. I try not to put too much pressure on myself because there are other things influencing my marks sometimes. I don’t want to just make myself feel horrible about myself just because of a mark. I put pressure on myself to do better. I think about it and my teachers sometimes if I do get a pretty crappy mark, they’ll talk to me about it and try and get me to improve. Then when assessment week comes around, they’ll help me a bit more with my assessments and try and get me to do better.”

  • student/teacher relationship grows as pressure mounts (see quote below).

P15 (student): “Each year has a year advisor and my year used to have a really great year advisor and I loved her and she was really easy to talk to and we had a good relationship going and I could actually talk to her about those things.”

Parent experience
  • providing stability and support through stressful periods (see quote below)

P14 (parent): “As long as he picks the subjects that he likes and he’s good at, and if he gets through them with a good mark, I’ll be thrilled.”

P13 (parent): “We say you’ve got to study your hardest to your potential.”

  • advising tertiary education/training and career options (see quote below)

P13 (parent): “The number one thing is that she does something she enjoys. The more she enjoys it, the easier we will find it and eventually hopefully get better results. The number one thing is they’ve got to enjoy their studying.”

  • HSC starts.
  • students feeling the overload of homework assignments and study.

Year 12: Help me make the right choices for my future

Student experience
  • tertiary enrolment expected
  • preparing for “real life”

P18 (student): “I’ve been taught some stuff that’s needed after school like getting your resume and driver's licence ... the essentials.”

  • The pressure of HSC leads to questions about the value of exams

P18 (student): “I don’t think it’s actually relevant, because the way I’m seeing it is that it’s like being a senior, like 11 and 12, is more getting you ready for a big test and I was thinking that this big test is going to impact how my life goes after school. Then, I was told to think of it another way, and then I was like, ‘Oh, well, then what’s it for?’”

Parent experience
  • emotionally preparing a student for the end of school (see quote below)

P13 (parent): “If they’re developing happily and nicely really. They’re not going into their shell, being depressed or hiding things.”

  • Higher School Certificate.
  • teacher/principal expectations adding excessive pressure to students.
Beyond school
  • parents have different expectations of what a successful education achieves (see quote below)

P8 (parent): “You want them to be happy. You also want them to learn and to mould into the kind of person you are – like you and your husband are [with the same] values. School can offer so much. You’re looking for someone who is well rounded and has experienced everything."

Note: The document is also available in its original form [In-depth student journey (PDF 212.32KB)]. Find out more information about how to use the student journey in your project.

Use the Student journey cheatsheet and glossary (below) to understand the key elements.


Job to be done: The journey is broken down into six stages, or jobs, according to the dominant progress the student is trying to make at each point along the way. These are phrased as “Help me…” terms.

Parent and student experience: The defining experiences for students and parents for each stage.

Events: The key milestones that take place in the student’s journey.

Touchpoints: Platforms, initiatives and materials that students come into contact with throughout their journey, both through the department and third parties.

Challenges: The events, constraints and experiences that stop students making the progress outlined in the stage.

Opportunities: Thought starters for where the department can focus attention to improve the student experience.

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