Getting ready for high school checklist

Share and print these handy checklists for your teen as they get ready to start high school so they're organised for their first day. There's even a checklist for you!

For parents and carers

  • Does your child have allergies, a health condition, a disability or additional learning or support needs? If so, talk to the high school principal as soon as possible.
  • Buy school uniforms, books, stationery, school bag, drink bottle, house key and any other supplies.
  • Label everything.
  • Join your school and the department on social media to get all the updates.
  • Learn how you can become involved in the school.
  • Connect with other parents on social media.
  • Give the school your current contact details.
  • Talk positively to your child about the move to high school. Ask them what’s exciting about high school. Does anything worry them?
  • Provide your child with money and your contact numbers in case of emergencies.
  • Make sure you have the school’s phone number with you.
  • Remind them they can always speak to the counselling staff at their school.

For your teen

Before the end of primary school

  • Participate in any transition to high school program available.
  • Break in school shoes to make them more comfortable.
  • Practise travelling to and from school using your new transport or travel route. If you're catching public transport, you'll need to know how to check a timetable.
  • Apply for a school Opal card if needed. Go to or phone 131 500.
  • Label everything you'll be taking to school.

At high school orientation

  • Find out where and when to buy school uniforms (including sports uniforms).
  • Get a map of the school to identify buildings, entry points and bike racks.
  • Note school start and finish times.
  • Get details on programs the school offers.
  • Make a list of book packs and school supplies.
  • Meet the Year 7 adviser.
  • Find out whether you’ll need a device such as a laptop.
  • Find out the school’s position on mobile phones.

Before term starts

  • Set up a quiet work area and extra stationery supplies.
  • Organise personal hygiene items in your school bag.
  • Discuss what you will do before and after school, and when you need to be home, including any emergency and safety issues.
  • Discuss the dangers of being distracted when crossing the road or riding a bike – including talking on the phone, texting or using headphones.
  • Work out a backup plan in case your travel routes change or you miss your transport.
  • Pack a healthy lunch or choose healthy choices if your school has a canteen.
  • Set your alarm so you can get ready on time.

Once school starts

  • Print or photocopy school timetables to place in school diaries, inside locker doors and on the fridge.
  • Note all assignments, homework and events in your diary.
  • Check through the timetable each night while packing your bag.
  • Remember to eat healthy food and get a good night’s sleep.
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