School transitions

Starting school is widely recognised as one of the most significant transitions individuals make, and is certainly one of the earliest.

Transition to primary school

For many children, the transition to school will be a positive experience. However, some students may find this transition difficult, and this could have lasting impacts on their educational outcomes.

Starting primary school is considered a significant event for both children and their families, and one that can have a considerable impact on a child’s later educational and social outcomes.

The transition to school literature review examines the existing literature on the transition to primary school from home and/or early childhood education and care. This encompasses a number of issues, including:

  • what constitutes a successful transition to school?
  • how school readiness is define and measured
  • what factors contribute to a positive transition and what factors can make this transition more challenging?
  • how the transition to school fits with learning frameworks and progressions.

Transition to high school

Your child's transition from year 6 to year 7 is significantly influenced by their sense of belonging, relationships, and learning support in school and at home.

The role of student engagement in the transition from primary to secondary school (PDF 2.2MB) report presents results from the 2015 primary and 2016 secondary NSW Tell Them From Me student surveys to examine the relationship between a student's sense of belonging at school and other measures of student engagement over the primary to secondary school transition.

The results show that students’ sense of belonging in Year 7 is significantly influenced by their prior sense of belonging in primary school, their relationships with peers and teachers, and the support for learning they receive at school and at home.

These findings are discussed in further detail along with a broad range of strategies and practices schools can implement that may assist students in the transition from primary to secondary school.

Key findings

  • There is a decline in student engagement during the transition from Year 6 to Year 7. This includes a decline in students’ effort in learning, valuing of school outcomes and their sense of belonging at school.
  • Students from low-SES backgrounds and Aboriginal students experience a greater decline in sense of belonging from Year 6 to Year 7.
  • Students’ sense of belonging in Year 7 is influenced by their prior sense of belonging in primary school.
  • Students who report positive friendships and teacher-student relationships in primary school are more likely to report a positive sense of belonging in early secondary school.
  • Students who experience bullying in Year 6 are less likely to have a positive sense of belonging in Year 7.
  • Students’ relationships with peers and teachers at the beginning of Year 7 are also positively associated with their sense of belonging in Year 7.
  • Support for learning at school and at home are both positively associated with a positive sense of belonging in Year 7.

Resources

The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) was created in 2012 and is the central point of education evidence within the NSW Department of Education, and Australia's first dedicated hub of education data and evaluation.

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