Dear parents, caregivers and students,
As you may be aware, Year 7 will be taught in all South Australian high schools from 2022. As part of planning for the move, the Department for Education has short-listed 3 high schools as potential pilot schools to lead the way and offer year 7 earlier than the rest of the state. This includes our local high school, Wirreanda Secondary School. This means that year 6 students in our school who live in the Wirreanda Secondary School zone, have a chance to get a head start on high school and enrol in year 7 in 2020.
There are many benefits to teaching year 7 in a secondary setting, including access to specialist teachers and facilities. Participation in the pilot is voluntary. We know this is a big decision for families and we have attached detailed information and frequently asked questions to help you consider this decision.
You are welcome to discuss this with your child’s teacher or our school’s leadership team. We will provide you with regular updates. You can also find out more through:
Where: Wirreanda Secondary School.
When: 4-7pm, 19 March.
Pilot information night
Where: Wirreanda Secondary School.
When: 6:30pm, 1 April in the high school’s new STEM space.
You can register your family’s interest in year 7 at Wirreanda Secondary School via the school’s webpage http://wirreandasecondary.sa.edu.au/. Paper copies will also be available. It is a testimony to the quality of our school, and the capacity and professionalism of our staff to effectively transition our students from primary to high school, that we have this opportunity to be involved in a pilot and Lead the Way for public education in South Australia.
The South Australian public education system will be moving year 7 to high school in 2022. This will bring our state into line with the national curriculum taught in high schools and make it easier to deliver subjects and improve outcomes for students. All other states and territories teach year 7 in high school.
Wirreanda Secondary School has been short-listed to move year 7 earlier as part of a pilot. Participation in the pilot is voluntary, therefore whether the pilot program goes ahead is dependent on the number of parents who register an interest for their current year 6 children to enrol at Wirreanda Secondary School in 2020.
This is a great opportunity for students to get a head start on high school life. Their experiences will lead the way for year 7 students across the state.
Is year 7 definitely moving to high school in South Australia?
Yes, the independent and Catholic sectors have already moved, and the public education system will be moving in 2022.
Is the pilot definitely going ahead?
Participation in the pilot is voluntary, therefore Wirreanda Secondary School’s involvement in the pilot is dependent on the number of students registering an interest to enrol as Year 7s for 2020.
What if my child is currently in year 7?
Normal transition and enrolment processes will continue at Wirreanda Secondary School for current year 7s enrolling as year 8s next year.
Why is year 7 moving?
Moving year 7 into high school will align South Australia’s public schools with the national curriculum taught in secondary settings. Year 7 is taught in high school in all other jurisdictions because of the benefits of providing specialist teachers and facilities.
Will my child still get a year 7 jumper/hoodie if they move?
Yes, a jumper/hoodie with the label of Leading the Way will be provided to all current year 6 students enrolling at Wirreanda Secondary School in 2020. They will receive the hoodie in 2020 and there will be no cost to parents.
Will my child still get a graduation if they move?
Yes, there will be a graduation ceremony at the end of this year. Our staff will consult with Governing Council and students about how this ceremony will be managed and when it will occur.
Does my child have to enrol at Wirreanda for year 7 in 2020?
No, participation in the pilot is voluntary. You and your child may choose to stay at primary school to do year 7 next year.
Why was Wirreanda Secondary School short-listed for the pilot?
Wirreanda Secondary School and primary schools in the local education partnership were chosen because of our supportive environments and commitment to student wellbeing, strong connections and transition processes, positive working relationships and focus on progressive approaches to teaching and learning.
Will my child be OK in high school? What about their wellbeing?
Experiences from interstate shows that early adolescents thrive in the secondary setting. Wirreanda Secondary School has an excellent record for settling in year 8s and if the pilot goes ahead, special attention will be given to the year 7s. There will be a strong emphasis on student wellbeing and pilot schools will receive a grant to support the transition of the first cohort of year 7 students, so that teachers and staff in primary schools and Wirreanda Secondary School can plan and support each student’s transition.
Will my child be better off doing year 7 in high school?
Undertaking year 7 in high school will allow students to take advantage of access to specialist facilities, resources and exposure to different teaching styles. Students will have opportunities for deep learning, greater peer interactions, greater independence and responsibility. The Australian Curriculum was fully implemented in 2015 and designed to specialise for each subject, for example science labs for science.
How do I register an interest in enrolling my child to do year 7 at Wirreanda Secondary School?
Registrations of interest are now open for current year 6 students who live within the Wirreanda Secondary School zone, via the school’s webpage http://wirreandasecondary.sa.edu.au/. Paper copies will also be available at information/open nights and from the school’s front office.
Is my child eligible to enrol in year 7 at Wirreanda Secondary School?
When registering an interest, families must meet one of the following requirements to be eligible for a year 7 enrolment:
What is the Wirreanda Secondary School zone?
A high school zone is a defined area from which the school accepts its core intake of students. Most government high schools in metropolitan Adelaide are zoned. With some exceptions, a student’s zoned school is determined according to their primary place of residence. You can use the school finder tool at www.education.sa.gov.au to check if you’re in the Wirreanda Secondary School zone.
Why has the pilot been restricted to students in the Wirreanda Secondary School zone?
As this is a voluntary pilot program, students who are zoned for Wirreanda Secondary School may choose to stay in their primary school to complete year 7, and transition to high school as they normally would in year 8. Until the year 8 transition takes place, enrolments through the pilot program will need to be limited to in-zone students to ensure that there remains capacity for future cohorts.
My year 6 child isn’t eligible for the pilot. What will happen to them?
In our school, there are many year 6 students who don’t live in the Wirreanda zone, and our school will continue to offer a vibrant year 7 program for these children in 2020.
What about the year 7 students moving into year 8 next year?
Regardless of the pilot, normal transition and enrolment processes will continue at Wirreanda Secondary School for current year 7s enrolling as year 8s next year.
It will be important that both the new year 7 students and the new year 8 students in 2020 feel welcomed and included in their new school. Wirreanda will make sure that the transition process provides a positive experience for both cohorts.
What will happen to my child’s teacher?
As part of the state-wide move of year 7 into high school, the Department for Education will be consulting with teachers and the unions about the process and options for moving to teach in high school and the professional development to support that move. A similar approach will be taken with support staff.