The welfare and transition of Grade 6 students into Year 7 is paramount to both the Staff and Student Leadership Team at South Oakleigh College. It is enhanced by the establishment of the role of Transition Coordinator. While the transition from primary to secondary school is exciting, it is still daunting for many young people, as they move from one phase of their lives into another.
Primary School Visits to our College
South Oakleigh College operates a comprehensive and detailed Transition Program to help our Year 7 students adjust quickly to move into secondary school. Transition to South Oakleigh College actually begins for many students as early as Grade 5 with regular visits to the College and taking part in a variety of educational activities, leadership programs and other special events.
This allows our Transition team to build early relationships with future Year 7 students; helps future Year 7 students familiarise themselves with our College environment; and meet other South Oakleigh College students.
South Oakleigh College Visits to Primary Schools
To help reduce the nerves of our new Year 7 students (and their parents) beginning secondary school, we have arranged for our Year 7 Team Leader, together with past students, Peer Support Leaders and members of the College Student Leadership Team to visit the primary schools connected to the South Oakleigh College. These visits are aimed to provide our local primary school students with opportunities to ask our current students questions about what life is really like at secondary school. This ensures that when student visit the College to participate in learning activities or attend Open Night, they connect with familiar faces and begin building relationships with the South Oakleigh College Community. This helps students feel welcome and confident when they commence secondary school.
Year 7 Induction Program
Year 7 is an exciting time to be a part of South Oakleigh College. As students make new friends, face adolescent challenges and explore academic and co-curricular pursuits, we work hard to ensure their time at school is a safe and rewarding experience
The step from primary to secondary school for many students and their families can be quite daunting. Students are now part of a much bigger school community where they are confronted with many new challenges.
They need to cope with:
- A wider range of subjects
- New teachers
- A new timetable
- Travelling on public transport
- Making new friends, and
- A greater demand on being organised and independent.
For these reasons a Year 7 Induction Program has been implemented, providing an excellent foundation for students to commence their secondary schooling. We believe that this program assists students to develop a sound understanding of the College and its functions in a short period of time. The Induction program addresses the physical and emotional needs by providing a safe environment where students are able to develop a sense of connectedness and belonging to the College.
Open Night is an excellent opportunity for all parents and families to view the College at work. All parents/guardians are invited to attend this important evening on the College calendar. It provides the opportunity to learn about the College curriculum and the philosophy which underpins our mission statement. On this evening, South Oakleigh students present their work and showcase their achievements. Parents/Guardians are able to view classes, ask questions of our Learning Domain Leaders, and speak to our Principal, staff, students, members of our College Council and parent representatives. Guided Tours are available for our guests on the evening, or you are welcome to experience the College independently through self discovery.
Every Student Counts
Knowing and valuing each student is an important part of student development and building positive staff and student relationships. Members of our Transition Team will visit Grade 6 teachers at local primary schools to identify the needs of the newest members of our South Oakleigh College Community and how we can assist your child on their journey through secondary school. The opportunity to talk to primary school staff provides us with essential information to make the transition easier and more enjoyable for students. We also value the opportunity to discuss other areas where students may need, or appreciate assistance. One strategy is to place students in Home Groups with at least one familiar friend.
In early December every Grade 6 student in Victoria is invited to attend their future secondary school. Upon arrival at South Oakleigh College students are placed into their future class and will meet some of their new teachers. Current Year 7 students, Peer Support Leaders and members of the College Student Leadership Team are on hand to act as guides and special friends to the fresh and enthusiastic faces of our future Year 7 students.
Orientation/Information Evening for Parents of Year 7 Students
Students are not the only people nervous about starting secondary school and leaving their old school behind. Parents/Guardians are often as apprehensive and at times more nervous than students on this day. Orientation/Information Evening is held in early December and parents are provided with information pertaining to their child’s transition from primary to secondary school. Parents/Guardians are given general information about the College curriculum, camp details, an opportunity to place new uniform orders, pay contribution chargers and receive information about second hand books and uniform sales.
Year 7 Peer Support
All Year 7 students meet their Peer Support Leaders on Orientation Day. The Peer Support Leaders (Year 10 and Year 11 students), have gone through rigorous selection process and two-day training program to equip them with the skills to support the newest members of our College community in their transition. Peer Support Leaders meet regularly with their Year 7 group during semester one and also attend the Year 7 Transition Camp. The Peer Support Program continues throughout the year and often students forge friendships and a common respect for each other.
Year 7 Scholarship Program
All Grade 6 students are eligible to apply for scholarships offered upon entry into South Oakleigh College. These scholarships include Academic, Sport and the Arts. Students can apply for these scholarships by completing the Scholarship Application. These students will be invited to attend an interview where they are encouraged to present a portfolio to support their application.
Year 7 BBQ
All Year 7 students and their families are invited to attend an informal BBQ in February of first term. This allows all members of the community to interact in a relaxed atmosphere. All members of the College Leadership Team, including the Student Leaders and the Year 7 Team are available on the evening to answer any questions families may have.
In October all Grade 6 students attending South Oakleigh College in Year 7 will undertake a series of literacy and numeracy tests to assist in the planning for your child’s academic pathway. Results from these tests allows for your child’s teachers to plan effective teaching and learning strategies to ensure that they are challenged academically and supported in areas that are necessary.
Monitoring of Students
The Year Team, together with the Welfare Team and the Assistant Principal meet regularly to discuss concerns with students and develop strategies in order to be able to assist them. Parents/Guardians may be notified via the College planner, a telephone call, via SMS or email or interview if deemed necessary. Parents are also encouraged to contact the Year 7 Team Leader or your child’s Significant Teacher at any time should they have any concerns regarding their child’s progress.
Each Year 7 class is allocated a mentor who who provides the necessary support to every student and works with their class to enhance positive relationships and make strong connections with their peers. With assistance from the Student Wellbeing Team and the Year 7 Team Leader, the mentor provides support to every Year 7 student and deals with the day-to-day issues associated with life in Year 7.
The mentor teaches their Year 7 class for a core subject to provide the opportunity to understand the class dynamics and form meaningful relationships with their students, and helps with the transition from the Primary School.
Every Monday morning from 8:45am to 9:00am all Year 7 students begin the week in the College Theatre for a Year 7 Form Assembly to receive important information for the week ahead and also celebrate successes.
Each Year 7 class is based in their own Homeroom for all core subjects where they will be greeted by their teachers to begin their lessons. This reduces movement from one class to another for the Year 7’s, where practical, assisting them to develop their organisational skills without disruption of moving to another classroom.
Challenging and Supporting All Students
Enhancement and Acceleration
The College undertakes ongoing and rigorous assessment to help monitor the academic progress of your child. Highly capable students are provided with extension and challenging learning tasks within the regular classroom, where they are encouraged to think deeply and advance more rapidly when appropriate. Students who demonstrate high aptitude for Maths and/or English are grouped with likeminded students to access a challenging accelerated learning program.
Students are also encouraged to participate in additional extension and enrichment programs suchs as the University of New South Wales competitions in English, Mathematics and Science.
Many of our students already come to South Oakleigh College with prior leadership experience. We value and nurture these skills and help others to develop them through opportunities in the Student Representative Council, as Year Level Captains and mentoring new students who join Year 7 throughout the year.
From Tubs to Lockers
Students will work towards developing their organisational skills by getting used to collecting and storing their materials in their own personal locker that is located just outside their Homeroom. It is recommended that students purchase combination locks from the College. The locks are strong and come with an identification code that is kept in a secure file in the General Office just in case a student forgets their code!
Students who have arrived in Australia from a Non-English speaking country within the last five years have access to participate in the English as an Additional Language Program (EAL). Students who qualify for this program will gain access to a course that is designed to target specific English language and comprehension skills to further develop important literacy skills.