Junior Secondary in state high schools

Junior Secondary is a phase of education in state secondary schools for Years 7, 8 and 9, which helps to ensure the bridge between primary and secondary school is safe, strong and consistent for all students.

Junior Secondary focuses on age-appropriate education, and support for students’ wellbeing and transitions.

In 2013, Years 8 and 9 became Junior Secondary. Year 7 will be included in 2015 when it becomes a secondary year. The Senior Secondary years will remain as Years 10, 11 and 12.

What does Junior Secondary look like?

While it will look different in every secondary school, six principles have been developed to underpin Junior Secondary. Under six guiding principles, Junior Secondary will provide challenging educational offerings that engage young adolescents, while giving them a sense of belonging and support through the changes they face.

  1. Distinct identity
    Junior Secondary students will be encouraged and supported to develop their own group identity within the wider high school. This can involve dedicated school areas and events.
  2. Quality teaching
    Teachers working with students in the Junior Secondary years will be given the skills they need through additional professional development, so they can support young teens through these crucial early high school years.
  3. Student wellbeing
    We will meet the social and emotional needs of Junior Secondary students with a strong focus on pastoral care. For example, schools could provide a home room to support students as they adjust to new routines and greater academic demands.
  4. Parent and community involvement
    We want parents to stay connected with their students' learning when they enter high school. Parent involvement in assemblies, special events, award ceremonies and leadership presentations will be welcomed.
  5. Leadership
    Schools will be encouraged to create leadership roles for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. Dedicated teachers experienced with teaching young adolescents will lead Junior Secondary supported by the principal and administration team.
  6. Local decision-making
    The needs of each school community will influence how Junior Secondary is implemented in each school.

Riley, a Junior Secondary student, and his mum Lorraine recently found out what Junior Secondary would mean for them. Check out what they learned.  

For further information on Junior Secondary, including some simple steps parents and carers can take to help students prepare for high school, please read the factsheet (PDF, 265KB) (DOC 18KB).

What impact will Junior Secondary have on teachers?

The move of Year 7 to high school will also have implications for our teachers. Some state school teachers from primary schools may choose to move to Junior Secondary, and existing secondary teachers may specialise in Junior Secondary.
Teachers like Lauren Spedding from Murrumba State Secondary College have already made the transition to teaching Junior Secondary – find out how she thinks her students have handled the move of Year 7 to high school.
For further information, please read the factsheet (PDF, 311KB) (DOC, 28KB).

What about non-state schools?

All schools will strengthen their learning environments and experiences to cater better for young adolescent students, and support their transition from primary to secondary. For state schools, applying the six Junior Secondary principles will be necessary, but there will be flexibility to allow individual schools to fit their own circumstances.

Non-state schools will continue to be able to determine their own structures and span of year levels, and given accreditation to do so. Different schools and schooling sectors are best placed to make their own local decisions about how to implement Year 7 as the first year of high school.