Information for parents

Preparing for the move of year 7 to high school

The start of the school year in 2015 will be historic, as state and non-state high schools across Queensland welcome almost 100,000 students into Years 7 and 8. As you prepare to help your child with the transition to high school, you should feel confident that much work has been done since 2011 to ensure a smooth transition of Year 7 to high school in 2015. For state schools, this includes:

  • rolling out an extensive capital works program to accommodate Year 7 students, which will see around 363 infrastructure projects delivered at 288 state school across Queensland
  • piloting the move of Year 7 in 20 state high schools, so that first-hand experiences from the pilot schools could be shared ahead of the move of Year 7 to high school in 2015
  • encouraging all high schools to develop a specific program to support the wellbeing of students as they make the transition to high school
  • implementing Junior Secondary for students in Year 7 to 9, which focuses on the specific academic, social and emotional wellbeing of students in the early years of high school
  • recruiting up to 1300 passionate teachers to Junior Secondary settings who have the skills and experience to effectively support the distinct learning needs of young adolescents
  • supporting these new teachers in Junior Secondary with comprehensive professional development
  • boosting the financial support available for families living in rural and remote parts of the state by increasing the Living Away From Home Allowance for eligible Year 7 students to the secondary student rate.

How you can help to support your child

The move from primary school to high school is a significant moment in the lives of students and their families. Early adolescence can be a time of rapid change as students become more independent, have additional educational responsibilities and start to feel influenced by their peer groups.

Our primary and high schools will be working closely to support students as they prepare to make the transition to high school and there are also practical things you can do to help your child make a smooth and successful transition.

Checklist for getting your child ready for high school

You can start to:

  • research the academic program and student wellbeing support systems of your chosen high school, so you can be sure it's a good fit for your child's specific needs and personality
  • attend parent information events at your chosen high school, so you can get to know the principal, teaching staff and structure of the school
  • be enthusiastic about the move to high school and talk positively to your child about the transition
  • listen to any concerns or worries and reinforce the positive things your child is excited about. High school will have a wealth of new experiences for them to enjoy.

Later this year you can:

  • view the starting high school videos and other useful resources about the transition to high school on this website
  • encourage your child to use a diary to plan events and activities, keeping in mind that once something is scheduled, it becomes more real to them
  • support your child to be more independent and responsible by doing jobs at home and preparing themselves for the school day — this might include making their own lunch
  • visit the high school's website. You and your child can find out lots more about the school's curriculum and activities.

Before your child starts high school:

  • speak to your chosen high school about any allergies, medical conditions or special needs your child may have. The school may have specific programs available to support your child.
  • be sure that you know how your chosen high school will communicate with parents, so you can stay informed of how your child is progressing
  • encourage your child to participate in any orientation and transition programs offered by either their primary school, or their new high school. It will help smooth the way
  • ensure you have school requirements, such as the right uniform and books ready for the first day of school. Check with your school about any negotiated deals they have with a local suppliers — it could save you lots of money. Label all items and get a house key copied if your child needs it
  • ensure your child has a private and quiet space and the necessary equipment to successfully study out of school hours. Help them to develop a study plan around their other commitments and activities
  • talk about the extra-curricular activities your child might want to do, which may help give children opportunities to develop skills in various areas that may not be available in school
  • talk positively to your child about the change. Be realistic with them about the time it will take to settle into new routines. Identify things to look forward to e.g. making new friends, experiencing new subjects. Talk about any concerns you or they have together, it will help reduce any anxiety about starting in a new school.

When school starts

  • help your child wake with plenty of time or show them how to set their alarm. Encourage your child to get ready by themselves
  • make sure you have the school's phone number and absentee line, if they have one, and advise the school as soon as possible if your child will be absent
  • make copies of the timetable and when assignments are due. Help your child establish a study timetable and show them how to use a diary. Some schools have an e-diary or you can use free apps
  • encourage your child to have regular breaks, exercise, eat healthy food and drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.

Seeking support

Parents can seek confidential counselling, support and information from the following organisations:

Beyond Blue



Phone: 1300 22 4636 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Chat online:  between 3pm-12am 7 days a week, via the website online chat page
Email: get a response within 24 hours, via the website email form.
Information:  for a range of information

Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Chat online:  between 8pm-4am 7 days a week
Information:  for a range of information

Phone: 1300 30 1300 (cost of a local call) 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week
Information: tip sheets from a range of over 100 topics is available online at

Go back to Starting high school - what you need to know