For the past two years, the Junior Secondary Transition Working Party at Aldridge State High School in Maryborough has been focused on helping the whole community prepare for the start of the 2015 school year.
The working party — made up of teachers, the school principal, representatives from five of their local affiliate primary schools, and a parent representative — have been working together to build community awareness, contribute to the school’s long-term planning and make important decisions about logistical matters.
The working group’s parent representative, Paul Tucker, said the group’s focus has been both on the minutia and the big picture.
“We are expecting up to 200 Year 7 and Year 8 students next year and I am proud to say Aldridge State High has gone beyond the school gates, to make sure the whole community has remained informed about the move of Year 7 to high school, and the introduction of Junior Secondary within our high school,” Paul said.
“When the move of Year 7 to high school was first announced, we spoke with businesses, council officials and local families about the rationale and implications of the move and discussed how our school planned to make the move a successful one, for everyone involved.
With up to a third of students in the school being new in 2015, Paul said there’s no doubt that the additional students will have a significant impact on the way the school runs.
“Our working group has been able to contribute to some of the big picture planning, including developing a Junior Secondary model and the design and furnishing of the new Junior Secondary precinct,” he said.
“As a parent myself, I can understand the concerns some of our future parents may still have—it wasn’t that long ago that my youngest son was starting high school. But I’m happy to say that Aldridge State High School has been paying attention to the practical details as well, to make sure students feel safe, comfortable and confident.
“We’ve painted handball courts for students to enjoy at lunchtime, ordered smaller Junior Secondary uniforms, and we are trialling split lunchtimes in the last term of 2014, to help manage tuckshop access. In addition to this, the school has made sure there are dedicated pick-up and drop-off zones, which are close to the Junior Secondary precinct,” Paul said.
With his two children having made the transition to high school at Aldridge State High School previously, Paul said he’s been able to reassure parents that it doesn’t take long for incoming students to settle in to high school.
“I also try to reassure parents that by Term 2, most of the incoming students are happy and confident in their new environment. There may be an adjustment period for everyone involved, but I’m confident that Aldridge State High School will be ready to support and extend all of the incoming Year 7 and 8 students next year.”