Questions and answers

What will the Government do to help Queensland children get ready for school?
Where and when will the extra kindergarten services be established?
Where can I find out more about the Early Childhood Teacher Scholarships?
What was the Queensland Ready Readers Program?
Why are you encouraging parents to read to their young children?
What was the Parent Ready Reader training program?
Where can I get more information about reading to my children?
Where can I find resources and services for children in the early years?
What does 'Prep recognised as the first year of schooling' mean?
How old does my child need to be to start Prep?
What should I do if I think my child isn't ready to start Prep?
Why is Year 7 moving to secondary (high) school?
What practical steps will the Government take to prepare for the move of Year 7 to secondary?
Why is the Government implementing Junior Secondary?
What consideration is being given to students from families living in geographically isolated areas?
How will the introduction of the Australian Curriculum impact on Year 7 students in primary school from 2012 to 2014?
What will Teacher Education Centres of Excellence do?
Where will the Centres be located?
What are the outcomes of the Review of Teacher Education and School Induction?
Questions related to state school facilities
Further questions

What will the Government do to help Queensland children get ready for school?

The Queensland Government will help children get ready for school by:

  • continuing the rollout of up to 240 kindergarten services across the state by 2014
  • establishing an online directory of information to help parents guide their child's early development
  • continuing the reading awareness campaign encouraging parents to read with their children and recruiting volunteers to support reading in primary schools
  • expanding the Queensland Ready Readers program for volunteers reading with children in schools to a state-wide program
  • extending Ready Readers training to parents of students in Prep to Year 3
  • recognising Prep as the first year of school.

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Where and when will the extra kindergarten services be established?

In 2010, six services opened at state schools at Moorooka, Stretton, Beaconsfield, Mudgeeraba, Oonoonba and Woodford. In 2011, 16 services have opened with one more service to open this year. Another 85 services will open in 2012.

The location of extra kindergarten services is available online. A search function for existing local kindergarten services is also available online at the above website.

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Where can I find out more about the Early Childhood Teacher Scholarships?

Interested applicants can obtain all necessary information and forms to apply for the Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship Program.

To be eligible for an Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • currently employed in a licensed centre-based long day care or kindergarten service
  • hold a minimum three (3) year university qualification and be eligible for entry into one of the identified scholarship study pathways
  • not currently registered or eligible for teacher registration with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT)
  • not currently enrolled to study in one of the identified scholarship study pathways
  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident of Australia; and have the support of their employer to undertake further study.

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What was the Queensland Ready Readers Program?

The Queensland Ready Readers program was a Flying Start Green Paper initiative that commenced as a trial in February 2010.  The program trained volunteers across the state to support schools in their early years reading programs. Volunteers received training so they could work confidently with early readers.

Ready Readers worked with individual children. They helped children gain confidence with their reading so they could be independent readers.

The program has been wound down at a statewide level after successfully meeting its target of training 3000 volunteers in April 2012.  If you are interested in volunteering your time to support young readers, please contact your regional office to find out what reading programs are available at your local school.

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Why are you encouraging parents to read to their young children?

Early engagement of children in learning opportunities builds basic skills and provides a flying start to later development and success in school.

This is an area we need to boost for Queensland children. Children's brains develop rapidly in the early years, and there are opportunities to acquire new knowledge in a variety of ways. Research shows that just 20 minutes a day reading aloud with young children helps prepare them for school. It encourages children to listen, develop their imaginations and language skills and establish strong literacy foundations.

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What was the Parent Ready Reader training program?

The Parent Ready Reader program provided training for parents with children in Prep to Year 3. The training was specifically designed to give parents tips and strategies for integrating literacy activities into daily family life. 

The Parent Ready Reader program is no longer running.

For literacy development programs, check out the State Library of Queensland's Best Start, a program which supports stronger language and literacy environments for young children aged from 0 to 5 years, and their​ families.

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Where can I get more information about reading to my children?

A range of great resources and tips designed to help parents support their children's literacy and numeracy development, including reading, is available.

It's also important to use the resources available at local libraries, which hold a range of books to suit children of different ages and abilities. To locate the nearest public library, visit the State Library of Queensland website. 

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Where can I find resources and services for children in the early years?

The Fast Finder is an online directory that lists services and resources that can provide information, assistance, advice, programs, referrals and resources to support children's development, health and wellbeing in the early years.

The Fast Finder web directory (PDF, 291KB) is available on the department website.

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What does 'Prep recognised as the first year of schooling' mean?

The Government's ambition is that every Queensland child will have thirteen years of schooling, from Prep to Year 12. This means that Prep is the first year of school.

Prep is a full-time, five day per week program, and it is expected that students attend every day, unless there is a legitimate reason to be away, such as illness.

With the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum in 2012, full-time attendance in Prep gives students important foundational learnings that they will need for successful learning in Year 1. No Queensland child can afford to miss out on this important year.

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How old does my child need to be to start Prep?

Your child must be five years old by 30 June in the year they start Prep.

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What should I do if I think my child isn't ready to start Prep?

Most children will start Prep in the year they become eligible, however parents who are concerned their child is not ready to start Prep at that time can choose to start their child a year later - the year they become of compulsory school age (6 years and 6 months).

If you think your child may not be ready to start Prep, please contact the principal of the school where you intend to enrol the child. A listing of all schools in Queensland and their contact details is available from the school directory on the department website.

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Why is Year 7 moving to secondary (high) school?

By 2015 more than half the students in Year 7 will turn 13. Educators agree that young teenagers are ready for greater independence and the depth of learning that high schools provide, which is why in most other states and territories Year 7 is already the first year of high school.

Introducing a Prep year in 2007 greatly benefited Queensland students and they now enjoy an additional year of schooling. By 2015 Queensland Year 7 students will be in their eighth year of school, and this is the right year for high school to begin.

In 2012 Queensland adopted the new Australian Curriculum for the subjects of English, mathematics and science. Every Australian school student will learn this core national curriculum. In high school, our Year 7 students will have access to specialist resources, such as science labs and science teachers.

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What practical steps will the Government take to prepare for the move of Year 7 to secondary?

To ensure a smooth transition, the Queensland Government has planned a comprehensive package of measures, backed by significant financial resources for state, Catholic and independent schools.

Some of the measures include:

  • supporting state school teachers through a comprehensive professional development program and scholarships for further training to support moving Year 7 to secondary school, and extra funding to Catholic and independent schools may also be used for professional development.
  • increasing support for families living in rural and remote parts of the state, including raising the Living Away From Home Allowance for eligible Year 7 students to the secondary school student rate.
  • infrastructure funding to the non-state school sector may be used to enhance boarding facilities to accommodate Year 7 students from remote areas of Queensland.
  • piloting Year 7 in up to 20 state high schools before 2015.
  • placing a strong emphasis on pastoral care for our students and encouraging parents to become even more involved in their student's schooling in the high school years.

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Why is the Government implementing Junior Secondary?

From 2013 Years 8 and 9 will become Junior Secondary in all state schools, with Year 7 becoming part of Junior Secondary in 2015. We will strengthen support for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. Catholic and independent schools will also ensure Year 7 students moving to high school are well supported.

The decision to introduce Junior Secondary was made in direct response to the parent feedback received from the Green Paper consultations. Parents told us that we needed to strengthen our supports for students in transition from primary to secondary school.

Junior Secondary is based on practical approaches that many Queensland state schools already apply, as well as the literature on teaching young adolescents.

Junior Secondary

Six Principles

Some practical examples

1. Distinct identity

2. Quality teaching

3. Student wellbeing

4. Parent and community involvement

5. Leadership

6. Local decision-making

Special identity, areas and events for Junior Secondary students
Home "teachers and "home" classrooms
Varied, engaging learning experiences and authentic assessment
Strengthened pastoral care

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What consideration is being given to students from families living in geographically isolated areas?

Families living in rural and remote parts of the state have a number of choices when it comes to the best educational options for their students.

Where there is no local school close by, geographically isolated families may opt for their students to attend boarding school, live with a relative closer to a school, live in a student hostel, or use distance education.

The Queensland Government recognises this and has committed to providing rural and remote families with the support they need. This includes increasing the Living Away From Home Allowance for eligible Year 7 students to the secondary student rate.

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How will the introduction of the Australian Curriculum impact on Year 7 students in primary school from 2012 to 2014?

In 2012, Queensland commenced the implementation of the Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics and science. The history curriculum will start being implemented in 2013.

2011 was the preparation year. Teachers were engaged in professional development, building their understanding of the new curriculum and reviewing their school programs to see where changes may need to be made.

Queensland's current curriculum - the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting (QCAR) Framework is aligned with the Australian Curriculum. This means that in most areas, the amount of change in what students learn will not be significant. Some topics will have been shifted to different times in the year or to different year levels. As with any change, some year levels will require a greater focus - in particular in science.

Primary schools that include Year 7 will need to introduce the Australian Curriculum for 2012 to 2014, before Year 7 moves to high school. Although the Australian Curriculum in Year 7 has been written for use in either primary or high school, it focuses on a greater depth of knowledge and understanding as students progress through school. By moving Year 7 to high school, we will be able to provide our students with access to the specialist facilities and expertise to support this focus.

This time will be used to ensure a smooth transition. Throughout the transition, schools and teachers will receive significant support.

The Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) has provided all schools with practical advice and resources to support implementation of the Australian Curriculum. These resources are designed to ensure that Year 7 students have access to the learning described in the curriculum. As Year 7 moves to high school the advice and resources will be reviewed and updated to reflect increased access to specialist facilities and teaching. The QSA will work closely with the three school sectors to support implementation of the Australian Curriculum. The school sectors have also planned a range of initiatives to support implementation of the new curriculum.

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What will Teacher Education Centres of Excellence do?

The Centres will provide teachers with extended experiences in real school environments and will build closer links between schools and university teacher education providers. Centres will focus on priority teaching areas such as literacy and numeracy, behaviour management, science, Indigenous students, community engagement, and special education.

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Where will the Centres be located?

Five Teacher Education School Centres of Excellence in state schools have been announced:

  • Kelvin Grove State College will have a specific focus on early childhood education and the middle years of learning.
  • Morayfield East State School will equip teachers to drive student performance in low socioeconomic areas.
  • Aspley State Special School will focus on students with special needs.
  • Benowa State High School and Benowa State School will focus on science and mathematics education.
  • a cluster of schools at Mount Stuart in Townsville will specialise in Indigenous student and community engagement.

All centres will strengthen the quality of teaching, including behaviour management.

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What are the outcomes of the Review of Teacher Education and School Induction?

The Government worked with universities and the Queensland College of Teachers to immediately implement 24 recommendations to improve the classroom readiness of Queensland teachers. This included an improved focus on behaviour management, students with special needs, early childhood, Indigenous students, parental engagement and graduate professional standards.

A Ministerial Teacher Education Implementation Taskforce was established to develop a collaborative approach to the remaining 41 recommendations of the Caldwell Review.

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Questions related to state school facilities

Which schools will receive infrastructure support?

All state schools with a high school component will receive support to meet the needs of accommodating Year 7 in a high school setting. This includes special schools enrolling high school aged students. It is anticipated that schools of distance education will require no additional infrastructure.

What sort of infrastructure is available to state schools welcoming Year 7 students?

Infrastructure support for schools will be determined on an as needs basis following engagement with each school and its regional office. Generally the need is based on the projected enrolment numbers for each school. Infrastructure support may include:

  • refurbishments of general learning areas
  • new general learning areas
  • flexible learning areas delivered as new builds or through the refurbishment of existing facilities
  • school resource grants
  • other facilities such as amenities required in accordance with the Building Code of Australia.

Will any specialist classrooms be provided to support the Year 7 move?

The department will provide Flexible Learning Areas at schools where new classrooms are required for Year 7 in 2015 or where there is a large number of Year 7 students predicted.

Other school facilities requests will be prioritised by the Capital Works Program using usual practices within the available budgets.

So what is a Flexible Learning Area?

A Flexible Learning Area (FLA) is designed to provide a supplementary space to support the introduction of Junior Secondary in high school. It is intended to support the roll out of the national curriculum by providing additional space for practical activities such as science, art or robotics and an expansion of project based activities.

It is not the intention that the FLA become a curriculum specific space but to be flexible enough to support a range of curriculum areas through its design and fit-out.

Schools receiving FLAs will also be entitled to an allowance for the purchase of equipment for these spaces. This equipment might include Bunsen burners, hot plates, a document camera, robotics gear, microscopes, and other science or art equipment.

How are school enrolment projections prepared?

Enrolment projections are prepared by the Office of Economic and Statistical Research (OESR) which is part of Queensland Treasury. The OESR prepares enrolment projections for each school by year level for up to five years in the future. OESR takes into account enrolment trends for each school, the surrounding schools, and demographic changes within a school's local area.

The OESR provide annual updates of enrolment projections and the department's infrastructure team monitors these closely to ensure that infrastructure solutions meet each school's needs.

What happens if the school enrols more students in 2015 than projected?

As is normal practice, enrolment projections will be monitored after a school has had its infrastructure needs for the Year 7 move negotiated. If any significant changes are forecast, the implications will be discussed between the school and the department.

The infrastructure team will also monitor actual enrolments for the 2015 school year. Additional learning areas will be provided in Term 1 2015 where required.

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Further questions

If you have any further questions please contact your local school or the department.