In 2015, following consultation with key stakeholders including principals and parents, the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS) endorsed the move of Year 7 from primary to secondary settings. Most Catholic schools in South Australia will make this change in 2019.
At the time of the 2015 decision, a small number of schools were granted an exemption including schools in regional South Australia who do not have a secondary Catholic school in close proximity and schools co-located with other schools offering Year 7 in a primary context. In 2016, some primary schools in the eastern region of Adelaide were also granted temporary exemptions, subject to a review.
SACCS has recently reviewed the exemption for schools in the eastern region and determined that it will conclude at the end of 2019.
This means that from 2020 the following schools will offer enrolments from Reception through to Year 6: St Joseph’s School, Hectorville; St Joseph’s School, Payneham; St Joseph’s School, Tranmere; St Francis of Assisi School, Newton; St Joseph’s Memorial School, Norwood, and St Raphael’s School, Parkside.
Catholic Education began its move of Year 7 students to secondary schools with the first intake of 77 Year 7s at Gleeson College, Golden Grove, in January this year.
Gleeson College was the first Catholic secondary school in South Australia to switch from being a Year 8–12 school to catering for Year 7–12. The move paves the way for the bigger switch that will happen in 2019 when all Catholic secondary schools will include Year 7.
At the same time, most Catholic primary schools in the State will cater for Reception–Year 6 students.
“We’re confident this change is in the best interests of our students,” said Neil McGoran, director of Catholic Education South Australia.
“The experience of students and parents in Catholic R–12 schools who already offer Year 7 in a secondary context is overwhelmingly positive.”
Every other state and territory in Australia has Year 7 students in secondary school and many South Australian Catholic R-12 schools have been offering Year 7 in a middle school or secondary environment for years.
Fifty per cent of students in Catholic schools in SA already undertake Year 7 in a middle or secondary school.
“We’ve made this change to enhance students’ learning and development, and to ensure the best possible transition into secondary school,” said Dr McGoran.
“We’ve examined the experience of other states in Australia, as well as other educational systems around the world, and noted the importance of the transition into secondary school.”
Schools are working with students and families to prepare them for the transition to secondary school. Support is also available to families who are not considering a Catholic secondary option to help them further explore the opportunities and affordability of a Catholic pathway.
Parents who wish to find out more about the Year 7 transition should contact their school principal or go to www.cesa.catholic.edu.au
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