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Transitioning from primary school to high school marks a significant milestone in the life of a young person, where the routines are different, the environment is different, uniforms are different and students change from having one classroom teacher to having a number of teachers. This period of adjustment requires careful attention and support to ensure a smooth and successful transition.  As a result, a nurturing and welcoming program is needed to be responsive to the diverse backgrounds of our students, designed to include all students as they commence high school at All Hallows’ School.

To ensure the very best start for every student, the Head of Years 7 & 8, in partnership Heads of House, classroom teachers, and Heads of Department,  leads the ‘Stepping Up to Year 7’ Welcome Program. This program uses a range of strategies and activities to create an environment that eases the transition for Year 7 students, fostering a sense of comfort, belonging and enthusiasm for their high school journey.

The Stepping Up to Year 7 program begins with the Year 7 students meeting their Year 12 buddies and Home Group teacher. This buddy system creates a lasting connection between the older and younger students. The younger students immediately have someone to whom they can ask questions about school life, knowing they will see this person every day in the vertical home group setting.

The Stepping Up to Year 7 program takes place throughout Semester 1, and includes the following highlights:

  • Day One whole-school treasure hunt to get to know the school environment.
  • Welcome sessions led by key members of the All Hallows’ staff, focused on understanding All Hallows’ School Mission, the AHSisterhood, Positive Behaviours and Getting Organised for Learning.
  • Learning how to use devices (Microsoft Surface Go) through several instructional sessions during Week 2 – students love receiving their shiny new devices, but these sessions ensure they know how to use them effectively and respectfully.
  • A whole-day immersion in the Potter Library (Discovery Day) to learn about the wonders and joys of the recently refurbished All Hallows’ Library, where students have an opportunity to discover the possibilities of the library space and build relationships with some new students.
  • Year 7 Retreat where students make deeper connections with their understanding of God, their sense of spirituality, self and others in their House.
  • Throughout Term 1, students can participate in a range of lunchtime activities run by Year 11s to continue building connections with others.
  • Year 7 Camp is a three-day camp focused on students stepping up to the responsibilities of being in year 7, having fun and building friendships with a range of different students across the year level.

The aim of this program is to strengthen students’ connections with their teachers, the school and with each other. By the end of the first semester, students will have ‘found their feet’ in adjusting to the rhythms of high school and are supported by a team of dedicated teachers to embrace the range of opportunities for learning that lay ahead.