The first day of the new school year will be extra special at Gordonvale State High School as it becomes the final state school to pilot Year 7 into high school ahead of the statewide move in 2015.
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek said the government would be looking to Gordonvale and 19 other state secondary schools to share their success of the pilot program.
“The Year 7 pilot program, which first began at Murrumba State Secondary College in 2012, is one of the very practical steps we have taken to ensure a smooth transition of Year 7 to secondary across Queensland,” Mr Langbroek said.
“Having had the first-hand experience of transitioning Year 7 students into secondary settings, we’ll be looking to our pilot schools to share their insights across school sectors.
“Our pilot schools have shown how consistency of class group and teachers is central to an effective transition for Year 7 students, as is greater support with developing organisation skills and bringing the best of primary and secondary teaching and learning together.”
Mr Langbroek said the Newman Government was investing almost $640 million over four years on the Flying Start reforms to move Year 7 into high school.
“This includes a capital investment of $328 million in state school infrastructure and a further $110 million for the non-state sector,” he said.
“We’ve been rolling out an ambitious program of infrastructure improvements in the state sector to make sure our schools are ready to welcome Year 7 students in 2015.
“A total of 365 infrastructure projects are being delivered at 288 state schools across Queensland, with 227 projects at 199 schools completed to date.
“Year 7 students starting at Gordonvale State High School Students this year, for example will be supported by a new $3.3 million state-of-the-art facility that includes four classrooms, one flexible learning area, a project development area, two drama rooms, a music room and a staff area.”
Mr Langbroek said the 2014 school year would also mark the second year of implementation of Junior Secondary, a phase of learning in state secondary schools that focuses on the specific academic, social and emotional needs of students in Years 7 to 9 as they transition through the early years of high school.
“We will be recruiting up to 1,300 additional teachers for the early years of high school, including those choosing to transition from primary settings,” he said.
“My Department will be working hard this year to support schools, teachers, parents and future Year 7 students so that the move of Year 7 to high school will be as seamless as possible.”
More information about the Flying Start reforms and the move of Year 7 to secondary school is available at www.flyingstart.qld.gov.au
Current and aspiring teachers interested in the Junior Secondary teaching opportunity should register their interest at www.teach.qld.gov.au