The school has a well developed Transition Program with Foster Secondary College. The Grade 6 students visit the college several times and are involved in many of its activities. The school also receives visits from college staff and students who explain operational procedures and available subjects.
Teachers at Foster Gippsland Secondary College (F.S.C) and its feeder primary schools- Toora, Foster, Welshpool and Fish Creek- have worked together closely to provide a smooth and successful transition for the young students of our area.
Our Transition program includes a meeting early in the year to discuss any difficulties Year 7 students may be experiencing. Following this, two Year 7 students return to their primary school to talk to Grade 6 students. The Year 7’s display their work and provide details about routines, timetables, curriculum, camps, and school culture.
Our Grade 5 and 6 students visit F.S.C. for at least two Transition Days throughout the year. Our students take part in a mapping activity, learn canteen procedures, visit the library and have classes with F.S.C. staff. In December our Grade 6 students attend the state-wide Orientation Day. These visits are invaluable in providing familiarisation with their new surroundings and our students with special needs have the opportunity for extra visits.
As a Cluster we have developed and implemented an Information Proforma for Transition where Grade 6 teachers plot the AUSVELS levels of each student; identify special strengths and achievements; and assess social and emotional progress based on You Can Do It foundations. The proforma details Students on the program for Students with Disabilities and clearly identifies any students that are “at risk” and in need of closer attention. We feel that this process gives our Year 7 teachers a concise and accurate snapshot of each student placed in their care and they can then refer to Grade 6 teachers if additional information is necessary.
We believe strongly in familiarising students with key people at F.S.C. well before they begin Year 7. Towards the end of the year, Junior School Coordinators visit and speak to our students regarding programs offered and any potential concerns. At this stage we review the Information Proforma for Transition and make recommendations regarding class structures and student placement.
In Term four our Grade 6 students complete a “Passport to F.S.C.” in which they introduce themselves to Year 7 teachers.
Central to our transition program is the development of close relationships between the teachers in the primary and junior-secondary school area as well as with students and parents. Our aim is to ensure that our outgoing Year 6 students are well equipped to enter secondary college feeling at ease and secure in their new environment and are therefore more likely to experience success as a result.