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Supporting Student Transition from Primary to Secondary School

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Leaving primary school to go to high school can be a really stressful time for a lot of students. Sarah Perry, Miles State High School Guidance Officer, and her colleagues at Miles State School and High School leveraged the Swith4Schools program during their 2022 two-day transition program delivered during Term Four to monitor their students’ wellbeing during the transition.

On the first day when the students arrived, after getting to know each other, Sarah talked about the importance of emotions and how to differentiate between energy levels and different emotions. She then asked the students to use the Switch4Schools as a check-in program to identify how they were feeling. This highlighted some students that were feeling really anxious, Sarah and the school team were then able to circle back with students individually to reassure them as needed.

At the end of the second day, students again checked-in to record how they were feeling. The data from the first morning and the end of the second day were compared by the team on an individual and group basis. The data clearly showed a positive trend in students’ emotional well-being and thus their readiness to transition to high school with less anxiety. For students with some remaining anxiety the high school team were able to provide feedback to their feeder schools to ensure they received additional support in preparation for the change. This information also was used to plan for those students. Sarah and her team followed up at the beginning of this year and checked in with the identified students who were grateful to see a familiar friendly face and know they had someone in their corner.

Sarah reflected on how effectively using the Switch4Schools program was in identifying and actioning support to students in a timely manner.

Sarah Perry, Guidance Officer

Sarah, in addition to being a wife and mother to two teenage boys, is a Guidance Officer for Miles State High School, Taroom State School, Wandoan State School and Guluguba State School. She has filled many roles during her time working in Education Queensland including Classroom Teacher in both primary and secondary, Support Teacher for students with Learning Difficulties, Special Education Teacher, and most recently Guidance Officer.


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