Lindsay Hale, executive director of statewide services, said it was the biggest reform of WA public schools in decades.
‘The move will give Year 7 students access to specialist subject teaching and facilities to support the new Australian Curriculum,’ he said.
‘It will provide exciting opportunities for students, as they will be introduced to new and more demanding concepts and ideas across all subjects.’
Department projections show more than 17,500 Year 7 students across WA will make the move to public secondary schools next year.
Those numbers mean it is important schools know how many students to prepare for.
Department director-general of schools David Axworthy said it was crucial parents ensure children starting Year 7 next year lock in their place by enrolling before July 25.
‘The secondary schools welcoming these students are planning for the transition, and knowing how many Year 7 students will be turning up on the first day of the school year will greatly help with that planning,’ he said.
Hamilton Senior High School principal Donna McDonald said planning at her school had been going on for three years.
She expects an extra 100 students next year, lifting student numbers above 550.
‘We’ve worked closely with our partner primary schools, the 10 schools that will feed into Hamilton SHS,’ she said.
‘We’ve had students come in and practise what it will be like and we’ve developed a Year 7 curriculum in line with the Australian Curriculum, with special attention paid to how we teach.
‘Feedback from parents is that they’re really comfortable with the changes.’
Children starting kindergarten, pre-primary, Year 8 or students changing schools must be enrolled by July 25.