Schools gearing for Year 7s

After next year, children in public schools who were born between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003 will commence Year 7 at secondary level, with special consideration given to families in some regional areas.

The State Government introduced the changes to coincide with the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum and to address the increased age of primary students caused by the change of the school starting age in 2001.

Churchlands Senior High School principal Neil Hunt said the school started planning for the switch last year, holding meetings with local primary school teachers to map changes between the new and old curricula.

‘Staff have been developing their resources and approach to the new Australian curriculum such that in 2013 (Churchlands) had moved fully to the new curriculum content,’ Mr Hunt said.

Perth Modern School principal Lois Joll said additional staff would be recruited and a new multi-purpose gym would be built and fully operational by September 2014 to support the influx of new students.

‘We are anticipating only beneficial outcomes from having Year 7 students join the school,’ Ms Joll said.

The private school system is also feeling the impact of the switch.

Presbyterian Ladies’ College principal Beth Blackwood said this year for the first time the school had experienced a greater intake of Year 7 enrolments than Year 8s. She said ‘the shift had occurred’, with the trend repeated in 2014 enrolments.