Moving on up

TRANSITIONING: Year 7 coordinator, Toni Freer with two Year 7 students, Connor Gorey and Annabel Arnold.
TRANSITIONING: Year 7 coordinator, Toni Freer with two Year 7 students, Connor Gorey and Annabel Arnold.

St Mark’s College in Port Pirie are the first school in the Mid North to transition their Year 7 students from their primary campus, to their middle and senior campus. 

The change in campus is an initiative of Catholic Education South Australia which will see all Catholic Schools in 2019, transitioning their Year 7 students to senior campuses. 

Principal of the College, Greg Hay says the initiative is a strategic plan responding to the learning needs of their young people in their system. 

“They get an opportunity to work with specialist teachers in specialist facilities, so they’re working in kitchens, woodwork centres, music production classrooms, they get a chance to connect with more library and IT facilities that are set up for secondary learning.”

“We have an opportunity at St Mark’s to bring our young people over because we are a whole school already, and we had the infrastructure here to bring them over.” 

St Mark’s have rolled out the transition across the end of 2017, and beginning of this year, ensuring that parents and student’s needs were put at the forefront of all decisions that were made. 

“We had a whole transition program for the Year 6s last year. They visited a number of times, they came to our specialist facilities, they visited the farm, they saw the opportunities ahead and we closely consulted with the parents and we felt that we would journey together to make this a really good opportunity for the sevens”, Principal Greg Hay said. 

In their third week on the Bosco campus, the students are settling in well. 

Both teachers, and Year 11 buddies were very exciting to have the younger students on the campus, and St Mark’s have created a sense of family, ensuring the students are well integrated into the buddy and housing system. 

“There is a buddy system in place and our Year 11s had some formal training to make connection with the Year 7s. I know that within our care group structure, a Year 11 was sitting next to a Year 7, just to make sure they were okay. They are connecting well and the seniors have enjoyed seeing them over here.”

Year 7 student, Connor Gorey says it feels great to be at the new campus and he was really excited to move over. 

“I knew I could have friends that I could depend on. I was really excited to get my laptop and use that around campus and I am really excited for all the different classes that we get.” 

St Mark’s are following suit of other states, territories and independent schools who are have already begun transitioning their Year 7 students in middle and secondary campuses.