Year 7 Queenslanders start in high school for first time
By Emma Pollard and Alyse Edwards | Updated Tue Jan 27 17:06:18 EST 2015
The start of the new school year coincides with a major change in Queensland’s education system, with high school now starting in year 7.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said 80,000 students have made the jump to secondary school.
Previously year 7 students attended primary school in Queensland.
Mr Langbroek said starting year 7 in high school brings Queensland into line with every other state except South Australia.
“Our classrooms are ready, our teachers are ready and our parents and students are ready,” Mr Langbroek said.
He said moving year 7 into high school is a significant change that will benefit students at all Queensland schools.
“Students will get the stimulation they should have in areas like languages,” he said.
Mr Langbroek said the state’s high schools have been provided with extra teaches and funding grants to cater for the increase in students.
The CEO of P&Cs Queensland, Kevan Goodworth, said most parents were happy with moving year 7 students to high school.
“Queensland has trialled the move, there’s been a great deal of work in terms of looking at infrastructure and teachers and so on,” he said.
Sofia Faulke, aged 11, started her first day in year 7 at Mount Alvernia College in Kedron on Brisbane’s north side.
“I’m excited because there’s going to be new subjects and new sports that I haven’t tried before,” she said.
Dr Emily O’Leary, a clinical psychologist, warned parents to be on the lookout for signs of stress as their children start high school this week.
She was concerned some year 7 students may not be emotionally ready for high school if the anxiety levels seem “over and above what would be expected for their same-age peers”.
Dr O’Leary said parents should talk to their children if they have any concerns.
Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Mike Keating said school speed zones have come back into effect and police will be out in force.
“The message is pretty clear,” Mr Keating said.
“If you’re driving in and around school zones right throughout the school year, but particularly in the next week, we ask that you be mindful that there are young children moving in and around those school zones.
“Be mindful of where you are, where they are and please pay attention to your speed.”
Five-year-old twins Lola and Darcy Harrison started prep at Wilston State School on Brisbane’s north side.
Their mother Megan said they had been looking forward to it.
“It’s a big new adventure which is exciting but a little part of my heart wants them to stay at home,” she said
“It still feels like they were born yesterday … or starting kindy or starting to walk and now they’re going off to prep.”