The Murdoch Institute reports that the primary to secondary school transition is a time when children, particularly those with vulnerabilities, need strong social and educational support systems. Students with emotional and behavioural problems and low wellbeing all had higher rates of disengagement in year 7. We take great heart in hearing from the research that Year 6 teachers are good at predicting difficulties and are able to identify which students are likely to encounter problems in secondary school, including losses in their learning progress.
Drawing on the EdConnect Mentor model, we have created a specific Transition Mentors Program to support students as they journey through their transition, providing a trusted and stable adult to support them from grade six and into year 7.
EdConnect piloted the program in Geelong, thank to the support of the Give Where You Live Foundation with one primary to secondary setting and one P-8 to 9-12 campus.
- 100% of teachers reported high or very high benefit for the student having a trusted adult to provide support in difficult times.
- 100% reported high to very high student stability created through having a mentor. The transition mentors have “helped the student feel confident to start high school” and another student “benefitted from having a person who he knows is there for him to talk to and will be there for him next year as well”.
- 100% of the students who participated in the pilot would recommend the program.
Noah, a Year 7 student spoke positively about his experience of being mentored, “It felt like whenever he (my mentor) came to see me every Tuesday, he was bringing a little bit of my old primary school with him.”
Next steps 2022-2024
The EdConnect Transition Mentor Program continues in 2022-23 thanks to The Geelong Community Foundation and will expand into our Western Metropolitan Region in 2023-2024 thanks to Collier Charitable Trust.
The impact statement below indicates that the Transition Mentor Program had an extremely positive impact on students, mentors and school participants.
- Download the Impact Statement.