STARTING YEAR 7

We recognise that the transition from primary school to secondary school is a significant one. To make the shift as smooth as possible for our new Year 7 students, we offer a range of different orientation experiences to introduce them and their parents and caregivers to our school in a staged and supportive way.

Our approach

To support the smooth transition of students into secondary school, our Year 7 and 8 students are taught mainly in a ‘homeroom’ situation where one teacher delivers the learning areas of Mathematics, English, Science and Social Sciences. Students also try a range of other subjects including Visual Art, Drama, Music, Computing, Materials Technology, Spanish, Te Reo Māori, and Physical Education and Health and Food and Nutrition.

Orientation

Parent and caregiver information session

Late in Term 3 or early in Term 4, parents and caregivers of students starting Year 7 in the following year are invited to attend an information session. The session includes a presentation focusing on our school’s values, expectations and curriculum, and is followed by an informal gathering where parents and caregivers can meet members of our school team. 

MAC Principal school visits

Later in Term 4, our school principal and the Year 7 curriculum leader visit each of the Upper Clutha primary schools to share a ‘taste of MAC’. They talk about what our new Year 7 students can expect when they join our MAC community and what a typical day is like at our school. Our Year 7 curriculum leader and our special needs coordinator also meet with Year 6 teachers at the primary schools to share a handover of information about each student. 

Year 6 Open Day

Towards the end of Term 4, Year 6 students enrolled to commence at MAC the following year are invited to an Open Day at our school campus. This half-day event includes a tour of the school and is a chance to meet their teachers and spend some time in their classrooms and other learning spaces. 

On the first day

On their first day at our school, our new Year 7 students meet their homeroom teacher and whānau teacher, as well as Year 13 students from their whānau group. The first day is a chance to get to know their teachers and classmates and learn their way around the school. During the afternoon, our senior student leaders spend some time with our new Year 7 students to welcome them to our school and answer any questions they might have. 

From week one, our Year 7 students begin their compulsory learning areas of Mathematics, English, Science and Social Sciences and also try a range of other subjects to give them a taste of different learning areas which they will select from when they reach Year 10.

In the first week of school, we also host a House Day where our students enjoy an excursion off-site with members of their House and then return to school for an afternoon of fun including a tug-o-war contest among the houses. Our House Day is a great way for our new students to get to know other students while  experiencing our school spirit.

Buddy mentoring programme

Our buddy mentoring programme is one way we support our Year 7 students as they make the transition into high school. Every week for the first three terms of the year, a group of Year 12 and Year 13 students spends time engaging with our Year 7 classes. These students help run activities, read books with the junior students, and generally provide encouragement for our Year 7 students to engage with their academic curriculum.

Students needing extra support

Generally, thanks to our strong links with local primary schools, we are aware of students joining our school who may need additional support during their transition to secondary school. With this knowledge, we are able to arrange extra visits for these students as part of their orientation. If you feel your child may need additional support as part of their transition to Year 7, please contact the school office on 03 443 0499 and they will arrange for a member of our staff to get in touch with you.

Resources