Transition to High School Life

To share in creating something worthwhile with others is fundamental to humanity. This is our reality at St Mary’s where the staff (teacher support and teaching) are united and totally committed to providing quality care and setting high standards and expectations. We exercise growth promoting spirit to ensure our community continues to mature into an outstanding Year 7 to 12 Catholic college.

To support Year 6 students as they transition to high school life we provide a comprehensive enrolment package, open day sessions for parents, enrichment days for the students, a parent information evening, and staff and student visits to our associated primary schools.

A detailed orientation process follows the enrolment process, including personal interviews with each student and their parents, and an information session for parents. We also stage an orientation day for all students, provide a thoroughly detailed orientation process for students with special needs, and engage all students in a Peer Support Program from day one in Year 7.

In 2021, we expanded our Year 7 Induction Program to reflect our mantra – Be safe. Be respectful. Be a learner.

The program introduces Year 7 students to our Catholic culture, such as:

  • mantra and motto
  • heritage and culture
  • core values including those underpinning our learning environment
  • practices and key beliefs including prayer and worship.

The Induction Program also introduces Year 7 students to key aspects of college life, including:

  • the building of relationships between students and staff; college tour and facilities; student leaders and Peer Support Program; Study Program and Resources to support home learning; an introduction to key support personnel including college counsellors, Aboriginal Education Officer, learning support team, administration staff, groundsman, canteen, uniform, student services personnel
  • Learning Centre (library) and the role of teacher librarian
  • emergency procedures

We also introduce Year 7 students to the college learning environment and its focus on digital literacy.

At St Mary’s, we are committed to developing digital literacy in our teachers and students. Our teaching practices are evolving to reflect the changing world, and we aim to ensure technology plays a significant part in making knowledge accessible. Using technology, we will make the educational experiences of our students more immersive, relevant and globally connected. We are committed to ensuring all students and teachers develop a high level of digital literacy.

Maitland Newcastle CSO Statement (2020):

It is essential that students be prepared to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape where they utilise collaboration, communication, creativity, innovation and critical thinking skills. The use of technology in Catholic schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle provides students with these opportunities as they leverage technology to take an active role in their learning.

The Year 7 Induction Program aims to introduce students to the following.

  • Cyber awareness, which enables our students to make safe and responsible decisions online. This includes an introduction to eSmart and its content relating to internet safety, privacy and security, digital footprint and reputation, cyberbullying, information literacy, self-image and identity, and plagiarism/creative credit.
  • Development of skills such as general digital skills, internet usage and email (including attachments, images); graphics and multimedia; Microsoft Office – PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Filing and administration; desktop publishing.
  • Transferable skills such as communicating, creating collaboratively, investigating and inquiry.
  • The learning protocols and norms for St Mary’s.