Joining the Dots Forum 2013

Joining the Dots ForumCoinciding with rapid developmental changes during adolescence, primary to secondary transition has been increasingly identified as a significant period in a young person’s life, extending from grade 5 to year 9, not just grade 6 to year 7. The Joining the Dots report (December 2012) showed the need for more early intervention and coordinated approaches that involve families to ensure all of our young people are supported so that they successfully navigate their way through their transition to high school and beyond.

The Joining the Dots Forum on Wednesday 11 September at the Treacy Conference Centre attracted 70 people from schools, community agencies and other education providers from Yarra and the surrounding inner northern region of Melbourne. The Forum was a capacity building initiative of the Yarra Primary Secondary School Transition Project, within the Yarra Education Youth Commitment Strategic Priorities Action Plan 2013.

The Forum aimed to demonstrate the importance of and exemplify current practices around primary to secondary transition and engagement programs and strategies that support all young people to remain connected to learning and school through and beyond the critical middle years.

Presentations and supporting documents relating to the Forum and Workshops can be downloaded by clicking on the links below:


Forum Information

PDFDelegate Forum Information Pack (PDF, 529KB)

Includes Program Outline, Keynote Speaker Biographies, Workshop Abstracts, Useful Resources

Keynote Presentation

Angie Wilcock
High Hopes
High Hopes Booklet (PDF, 298KB)
“Primary to Secondary – What’s so special?”Transition Grid – 4 phases and 5 areas of action: Possibilities (PDF, 26KB)
Transition Grid – 4 phases and 5 areas of action: Example (PDF, 23KB)
Vivienne Archdall PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 235KB)
“School Community Partnerships to support young people to remain engaged in learning and at school (Grade 5 – Year 9)”

Workshops- Session 1

Elwood College Avoiding the Academic Attainment Drop
This Workshop was based around:

  • International research regarding the ‘drop’ in learning that occurs after a school-to-school transition for all students – not just those usually deemed to be ‘at risk’.
  • Types of data that should be shared between primary and secondary, strategies for making data more usable for secondary staff.
  • Research that reminds leaders involved in determining transition programs of the need for a program that equally supports both the wellbeing and academic needs of individuals.
  • Sharing of Elwood College’s ‘Second Storey’ Transition Program.

Downloads available
PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 1.5MB)

“Avoiding the Academic Attainment Drop”

Transition Program Brochure (PDF, 368KB)
Values in Transition Survey (PDF, 105KB)

Glenroy College  Inner Northern LLEN School Community Action Teams
Action Research undertaken in 2011 has informed a demonstration project at Glenroy College in 2012, themed around improving student disengagement.  What is the methodology behind School Community Action Teams?  What are the benefits of school and community coming together to solve an important issue within the school?  This model of approach will be critiqued and learnings shared with all workshop participants.Downloads available
PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 3.5MB)“Glenroy College…a case study in developing school community partnerships”Moreland Under 16 Project ReportSchool Assessment Tool Reflection Matrix (PDF, 405KB)
The Pavilion School Moving from punishment to support
This workshop raises the question of “how do weprovide an excellent education to children and young people most marginalized and excluded in our society?”
“Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality” Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Jo Howie, Principal of the Pavilion will outline whole school and individual strategies to support and include students with social, emotional and behavioural problems.Downloads available
PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 1.1MB)
Warragul Regional College Catching kids before they fall : Our unique Pyramid Response to Intervention
Iain Luck, Assistant Principal at WRC will lead a discussion about the ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘wherefore’ of their responses to intervention at Warragul Regional College and the Student Services Model that has been developed to ensure these responses occur in a timely and effective manner.The College believes that student wellbeing is intrinsic to the education process and has adapted the Pyramid Response to Intervention Model to ensure that when supporting students’ academic achievement, the social-emotional, behavioural, academic, and pathway aspects of student need is taken into account.Downloads available
PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 2.6MB)“WRC Pyramid Response to Intervention”

Workshops- Session 2

Carlton Primary School Tailored transition, a School & Youth Service partnership
This Workshop will introduce the tailored transition program that Carlton Primary School are creating to better support their students and ensure a high quality handover to the local high schools.The School has a very high proportion of African refugees in its student population, and works closely with the Drum youth services to support the students and their families. The Drum has staff embedded at the two local high schools. Both the school and the Drum youth services aim to work closely with parents in a whole of family approach.
Foundation House Schools supporting families
This workshop explored how schools can work with families to build their social capital: a crucial element of their capacity to engage with their child’s education.There was a focus on supporting families of refugee background through referencing the recovery goals devised by Foundation House, and by using the Ager and Strang framework which promotes the building of social capital.Weblinks availableResources

Hands On Learning

Hands On Learning 
This Workshop exposed school leadership teams to the Hands On Learning method which has been proven to significantly increase attendance, improve vocational and academic pathways, and reduce youth unemployment.The HOL method involves 10 students working with two artisan-teachers one full day each week on creative building projects that benefit the school and local community. Student engagement increases through safe respectful relationships that cultivate a sense of belonging and tangible learning opportunities that offer opportunities to experience success.Schools are successfully using the HOL method as targeted early intervention for students in Years 5-10 who have typically experienced bullying or difficulty learning in the classroom. Vulnerable students remain connected to their school community and receive ongoing long-term support. HOL participants experience permanent, positive change.Downloads available
2013_YPSSTP_Forum_HandsOnLearning (PPT, 2.3MB)Weblinks available“Hands On Learning – The hook that keeps kids at school”Deloitte Access Economics Report “The socio-economic benefits of investing in the prevention of early school leaving”
Mission Australia Frankston Child School Leavers Pilot: Successes and Challenges
This pilot program funded by DEECD (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development)
re-engagement pilot and Buckland House Foundation works with six government primary schools and four government secondary schools in the Frankston area partnering together with Mission Australia to address disengagement in the 8-13 year old cohort.The program has established pathways back to education though a phased response: outreach and assessment; case planning, educational engagement; and transition support. The program has adopted a holistic and integrated services approach working directly with students, their family and the school community.We have been working with students aged between 8 and 13 years who have disengaged from school and education. The program is also working intensively with the students’ families and teaching staff to establish pathways back to school.Downloads available
PowerPoint Presentation (PPT, 1.4MB)

Travancore School

Supporting young people at risk of school refusal
The middle years of schooling can be a time where decreasing school attendance can contribute to youth vulnerability. This workshop explored what school refusal is, how to notice the warning signs that a young person is at risk of school refusal, assessing the function of school refusal and how to develop return to school plans. Downloads available
PowerPoint Presentation Handouts (PPT, 230KB)“Supporting young people at risk of school refusal”

Plenary Session Workshop

Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) Every day is transition day
This workshop examined the Research Document published by CEOM in 2010. This document explores the multiple transitions that children and young people experience over the course of their educational careers K-12. The CEOM believes that the support offered to young people by families and schools at these important times can determine whether students remain engaged and connected to school. Helen Thomas, Team Leader Wellbeing and Community Partnerships, facilitated the session which included anaudit for school action on transition.Downloads available
Powerpoint Presentation (PPT, 1.2MB)Every day is transition day Research Document