Joining the Dots Yarra (2012-2017)

The Yarra Primary Secondary School Transition Project was initiated in 2012 in response to critical concerns about primary secondary school transition in the City of Yarra. The purpose of the Project was to identify, implement and evaluate a transition model for young people, their families, the community sector and schools that ensure young people remain engaged in education.

Now known as Joining the Dots (JTD), this six year action research project (2012-2017) was a key initiative of the Yarra Youth Commitment, a strategic cross sector partnership which came to an end in 2016.

With funding support from two City of Yarra Investing in Community Grants, JTD Yarra is in its final year of implementation and evaluation of the transition model. Strategic direction has been provided by a dedicated, knowledgeable and cross sector Steering Group. Elements of this highly regarded project have already been implemented in smaller JTD projects across the inner north of Melbourne.

2017 Steering Group members, Sally Ball absent

2017 Steering Group members, Sally Ball absent


Primary to secondary school transition was initially highlighted as an area of concern in INLLEN’s 2010 Education Forum in Yarra, and in subsequent community discussions via the Yarra Youth Commitment.

In 2012, the Yarra Primary Secondary School Transition Project came to fruition with three year funding (2012-2014) from the City of Yarra to develop an evidence-based Model for Transition in Yarra that could be replicated and scaled. A further three years of funding (2015-2017) from the City of Yarra has enabled the newly titled Joining the Dots (JTD) Project to implement and evaluate the interim Transition Model across Yarra.



JTD Transition Model

The following table highlights major components of the Project (2012-2017):


Major Components


Data collection, Research … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … JTD Report 1
Cross Sector Project Steering Group formed
Fitzroy High School Demonstration Project … … … … … … … … … … FHS Report
JTD Forum for Educators and Agencies
Transition Review Process
– First implemented in six Yarra schools
– Shared Learning Community established
Professional Development for Agencies and Schools
Data Collection
Transition Model developed … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … JTD Report 2
Transition Review Process
– Implemented in another six Yarra schools
– Shared Learning Community (12 member schools) now convened by Fitzroy High School
JTD Forum 2 for Educators and Agencies
Bus Tours of eight Yarra Secondary Schools
Data Collection … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … JTD Report – Phase 4
Transition Review Process
–  Implemented in one other Yarra school
–  Shared Learning Community (13 member schools)
Professional Development Series
Data Collection
Parent and Family Engagement Workshop – 25 May
JTD Forum 3 for Educators and Agencies – 2 August
Bus Tours of four Yarra primary schools – 26 October
Data collection, Research, Refined Transition Model … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … JTD Report 3
Formal External Evaluation of Project … … … … … … … … … … … … JTD Evaluation Report

As an action research project, each component of the Project has been informed by previous components, up-to-date data, and/or evidence of need.

Project Partners

Joining the Dots Yarra would not have been possible without the six year (2 x 3 year) Investing in Community Grants from the City of Yarra (2012-2017). We also acknowledge Youth Connections for funding the Fitzroy High School Demonstration Pilot (2013-2014).

Thanks and acknowledgement must go to the following schools and organisations for their significant in-kind contributions as members in past and/or current JTD Yarra Project Steering Groups (in alphabetical order):

Thanks and acknowledgement must also go to the other schools and agencies in Yarra and beyond who have opened their doors for bus tours, presented their practice at various workshops and forums, and/or participated in JTD activities.

Information for Schools

Information on 2018 opportunities for schools to follow shortly. Watch this space!


Yarra Shared Learning Community (SLC)

All Yarra SLC member schools have completed the Transition Review Process as part of the JTD Project. This 3-step self reflective process, facilitated by a JTD Project Officer, led each school to audit their current practice, evaluate priorities and develop their own Action Plan on Transition and Engagement. The Yarra SLC, convened by Fitzroy High School, now has 13 School Members (below) who meet once a term with the common purpose of shared learnings, collaborative work and process consistency around transition and engagement.

Abbotsford Primary School
Academy of Mary Immaculate
Collingwood College
Collingwood English Language School
Fitzroy Primary School
Fitzroy High School
Princes Hill Secondary College
Sacred Heart School
Simonds Catholic College
Spensley Street Primary School
Richmond West Primary School
Trinity Catholic School
Yarra Primary School

Information for Agencies

Students, families and schools all need support during the eventful transition years from primary to secondary school and agencies are well placed to provide this in partnership. A large component of Joining the Dots projects involves building the capacity of school staff, students and families and we welcome community partners that can offer their expertise including programmatic support, professional development opportunities and practical resources.

We also offer professional development opportunities to community agencies throughout the year and encourage you to peruse the Resources section (tab at the top of the page) of our website for tools that may assist your understanding of the transition process, practices and challenges for schools.

For more Transition Resources follow this link

Events and Activities

Resource – Preparing for Secondary School: A Guide for Parents 2017

This is a valuable conversation tool and companion to secondary school application packs. It has been developed to help guide parents/families through the process of selecting a secondary school, applying, enrolling and supporting learning at home. While this Resource is suitable for any locale, it also contains specific information about Yarra secondary schools.
Download a high res file for printing PDF (11.6MB)
Download a low res file for viewing online PDF (2.5 MB)


Free Workshop – Parent and Family Engagement – 25 May 2017

On Thursday 25th May, 37 participants from schools in the north and some community agencies who work with schools, converged at Trinity Catholic School in Richmond. Participants learnt to unpack parent and family engagement from a school perspective, workshopped a self reflective audit tool and gained some practical strategies and resources to use within their own workplaces. Participants also valued the opportunity to make new contacts, hear from a parent perspective, and learn from two diverse education settings. Presenters included Parents Victoria, Catholic Education Melbourne, St Peter Chanel School Deer Park, and Glenroy College. Feedback from the day showed that participants wanted more than a half day!

Download Resources from the Workshop below:

Workshop Presentation (.PDF file)
CECV – Transition for Students with Diverse Needs
Glenroy College Report (.PDF file)
Parents Victoria – Working Together
PEAR – Guide and Toolkit
PEAR – School Action Plan Template (.docx file)
CEM – Community Conversations Booklet (link to download a .PDF file)
Foundation House – Schools and Families in Partnership (a desktop tool for engaging families from refugee backgrounds)


Forum – Joining the Dots 2017 – 2 August 2017

Educators and community agencies discovered and explored School-Family-Community Partnerships for improved transition and engagement in learning at the Joining the Dots 2017 Forum held on the 2nd of August. A full day’s program featured international keynote speaker, Dr George Otero, practical and interactive workshops and plenty of professional networking opportunities!

Explore and download resources from the forum

2017 Joining the Dots Forum, 2nd of August.

2017 Joining the Dots Forum, 2nd of August