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Bridging the transition from Year 6 to Year 7: A New Zealand context

The purpose of this study was to investigate the processes in place for vulnerable students when transitioning from Year 6 at primary school, to Year 7 at intermediate or middle school. Specifically, it investigates what data on vulnerable students is recorded, how this data is utilised when transitioning students, how it is disseminated by receiving schools and in what ways it is useful in supporting students. A convergent parallel mixed methods study design was used (Creswell & Clark, 2016); a national survey, a local Community of Learning / Kahui Ako survey and interviews were undertaken with five leaders from primary or intermediate/middle schools. This research identified a disconnect between primary feeder schools and receiving intermediate and middle schools in terms of what data is most valued, how it is utilised and how it is disseminated. Respondents recognised the difficulties inherent in developing effective transition processes and the academic, social, behavioural and emotional risks to all students during transition, with particular concern for the vulnerable learners. Respondents also acknowledged the benefit of working across schools and across communities and expressed a desire to address the needs of Māori and Pasifika learners. Recommendations are made for schools and teaching professionals to: i. engage in collective and collaborative professional discussion on the type, accuracy and value of data being collected and utilised ii. investigate changes in policy and practice with theory and current research as a basis for action iii. co-construct what skills and knowledge it is felt would be beneficial for a Year 6 learner to have in order to successfully transition to Year 7 at an intermediate/middle school iv. build understanding and relationships within the wider community through the Community of Learning / Kahui Ako v. collectively address the challenges of addressing and catering for Māori and Pasifika learners along with other diverse learners, so that there are clear and successful learning pathways
Type of thesis
Gilroy, K. (2018). Bridging the transition from Year 6 to Year 7: A New Zealand context (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12201
The University of Waikato
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