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Helping students move to secondary school - study

Helping students move to secondary school - study

A new research study will explore how New Zealand students cope during and after their transition to secondary school, and identify how to better help students make the move, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

“The new study will build on the findings of a Waikato University review of international and New Zealand research on the subject which I am releasing today," Trevor Mallard said.

"This review of research shows us there is a decline in achievement for many students during their transition to secondary school, and also that the transition can be stressful for many students who are used to the more nurturing environment of primary school.

"It also shows we have little New Zealand research evidence about the specific social and academic changes these students face, in particular, research about the experiences of Maori and Pacific Island students, and students at risk.

"Hence the reason to invest in our own research — we need to understand these issues from a New Zealand perspective.

"This new study, being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, will consider what factors might smooth or hinder a student’s transition years and show us what we can do to better support them.

"The research study will follow a group of students in Auckland and Wellington through their transition years to provide us with more relevant and in-depth information.

"Specifically, the study is following a group of Year 8 (formerly Form 2) students from their last term at primary school (Term 4, 2003) through to their first and second years at secondary school (2004/05).

"Students, parents, teachers and principals from two secondary schools and eight primary/intermediate feeder schools in Wellington and Auckland are involved.

"Students will be interviewed about their views on school, their own learning and achievement, extracurricular activities and their experiences of transition.

“The findings we gain from this study will also provide valuable information for our goal of improving the quality of teaching and learning by focusing on evidence-based research that shows what works in practice, on the ground."

The literature review Transition to Secondary School: Scoping the Issues and Research Directions was carried out by Clive McGee, Richard Ward, Joan Gibbons and Ann Harlow from the University of Waikato.

It is available at: http://www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/transitions

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