Victorian government schools are part of a strong and vibrant education system providing every child with the opportunity to thrive, learn and grow. In Victoria, most children attend primary school from Prep to Year 6, and secondary school from Year 7 to Year 12.
Starting kindergarten is an important milestone in the lives of both you and your child. To be eligible to enrol in a funded kindergarten program, your child must be at least four years old by 30 April of the year they are starting kindergarten.
Primary School – Prep to Year 4
Children must be five years of age or older by 30 April of the year they start school.
During the first years of learning, teachers aim to create a safe, happy environment where students are valued, praised, and encouraged. In Prep to Year 4, students are encouraged to make sense of the world around them through real-life experiences. The Prep to Year 4 curriculum emphasises the importance of reading, writing, spelling, essential maths and problem solving skills.
The Middle Years – Year 5 to 8
This period of schooling, referred to as the middle years, coincides with early adolescence. Schools have strategies in place for Years 5 to 8 to ensure students are challenged and their literacy and numeracy skills continue to grow. Middle years programs also support the development of relationships between primary schools and secondary schools, to ease the transition of students between the two.
Secondary School Enrolment
During the first half of your child’s Year 6, you will be asked to nominate the secondary school your child will attend in Year 7. Parents of Year 6 students will be asked to complete enrolment forms for the secondary school of their choice early in the year.
As part of the transition from Year 6 to Year 7, students participate in an orientation day. This may include a school tour, meeting fellow students and teachers, and taking part in special lessons and activities.
Years 9 to 10
In Year 9 students are beginning to see their future as adults. They are experiencing profound physical, social, emotional and intellectual development changes. Students in this stage often pass the age of compulsory attendance at school. They have a growing interest in the pathways they intend to pursue.
Years 10 to 12
In Years 10 to 12 students continue exploring pathways for the future to equip them for tertiary education or training and employment.
VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) – provides pathways to further study at university, TAFE and the world of work.
VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) – is a hands-on option for Years 11 and 12 students, offering practical work-related experience. Within VCAL students can undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Leaving School before End of Year 12
Although there a host of benefits to completing Year 12, some students may feel that they are ready to move on from school before the end of Year 12, and who prefer to undertake an educational or training program provided by a TAFE institute or other registered training organisation. The school careers coordinator is best equipped to help a student explore the options and pathways open to him or her.