The challenges New Zealand intermediate school leaders face as they transition year six primary students into year seven, intermediate schools

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Cornwell, Pauline
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Educational Leadership and Management
Unitec Institute of Technology
Howse, Jo
Youngs, Howard
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
primary school pupils
intermediate students
middle school students
transition between schools
school leaders
school leadership
Cornwell, P. (2014). The challenges New Zealand intermediate school leaders face as they transition year six primary students into year seven, intermediate schools. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of the Master of Education Leadership and Management.
There is strong evidence, internationally and in New Zealand, of the interruption to learning that occurs on transition from one school setting to another. In New Zealand the risks are greatest particularly for those students from Maori, Pacifica and new immigrant backgrounds, situated in low socio-economic communities. There is a gap in the literature regarding what strategies school leaders can confidently implement to effectively diminish the interruption to learning and to reduce the potential risks posed. School leaders are charged with deeply understanding their school communities so they can make decisions to meet the needs of their students. All decisions school leaders make should be focussed on improving learning outcomes for the students in their schools. School leaders are charged with establishing systems and processes that support students learning. School leaders are also charged with ensuring that the teachers in their schools are able to provide school-specific, high quality, educational opportunities for the students. This research was conducted in three intermediate schools situated in the low socio-economic inner city communities who cater predominantly for those students who are ‘the most at risk.’ In these schools interviews were conducted with the school leaders who were identified as ‘being responsible’ for transition from Year 6, primary school to year 7 intermediate schools. Also interviewed were the year 7 teachers, supporting newly enrolled year 7 students, in the same schools. This was to identify the challenges these school leaders and teachers face while transitioning students from a year 6 primary school into their year 7 classes. It sought to uncover what these school leaders and year 7 teachers did to address the risks from the interruption caused by the transition and to support the students’ learning.
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