TRANSITION: Samaritan College Year 6 students Emily Coffey, front, and Lauren Dempsey will transition to St John’s Campus next year under the new arrangements.Samaritan College will be the first school in Whyalla to have its Year 7 students moved to a higher education campus.

Thestudents will now be educated at St John’s Campus, having previously stayed at the Our Lady Help of Christians College for their final primary year.

Principal Damian Judd said the move would allow the students to have regular access to better facilities.

“Previously, we would have to put students on a bus to access a science laboratory – now they can have all of their lessons in there,” he said.

“They can also use physical education facilities such as the gymand have access to more computer rooms.”

Mr Judd said the school was now coming “into line”with other countryschools, including Caritas College in Port Augusta, in moving Year 7into a secondary setting.

“South Australia is the only state where all Year 7s are not moved into a higher educational setting,” he said.

“It allows us to use our resources in a more efficient way. Ifwe have the room, we may as well let them move up.

“The facilities here have a primary school flavour which will help them feel at home.”He said most students were comfortable with the changeand that the school planned a smooth transition.

“We will upgradean outdoor area at St John’s which will be specifically for Year 7s to gather in at lunch and recess,” he said.

“We are making sure we aren’t forcing them to become high school kids before they are ready.

“They will have the same uniformand their principal will be changing just a year earlier.

“They will still have one teacher for most of their subjectsand in theory it will provide teachers with a more straightforward curriculum.”

Mr Judd said the school had seen several new students applying to study Year 7 at the campus.

“It is open for everyone, not just current students,” he said.

“Some students are happy to stay on the traditional route for education while others are excited about achange.”

According to Mr Judd, John Pirie Secondary School in Port Pirie is also considering a Year 7switch, however this is not confirmed.

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