The move from primary school to secondary school can be tough.
According to not-for-profit organisation Doxa, the “middle years” of secondary school can be fraught as issues such a bullying, peer pressure, drugs and stress come into play.
To counter the myriad pressures young people face when completing years 7 and 8, the organisation has introduced a program called Future Focus to support students in low socio-economic areas and help them connect to school life.
“For many young people, the transition to secondary school is highly disruptive,” Doxa general manager of partnerships and corporate affairs, Alison Polyik, said.
“It involves building new social networks, learning new styles of teaching and adapting to a more independent environment. Research shows that this is … where young people are most likely to disengage.”
The two-year program was launched at St Albans Secondary College last year, with the first students, having just reached the halfway mark, describing it as a life-changing.
Year 7 student Sarah said she has had an “amazing experience”.
“I have learnt so many life skills that will help me during school and into the future,” she said.
“Doxa has helped me face my fears and open up to people.”