What is Transition Year?
The Transition Year is a one-year educational programme available to students who have completed their Junior Cycle education. It aims to help young people to make the transition to senior cycle and beyond.
It is a broadly based programme which includes traditional academic subjects, careers education, work experience and social development. it helps students consider their own aptitudes and abilities and to reflect on their future educational and work choices in a year free from the pressures of examinations.
- To get students more involved in what they learn in school;
- Enable students to take a greater responsibility for their own learning and decision making;
- To give students a wide range of experiences and skills in education;
- To develop students self-confidence and social skills to foster a greater awareness of adult and working life;
- At the end of the year students should be more capable of working on their own initiative.
Health Ed and PE
The aim of the TY programme is to empower students to take responsibility for their own health and physical well-being. The programme gives student confidence to make choices which will help them lead a healthy life and positively~ respond to the challenges they encounter.
Some of the activities include Archery Workshop, Pitch and Putt, Longford Tennis Club, Team Challenges, Games, Outdoor Pursuits, Personal Challenges. They also organise and run an orienteering event for 2nd years in Derrycassin Wood.
Provides students with an overview of the EU and raises student’s cultural awareness of the EU countries. Students engage in project work and exchange projects with other European schools. The TY pupil’s project work was highly commended and the project on ‘Famous Irish People’ was selected and published exclusively on the EU studies website.
The four linguistic skills of reading, speaking, writing and listening are developed during this year. Project work, mock orals and written assessments are used to monitor progress.
A French theater company performed a French play for the pupils. Trips are organised which incorporate workshops and language sessions.
French week is held in January involving cross-curricular activities, e.g. French, Cookery, Music, History and Culture.
Development of skills allows great experimentation and pupil creativity in selection, development and presentation of dishes. Core areas include: Festive cookery, product development, recipe book project, organic food, food science and hygiene certificate course is also followed. Aspects of Horticulture are also studied and a visit to a garden centre organised.
The Transition Year Irish programme focuses on the constant improvement of oral skills including an oral Irish examination. The students also get to learn about Irish culture and folklore and play an active part in ‘Seachtain na Gaeilge’.
Students follow the ECDL template of coursework. Students take 2 modules of ECDL presentation module and information and communication module.
Students study local environment and global environment. Group project work, practical work, paired work are all engaged in during the course. Pupils take part in National Competitions such as agri-aware and young environment award. Links with Leaving Cert Geography and History projects are incorporated into course.
Incorporates design, skill development, knowledge of materials. A module on solid works is done which links directly with Leaving Cert Technical Graphics.
Includes development of performing skills such as guitar lessons, singing and workshops take place during the year.
Students learn how to take photographs, film school activities and are involved in the production of our annual school magazine.
TY students are invited to apply for the position of school correspondent annually. This can be a tremendous benefit if applying for work experience with local newspapers.
TY students can also act as sports reporters for cup basketball matches and have reports entered into a special competition.
In 2008 TY students had a fancy dress day it raised €1,700 for St Christopher’s in Longford. TY pupils helped with raising around €6,000 for various charities in Africa as part of our annual Mission Fast. TY students co-ordinate the Jack and Jill used mobile phone collection in the school.
Speakers are invited to the TY classes ” a variety of subjects where the students engage n and answer sections, e.g. an MEP in Euro ental Officer for Midland Region.
Competitions, Projects and Trips
Every year studentsake part in varied external competitions, trips and projects, e.g. Formula 1 in schools competition, An Gaisce Presidents awards, Public Speaking, Outdoor Pursuits, EU Commission Centre, Backstage Theater, Kairos TV studios Maynooth and Guer in France.
Assessment and Evaluation
Project work, written tests, oral tests, portfolios, worksheets, exhibitions and logbooks/diaries are used throughout the programme to assess the students progress. Reports are sent to parents as in other years.
The programme is regularly reviewed and evaluated by individual teachers, the programme co-ordinator and the programme team. Students also give feedback by filling in evaluation forms.
The school certifies students on completion of the programme based on their monitoring of students participation, enthusiasm, commitment, attendance and progress throughout the year. In addition externally certified courses are offered during TY, e.g. First Aid, ECDL, Media.
An NCCA national study found those who had done TY “were more likely to retain subjects at higher level for leaving cert” than others.
Also TY students do better by an average of 26 points than those who do not do TY at senior level. Repeat students only gain an average of 5 points more than those who do TY.
There is growing anecdotal evidence as reported by the points commission that students who have taken the TY programme are more self-reliant learners when they enter third level education than their peers.
Students who do TY, which encourages students to organise themselves for projects and study, seem to cope better with college.
From a report to the Department of Education and Science all informants agreed that most students mature as a result ofTY. There was consensus that TY promotes young peoples confidence, improves bonds between classmates and facilitates better relationships between students and teachers. Opportunities to explore adult and working life through work experience are seen as distinct benefits of TY. Students highlighted TY activities that involve learning beyond the conventional classroom. Many of the teachers indicated that TY has a positive im pact on school climate, suggesting that TY can be effective in bringing changes in student’s attitudes and school culture at senior level.