Transition Year

Transition Year Curriculum 
Transition Year is a one year programme, it provides a bridge to enable students make the transition from junior to senior cycle. It encourages personal and social development and recognises the need for students to grow in independence. Transition year fosters academic achievement as students prepare for a Leaving Certificate programme, further study and adult and working life. Pupils are given an opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects thus enabling them to make better choices for their Leaving Certificate. It encourages the development of a wide range of transferable critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. There is growing evidence that students who have taken the Transition Year programme are more self reliant learners when they enter third – level education than their peers. 
We in St. Mary’s devise our own programme to cater for the needs of its students. This is done in accordance with the Department of Education and Science guidelines. The Transition Year programme offers students a broad and balanced curriculum which enables students to make a more informed decision regarding their subject choice at senior cycle. Our TY curriculum covers areas such as 
Core Subjects eg. Irish, English, Maths
Subject Sampling eg. French/Spanish, Chemistry/Physics, Business/Mini Company, Biology/Home Economics, History/Geography, Art, Music, ReligiousEducation ,Career Guidance, Physical Education, Digital Strategy. This wide range of subjects gives the student broad education as well as a taste of the optional subjects for Leaving Certificate.
As essential aim of our Transition Year programme is the preparation of the student for life and social competence, in order to achieve this we have timetabled a series of modules.
Modules Designed Specifically for TY – Swimming, Mountain Biking, First Aid Programme, Music/Drama, Law, Wellbeing, Debating, Public Speaking, Chinese, Sign Language, Choreography/Dance Module, 
Calendar Events eg. Work Experience, Visiting Speakers, Workshops and Field Trips.
Overnight Trips – One of the highlights of our Transition Year Programme is a 2 – Day overnight stay in the Burren where students participate in outdoor activities, this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. A trip to London taking in a show or a cultural trip to Belfast takes place after Christmas. We endeavour to keep the overall cost  to a minimum. 
Teaching and Learning – Key feature of our transition year programme is the use of a wide range of teaching and learning methodologies and situations. Practice is informed by research on mixed ability, multiple intelligences and integrated learning. Activities such as project and group work enable students to have a valuable and worthwhile learning experience with emphasis on  study skills and self directed learning. 
Assessment – Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Students are assessed on all aspects of the programme using a variety of assessment techniques such as project work, written tests, oral presentations, practicals, worksheets, diaries and portfolios. Student are encouraged to become involved through self assessment
Evaluation – We regularly review and evaluate the TY Programme in consultation with students, parents and staff.
Certification – On completing the Transition Year Programme students are awarded certification at the end of the school year, this is based on their participation, enthusiasm, commitment and progress throughout the year. They will also receive certification from external bodies ie. First Aid, Gaisce, Drive for Life and Law Module.
Transition Year Inspection Report May 2016
  • TY team in St Mary’s provides an excellent TY programme
  • It is structured in line with best practice and focuses on personal social and academic development of students
  • Key aspects of the programme are in pace, including the core and subject sampling layers
  • Work experience is very well structured and facilitates student reflection on key learning skills from their work experience.
  • Teaching and learning of very high quality that prioritised the development of student through experience, active participation and reflection was observed in all lessons.