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Good study and behaviour records are necessary for a student to be considered for a place in Transition Year.
All things being equal, age may be a determining factor.
Note: The above criteria are not related to academic ability but are about the willingness to be involved.

RATIONALE FOR TRANSITION YEAR
The Transition Year Programmes is intended to facilitate the integrated development of the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social and vocational capacities of each individual student through a structured learning experience.

AIMS OF TRANSITION YEAR
Education for maturity with an emphasis on social awareness and increased social competence,
Education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity,Promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary and self-directed learning.

(Department of Education and Science Guidelines)


 Content:

The Transition Year is intended to cater for the needs and capacities of young people within a framework of a broad general education, which includes academic studies, personal development and education for working life. The following is an outline of the main areas covered in our programme.

 Induction:

Transition Year begins with an induction session where the aims of the year are explained to all students. The expectations we have for each of our students, and which we hope each student has for herself, are examined.

A Contract of Learning is signed by each student, her parent/guardian and the TY Co-ordinator. Signing the contract is a mark of each student’s commitment to the success of her Transition Year. From the staff’s point of view, it represents our commitment to treat Transition Year students as young adults participating in a course which we have planned with the goals of developing greater maturity, relevant skills and an orientation to the working world.

 Outdoor Pursuits:

At the beginning of Transition Year, a trip is organised to an outdoor pursuits centre in Recess, Co. Galway. This ‘bonding session’ has proved to be very successful and is now an integral part of our programme. Activities include canoeing, hill-walking, orienteering and wind surfing.

As well as providing the students with a wonderful opportunity to acquaint themselves with their new classmates, it is guaranteed enjoyment and exercise in a healthy, safe and picturesque environment.

 Work Experience:

This involves spending time as part of the Transition Year programme, learning at first-hand about life in a work place. The employer agrees to co-operate with the school, in taking on a student in a Work Experience placement. The employer knows that s/he is taking on a person, as part of a learning experience, not as some form of cheap labour.

Work Experience is an integral part of education for working life. In addition to giving students an insight into the world of work, it also provides them with opportunities for developing their social and life skills. Students are therefore not normally paid during their placement. To be effective, work experience must be planned properly in advance, must not be with a family member and will be monitored closely by the school.

To date, work experience has taken place for two weeks in the second term.

Gaisce Awards:

Gaisce is the National Challenge Award from the President of Ireland to the young people of Ireland aged between fifteen and twenty-five years.

The purpose of the award is to encourage young people to set and achieve a demanding challenge for themselves in each of four different areas of activity as follows:

- Community Involvement - Personal Skill - Physical Recreation - Venture Activity

The basic requirements for each participant is measured by hours of effort and commitment to earn an award. All TY students are encouraged to accept the challenge of the Gaisce Award and the progress of the participants is monitored throughout the year. For further information about the President's Award, see the following web site: http://www.gaisce.ie

Study/Homework:

Transition Year students do not always get what is traditionally known as ‘homework’. Homework in TY will include project work, research, information gathering and presentation preparation. Students who are committed to the programme find that they have a lot of work/study to do out of school. The new study skills developed throughout the year are very beneficial for the Leaving Certificate.

Time Allocation:

TY students follow the same timetable as other students in the school. Within the forty period week, adjustments are made according to the number of class groups within TY. For example, in recent years, the time allocation for subjects was adjusted, which facilitated possible modules such as Film Studies and Legal Studies.

It is impossible to know, in advance, the definite arrangements for the incoming group of students, until the number of accepted applicants is established.

To date, all students have studied virtually all subjects with the aim of broadening their educational experience.

Assessment:

When we think of assessment, many of us automatically think of examinations, often where several years’ work is evaluated based on what can be produced in a few hours.

Transition Year offers a unique opportunity to assess the overall contribution made by the student to the success of her year. We are assessing the present Transition Year students using the following criteria:

Attendance, Classroom behaviour, Punctuality, Overall standard of work, Uniform, Co-operation with others, Initiative, Contribution to show, Reliability, Work experience, Effort/Enthusiasm, Meeting deadlines, Having required class materials, Handing up forms/letters/money and so forth.

A Mid-Year Assessment report is sent out at the end of January to update all parents/guardians about their daughter’s progress.

At an Open Night, at the end of the school year, each student will be presented with a certificate based on her performance throughout the year. The levels of certification are: Distinction, Merit Plus, Merit and Credit. They will also be presented with a general certificate of participation, issued by the Department of Education and Science.

Open Night:

Students have an opportunity to display many of their newly acquired and developed talents at the Open Night, to which all parents/guardians are invited. Art displays, project displays, a variety show and presentation of certificates to students provide a busy finish to a very busy year.