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Transition Year


The Transition Year programme is intended to facilitate the integrated development of the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, social and vocational capacities of each individual student through a structured learning experience. The general aim of the Transition Year is the preparation of young people for their roles as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society. The programme, therefore, aims to provide young people with the skills and support necessary to develop their own individual talents, aptitudes and abilities with regard to future educational and/or vocational preparation.
Emphasis is placed on

  • Education for maturity, and spiritual and personal development, including social awareness and increased social competence.
  • The promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on self-directed learning.
  • Education through experience of working life as a basis for personal development and maturity.

Aims of Programme

  • To provide an opportunity for all students to mature intellectually, socially, physically and spiritually.
  • To consolidate and develop the learning experience of the student which has taken place during the Junior Cycle.
  • To develop study habits more suited to Senior Cycle and Third Level and to encourage the development of self-directed learning in all students so as to enable them to achieve at 3rd Level.
  • To foster a growing sense of responsibility in the student for his/her own life so that he/she may become a responsible socially conscious citizen, able to cope successfully with the demands of society and of life.
  • To encourage students to value inter-personal relationships and to inculcate this through team-work and project work.
  • To introduce the student actively to the world of work so that they will learn to work with others and develop a good working relationship with others and learn to engage in dialogue with others in a respectful way.

Main Components of Programme

Academic Studies

Aspects of the following subject areas are included:
Gaeilge, English, Mathematics, French, Spanish, German, History, Geography, Science (including modules of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Applied Maths), Business Studies (including modules of Economics, Accounting and Business), Home Economics, Metalwork, Woodwork and Psychology.
Study, homework and regular evaluation are required. In the area of languages, the emphasis is on literacy and fluency, with elements of literature which are not prescribed for the Leaving Certificate programme.

General Education

Modules are also provided in Music, Art, Drama, Dance, Social and Health Education, Religion, Personal Development, Mini-Company, Physical Education and Tourism Awareness, a Law Module, an Environment Module, sign language, GAA Coaching course, Chinese and Outdoor Education.
Students have opportunities in I.T. with courses in programming and computer skills.  Students also get a chance to try out film production – see this clip (filmed, edited and produced by our TY’s) of our day with the Cycle against Suicide initiative to get a glimpse at their handy work

Careers Education

This section includes Work Shadowing one day each week for 13/14 weeks. During this period, students will spend 3/4 days in each of 4 workplaces where they will shadow a member of some particular profession or workforce.
Students also have one class period of Guidance each week during which they receive a comprehensive preparation for the world of work. This will include interview preparation, compiling a C.V., writing letters, study skills and an overview of Third Level, subject choices for Fifth Year and careers information.


Students are encouraged to enter in a wide range of competitions, from Leadership and Community Involvement awards, to the Young Social Innovators Awards, and the Gaisce Awards (Bronze Medallion). There is also a range of competitions from web design to magazine design, film making, sound engineering and student drama. Other activities and projects include Schools Banking with Bank of Ireland, Special Olympics, Disability Theatre, Creative Writing, Dance and a Fashion Show.
The year begins with a team Building day in Cappanalea. Tours and outings are organised on a regular basis for instance to the University of Limerick Activity Centre in Killaloe, the cinema, field study trips, sports events, hill walks including Torc, Mt. Brandon and Croagh Patrick in Mayo, museums, the Young Scientists Exhibition, the Cork Circuit Court, the Eco-Unesco young environmentalist Awards and the Gaeltacht.

There is an optional School Tour in the second term – destinations vary from year to year.

There is an End of Year ceremony in Centenary Hall at which certificates and awards are presented. The guest speaker on the night is somebody whose involvement in the business world or in public life befits a Transition Year function. A magazine produced by the students is also available on the night. The students in their art, woodwork and metalwork classes make all sets and scenery required for the production – highlighting the inter-disciplinary nature of the Transition Year Course.

TY Activites

Click here for a short video from our TY’s highlighting some of the events they were involved with.

What’s life like in TY?

Each year the TY group have a varied programme of activities. Below is a sample of a typical year’s activities. It will give you a flavour of what TY is about in all its energy and diversity.

Outdoor Activities and Charity Events

During the year our pupils took part in many events: surfing in Banna, rock climbing and kayaking in Cappanalea, hill walking, coasteering, orienteering and mountain climbing in Killarney and Dingle. There were trips to the Gaeltacht, Dublin, Cork and Killarney.

European Studies

Other highlights during the year were the European Studies Group that won “My Vision for Europe” in the Euroscola Competition and received a prize of a trip to Strasbourg for the group of 26 and their very deserving teacher Ms. Sherma Carey.

Fashion Show

We cannot forget the fashion show in November which was coordinated by Ms. O Leary

YSI Groups (Young Social Inventors)

The YSI Project ‘WOULD YOU PAY FOR POISON?’ came second place nationally in the YSI competitions in Dublin. The students involved in the project have done Trojan work during the year to raise awareness about the hazards of fluoride in our water supply. The YSI group have spoken at a Tralee Town Water Quality Meeting where councillors and the Mayor of Tralee were in attendance and where the students premiered their song ‘Wake up Zombie Nation’. As a result of their efforts, Kerry County Council held a vote on the issue last December and they unanimously voted to remove the chemical. However, this is not within their power at present as water quality is a national question. YSI voiced their concerns on Kerry Radio and Youghal Community Radio. They have set up a Facebook page and a Twitter page to educate the public on the quality of our drinking water. The group plan to continue this project again next year.

The TY School Tour

The End of Year Awards Night

Each year ends with the Ty Awards Night. On this occasion students receive their certificates for their achievements during the year and recognition is given to those who have particularly excelled in their application during the year.

Admission to TY

A thorough process has been developed to ensure the suitability of candidates for Transition Year.

1. Teacher Reports

Students who submit an application are initially scored on their reports from mid-term. Comments are allocated a weighted score according to the qualities that are considered indicative of suitability for Transition Year.

Academic comments are considered relatively irrelevant (eg ‘Has difficulty with Honours level’) and are marked as zero.

Comments such as ‘Frequently disruptive’ and ‘Inconsiderate of others in class’ incur a stronger negative score.

As some students are given a mark from 12 subjects where others may have only comments from 10 or 11, an averaging calculation is next carried out on the gross score.

2. Disciplinary / Attendance

A disciplinary report is provided by the Year Head and Deputy Principal. Red cards, yellow cards etc are scored.  Lunch time detentions are not generally included. However, failing to attend for detention is considered very serious and is included. Merit cards can earn a positive score at this stage.

Attendance is included but only where the absence is not subsequently explained.  The Assistant Year Heads provide information on which students have not provided notes for their absences.

Punctuality on arrival to school is also included in the marking.

3. Interviews

A number of the applicants with the lowest scores after the above scoring process are offered the opportunity to attend for an interview to boost their score.  Interviews are carried out by two external, highly experienced people. The score from this interview is added to the original score.

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