St Josephs Secondary Convent School


The Transition Year acts as a bridge between the Junior and Senior Cycle and is directed towards the intellectual, social and emotional maturation of the students.

The Overall Aims

The following aims are interrelated and interdependent and are strongly reflected in the Transition Year programme:

1. Education for maturity with the emphasis on personal development including social awareness and increased social competence.

2. The promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and self-directed learning.

3. Education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity.

The programme provides the students with opportunities for developing their intellectual, imaginative and emotional life. It provides them with practice in thinking for themselves, in decision making and in assuming responsibility . The Programme will assist them in dealing with relationships and in developing communication skills. Students are encouraged to develop a positive approach to learning and to their own education.

Transition Year allows for a broad general education. The main feature of the Programme is the use of a wide range of learning situations extending beyond the traditional classroom practice.

Emphasis is placed on (1) personal responsibility in learning; (2) discovery methods; (3) sharing and co-operating with others and (4) developing positive attitudes to coping with and learning from successes, failure and mistakes.

A quick look at the Timetable for this year's T.Y. class gives a general idea of the various areas covered.

  • Practical Skills in the Home Economics and Craft Classes.
  • Business Expertise in Typing, Computer Study and Business Studies Classes.

  • Social and Environmental Studies: justice and development, poverty, environment.

  • Personal Development and values
  • Religious Education and Media Studies.
  • Aesthetic appreciation and expression in Music and Art Classes, Exhibitions, Dance, Drama.
  • Leisure Activities: Physical Education and Leisure Pursuits, Adventure sports.
  • Academic Subjects - Students have classes in Mathematics, English, Irish, French,German, History, Geography and Science. This makes smooth the return to formal study in 5th Year.

  • Once a week some of the girls help with the swimming lessons for pupils of St. Brid's School.

    A very important part of the course is time spent on Work Experience and Community Service. Transition Year pupils spend two twoweek blocks on work placement. During this time - (I) they become aware of the ups and downs of the work situation; (2) they have an experience of working with adults; (3) an opportunity to become familiar with job. requirements and (4) develop skills which will be relevant to their future in education and at work later on.

    On Community Service they work with the elderly or the handicapped, in child care or in play groups.

    Throughout the year various activities are going on, e.g.

    - preparing for a Debate

    - preparing for their pre Christmas display of crafts and cookery

    - designing and modelling their own outfits for the school Fashion Show.

    Group work is a key element in the programme and the action and interaction arising from working at close level is a very good learning ground.

    Early in the year the girls go on an Orientation Weekend to an outdoor pursuits centre.

    Each year has its own series of talks, lectures and seminars, e.g. - Drug Awareness - Alcohol Abuse

    - Rape Crisis Centre

    - Alternative Medicines

    - Third World problems and Development Education

    - Modern Poetry

    - Dance Workshop

    - Beauty and Deportment

    Many students even the most able of them experience difficulty in coping with the Leaving Cert. programme when they move directly from 3rd Year to 5th Year. The work load involved for Leaving Cert. is much broader and more intense and many students are not emotionally, mentally or psychologically ready for the serious study it demands.

    The Transition Year Programme is evaluated in the following way:

    (1) Students are assessed by means of written examinations and project work.

    (2) The students are monitored during work experience by the co-ordinator and the employer.

    (3) Each employer or community service leader is asked to fill in a questionnaire for each student and these are summarised in an end-of-year report, which is presented to the student with a school based T.Y. Certificate.

    (4) The results of practical subjects are shown through displays.

    What are the outcomes of the year?

    - Students gain in self-confidence. They become more mature and responsible. They go back to the senior cycle with a clearer idea of what they want and the incentive to work towards it.

    - Students have different relationships with the teachers and a different attitude to authority.

    - The certificates and reports which they receive at the end of the year are helpful when they are applying for jobs.

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