Subjects offered in Transition Year:
- Home Economics
- Environmental Studies
- Modern Languages
- Design and Communications
- Road Safety Awareness
The Transition Year Programme at Carrigallen Vocational School
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. It encourages the development 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.”
Commission on the Points System: Final Report & Recommendations 1999 p.46
Each school devises its own timetabled programme to cater for the needs of its students. This is done in accordance with the Department of Education & Science Guidelines (1994). The Programme is designed and delivered by the Co-ordinator, core team and teaching staff in consultation with management. Essentially a Transition Year Programme offers students a broad and balanced curriculum covering such areas as:
Irish, English, Mathematics.
Home Economics, Business, Accounting, Economics, Biology, Physics, Agricultural Science, Environmental Studies, Modern Languages, Art, Design and Communications Graphics, Construction Studies, Music.
Modules designed specifically for Transition Year
- Guidance Counselling
- Information Technology
- Preparation for the world of work.
- Personal Development/Health Education
- Contemporary Social Issues
- Drama/Music/Dance Module
- First Aid
- European Studies
- Badminton Coaching Course
- GAA Coaching Course
- Safe Food for Life Programme Canoeing/Kayaking
- Driver Education Course
- Choose Safety Programme
- Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Scheme
- Law Education Course
- Disability Awareness Programme
- Chinese Studies
- Tourism Awareness Programme
- Two Work Experience Placements
- Social Outreach
- Visiting speakers
- Visits out
- Field Trips
- Trip to an Outdoor Activity Centre/Gaeltacht Area
- Samba Drumming Workshop
- BT Young Scientist Competition
- Study Skills/Leadership Mastery Workshop Leitrim County Enterprise Competition
- Formula 1 Competition
- Youth for Justice Conference
Teaching and Learning
A key feature of Transition Year 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 work and group work enable students to have a valid and worthwhile learning experience with emphasis on developing study skills and self-directed learning.
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, portfolios, aurals, written tests, practicals, exhibitions, oral presentations, worksheets, logs/diaries. Students are encouraged to become involved through self-assessment.
Schools are encouraged to regularly review and evaluate their programme in consultation with all partners. Regular monitoring and external evaluation is carried out by the DES inspectorate.
A certificate of participation is issued to all students who complete the Transition Year Programme.
In addition, schools offer externally certified courses during Transition Year e.g. Public Access to the Law, G.A.A. Coaching Certificate, Level 1 Paddling Certificate, A.E.D/C.P.R Certificate, Gaisce (The President’s Award), Tourism Awareness Programme (Certificate) etc.
Research Findings (1)
The ESRI study “The Transition Year Programme-An Assessment” 2004 has established that students who had taken the T.Y.P. had a higher Grade Point Average in the Leaving Certificate as well as increased entry level to higher education. Students were also found to take a broader range of courses at third level than non TY students.
The Transition Year Programme An Assessment, Emer Smyth, Delma Byrne and Carmel Hannan, The Economic and Social Research Institute 2004
Research Findings (2)
The NCCA conducted an Independent longitudinal study on the performance of L.C. students and found that those who had taken the T.Y.P.
“were more likely to be educationally adventurous than those in the ‘94-‘96 group. That is, they were more likely to retain subjects at Higher level, to move up from Ordinary to Higher level and from Foundation to Ordinary level. They were also more likely to take up subjects which they had not taken before”
From Junior to Leaving Certificate, A Longitudinal Study of 1994 Junior Certificate candidates who took the Leaving Certificate Examination in 1997. Final report National Council for Curriculum & Assessment, 1999 (Results of students who sat Leaving Certificate in ‘96 compared with those of ’97)
“TY students do better by an average of 26 points repeat students only gain by an average of 5 points”.
“The consensus among principals, teachers and pupils is that the Transition Year Programme is a very worthwhile initiative, allowing the school to engage in genuine in-school curriculum development, affording teachers the opportunity to break free of overly compartmentalised subject teaching, and giving pupils the space and time to grow in maturity and to develop self-confidence”.
Transition Year programme 1994-1995, An Evaluation by the Inspectorate of the Department of Education p22
Inspection Report – Carrigallen Vocational School
“The introduction in 2010 of a well-planned and delivered TY programme is a major curriculum development. Parents and students were asked to evaluate the TY after the first term and this evaluation was used by the school to review the programme and resulted in the introduction of a new module suggested by parents. It was evident that a collaborative culture exists in the school and this was effectively used in planning for the TY”.
Whole-School Evaluation Management, Leadership and Learning Report
(Carrigallen Vocational School)
Date of inspection: 12 May 2011
Transition Year can help students…
- discover more about their personal strengths.
- develop maturity and self-confidence.
- improve their self-esteem.
- build interpersonal and team skills.
- make wiser subject choices for Leaving Certificate and Further Education.
- extend the learning experience beyond the classroom.
- catch up with remediation and compensation.
- develop study skills for Leaving Certificate.
- develop entrepreneurial skills.
- explore the working world.
- extend their repertoire of learning styles.
- achieve improved Leaving Certificate results.
- Parental understanding and support for student learning is a key factor in a successful Transition Year. Regular communication between parents & schools is an integral part of the process. Parents can maximise the student’s experience through their involvement with and commitment to the programme.
- Community involvement is fostered through such areas as social outreach, business links, visiting speakers and resource development.
- Employers generously support schools by providing work experience placements.
What Parents Say About The Programme…
“Develops responsibility and initiative”
“Helps the students to step into adult life with supports”
“Great year for them to participate and communicate with their peers and also adults”
“Opportunity to work in the community”
What Students Say About The Programme…
‘Time to mature”
“It helped me choose the right career”
“Would have been too young going to college”
“Made me what I am today”
“Helped me choose my Leaving Certificate subjects”
“Building of self-esteem”