August 21, 2011



“About Transition Year: A Year to Thrive”

The aim of the Transition Year Programme is

“to provide the personal, social, vocational and educational development
of students and prepare them for their role as autonomous
and participative members of society.”

2010-2011 Transition Year Group Walking the School Day


The Transition Year programme in Desmond College formally began this year on 27th August 2010. It is an optional course within the school. Our programme is based on the DES aims for the Transition Year Programme and the calendar focuses on four main areas:

  • 1) Continuation of the core subjects
  • 2) Subject sampling for the leaving certificate programme
  • 3) Transition Year specific modules and subjects
  • 4) Once off calendar events

Within Desmond College the core subjects of English, Irish, Maths and French are continued with heavy emphasis on building on pupils knowledge from the Junior Cycle and giving a strong grounding for the Senior Cycle.

Pupils are given the opportunity to sample the subjects on offer in the school for Leaving Certificate:

2010-2011 Transition Year Cooking Pancakes
Transition Year Students involved in Young Social Innovators 2012
  • All the science subjects:
    Biology, Agricultural Science, Physics and Chemistry
  • Home Economics
  • Business
  • Music
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religion
  • Art

Within Year specific modules. The modules this year are:

  • Driving Education
  • Social Education
  • German
  • Design Communications and Graphics
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Cookery.

Subjects specific for Transition Year pupils are
also provided. These include:

  • Career Guidance
  • Tourism awareness
  • Mentoring
  • Mini company
  • and a heavy emphasis on Information Technology.
  • Also within our timetable is a triple period for Physical Education.


2010-2011 Transition Year First Aid

Our once off calendar year provides the following for our pupils:

  • Participation in the Gaisce awards (Bronze medal).
  • Two day outdoor pursuit programme in The Star Outdoor Centre, Kenmare.
  • First Aid Course and exam (with certificate).
  • One day of Law and exam (with certificate).
  • Exposure to various visiting speakers.
  • Swimming/Lifesaving lessons.
  • Coaching Primary School pupils various sports
  • Introduction to Judo.
  • One day study skills course.
  • Various Educational outings.
  • Participation in the Young Scientist Competition and the eco-UNESCO Young Environmental Competition.
  • Two seperate weeks of work experience.
  • Mock interviews.
  • Community Work in Brothers of Charity.
  • Producing a Transition Year Newsletter.


The year is devoted to facilitating the pupils to learn new skills, have new experiences, travel, teach, improve their academic skills and develop personally and socially.

The Desmond College Transition Year class are proud to be associated with the Brothers of Charity, Newcastlewest. Each student will experience work experience at the centre, as well as organising events and fundraising for charity. This has proved to be personally rewarding and enriching experience for all involved.

The Desmond Credit Union is also affiliated with our school and a selected group of T.Y. are chosen to become co-ordinators. This process teaches each member of the group job application procedures, interview processes and marketing and administration of a banking system.

The group also have the opportunity to participate in a parenting course, where the realities of life as a parent is witnessed first-hand when the class members have the opportunity to take a “virtual baby” home for the night.

The T.Y programme has been crammed full of activities and events such as lifesaving, Judo, Teaching Physical Education in the Gaelscoil, Young Scientist, mini-companies, driving theory tests and mentoring junior students. The list of activities is endless.

The TY group have had many trips. The 2010/2011 class visited Knock, Killaloe Outdoor and adventurous centre, Clarion Hotel (‘spagetti show’), Thomand Park, Mary Immaculate College music recital, Young Scientist Exhibition, Hunt Museum, Killfinane Outdoor centre and not to mention a trip to London.

The Transition Year has been found to have been an enlightening and exciting opportunity for all involved. Students have made well informed decisions for their Senior cycle due to tasting subjects and research on careers. Each individual has grown in maturity and have developed personal and social skills that will stand to them for many years ahead.

2010-2011 Transition Year



  • 1. Education for MATURITY with emphasis on social awareness and increased social competence.
  • 2. 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.



  • 1. Promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils.
  • 2. Prepare pupils for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.
  • 3. Enable pupils to take a greater responsibility for their own learning and decision making.
  • 4. Help pupils to develop a range of transferable critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.
  • 5. Prepare pupils for the world of work.
  • 6. Enable pupils to develop basic competencies in key areas according to their individual needs, including remediation where appropriate.
  • 7. Give pupils the opportunity to experience education without the severe pressures and restrictions of a rigid state examination curriculum and timetable.
  • 8. Enable pupils to experience a variety of subjects not normally available to Junior Certificate and leaving certificate pupils.

The Transition Year co-ordinator is Ms. Kerrie Collins.

Read about some of the students’ experiences!

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