Transition Year

The Transition Year Programme in St. Peter’s College has evolved over the past fifteen years in the school and the demand for places is very high every year. The Programme has 5 key Components

  1. Academic Core – maintaining academic standards
  2. Specialisms- allows students to focus on area of special interest to them
  3. Options - give students experience of broad range of subjects
  4. Portfolio Preparation and Interviews
  5. Work Experience Programme ( 1 day a week and 2 block placements of 1 week duration)

All Students study Irish, English, Maths and a modern language, along with 2 Specialisms as well as the other subjects listed above. Specialisms offered this year wereMusic, Sport and Recreation, World of Science,Arts and Drama, Enterprise (YSI) and Studio Technology. This list varies from year to year depending on demand and timetabling constraints. They go on a 2 night Gaeltacht trip to Rathcairn usually during first term as well as a full activities day at the start and end of the year to various adventure centres. All TY Students are encouraged to participate in the Gaisce Awards Programme and can apply to be a Monitor which is a Student Leadership position in the school. Throughout the year there are various guest speakers, workshops and module related out of school trips and activities. All Students must produce a Portfolio of Work which they are interviewed about at the middle and end of the year. Students also do two one week work placements during the year.

Work Experience Programme

Every Friday from early October to late March, all TY Students engage in a Friday Work Placement. In addition to this Students complete 2 blocks of Work Experience in September and April. All Students have 2 World of Work periods each week in which they follow a scheme of work. Incoming TY Students will be spoken to in May before they start TY about Work Placement. They will be supplied with relevant docummentation to assist with securing their placement over the Summer holidays. It has been our experience that most incoming TY Students manage to successfully secure high quality work placements prior to their entry to TY. It is the Student’s responsibility to source their own work placements, but if they do not we will assist them in trying to secure Work Experience in September. The Friday Work Placement runs from October to April and Students do an Induction Programme for the first 4 Fridays in September which also helps Students prepare for the their Work Placement. In May, Students will also do a range of activities in the school and so will not be on work placement

Each Student is assigned a Work Experience Teacher who will monitor their perfomance on Work Experience by contacting their Employer throughout the year. This person is usually the same person who teaches them the World of Work Module for two periods a week. This means any on-going issues with Work Placement can be dealt with as they arise.

Assessments and Examinations in Transition Year

A number of modes of assessment and examination are used in TY.

In school based subjects, both continous assessment and examinations are employed by teachers. In other areas e.g. the First Aid course, students are assessed by an outside body on their ability to perform certain First Aid tasks and receive a certificate if successful.

Students are expected to produce a portfolio of their work and are interviewed twice a year about it. They are monitored by both the work experience employer and the school when engaged in work experience. The school issues two reports, at Christmas and in June.

Who is Transition Year for?

• Students with a genuine interest in tasting a whole range of subjects that will help in choosing senior cycle subjects and a career area;

• Students who want to become better equipped to cope with the self-reliant learning of third level education;

• Students who want the challenge of work experience and the leadership opportunities that exist in Transition Year;

• Students who are self-motivated, positive and willing to work hard.

SHORT TERM GOALS:

• Broad educational experience that encourages self-confidence and responsibility;

• Develop communication and decision making skills;

• Work experience two times a year provides students with job responsibilities;

• Helps students choose 5th Year subjects, and provides an extra year to mature and develop.

LONG TERM GOALS:

• TY students have been shown in studies (ESRI) to perform better in their Leaving Cert results;

• Students who do Transition Year are better equipped for 3rd Level;

• TY students are less likely to drop out at the end of first year in college;

• TY students are encouraged to develop independent learning and study skills;

• They have a more informed approach to eventually choosing a career area;

• They develop interpersonal skills to become part of a team in a workplace.

OPPORTUNITIES:

• There are many trips and educational events in TY;

• Students have a great opportunity to take part in extra-curricular activities;

• There are many opportunities for leadership and organisational experiences and training. It is definitely a chance to broaden your vision.

Application Process

Third Year Students interested in applying for TY should complete an Application Form and return to Student Office. The Selection criteria will include the Student’s Behaviour Record in the School, Attendance and Punctuality over the three years of their Junior Cycle in the school. TY Applicants will then be interviewed. The interview is intended to assist in assessing the student’s attitudes, interests, motivation and maturity levels towards the Transition Year programme in order to help to determine their suitability for inclusion in the year group. It will be used in conjunction with reports from Tutors, Teachers, Ceannaire and School Management. Students who are successful in securing a place in TY are usually informed by a Letter of Offer when they must formally accept a place in writing. Unsuccessful Applicants will be informed in person and also by letter. Unsuccesful Applicants are offered the right to appeal and the right to a second interview with an external independent panel. If the panel recommends offering a place to second round interviewees, those candidates are offered a TY place.

Conclusion

Transition Year does not suit all Students. The Transition Year is an activity based self-directed programme, which entails learning both inside and outside the classroom. Students, who are self-motivated, can work hard and adapt well to new learning experiences gain most from the TY Programme. A good idea would be to speak to some Students who are currently in TY or completed the Programme about their experience of the TY Programme in the school. However when considering whether to do TY, one of the most significant benefits of TY is highlighted in a recent ERSI Report.

“Taking Transition Year has an impact on students’ academic outcomes, even taking account of initial differences between participants and non-participants. On average, students who take part in Transition Year achieve higher Leaving Certificate exam grades and are more likely to go on to higher education than non-participants.”