What is Transition Year?

Transition Year (TY) is a one-year education programme available to all students who have completed their Junior Cycle education. It is not compulsory to do TY in our school. However, our experience has been that TY provides a bridge for students to move from a state of dependence at junior level to a more independent and active role with regard to their education and their future. The TY Programme gives an excellent opportunity for students to mature, to get better insights into work and adult life and to develop a wide range of skills and competencies.


The TY Programme is quite broad and aims to combines traditional academic subjects with work experience and social development. It aims to integrate these various activities with a view to:

  • Assisting students to take responsibility for their own learning and decision-making
  • Providing experience for students of the work environment
  • Providing opportunities for personal growth through participation in various social activities and voluntary work
  • Providing opportunities for students who have been under-achieving to improve their performance
  • Encouraging students to develop a positive approach to learning and to their own education.


The TY Programme offers a number of advantages. It provides an opportunity for young people to remaining within the educational system for an extra year. Research at home and abroad has underlined that the length of time young people spend in the educational system is an important aspect of their overall educational development. Studies have shown that those who took the TY option were more likely to select and stay with the subjects at higher level and to try new subjects which they had not taken before. They were also more likely to gain considerably more CAO points than their peers who did not take Transition Year option. In February of TY, students are asked to select their subject choices for Senior Cycle with the assistance of their Guidance Counsellor. The following booklet is given to students and parents to guide them through this important decision.


In St. Aloysius Secondary School, the TY Programme combines traditional academic study with the opportunity to develop social, vocational and personal skills. Students will study “core” subjects and will also have the opportunity to study optional subjects and get involved in various activities.

Core Subjects: These subjects include English, Gaeilge, Mathematics, Religion, French/German and P.E. Optional Subjects: These subjects include Heritage, Business Mini Company, Home Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Chinese, Italian, Geography, Art and Music.

Extra Subjects / Activities: Young Scientist, Computers, Irish Debating, First Aid, Mini Company, Road Safety, Study Skills, Communication Skills, Personal Development, Creative Writing, Vex Robotics, Drama, Gaisce and visits out.

Work and Community Experience: Work and Community Experience is an integral part of the TY Programme – two weeks work experience and one week community experience, with preparation before the work placement and follow-up exercises after the work experience is an important aspect of the year. This provides students with real opportunities to develop and apply many of the skills they have acquired in school. As a result, they will become more aware of their personal talents and strengths upon which they can base their future career choices.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The TY Programme also offers a variety of extra-curricular activities including Community Awareness, Pastoral Care Programme, Outdoor Adventure Activities, and fund-raising as well as a full range of sports.

Students taking part in the TY programme have a number of opportunities available to them. Students can available of the opportunity to experience an optional foreign tour.


Throughout the year strict assessment procedures will be applied within the subject areas. Assessment procedures will include homework, class tests and Summer Examinations. Various modules including First Aid and Mini Company may be assessed by external bodies such as the Red Cross and the Cork Schools Enterprise Programme.

Transition Year students at St Aloysius have been blogging about their subjects and their various activities.

The blog can be viewed at https://deachoirlety.wordpress.com.

This video was made by our TY group of 2018, summarising their experiences: Click Here