Transition Year


Transition Year Option


Year Head & Co-ordinator:             Mr. Marcus Cosgrave 

Tutor:                                                     Ms. Colette Ward

In St. Mac Dara’s Community College, Transition Year is an optional one year, school based programme linking the Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. It has been designed to facilitate the smooth transition to the more independent self-directed learning required for the Senior Cycle.

Transition Year Mission Statement:

“ To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society. ”



  • Education for maturity with emphasis on social awareness and increased social competence
  • Education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development.
  • Promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and self directed learning.
  • Discovery of self – strengths, weaknesses, etc.


Transition Year Programme:

The Transition Year Class enjoys a wide variety of subjects which reflect the aims of Transition Year and allow the students to develop their skills. These may include

  • Core subjects  →  Irish, English, Maths, European Language.
  • Science  →  Forensics, Electronics, Agricultural Science, Farm studies, etc.
  • Russian  → Language and Culture
  • Art  →  Graphics, Design and Computer Animation
  • Tourism  →   Fáilte Ireland and  TAP Course
  • Computers  →  ECDL Training and Qualification
  • Food Studies  →  Culinary Skills, etc.
  • History →  Exploring our past in a different way
  • Music → Developing new talents, Bodhrán manufacture, etc.
  • Woodwork → Improving manual dexterity and developing new crafts
  • Mini-company →  Developing business skills
  • Life Skills programs →  e.g. Dance 4 Life
  • Field trips → Witnessing new experiences first hand.
  • Classical Studies → The influence of ancient Greece and Rome on modern society


 Three main areas in Transition Year

Work Experience → This is one of the most informative and enjoyable aspects of Transition Year. Students choose three different work experiences  – one for each term – which they source for themselves. Work experience takes place every Friday during school term. The aim is to give the student an invaluable, often first-time, experience of the world of work which will of great benefit to them when making career choices. Insurance is provided by the Co. Dublin V.E.C. and employers assess the students at the end of their placement.

Community Care → In this programme, students become much more aware that they have a responsibility to the wider community. All students are given training in class and while many find it daunting at first, most students will say that it was the most rewarding part of their Transition Year.

Gaisce  President’s  Award – Bronze Medal → This  encourages students to rise to new personal challenges, to get involved in self motivational projects, to learn new skills. See for more information.



Assessment and Evaluation

Transition Year is very much learning led rather than exam led. However, there is continual assessment of every student in the following ways:

Teachers → Christmas exams and reports, End of Year certification with a variety of different awards and levels.

Employers → End of work placement assessment of punctuality, learning ability, social interaction, initiative, competence in completing jobs well, attitude, etc.

Parents → Assessing projects and diary; monitoring of progress and participation

Students → self evaluation and appraisal.

The entire portfolio of certificates and awards is presented to each student at the Transition Year Graduation Ceremony held annually. .


Transition Year requires full participation from each student. Students will gain from their Transition Year exactly in proportion to what they put into it. This is a year that offers students a chance to discover more about the world outside the classroom while also allowing them to further develop skills already acquired during their Junior Cycle. Transition Year  introduces new courses such as Project Maths and lays the foundation for other subjects which the students may take up at Senior Cycle.