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Transition Year Programme


St. Mary's College offers an extensive and successful Transition Year programme. Over 27,000 young people are following a Transition Year programme in approx. 540 schools and we are proud to be among those.

The Transition Year Programme promotes the personal, social, vocational and educational development of students and prepares them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.
(Transition Year Guidelines, 1994, Department of Education).

It provides a bridge to enable you to make the transition from the more dependent type of learning associated with the Junior Certificate to the more independent learning environment associated with the senior cycle. It encourages personal and social development and recognises the need for you to grow in independence. Transition Year fosters academic achievement as you prepare for a Leaving Certificate programme, further study and adult and working life. It encourages the development of a wide range of transferable critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

Our programme works towards achieving a balance between some continuation of essential core subjects, a tasting and sampling of other subjects, a variety of distinctive courses designed to broaden horizons and some modules and activities specifically aimed at promoting the maturity that is central to the whole Transition Year ideal.


Specifically aimed at promoting maturity


The TY programme at St. Mary's offers a work experience programme. The Mini-company, where students set up and operate a real business, is a popular way of learning. The use of visiting speakers as well as trips beyond the classroom are features of our programme. Project work, where students undertake independent research, usually more extensive than traditional 'homework', is also common at St. Mary's.

Assessment is a key part of any worthwhile learning programme. Transition Year is an opportunity to move beyond the narrow focus of end-of-year written exams. The emphasis is on varied and on-going assessment with students themselves becoming involved in diagnosing their own learning strengths and weaknesses. Project work, portfolio work and exhibitions of students' work are also encouraged. We make our own arrangements for reporting to parents and for the certification of students who complete our TY programme.

Modes of assessment:

  • Summative assessment.
  • Written , practical, oral and aural assessment.
  • Report of Work experience.
  • Projects , Portfolios and exhibitions of Work.
  • Pupil diary /Log Book recording personal progress.
  • Records of skills and competencies attained.

TY develops 21st century skills - the three T's - Thinking, Teamwork & Technology


Parental Involvement

 Parents play an essential and significant role in our TY programme. Understanding and support is a key factor in a successful Transition Year experience. Information sessions are arranged for students currently in third year. Parental volunteering and experience sharing is always most welcomed in TY. Parents are also invited to contribute to our evaluation of the programme. 


Comenius Project


Transition Year 2010 - 2012

St Mary's College is proud to be the Irish school participating in the EU funded Comenius project titled 'Democracy and Me - Finding My Voice'. There are seven countries involved in the two year project; England, Iceland, Ireland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

The project involves a study of democracy as it operates in school through the school council, an investigation of government at local and national level in Ireland and then it broadens out to incorporate the wider European Union.

Students also study how democracy is portrayed in film - each school studies and reviews a film chosen by a partner school. The project also affords the opportunity to a number of students to visit the other participating countries.



  • To help students achieve an understanding and knowledge of themselves and their counterparts in the partner countries.
  • To work directly with partner schools in England, Iceland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
  • Students will open their minds to different ways of thinking, seeing and organizing society.
  • To learn to value our system of democracy and representation.
  • To foster an interest in politics in Ireland and in the wider European community.
  • Students will recognise English as a language of access to knowledge and will appreciate its importance as a means of communication and international understanding.
  • To develop skills of communication.