St Raphaela's Secondary School

Transition Year

Transition Year

Overview of Transition Year:

Transition Year in St Raphaela’s is a voluntary one-year programme of study between Junior and Senior Cycle for students who have completed their Junior Cycle education. It lays a solid foundation for Senior Cycle studies in an original and stimulating way as well as introducing students to a whole range of new experiences.

Our students choose Transition Year because they feel they need a change of emphasis after the rigours of the Junior Cycle. Our programme offers the potential for the holistic development of students as flexible learners, active citizens, and future workers. It is an interdisciplinary programme with an emphasis on personal development, social awareness and increased social competence. The Transition Year programme is constantly evolving to meet the needs of young people.

Our Transition Year aims are threefold;

  1. To provide students with the skills necessary to develop their talents and abilities.
  2. To encourage students to become more independent and to recognise the responsibility that comes with greater freedom.
  3. To help students understand their educational needs and encourage confidence and motivation for Senior Cycle and the Leaving Certificate.

Transition Year Subjects:

In Transition Year we build on the learning in Junior Cycle in core subjects. We offer a diverse range of new exciting courses in rotational modules and all-year core and sampling courses. Students will also follow the International Computer Driving License programme to obtain a widely recognised qualification in computer skills. We offer a range of activities and trips and welcome speakers on a range of topics. All students participate in The President’s Gaisce Award and achieve the Gaisce Bronze medal.

Our core subjects are English, Siamsa, Maths, Spanish/French, Japanese, ICDL, Religion, Co-Ordination, Career Guidance, and Wellness.

Students also do a rotation of Biochemistry, Physics, Chemistry, Health & Fitness, Geography, Coding, Linguistics, Craft, Needlework, Art, Home Economics, Religion, Tourism/Outreach, Enterprise, History/Geography, Green Schools, Mindfulness, Yoga, German, Zumba, Careers, Sailing/Skiing, Drama, First Aid, Music, Fencing, Irish Sign Language, Computer Studies, Politics & Society, Sustainability, Public Speaking, and Media Studies, as well as RSE.

Transition Year Events:

We organise workshops and trips some of which include: Airfield Estate, Radio Workshop, Photography Workshop, School of Improvisation, Haircare Workshop, Drumming Workshop, Wellness Retreat, Bodhrán Making Workshop and Macramé Workshop.

Alongside these subjects and workshops, we also provide some memorable experiences that are hugely beneficial. Every year the Transition Year students put on a school musical production with St. Benildus College. The musical for this year is still being decided. We have collaborated with St Benildus College to create a year-long module dedicated specifically to the TY Musical, covering performance, dialogue, stage design, costume design, audio-visual development, and programme development, etc. The students will get a first-hand experience in what it takes to organise a big production and will learn the importance of collective joint efforts of a shared vision.

The students complete three weeks’ work experience which provides many insights into the outside work environment as well as giving students an opportunity to work in areas of personal interest.

There are trips that feature in the TY calendar annually. Students engage in a bonding trip to Causey Farm, a three-day trip to Delphi Adventure Centre and the year concludes with finale trip. In addition, assistance will be given to students interested in a language trip/exchange to Spain, France and Japan.

Transition Year Assessment:

In Transition Year, students are free to enjoy learning without the pressure of state examinations. Assessment is more formative than summative. Assessment takes place in all subjects and modules and students will be awarded credits based on their engagement and performance. Students keep an online digital portfolio of their work and reflect on their learning and experiences. There are student achievement awards throughout the year and a Graduation Ceremony in May. Record of Achievement is presented at the Graduation Ceremony, along with other notable awards of recognition.

As a result of having done Transition Year our students are a year older and more mature. The year has helped them with career and subject choices. They have formed new friendships. They have improved in their core subjects. They have gained confidence and feel more rested and ready to cope with 5th Year.

A Student Perspective: Transition Year in St. Raphaela's:

A very special year in our school is Transition Year where some of my fondest memories of school life were made.

The Transition Year programme encourages students to become more independent, to explore all of their talents and it allows students to engage in the working world.

Each year, we take part in the Gaisce awards. This is a national 13-week programme where young people are encouraged to try new things, meet new people, and help out in their communities.

TY is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, which is why we have several different modules to allow students to try new things. These modules include drama, sailing, public speaking, skiing, and my personal favourite - a beginner’s sign language course with an ISL teacher. Students will also complete a 12-week first aid course with a qualified instructor.

TY also provides opportunities to try an array of Leaving Certificate subjects that we offer in our school such as Chemistry, Physics, Music, Japanese and Home Economics. I would advise everyone to be open minded when taking these classes as they provide students with a helpful insight to the Senior Cycle when choosing subjects at the end of fourth year.

One of the most exciting parts of transition year in St. Raphaela's is the musical with St. Benildus College. Last year, the TY musical was School of Rock, and it was definitely one to remember!

Alongside the musical, many ‘bonding’ activities are organised throughout the year including Causey Farm, exploring Dublin’s city centre, Tayto park and the 3-day trip to Delphi, just to name a few.

Overall, Transition Year builds new friendships and brings the year group closer together as they progress into their final years in school.

With all that said, it is important to mention that Transition Year is optional in Raphaela's and Teachers here are willing to provide any support needed to those who decide to go from Junior Cycle straight to Senior Cycle.

We feel so lucky to be given this opportunity and to explore all of interests, learn new skills and develop and mature as we enter into the senior end of our school life.

St. Raphaela’s Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
01 288 8730
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