Transition Year

St. Conleth’s Community College and the Transition Year Programme

St Conleth’s Community College is a co-educational school located in Newbridge, Co Kildare and operates under the auspices of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board. The present school opened on Station Road in Newbridge in 1979. The school currently has 750+ students currently enrolled.

The Transition Year Programme at St Conleth’s Community College was first offered in 2017. There is one Transition Year class group of 24 students. 14 teachers are involved in the Transition Year Programme, including the Core Team of:

Patricia O’Brien (Principal),

Theresa English (Deputy Principal)

TJ Maguire(Deputy Principal),

Amanda Kelly (TY Year Head)

Kathleen Canniffe(TY Coordinator)

Rationale and Mission
The aims of the Transition Year Programme at St Conleth’s Community College are:
  • To allow students to find the skills and supports necessary to discover their aptitudes, abilities and strengths.
  • To allow students to experience a year with emphasis on individual responsibility, maturity and personal development.

It is the objective of the Transition Year Programme to:

  • Promote a mature attitude towards study by encouraging self-directed learning.
  • Provide the opportunity to develop skills related to the world of work.
  • Encourage communication skills by providing opportunities for teamwork.
  • Allow students to take time to explore their awareness of issues and concerns in the world at large.

The Role of the Transition Year Core Team

The role of the Transition Year Core Team of Patricia O’Brien (Principal), Theresa English (Deputy Principal) T.J. Maguire (Deputy Principal), Amanda Kellly (TY Year Head) and Kathleen Canniffe(TY Coordinator), is to facilitate the smooth and effective running of the Transition Year Programme. Members of the Core Team will liaise on a regular basis to review and constantly improve Transition Year for the needs of students, staff and the whole school community. The Core Team provides a link between students and staff to ensure that the students gain the most out of the Transition Year Programme.

Admission to the Transition Year Programme

The Transition Year Programme in St Conleth’s Community College is open to all students that have completed the Junior Certificate State examinations at the end of Third Year. Third-Year students and parents are first introduced to the Transition Year Programme at the Third-Year parent-teacher meeting. The Third-Year tutors offer an expression of interest to each parent. Third-Year students are also timetabled for a monthly class with one of the school’s guidance counsellors where their options beyond the Junior Cycle will be explored.

St. Conleth’s Community College runs an open evening each spring for Third-Year students and parents. The Transition Year Coordinator will discuss the aims and benefits of Transition Year as well as outline the application procedure. Transition Year application forms will be distributed to parents during this open evening.

A completed Transition Year application form must be submitted by a specific date to the school. Each applicant will then be invited to attend a formal interview.

Those who have not previously studied at St. Conleth’s Community College may be considered for Transition Year upon admission to St Conleth’s Community College, subject to a place/place being available.

Successful applicants who take up their place attend an induction day upon their return to school. During this induction day, students are again introduced to the aims and objectives of the Transition Year Programme.

Please see Appendix I for a copy of the Transition Year Admissions Policy and the Transition Year Application Form.


Each successful applicant is required to pay a deposit of €100 to secure their place on the Transition Year Programme. A further €250 is due from each student prior to their return in September. These fees cover the running costs of the Transition Year Programme.

Resources available to the Transition Year Programme
  • Management, core team, and teaching staff who are committed to the advancement of the Transition Year Programme.

  • Guidance counsellors, Home School Liaison Officers, resource teachers, and special needs assistants.

  • A dedicated base classroom with seating arrangements conducive to group work.

  • Access to specialist rooms and associated equipment for certain modules (computer laboratories, woodwork room, home economics kitchen, technical graphics room).

  • Information and Communications Technology equipment, including computer terminals, Apple Macbooks, printers, scanners, laminators, and audio-visual equipment.

  • A sports hall, a fully equipped gymnasium, and an athletics track.

  • Links to local businesses and community organisations, including Bank of Ireland (Newbridge branch), Rotary Club of Newbridge, Kildare GAA, Maynooth University, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Proctor & Gamble (Oral B), Whitewater Shopping Centre, Riverbank Arts Centre, An Garda Síochána and Darley Stud among others.

Transition Year Teachers
Anne Molloy Work Experience & Careers
Patricia Morrin Food Science
Donnacha Kelleher Architectural Studies
Ronan Coleman Sports & Games
Gary Evans Heritage & Local Studies
Gavin Cowley Film Studies
Lisa O' Shea English
Jennifer Barrett Development Studies
Kathleen Canniffe Environmental Studies
Ian Baker Creative Writing
Enterprise Education
Catherine Gallagher Gaelic Studies
Sarah Ann Laharte Mathematical Studies & Science
Una Geary Computational – Coding

Elmira Murat


Rob Leahy


Jane Kinsella

Young Social Innovators

Description of Subjects/Modules Undertaken in Transition Year

The Transition Year Programme at St Conleth’s Community College offers a broad and balanced curriculum based on the four layers advised in the Transition Year planning guidelines.

Students study the following subjects from the Core Subjects Layer:

  • Mathematical Studies, English, Gaelic Studies, Developmental Studies, and Physical Education

Students study the following subjects from the Subject Sampling Layer:

  • Food Science & Food Safety, Science- including Forensic Science, Architectural Studies, , Music Appreciation and Heritage & Local Studies.

Students study the following subjects from the Transition Year Specific Layer:

  • Enterprise Education, Computational Thinking(Coding), Film Making, Your Road to Safety, and Work Experience and careers.

Students also participate in the following activities/workshops/trips/competitions from the Calendar Layer:

  • Young Social Innovators, CPR4 Schools, Voluntary Charity Work, Field Trips, Outdoor Pursuits, and Visiting Speakers.

**Due to timetable constraints and with only being a single Transition Year class group in the school, students are timetabled with each of their teachers for the full school year. This is unlike many other schools where several Transition Year classes can swap between teachers for different modules at the end of each term or at the halfway point of the year. The Transition Year Programme in St. Conleth’s Community College has been designed to ensure that a number of the teachers timetabled with the Transition Year class can deliver more than one module. For example, Mr. Evans will teach the Heritage & Local Studies module from September to February. Then, from February until May, Mr. Evans will complete the Road Safety Authority’s Your Road to Safety Transition Year road safety module with the students.

Subject/Module(s): Mathematical Studies
Teacher: Sarah Ann Laharte
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

Maths is covered throughout the year in 4 main categories: Shapes, Numbers, Data Handling, and Algebra. There are two areas in particular where experiential learning will take place. The Certain Uncertainty where students gain clarity about probability and statistics. This will involve student participation in group work. Students will be encouraged to participate in Maths Competitions and participate in the JCSP initiative of Paired Maths as part of the curriculum in Transition Year.

Subject/Module(s): English
Teacher: Lisa O'Shea
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

Students will work towards creating a short film and, therefore, will develop communication and presentation skills. Students will develop an understanding of various techniques that are required to create an effective speech. They will collaborate with a peer to research a chosen topic, create a speech and effectively deliver this speech to the class. Students will identify and analyse a variety of elements of drama such as stage directions, characterisation, performance and script writing, in order to produce a short film later on in the year.

Subject/Module(s): Creative Writing
Teacher: Ian Baker
Periods per week: 1 hour class period per week

This is an oral language, public speaking, and communication program designed to enhance students’ oracy skills to communicate confidently and confidently. To develop public speaking/oracy competency, students require regular opportunities to practice the skills of listening, evaluating, and speaking. The Junior Cycle and Transition Year offer the ideal space to develop these skills in a supportive environment where students are encouraged to learn about, practice and build the 12 skills which contribute to effective communication. Public speaking is a transferrable skill that supports a student’s self-image and well-being. Schools may wish to use the programme to support student well-being.

Subject/Module(s): Gaelic Studies
Teacher: Catherine Gallagher
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

Students will be learning about the Irish Language and culture. They will learn about the various Gaeltacht areas in Ireland as well as Traditional Irish & Gaelic Culture. They will be introduced to songs, poetry, dancing, and Irish Folklore to improve their knowledge of Irish Culture.

Subject/Module(s): Developmental Studies
Teacher: Jennifer Barrett
Periods per week: 1 hour class period per week

Students will study the following topics over the course of the year: Developmental Education – Let There Be Stuff, Mental Health Awareness – Walk In Our Shoes, Introduction to Philosophy, The Search For Meaning, and Drug & Alcohol Abuse. Students will complete projects, assessments, and reflections for each of these topics.

Subject/Module(s): Sports & Games
Teacher: Ronan Coleman
Periods per week: 1 hour class period per week

Students will participate in a variety of different sports and games over the course of the year. They will learn about diet and nutrition and develop their physical fitness. Students will also complete the foundation-level coaching & refereeing course delivered by Kildare GAA’s Community Development and Participation Officer Johnny Doyle.

Subject/Module(s): Food Science
Teacher: Patricia Morrin
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

During the first half of the year, students will undertake a module in Food Science. This module is designed to equip transition year students with the knowledge and skills to be able to cook successfully for themselves. Students will learn how to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options tailored to a student's needs and consider factors such as nutrition, money, time, and skill level.After the Christmas break students will complete the Food HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point) Cert.

Subject/Module(s): Architectural Studies
Teacher: Donnacha Kelleher
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

Students will complete the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland’s Shaping Space module where they are introduced to different aspects of architecture and design. Students will participate in architectural model-making.
Students will also complete a series of wood-craft projects over the course of Transition Year.

Subject/Module(s): Film Studies
Teacher: Gavin Cowley
Periods per week: 1 hour class period per week

Students study music arrangement / storyboarding for film / film making / audio editing / pre-production for film / music licensing / and composition with the ultimate goal of creating a short film. The class intend to shoot and edit their own short film, generate a script, music, sound etc. and enter it in the Fresh Film Festival 2018 (a film festival for young people by the Irish Film Institute).

Subject/Module(s): Computational Thinking/Coding
Teacher: Una Geary
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

Students will study computer theory and be introduced to representing and storing information. Students will learn how to create webpages with HTML and they will learn some basic programming using Scratch. Students will complete two projects: a webpage in HTML, and a project in Scratch.

Subject/Module(s): Heritage & Local Studies/Your Road to Safety
Teacher: Gary Evans
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods per week

In Heritage & Local Studies, students will learn about their local area, its history and its environment. Students will study old maps and photographs of the area. They will examine the local area's 1901 and 1911 census records and attend a workshop with the Irish Family History Research Centre before attempting a genealogy project. Students will also study local events of importance, like the kidnapping of Shergar and investigate local historical figures like Ernest Shackleton.
In Your Road to Safety, students will learn about road safety. They will prepare for the driver theory test by learning the rules of the road. They will familiarise themselves with different vehicles and the vulnerabilities of different road users. Students will attend the Just One Life workshop and spend a day at the Leinster Driving Campus in Maynooth.

Subject/Module(s): Enterprise Education/Money Matters
Periods per week: 2 one-hour class periods a week

Enterprise Education incorporates the Transition Year mini-company module. Students generate a business idea, carry out market research, produce a product and market their product with the use of social media. Students conduct costing and pricing analysis, business finance, evaluation and review. They will visit a local factory to see Enterprise in action and attend a number of workshops with a local entrepreneur.

Subject/Module(s): Environmental Studies
Teacher: Kathleen Canniffe
Periods per week: 2 one-hour periods per week

Students investigate

Subject / Module:Young Social Innovators- Extra Curricular

Teacher: Jane Kinsella
Periods per week: 1 hour period per week

Young Social Innovators (YSI) is a non-profit organisation that empowers young people to use their talents, insights, passion and creativity to come up with innovative solutions to social challenges. Through fun and engaging programmes, students are supported to create team-based action-projects on issues they care about, putting their innovative ideas into action to bring about positive social change for the benefit of people, communities and the environment.
Transition Year students are entered in the Young Social Innovators competition. The class divides into two groups with each group submitting their own separate entry to the competition. Initially, preparation takes place over several Thursday afternoon sessions.

Subject/Module(s): Work Experience & Careers
Teacher: Anne Molloy
Periods per week: 1 hour periods per week

Students will attend two weeks of work experience placement during these two classes each week. Please see Appendix II for documents relating to Transition Year Work Experience. Students will prepare CVs and cover letters before they begin to search for a placement. They will learn interview skills and conduct a career investigation. After their placements, students will reflect on and discuss their experiences as a group. Subject choice beyond Transition Year will be discussed, and the different Leaving Certificate options available to students will be outlined (Leaving Cert Est./Leaving Cert Vocational Programme/Leaving Cert Applied). Students will also attend a college open day (Maynooth University or Carlow IT) to gain an insight into life at a Third Level institution.

The Transition Year class is timetabled for 2 one-hour classes per week from 2:00 to 4:00 on Thursday afternoons. Trips, workshops and guest talks are scheduled for this time where possible. Students also complete various certs during this time throughout the year, including a first aid course, a self-defence workshop and their GAA coaching course.

Work Experience Placements

Transition Year students in St. Conleth’s Community College are expected to complete two separate blocks of work experience placement during the year. Week 1 is scheduled for November, while Week 2 is scheduled for April. Students are expected to secure their own placements. Employers are sent a pack before students commence work experience consisting of a letter, student evaluation form and a copy of the school’s insurance policy. Any students wishing to undertake a work experience placement outside of the two set weeks on the calendar can only do so with the prior approval of the Transition Year Core Team.
Please see Appendix II for documents relating to Transition Year Work Experience.

LIFT Ireland’s leadership programme
LIFT Ireland aims to create a nation of leaders to show students from an early stage what it takes to be a leader. LIFT Ireland’s leadership learning process is based on eight key leadership values. While partaking in LIFT’s programme, participants are introduced to one value per week for 8 weeks. LIFT’s leadership learning process provides students with the foundation to become leaders in their own lives. Students who have taken part in LIFT have improved their listening skills, increased their confidence, and become more emphatic, understanding, and positive.

Assessment in the Transition Year Programme

Transition Year students are constantly assessed both formally and informally. Students complete a Transition Year portfolio, which the Transition Year Coordinator monitors on a regular basis. Subject teachers also assess students through various ways – oral presentations, projects, tests, reports and assignments.
Students are required to deliver a presentation/interview at the end of the first term to members of the Core Team. Students are marked on their attendance, portfolio, personal development and interview skills during this presentation/interview.
A Transition Year Showcase Evening will occur at the school year's end. Parents and guests are invited to the evening, where students display their work and present the highlights of their Transition Year experience. Students are also presented with their various certificates on the night.

Evaluation of the Transition Year Programme

At the end of the school year, the students, staff, and parents will be provided with an opportunity to evaluate the Transition Year Programme. The Core Team collates this information, and feedback is provided to school management.

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