Students follow school-designed courses in core subjects and have opportunities to explore new subjects which may later be taken to Leaving Certificate level. Each student gains experience of the world of work through periods of work experience and the world of volunteerism through the social care placements. Transition year is organised by a team of teachers, which includes the Transition Year Co-ordinator.
The programme for Transition Year in Loreto College provides an exciting and challenging year for the participating students. It has three main aims – the personal development of the student in a stimulating focussed way, new skills learning and some experience in the adult and working life.
A year long exploratory journey
It provides a year long personal exploratory journey in which the students can learn more about themselves – their talents, abilities and attitudes to others and to society in general. Working within the broad education framework they learn new academic subjects and skills. They take responsibility for their own learning, and even evaluate their performance in basic areas of their lives. It is an exciting journey – in academic terms laying the foundation for further academic work. But, just as important, the students grow as people through reflection and experiential, practical learning.
Our Transition Year gives solid academic input as well as the freedom to explore subjects of interest to the individual student. A key feature of the Transition Year Programme is the wide range of teaching and learning methods used. Some of these methods include:
- Activity based learning
- Group work - discussion, debates, role plays
- Project work and research
- Visiting speakers and seminars
- Study visits and field trips
- Personal responsibility for learning
- Work experience and community service
- Computer based learning
- Oral presentations
Academically the core subjects covered include Irish, English, Religious Education, Mathematics, Languages (French, German, Spanish), History, Georgraphy, Commerce, Science, Careers and P.E. These provide continuity between the Junior and Leaving Certificates but without the extra demands of the “exam”.
There are specific modules covering general areas of interest to the students. Examples are martial arts, film school, skiing, songschool, nutrition, digital media, aromatherapy, action law. In addition, students enter external competitions and projects as part of their broad social awareness.
Community Placement & Work Experience
Community Work Placement (two weeks in the service of the community) and Work Experience (two weeks in the world of work) are integral parts of the Programme. Throughout the year all work done by each individual student is collated into a Portfolio. This work is assessed by the responsible teacher and presented by the student to an interview panel at the end of the year – all valuable learning and feedback for each student.
We expect that the outcomes for each student will be:
- growth in personal responsibility after a year of self directed experiential learning and the acquisition of some practical tools for self assessment
- clearer life choices and the setting realistic personal goals for the future
- the development of a more holistic personality
- a greater appreciation of teamwork which is valuable in so many spheres of life
- greater insight into other worlds – greater understanding of their peers, an awareness of social disadvantage, the demands and challenges of the world of work.