What is Transition Year?

“Transition Year is an optional one-year, school-based programme between Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. It is designed to act as a bridge between the two by facilitating the smooth transition from the more dependent learning of the Junior Cycle to the more independent self-directed learning required for the Senior Cycle. Schools have the chance to design programmes and courses tailored to the needs and interests of students.” – NCCA

Aims of Transition Year Programme

Our Transition Year programme is offered on an optional basis but will receive 100% uptake amongst our student body in the 2023-20204 academic year. It is a school-based programme and  is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior and Senior Cycle.

Our programme aims to:

  • Encourage our students to develop life skills that will best prepare them for the world of work and community involvement beyond their school years.
  • Experience a year where the emphasis will be on personal responsibility and the nurturing of creative, caring, thinking, articulate and self-confident young women.
  • Develop the capacity of our students to learn independently with a self-directed approach to their learning by developing an awareness of their own educational needs.
  • Provide our students with opportunities to broaden their educational experiences beyond the classroom within a safe working environment.
  • Facilitate the further development of the professional relationship between teaching staff and students.
  • Holistic development of our students using a broad range of teaching and learning methodologies and strategies.
  • Facilitate a smooth transition from Junior Cycle to Senior Cycle.


Benefits of Transition Year Programme

  • ESRI report: Transition Year students get higher points in the Leaving Certificate exams.
  • Students can make informed choices about academic studies and work placements.
  • The Transition Year Programme challenges students to develop a broad skill set.



Structure of Transition Year Programme in Rosmini Community School


Transition Year Coordinator

The Coordinator of the Transition Year Programme is Leon Darbey


Transition Year Opportunities

Transition year can give students opportunities to:

  • Make informed choices about Leaving Certificate subjects.
  • Develop a variety of new skills
  • Learn more about the working world through work experience.
  • Catch up on learning missed out during the Junior Cycle.
  • Take part in outdoor pursuits.
  • Learn about working as part of a team.
  • Undertake projects on various topics.
  • Practice meeting deadlines for assignments.
  • Become a more independent learner
  • Develop more understanding and confidence about yourself as a person.
  • Learn about leadership, co-operation and dealing with conflict
  • Learn through meeting people beyond the classroom.
  • Awareness of social issues.
  • Discover more about your own personal strengths – what you are good at.
  • Discover more about .jobs and career opportunities.
  • Enhance ICT skills.
  • Become a more mature person.
  • Add a valuable set of experience to your CV.
  • Sample and discover new subjects.


Work Experience

Work experience is seen as a key part of Transition Year in Rosmini Community School. Students are encouraged to source their own work and therefore must take responsibility. The summer holiday after their Junior Certificate examinations is an ideal time for them to do this.

Aims of Transition Year Work Experience Programme

  • To prepare students for adult and working life
  • To develop an awareness of work and the workplace
  • To develop their self-confidence and personality
  • To increase their information about specific areas of work






Student Reflective Practice on Work Placement


As part of Rosmini Community School’s Transition Year Programme, students are given the opportunity to reflect on their experience and listen to the experience of others. Emphasis is placed on ensuring that students learn and grow through their experiences. Students must also produce a report, which is graded and goes towards their final assessment and feedback is sought from their employer either verbally or in writing. The Transition Year Coordinator endeavours to contact all placements, though this is not always possible.

Programme Assessment and Achievement

Record of Student Attainment

Each student is assessed on an ongoing basis through homework, tests and assignments.

A record of these results is kept by the teacher. Lack of progress, serious underachievement or persistent presentation of sub-standard work, taking the student’s ability into account, is notified to the parents (either in the Journal or by letter) at an early stage and to the Year Head (using the Staff Meeting Record Form). Serious underachievement normally results in the student being placed on a Student Improvement Plan (as part of the duties of Rosmini Community School’s Student Support Team).

House examination results are to be recorded in the student’s record (academic assessment profile sheets to be introduced in the new school year. The student’s results sheet is to be disseminated to the student’s parents and the Form Tutors. Formative assessment contributes to decisions regarding the level of entry in the State Examinations Commission examinations at Junior and Senior Cycle Level.

Transition Year Portfolio of Work

Each student is responsible for maintaining a portfolio of the work that they will complete as part of their participation in the Transition Year Programme.

We have introduced a standardised Transition Year Portfolio Binder that includes assignments to help students reflect on and evaluate the key learning experiences that they will have in both class-based and out-of-school activities over the course of the programme.

Students will receive a weekly Design and Presentation class to help them remain focused on developing a body of work that is rich in content and well presented.


Please, see below, important information for students regarding this body of work. 

My Transition Year Portfolio Checklist

Your Portfolio must contain the following items…

  1. Cover Page and Table of Contents (Both separate)

Cover Page will include your name, class, year in school and the dates that you participated in the Transition Year programme. Include drawing, sketch, print, photo or painting related to your experience of Transition Year as part of the design of this cover page. Stick this cover page to the front of your Display Book to give your work its own unique identity. Ensure that your Portfolio stands out for all the right reasons. Be colourful, creative and imaginative in how you present your work.

Table of Contents should include the list of sections included in your Portfolio and the page numbers for each. It would be recommended to number every page submitted in the Portfolio so that they can be easily accessed by your teachers and Co-ordinator.

  1. Samples of Course Work from all my Subjects and Modules

You must submit at least one sample of work from the following core subjects and modules that you have completed in Transition Year.

English (Entries from Diary, book reports, film reviews, poetry critiques, short stories, etc.)

Irish (Summaries or reviews of short stories, poems and/or articles studied in class, project work on Irish culture and traditions, etc.)

Mathematics (Project work, assignments, Maths Week initiatives)

French (Assignments, postcards, letters, personal writing, project work on French culture and traditions, etc.)

SMART Skills (Assignments, project work etc.)

Information Technology (Web based projects, evidence of your ability to correctly use digital applications, assignments etc.)

Music (Lyrics of songs you have learned, evidence of your ability to read music, descriptions of instruments that you were introduced to etc.)

Tourism (Advertisements produced, group work, project work etc.)

Heritage Studies (Reports on class excursions, research projects, assignments, etc.)

Religious Education (Samples of work from scrapbook on the Search for Meaning and Buddhism modules, group work completed for Saint Vincent de Paul activities)

Career Guidance (Account of work experience including CV and letters sent to employers, etc.)

SPHE (Posters highlighting awareness of various issues explored in class, class-based work on wellbeing etc.)

Physical Education (Assignments completed, photographs of activities and events that you participated in etc.)

Science (Assignments, photographs of experiments, reviews of experiments, etc.)

Mini Company (Report on business established for Enterprise Day etc.)

Media Studies (Project work, photographs, accounts of assignments completed etc.)

Driver Education (Test scores, assignments, etc.)

Drama (Reviews of scripts studied, samples of dialogue composed, photographs of class performances, reflections on dramatic techniques learned this year etc.)

  1. My Personal Achievements

In this section, you should write about examples of your participation and engagement with the wider school community out of classwork. Examples of items you could include here are your work experience placements, involvement in extra-curricular school activities such as sport or drama, committees that you may have been a member of, school events that you helped organise, parent teacher meetings/school open night that you may have assisted with, Gaisce etc.)

(Hints: Transition Year gives you the opportunity to gain new knowledge and to develop new skills, experience for yourself the value of volunteering in the local community, participate in a range of activities that help improve your wellbeing, meet leaders in a number of professions, prepare for the world of work, plan and prepare events etc. When writing this section, consider the following questions: What did I accomplish as a result of my participation in Transition Year? What contribution has this experience made to my life? How has this achievement changed my life for the better? Have I developed a new skill that has improved my confidence or helped me to work better with others? You have so many options here.)

  1. A Reflection on What Transition Year Means to Me

This section includes one piece of work which illustrates what Transition Year means to you. This piece can take any form you choose. If it is a written piece, it must be at least one typed A4 page. You are free to compose a poem or lyrics of a song, submit a drawing or painting that you have done. This work must be your own. You will also write an account describing how this piece of work best describes the experience that you had in Transition Year.

(Hints: Something new that I learned, an important skill that I developed, an experience that helped me to grow, a place I visited that left an impression on me, a new discovery that I made about myself, an obstacle that I overcame, etc).

  1. My Top Five Experiences of Transition Year

This section includes five items that represent your top five experiences of Transition Year. You must write about each of these experiences and explain why you have chosen each one as a highlight of the year. You may include photographs, drawings, paintings or any appropriate item to highlight each experience.

(Hints: For each experience, write about what you did, when you did it, the place you were in, the people you met, the lessons you may have learned, things you found exciting, intriguing or interesting, etc. You may choose experiences such as school trips to Turlough Hill, Carlingford, the Deaf Village, history tours etc; workshops such as Mindfulness Meditation during Catholic Schools Week; school events such as Friendship Day or Laughternoon during Wellbeing Week; guest speakers from organisations such as Saint Vincent de Paul etc.)

Students will include the following items in their Portfolios that they may have earned throughout Transition Year:

  • Certificates of Achievement
  • Certificates of Participation
  • References


Transition Year Portfolio Interviews

  • Students will be interviewed on their Portfolio of Work by the TY Coordinator and Year Head in December 2019 and May 2020.
  • Both interviews will last approximately 10 minutes long during which students will be assessed on the presentation, content, originality and learning & reflection of their work.
  • Students will receive two grades in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • These grades will feature on each student’s school report with comments from the Transition Year Co-ordinator, Mr Gueret.

Please see, criteria below, for the assessment of students’ Portfolios of Work


How well has the student organised and presented the portfolio? (Readability/ captures attention/ presentation/ colour/ layout/ spelling/ grammar/ use of images/ use of multimedia/ adequate content on all five sections of portfolio)


Has the student submitted at least one sample of work from each of his/her subjects and modules? Is there variety in the samples submitted? What is the quality of content of these samples submitted in the portfolio? Has the student given examples of his/her participation and engagement with the wider community? To what extent has the student offered insight into the knowledge gained and new skills developed as part of his/her engagement with the Transition Year Programme? Has the student shared a personal reflection of his/her involvement in Transition Year and how meaningful it has been for him/her? Has the student offered a substantial account of his/her top five experience of Transition Year?


How familiar is the student with the required portfolio materials? Are they all included? Is there evidence of the student’s own work? (Including evidence of what he/she did outside school). Is the content original and unique to the individual student? Is there evidence that the student has customised his/her portfolio so that people looking at it will learn of his/her character.

Learning and Reflection

Does the portfolio show evidence that the student has reflected on what he/she has learned this year, what he/she found difficult, what he/she did well and what that he/she is thinking about the qualities, abilities, experience and skills to see what he/she has achieved so far and what he/she might try to improve.

Transition Year Credit System

Credits will be awarded to students of both core and modular subjects in addition to their house exam results. The marking system for Core Subjects and Sampler Modules will be as follows:

Core Subjects/10 Credits

   10 Excellent
    8 Very Good
    6 Good
    4 Fair
    2 Poor


Modules/5 Credits

    5 Excellent
    4 Very Good
    3 Good
    2 Fair
    1 Poor

Credits will be allocated in several different areas in the 2019-2020 academic year including academic studies, work experience, portfolio and participation in out of school flexible learning activities.

Certification in Transition Year

A school-based certificate is provided to participants who achieve 90% attendance over the course of the academic year. This school-based certification certifies students using the following criteria:

Pass 40-60%
Merit 60-80%
Distinction 80-100%

In addition, we offer both internally and externally certified commendation at the end of Transition Year including:


First Aid Beginners Certification
Drivers Education Certification
School Enterprise Awards Certification
School Placement Certification
Beginners Irish Sign Language Certification
DCU Unity Certification
Young Saint Vincent de Paul Programme Certification
Judo Course Certification
Gaisce Certification
Paired Reading Tutor Certification
Homework Buddies Club Mentor Certification
Irish Speaking Certification

Some of these courses and programme certificates are compulsory aspects of Transition Year, whilst others are optional extras.

Transition Year Graduation 

Certificates are presented towards the end of May each year at a Graduation Ceremony to which parents, family members and teachers are invited. This ceremony is a highlight of Transition Year for both the students, their parents and the TY core team. As well as the presentation of certification, students create an exhibition of their year work and families can chat informally to teachers and core team members. The students also prepare light refreshments on the day to serve to their invited guests