The Transition Year Programme


The aim of Transition Year is to provide the student with a year in which to mature and develop as an individual, while completing an array of subjects not normally studied through a variety of mediums. Transition Year also has to maintain the core subjects carried through to the Leaving Certificate – Maths, English and Irish. Transition Year is about what the student can give to the programme as well as about what the programme can do for him or her. There is growing evidence that students who have taken the Transition Year programme are more self-reliant learners, when they enter senior cycle and third level education, than their peers.

‘Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Transition Year Programme

The programme is divided into various elements of learning;

  • Core subjects
  • Modules
  • Optional subjects
  • Work Experience
  • Performing Arts
  • Sports
  • Community Awareness
  • Enterprise

The aim is to provide the student with a rounded learning experience. Students will be expected to extend themselves outside of their usual comfort zones. While the programme is structured and results-driven, the sheer range of activities, both academic and social, really expands the students’ horizons. They discover their individual aptitudes and interests, and Transition Year puts students in a much better position to make informed, mature choices about Leaving Certificate options.

‘You have to take enough time to get kids deeply involved in something they can think about in lots of different ways,’

Howard Gardner

The Transition Team

The Transition Year Co-ordinator/ Year Head is supported by a dedicated team.

  • Class teachers liaise with students on a daily basis monitoring their progress and pastoral care.
  • Subject teachers from various areas of the curriculum are involved in the running and planning of the programme.
  • The team meet with the co-ordinator on a regular basis to discuss the progress of pupils and other issues. The aim is to help each student reach his/her potential during this year.
  • Students take centre stage in the Transition Team. Students who have suggestions regarding activities should contact a member of the team to discuss their ideas. The Transition Year Team strives to make they year as valuable as possible to every Transition Year student.   Their thoughts and ideas are important to us.
  • Parents/Guardians are a very important part of the Transition Team. It would be impossible to have a successful Transition Year without their support and encouragement . Regular conversations, interest in the Transition Journal and activities encourages students to involve themselves in classes and activities.


Community Involvement

In 2010-2011 The Transition Year Team aim to involve parents and grandparents with some aspects of the students classes, for example, last year we had a very successful Log on and Learn Programme students went through an intensive training program in order to invite grandparents and senior citizens from the local community into the school, to show and teach them computer skills.

We have excellent partnerships with community groups and leaders we aim to foster and nurture this connection.   Junior Achievement, NFTE, The Northside Partnership, Sphere 17, Northside Shopping Centre and The Royal Bank of Scotland work in partnership with The Transition Year Students on a regular basis.


    NFTE students are required to develop a business during the year. They are supported and encouraged by their Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher. Throughout the school year NFTE students meet local entrepreneurs and partake in wholesale and sales events while working through the curriculum. At the end of the year each student presents their business plan as part of the Youth Entrepreneurship Awards. Each student business is also encouraged to apply for the International Business Plan competition, the winner of which gets a trip to New York to collect their prize.  Coláiste Dhúlaigh Students were lucky to have won this prize in 2005 and 2006. All of Coláiste Dhúlaigh’s NFTE teachers have been awarded International Teacher of the Year in 2005 2006 and 2010.


    Students work on self-expression, characterization, stagecraft, improvisation, dance and acting skills. Students who do not wish to be a performer will be part of the Production Team. These students will have responsibilities in the areas of PR, Budgeting, Sales, Costumes, Set Design, and Stage Management etc. Each year our students find this module to be one of the highlights of their Transition Year experience and the sense of achievement is shared by all.

    Work Experience

    Students learn important career skills. The world of work, job options, and skills such as the preparation of a curriculum vitae and job applications. This module also helps students prepare for, and review, their Transition Year Work Experience so that they can make a more considered choice of subjects for Fifth Year.

    All students engage in work experience. They must secure the placement themselves, keep a logbook, and write up a report on their experience. Employers are also asked to provide a report on the student. Ideally, students should look for their placements before the end of the current school year, and follow-up the request in August. It is also recommended that students seek placements with a view to exploring their future career interests, if possible.


    The Department of Education and Science awards a certificate of participation to all who complete a Transition Year Programme. The school will also certify the students’ participation, enthusiasm, commitment, and progress throughout the year.