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Transition Year

Transition Year

TY Mission Statement

The aim of Transition Year in Clifden Community School is to encourage the personal, social, educational and vocational development of our students. In concentrating on the development of existing skills and the acquisition of new skills, the students will assume greater responsibility for their own learning. CCS encourages values of respect for self and others, honest endeavour and preparation of our students for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.

Q. What is the purpose of the Transition Year Programme?

“Transition” is exactly what happens in this year. The student transitions into personally, socially and educationally. One of our primary aims is to promote maturity in our students and prepare them for early adult life.

· Maturity through their studies; we strive to make students more self-directed learners through the development of general, technical and academic skills.

· Maturity in relation to work; we strive to develop the students in work and careers by developing work related skills and work experience.

· Personal maturity; we provide opportunities to develop communication skills, self-confidence and a sense of responsibility. With this, we try to develop greater social maturity, developing “people” skills and a greater awareness of the outside world.

Q. What will students be doing during Transition Year?

The Transition Year Calendar is made up of Four Layers

1. Core subject layer

2. Subject sampling layer

3. TY specific and subject layer

4. Calendar ‘once off’ layer

The calendar shows the ‘shape ‘of the Transition Year programme.

The Transition Year calendar is communicated to parents, posted on the Transition Year notice board in the Staffroom, on the student Transition Year notice board and in the Transition Year section of the school website. Students are also made aware of new opportunities as they often become available during the year. It is vital that they keep an eye on the student noticeboard.

Q. Will the students get homework?

As with other year groups throughout the school, Transition Year students have a journal to record their homework. As different methodologies are often employed when teaching Transition Year Programmes the form homework takes may vary. However, each student is expected to complete homework on time and to an appropriate standard. Should the student fail to attempt or complete homework, sanctions will be applied.

Q. What are “Activities”?

Each Tuesday (this day changes from year to year) an activity is organised for the group. Sometimes the students will be together as a group. Other times, we divide them into groups to undertake a module that may interest them.

Below is the list of some of the Tuesday activities of the past 2 years;

  • Hillwalking
  • Health & Fitness
  • Woodturning
  • Bushskills
  • Camogie
  • Golf (weather permitting)
  • Business in the Community (2018-19 Masars)(2019-20 Aviva)
  • TYs got Talent rehearsals
  • Age Action Ireland: Getting Started Programme
  • Ger Carey's Psycho Spaghetti comedy
  • The Manuela Programme

There are more. These activities change from year to year.

Q. What subjects will my child be studying?

Core Subjects Subject Sampling
English Chemistry
Irish Biology
Maths Physics
French Agricultural Science
Spanish Business
P.E Engineering
Psychology Art, Craft & Design
Religion Cookery
History Design & Communication Graphics
Communications Accounting
IT Construction
Career Guidance Geography

Q. What is TY leave?

Clifden Community School promotes full attendance and participation in all areas of the TY programme but recognizes that from time to time opportunities may be offered outside the school environment, which may be beneficial to the student. Where these placements are of a high value to the student’s career choices, a student may apply for TY leave to be released for the week if an opportunity of a significant learning experience is presented to them. A significant learning experience is “a learning experience resulting in something that is truly significant in terms of the students’ lives” (Fink, 2003, p. 6)

Before applying for TY leave, the student, with support from parents/guardians, should research the possibility of undertaking the opportunity presented during weekend or holiday time. If this is not possible then it may be possible to apply for TY leave (at least three weeks before potential start date). The TY team will then study the application, interview the student and make a decision regarding the granting of leave.

**The TY Programme will continue to run as usual.

Q. Is there a danger that students may lose study skills in TY?

There is always a danger if the school and home do not work to ensure that the essential skills are maintained during the Transition Year programme. The core subjects are taught weekly and assessed by the teacher in class time. TY students will be extremely busy but in a different way. The leap from the Junior Cycle to the Leaving Certificate is indeed a large one. It is very rare that a student who finds the leap from TY to Leaving Cert difficult, would not have found the move problematic had the moved directly from third year. Studies show that on average, students who complete Transition Year achieve 25 more points than students who don’t.

Q. How can parents support their child in Transition Year?

  • Encourage your child to make the most of the TY programme. It really is a year from which the benefits accrued directly relate to the effort put in.
  • Demonstrate as much interest in your child’s daily educational activities as you would when if following a Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate programme.
  • If you have any queries or suggestions regarding any aspect of TY, please come and see the Co-ordinator or the Principal.
  • Familiarise yourself with all the “extra” and “optional” activities the school offers throughout the year. Your child will not have a lot of traditional homework so may have time to take part in extra-curricular activities. Students often only convey the activities that they are interested in to their parents. Therefore, many valuable opportunities may be missed or overlooked.
  • As already mentioned, your child may not have a lot of “traditional” homework. TY opens the door to other ways of learning. Students will have many projects to complete and assignments to prepare.
  • If your child is bored or has little or no work to do throughout the year, there is something wrong and contact the school immediately.
  • If you have interest in an area that you think would be beneficial, interesting, educational or just pure fun to the TY program, please let the co-ordinator know.
  • If you know any famous or influential guest speakers, we would love to have them into the school. Please let us know.

Q. What about Work Experience?

All students undertake Work Experience. Each student must secure their own placements. It is recommended that students reflect very carefully on the career options they wish to pursue and use this opportunity to get valuable insights into possible future careers. Students are assisted in their preparation for their placement during careers and guidance classes. During the Work Experience weeks, the school may visit or telephone the contact person to thank them for accommodating the student and enquire about their progress. Work Providers send evaluation forms detailing the student’s progress and their recommendations.

Q. Will my child need to be Garda Vetted for Work Experience?

If your child is over 16, and will be working with children or vulnerable adults, they will need to be Garda Vetted. Vetting is done through the school and application will need to be organised well in advance of Work Experience.

Q. How will students find out about opportunities available?

A wide variety of opportunities are available to Transition Year students throughout the year. Students are encouraged to participate as much as possible. Descriptions of these opportunities are posted on the Transition Year notice board and are updated frequently. Students and parents are also encouraged and advised to research opportunities available.

Q. What is Gaisce?

As part of Transition Year, each student will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Gaisce Awards.

Gaisce – the President’s Award is Ireland’s National Challenge Award, the country’s most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland, to each student. It works on the basis of a personal challenge set by the student. Each student will set the challenge and agree it with a President’s Award Leader (PAL). Each challenge is completely individual.

In order to attain the minimum of a bronze medal each participant must complete the following:

1. Community Involvement: This is done outside school hours and organised by the student, 13 hrs

2. Personal Skills: This involves one hour per week for 13 weeks during which time the candidates may, for example, learn to play a musical instrument, develop computer skills, attend classes in arts and crafts, learn some first aid or attain skills in car maintenance.

3. Physical Recreation: This involves one hour per week for 13 weeks and can include involvement in any sporting activity.

4. Adventure Journey: This is a two-day expedition and will be organised by the school PAL.

5. One other activity involving one hour per week for 13 weeks from any of the sections above.

Activities must be completed outside of school hours and verified by parents / instructors / coaches / teachers. These activities should be set up immediately. The Award programme is open to all young people between the ages of 15 and 25. Anyone can take part as long as they are self-motivated and up to the challenge

Q. Is TY expensive?

Due to the often experiential nature of learning in the Transition Year Programme costs are incurred. As such it is necessary to charge expenses which are communicated to

Parents/Guardians in months preceding TY. This covers all transportation, activities, admittance and external tuition charges on the planned programme. We make a conscious effort to keep these costs to a minimum. As Transition Year is a compulsory element within Clifden Community School all students are expected to pay these expenses.

Transition Year is designed to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and decision making. Financial responsibility is a vital life skill to learn and as such we strongly encourage students to pay some or all of their expenses if possible.

Optional Extra: Trip

We offer an optional extra of a trip on our Transition Year programme. As the holistic education of our students is of the highest priority to Clifden Community School, trips with a clear educational value are selected for our students.

This trip is in addition to the standard programme and as such incurs an additional cost to the standard expenses. Submission of a deposit is considered to be an expression of interest in availing of the trip. In order for a student to be invited on the trip the following criteria must be met:

  • All other Transition Year expenses must be paid in full by the deposit due date.
  • Only students with perfect or almost perfect attendance will be considered for the trip.

- Past and present behaviour must be appropriate to that expected by school rules. Student records regarding behaviour from first to fourth year will be considered.

- Upon acceptance of a non-refundable deposit, students are expected to continue to behave and attend in a manner appropriate to school rules. If a student does not maintain these standards, they will not be allowed travel, further monies will not be accepted and their deposit will be lost.

- Student behaviour must be of the highest standard while on the trip thus ensuring the health and safety of all those travelling. Should a student fail to maintain appropriate behaviour they will be sent home with an accompanying teacher at full cost to their parents.

Q. Are there tests and assessments during TY?

A wide variety of assessment procedures are employed during Transition Year. Each subject teacher decides on the best way to assess their particular area. Assessments dates for each term are listed in the Transition Year calendar.

Q. Will I get school reports?

As with other year groups, reports are completed by subject teachers. The reports are available on VS Ware.

Q. Who evaluates the programme?

Evaluation forms an important part of the programme. Teachers, students and parents are asked to evaluate the programme at the end of each year so positive elements may be maintained and less positive aspects changed. Work providers are asked to evaluate the students work and the systems employed by Clifden Community School. Teachers also evaluate their individual course or subject area. The Clifden Community School Transition Year Programme is subject to evaluation by The Department of Education.

Q. What is the “Spirit of Transition Year Award”?

Towards the end of the year, a person who embodies the spirit of Transition Year will be selected as the recipient for this award. This is a person who has developed personally, socially, vocationally and educationally, as well as embracing the opportunities that TY has presents to them throughout the year.

Clifden Community School
Co Galway
H71 W673

095 21184

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