Transition Year is a one-year bridging programme which enables students completing the Junior Cycle to approach the Senior Cycle with a greater degree of confidence and maturity. Recent national studies on the effectiveness of Transition Year indicate that these students have a higher grade point average in the Leaving Certificate, and take a broader range of third-level courses than non-Transition Year students. Transition Year students also work better on research projects, have better interview skills and are more educationally adventurous. The school wholeheartedly recognises the personal and social development skills which accrue to Transition Year students. Rockbrook restricts the number of students it takes into Transition Year. The outline for the Transition Year programme is subject to change from year to year. A new TY programme, Wider Horizons, was introduced in 2014 (see Wider Horizons Booklet).
In Transition Year, learning takes place both within and outside school, and students are encouraged to make the most of both. In school, learning takes place through participation (not graded) and through project work (graded by the school). Outside school, learning is facilitated by students having less school work and less study to do at home, and therefore more time to dedicate to advancing in other areas, such as music, art, sports, computing, languages, travel, work experience, additional subjects, useful hobbies etc. Parents are key in helping their sons use this time effectively for furthering their personal development, time which will be in short supply in 5th and 6th year due to study.
Participation in school, for a TY student, involves learning how to become organised and self-motivated, experiencing the world of work, entering specialist competitions, committing to TY-specific extra-curriculum events and trips, contributing to whole school drama and music activities, participating in extra sporting events and partaking of all relevant workshops provided by the school.
Project work for a TY student occurs within the context of the six Learning Modules which together form the structure of the TY Wider Horizons academic syllabus:
- Languages & Literature
- Contemporary World Affairs
- Business & Enterprise
- Applied Sciences
- Sport & Performance
Within the TY modules there are 22 standard subjects. Some of these subjects run throughout the whole year, others for half the year. They are listed below in the table.
|Module||Whole-year subjects||Half-year subjects|
|Languages & Literature||IrishEnglish
French / Spanish
Debating & Public Speaking
|Humanities||Art / MusicReligion||PhilosophyClassical Studies|
|Contemporary World Affairs||HistoryPolitics
|Business & Enterprise||MathsComputers||BusinessEconomics|
|Sport & Performance||P.E.Personal Development|
In addition to core subjects, there are many short-term and once-off courses for TY students in the Wider Horizons programme, such as:
|· Drama· First Aid
· TV Production
· Radio Production
|· Self-Defence· Crafts
· Driving Skills
The fee for taking part in Transition Year covers all of the standard programme subjects and activities delivered by the school to TY students; extra charges are levied for any extra activities which occur.
Only project work is formally assessed and graded in TY. There are two types of project work: (a) individual project work in ongoing subjects throughout the year, which is graded by the subject teachers, and (b) group project work, which operates on a cross-curriculum basis and is assessed following a presentation to an assessor group.
The grading system for projects is a scale of five levels of achievement: High Distinction, Distinction, Merit, Pass, No Pass. Three TY progress reports are sent home in the course of the year.
While normally tuition for TY takes place during the standard school day, some activities may require time commitment outside of school hours. Typically Thursday is the day allocated to off-site activities.
This outline on Wider Horizons can be downloaded from the downloads section of the website