Rice College Westport
An Edmund Rice School

Transition Year



This is a unique one year programme for students aged 15/16. It provides a bridge to enable students to make the transition from Junior to Senior Cycle. It encourages personal and social development and recognises the need for students to become independent learners and critical thinkers.

Transition Year fosters academic achievement as students prepare for their Leaving Certificate, adding real value for their future study at Third level and/or for their adult working life.


The true aims of Transition Year as they have been developed at Rice College, include the following:

  • To provide a transition between Junior and Senior Cycles, and to lay the foundation for further study.
  • To introduce the student to a new range of experiences beyond the scope of the traditional curriculum.
  • To facilitate subject choice at LC. i.e. students get to try new subjects.
  • To raise student awareness of the opportunities and challenges in the workplace.
  • To inform decision making around course/career choices at Third Level and beyond.
  • To establish realistic, educational, occupational and life ambitions.
  • To develop an understanding of one’s own situation in the home, at work and in the community.
  • To develop qualities of courtesy, co-operation and concern for other people.
  • To develop self-awareness, decision-making and coping skills, to encourage initiative, self-reliance and responsibility.
  • To develop an appreciation of the creative arts.
  • To give time for the consideration and study of deeper aspects of life, through the study of religious and ethical issues.

The success of Transition Year depends on the degree to which each student becomes involved and on their ability to self-motivate and take on a personal responsibility for their learning. Some are better than others at achieving this.


The Transition Year students follow a full timetable of subjects - English, Project Mathematics, Irish, History, Geography, Business, Accountancy, Economics, Art, Religion, French, I.T., R.S.E., Biology, Chemistry, Physics , Agriultural Science and Capitalist Science, Technology subjects and P.E. Business and Science subjects are offered on a rotation basis.

The curriculum content for each subject is reviewed by the teachers in that area to ensure that it is still current and relevant to the student’s interests and is representative of the subject at Senior Cycle.

Flexibility also exists to facilitate a large number of extracurricular activities - namely, the GAA’s Future Leaders course, Gaisce Award, Pope John Paul II Award, Green Schools, First Aid, the Edmund Rice Awards, outdoor pursuits, dance workshops, keep fit, a musical, etc.

(The Covid pandemic has currently halted international tours which would normally run in May. Other excursions are still being considered such as the tour to Northern Ireland. Ultimately, health and safety concerns are our top priority)

A close working relationship exists with the Sacred Heart School. Mixed classes take place every Wednesday. The student gets to experience four modules offered by the two schools- from Art, Cookery, Design and Communication Graphics, Environmental Studies, Media Studies and Woodwork - for 7 to 8 weeks throughout the year.

The Transition Year offers pupils space to learn, mature and develop in the absence of examination pressure. The Rice College Transition Year programme is NOT part of the Leaving Certificate Programme, and should NOT be seen as an opportunity for spending three years rather than two studying Leaving Certificate material. This is not to say that the Transition Year programme should lack intellectual content; it is essential that TY offers a challenge to pupils in all areas of their development.

Work Experience / Careers

One of the ways of doing this and of providing an orientation towards the world of work, is to include a component of actual work experience. In the Westport, Newport, Louisburgh and Castlebar region, we are fortunate to have a wide range of work experience opportunities available to our students. In Rice College, TY students sare timetabled for WE every Monday. In order that pupils may obtain maximum benefit from their work experience, the opportunity for de-briefing, reporting back and follow-up exercises is also offered by Ms. Ferguson, our Guidance teacher.


Research conducted at national level by the ESRI has found that TY students entering the Leaving Certificate programme are better equipped and more disposed to study than their counterparts who did not complete a TY Year . We feel that this is borne out here at Rice College and that the majority of students are more able to cope with the demands of the Leaving Cert and to subsequently ‘take it in their stride’. In fact, many of their newly acquired experiences and skills will hold them in good stead for their studies at Third-level education and even into their adult lives where well-being and resilience are becoming more and more important in our pressurised society.

Sean Lammond

Programmes Coordinator

November 2021

Transition Year Programmes – Guidelines for Schools

Click here to view our Ty Year 2021/2022

Castlebar Rd, Westport, Co. Mayo, F28TK64, Ireland
098 25698
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