Transition Year


The Transition Year (or Fourth Year) has been an exciting feature of Ashton School life for many years; Ashton being one of the first schools to introduce the Transition Year programme in 1984. Transition Year is primarily structured as a year for personal development.  It follows on after students have had a first exposure to formal examinations in the Junior Certificate Examination, taken at the end of Third Year.   At the end of Transition Year students choose their combination of option subjects for the Leaving Certificate Examination, to be taken at the end of Sixth Year.   In Transition Year students have the opportunity to mature, take part in school exchanges and work experience and have time to mature and reflect on choices of a future career.


While maintaining a discipline of study and work, the Transition Year programme allows students the opportunity to pursue academic and non-academic topics of educational value for which there is little or no time in the Junior or Leaving Certificate programmes.

The main aims of the TY programme are to:

1. promote maturity

2. encourage independent learning

In addition, the programme aims to provide the skills and support necessary for students to:

3. discover individual talents, aptitudes and abilities with regard to future educational/vocational preparation

4. understand their own particular educational/vocational needs

5. develop those skills and competencies necessary to cope successfully with their particular stages of development

Selection Procedure

Students wishing to opt for TY are required to apply formally by completing an application form.  When considering applications, due regard is given to each student’s record of behaviour and performance in school to assess his/her suitability for the programme.  A recommendation is then made, for approval by the staff and management, on who should be offered places on the programme.

Curriculum Structure

The key elements of the curriculum are Core, Option and Module subjects; Community Action; Minicompany; Work Experience; Exchange Programmes; and Outdoor Pursuits. Subjects have included: Mathematics, English, Irish,, Religious Education, Physical Education, and Work, Leisure and Careers, French, German, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business, Economics, Accounting, Food Hygiene, History, Spanish, Keyboard Skills, Information Technology, Music, Drama, Art, and Culture Studies.


It is school policy that TY students should be given written tests in core subjects at the end of the first and third terms. A variety of other forms of assessment are also used.  These include: grading of projects, presentations, interviews and portfolios; employer/supervisor reports for Work Experience and Community and Social Action; attendance and punctuality records; Tranny Watch and Tranny Credits; and student self-assessment.


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