Our Transition Year programme is divided into four broad areas:
- Active Learning / Teaching for Understanding
- Work Experience
- Academic / Leaving Cert Modules
- Foreign Exchange
Active Learning and Teaching for Understanding
Between September and December, academic subjects are presented in a more innovative manner. Emphasis shifts away from an examination-centred approach, towards what we term ‘active learning’, based on project work. The programme attempts to explore different educational aims and methods with, by and for our students. This is also the period when the students will have the most ‘off-site’ activities such as adventure weekends, leadership training, retreat and visits to cultural and artistic events.
Emphasis is placed on our students achieving real and useful qualifications such as E.C.D.L, Safe Pass, Sailing Certificates and Pre-Driving courses. A full week is devoted to the Social Awareness programme, in order to engage students’ empathy. During the week, each student volunteers with service agencies working with people with disabilities and the elderly in the greater Limerick area. This experience gives the boys powerful insights into the challenges faced daily by people with disabilities.
The month of December is devoted to Work Experience, challenging the students to participate in the real world awaiting them beyond school. Each boy spends a week each in three separate adult work environments. Placements are worked out in collaboration with each boy’s parents, according to the student’s interests and aptitudes. The aim of this programme is that one or more of his three placements will help the student in his subject/career choices, while also enhancing work and social skills.
Academic Leaving Certificate Modules
From January to March we focus on teaching Leaving Certificate modules in all of the core subjects, using innovative and inter-disciplinary modes of teaching, as recommended by the Department of Education and Skills. A key aim of this part of the programme is to allow students to make an informed choice of subjects for the senior cycle. These three months are taken very seriously, and a high degree of consultation between school, boys and parents takes place in order to allow the maximum number of students do their preferred subjects for the Leaving Certificate.
Another important aim of this part of the programme is to reveal to students the complexity of the work they will face in 5th Year and thereby act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and the Leaving Certificate.
The final term is devoted to the Foreign Exchange programme – a unique feature of the Glenstal TY experience.
This is a long-established tradition in the school, and we cherish our connection to each of our European partner schools. Each student spends eight weeks in either France, Belgium, Germany or Austria, attending school, and sharing the lives of their host families. Their exchange partners come to Glenstal at different periods throughout the year. The exchanges are a vital tool in helping the students with their language skills, while also broadening their horizons and introducing them to the richness of other cultures.