Thoughts on transition year

Transition year is often described as the year where students can explore their options for the future and grow as individuals. It encourages the development of a student's social and personal skills while taking a break from the stress of exam years. This programme gives them more time to make a decision based on what job they would like to have, to master their weaknesses and mature in many different ways.

My experience of transition year so far has been extremely positive. This is only the second year of transition year in my school and, after the success of the first year, we hope to follow in their footsteps and set a good example to the years below us, hopefully inspiring them to consider TY as an option. There are many opportunities to motivate pupils to engage in activities they may not have tried before, and the first big one that my school is putting on is a musical, called Back To The 80s, which will be run in Coláiste Bhaile Chláir from November 22 to 25. The school musical helps bond students as they work together as cast and crew to put on a show. It also uncovers talents that students may not have expressed in the school before.

Another perk of transition year is the free time that is offered to students so they can take on work experience in job sectors that interest them. This is extremely beneficial to students as many enter this year primarily to have time to make a decision on what job they want to have. Many schools encourage this as it can help students gain insight on what career path they would like to go down, and the kind of work environment they can expect in their sector. There is also a week of community service which lets pupils engage in charity work and give back to the community. This is of use to students who are interested in getting involved with specific charities or youth groups.

Many opportunities arise in transition year, such as competitions and awards. For example, many students take part in the Gaisce Bronze Medal award over the course of the year. There are four stages of this award which all work in harmony to encourage personal development in young people. Students must do an hour of community involvement, developing a personal skill, and playing a sport for 13 weeks, and then partake in an adventure journey in order to get the award. This motivates students to stay active and put in a continuous effort to thrive in transition year.

With so many chances to flourish throughout this year, students tend to leave the year with new skills and irreplaceable memories. Transition year is the perfect bridge to bring you from the junior to senior cycle as it encourages the independence of students and with this year, if you put your work in from the start and engage in all opportunities that come your way, you will be reaping the benefits for a long time to come.

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