The Transition Year (TY) is a one-year programme that forms the first year of a three-year senior cycle in many schools. It is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate programmes. It is available to all second level schools and currently approximately 75% of schools offer the programme. Transition Year is optional for students in most schools.
Transition Year offers learners an opportunity to mature and develop without the pressure of an examination. It also provides an opportunity for learners to reflect on, and develop an appreciation of, the value of learning in preparing them for the ever-changing demands of the adult world of work, further and higher education and relationships.
Each school designs its own Transition Year programme, within set guidelines, to suit the needs and interests of its students. In establishing its own distinctive programme content, the school takes into account the possibilities offered by local community interests.
There is no state examination at the end of Transition Year. Assessment is usually carried out on an ongoing basis and can include school-based assessment of projects or portfolios, oral, aural, practical and written activities. Evaluation of activities such as work experience or community service will often involve the providers or hosts of such activities. Some modules may have their own assessment arrangements. Since 2000, the Department of Education and Science has issued an official Transition Year certificate to participants, in addition to schools providing their own school-based certification.
In common with other programmes in the senior cycle, Transition Year is included in the review of senior cycle currently underway.