Manor House School Transition Year Programme

Transition Year is a one year school based programme between Junior and Senior cycle. It is designed to act as a bridge between the two by facilitating the smooth transition from the more dependent learning of the Junior Cycle to the more independent self directed learning required for the Senior Cycle. Transition Year in Manor House School is compulsory for all students. 

The purpose of the Manor House TY programme is to promote personal development; social competence and  maturity in students; to help students become more independent and responsible individuals through the variety of subjects they sample throughout the year and activities they partake in.  In concentrating on the development of existing skills and qualities and the acquisition of new skills, the students will assume greater responsibility for their own learning. We also aim to help prepare our students for adult life through contact with work places on work experience placements and development of career interests. In addition, we aim to develop a civic awareness in our Transition Year students through serving the local community on a voluntary basis, through fund-raising and  through our Community Action placements.

Assessment in TY is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.  We provide students with regular  feedback with regard to their strengths and learning challenges and facilitate improved student performance through feedback, guidance and affirmation.  Students are assessed throughout the year in a variety of ways – Christmas and Summer examinations, written and practical assignments, oral and aural assessments, projects, Work Experience Employers reports and reports from Community Action placements, completion of  Portfolio and diary records etc. 

Throughout the year teachers, parents and students can  give informal feedback to the TY team about the programme either verbally, by email or by letter.  Student’s diary entries, which are checked regularly by class tutors, also provide feedback.  Teachers, students and parents are given the opportunity at the end of the year to complete a short survey (using ‘Survey Monkey’)  to provide feedback and evaluation of the TY programme.

The Transition Year Timetable
The Transition Year incorporates a number of elements

1.  Core subjects  which all students do– English, Irish, Maths, European language, Religion, Careers, Physical Education, Portfolio.
2.  Subject sampling options – Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Home Economics, Music, Art, History, Geography, Economics, Accountancy, Business
3.  TY specific  subjects and modules – ECDL, Enterprise, Aromatherapy, General Studies e.g. Handcrafts, Mindfulness, Tourism
4. Other significant learning experiences – Musical, Work experience, Community Action, Trips- Carlingford Adventure Centre (all students), Ski Trip to Boston (Optional)  and Eurospace Camp, Brussels (Optional), Workshops- in and out of school, Guest speakers

Students receive a new timetable every semester to show changes in subject sampling and TY specific subjects. The Transition Year calendar is emailed to staff, students and parents; posted on the Transition Year notice board in the Staffroom; on the student Transition Year notice board; in the Transition Year section of the school website. As new opportunities become available during the year the calendar is regularly updated.  Students are also made aware of new opportunities at assemblies and during Portfolio class and Class Tutor period.

Learning through Work Experience and Community Action
All Students undertake Work Experience. Each student must secure their own placements. It is recommended that students reflect very carefully on the career options they wish to pursue and use this opportunity to get valuable insights into possible future careers. Students are assisted in their preparation for their placement at whole year assemblies and during Careers classes. During the Work Experience days members of the school staff telephone  the contact person  for students to thank them for accommodating the student and enquire about their progress.  Supervisors are also asked to sign student journals to confirm their attendance each day. Work Providers are sent an employer’s evaluation  form to complete at the end of the placement  detailing the student’s participation  and their recommendations. 

Dates for Work Experience/Community Action 
Block One: 9 Thursdays from 7th January – 10th March 2016 (excluding Thurs 18th March)
Block Two: 6 Thursdays from 7th April – 12th May

Students may choose to do either  9 days of Work Experience and 6 days of Community Action  or 9 days of community Action and 6 days of Work Experience

Each year Transition Year students stage a Musical. All students are encouraged to take part whether on or off stage. The Musical is chosen by the school Music department taking the talents and abilities of the particular group of students into account.

A wide variety of opportunities are available to Transition Year students throughout the year. Students are encouraged to participate as much as possible. The TY calendar contains details of many opportunities for participation in trips, Significant learning experiences, talks by guest speakers etc. In addition students have the opportunity to volunteer for various voluntary initiatives such as TY committee , SMILE committee, fund-raising for charities, organising inside school competitions and Gaisce

TY Expenses
Due to the often experiential nature of learning in the Transition Year Programme costs are incurred. As such it is necessary to charge fees for TY – subject to change depending on activities being offered.   Transition Year is designed to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and decision making. Financial responsibility is a vital life skill to learn and as such we strongly encourage students to pay some or all of their expenses through part time work such as baby sitting and/ or savings from birthday or Christmas gifts.

As Transition Year is a compulsory programme  in Manor House school  all students are expected to pay these expenses. However, some families experience genuine financial hardship and in these cases parents should contact the school Principal to discuss arrangements. 

Optional Extra Overseas Trips
We offer  two  optional extra  overseas trips on our Transition Year programme, in response to the interest shown in these trips in previous years and at the request of parents and students in Junior Cycle.   Students have the option to apply to go on a Ski Trip to New Hampshire, USA and /or the Eurospace Camp in Brussels.  The first deposit for the ski trip is collected when the students are in 2nd year and is paid in instalments over the following two years, in order to ease the financial pressure on parents and students.  

TY Graduation
TY Graduation will take place on 23/5/2016 at 7pm.  Parents/Guardians are invited to attend the Ceremony.  The Graduation Ceremony provides an opportunity for students to  showcase  the achievements of the year and to highlight the skills  and  qualities which they have developed throughout the year. 
Students receive a School  Certificate indicating their overall award for Transition year – Certificates are awarded for Distinction, Merit, Pass or Participation. Students also receive a variety of certificates acknowledging their participation and achievements in various activities such as charitable work, Public Access to Law, ComputeTY  etc during the year.  A ‘Spirit of TY’ award and awards for various subjects and sports will also be presented.

TY Coordinator: Anne  Robinson

TY Team: Gavin Beirne, Emma Cassidy, Christine Crowley, Siobhan Ni Mhuineacháin, Warren Montgomery

To contact the team you may phone 01-8316782 or email

 TY Assessment and Certification details 

Students are assessed throughout the year in a variety of ways – Christmas and Summer examinations, written and practical assignments, oral and aural assessments, projects, Work Experience employers reports and reports from Community Action placements, completion of Portfolio and diary records etc.  Reports are sent to parents at Christmas and at the end of the school year

We also have a Credit system as another means of evaluating progress in Transition Year. This system is used  to record the positive, evaluate overall progress, recognise areas of success not normally given credit in schools, engage students in assessing themselves and encourage students to act responsibly. Students earn credits by completing assigned tasks and activities.

Credit System 
Students earn credits by completing assigned tasks. 
Students will be marked out of a total of 600 credits. 

Credits will be awarded as follows

Portfolio (300 credits)
Your portfolio should be compiled throughout the year and contain a record of 

  1. Your best work in each of your core academic  subjects (One piece for each subject- assessed by teacher)
  2. Your best work in each of your optional subjects (One piece for each subject- assessed by teacher)
  3. A record of studies completed in non academic core subjects (signed by teacher)
  4. A record of studies completed in modules and general studies. (signed by teacher)
  5. Evidence of additional courses completed outside of school and/or additional work experience placements. (Any additional placements which required you to take time off from school must have been pre –approved by TY team)
  6. Involvement in extra-curricular activities (signed by supervising teacher)
  7. Involvement in in-school volunteering (signed by supervising teacher)
  8. Out-of-school volunteering (Signed by a parent or supervisor)

You do not include photocopies/notes given to you by teachers. 
This portfolio is a record of your own work and achievements throughout the year.

TY Journal (300 credits)

  • Journal records - Reflections, Evaluations of learning activities, Guest Speaker assessments etc. 
  • Gaisce
  • Participation in the Musical
  • Work Experience (Plus Employers Reports)
  • Community action (Plus supervisors Reports)

Credits will be deducted for 

(a)    Lates/absences
(b)    Work Experience/Community Action forms handed in late
(c)    Portfolio /Journal handed in late
(d)    Pink slips

Final awards
Distinction: 525 - 600
Merit: 400 - 525
Pass: 275 - 400
Certificate of participation: less than 275