Welcome to the Transition Year section of our school’s website, which provides students and parents with up-to-date information and calendars of events for our vibrant Transition Year Programme.
TY is an opportunity to nurture your talents, discover new talents you never knew you had, explore new ways of learning, engage in new experiences, have fun, mature and learn, all of which will better prepare you for senior cycle. You will gain life skills, friendships and memories that will stay with you throughout your life so enjoy and embrace every second.
We value two key things in Transition Year in DCC:
- You get out of TY what you put in and
- With great freedom, comes great responsibility.
Dunshaughlin Community College is your school. Take pride in it and work hard for yourself, your classmates, teachers and parents, create learning opportunities, sign up for EVERYTHING, don’t set limits for yourself and aim high!
The Transition Year Opportunity
Transition Year can give you opportunities to:
ü Develop a variety of new skills
ü Discover more about your own personal strengths - what you are good at
ü Learn more about the working world through work experience
ü Catch up on learning missed out during the Junior Cycle
ü Discover more about job and career opportunities beyond school
ü Explore the possibilities offered by computers and information technology
ü Sample and discover new subjects
ü Build a solid foundation of skills for a Leaving Certificate programme
ü Take part in outdoor pursuits
ü Learn about working as part of a team
ü Practice and develop oral communication skills
ü Hear adults talk about their career experience
ü Learn through meeting people beyond the classroom
ü Develop your own natural skills and talents
ü Undertake projects on topics which interest you
ü Make informed choices about Leaving Certificate subjects
ü Practice meeting deadlines for assignments
ü Engage with civic, social and political issues
ü Visit third-level colleges and other workplaces
ü Improve your skills of relating to people
ü Become a more independent learner
ü Become skilled at planning and doing homework on our own
ü Develop more understanding and confidence about yourself as a person
ü Develop more mature student-teacher relationships
ü Learn about leadership, co-operation and dealing with conflict
ü Become more motivated for the Leaving Certificate programme
ü Add a valuable set of experiences to your CV
ü Become a more mature person
The TY Curriculum
The programme curriculum consists of four layers: the core subjects’ layer, the subject sampling layer, the Transition Year specific layer and the calendar events layer.
Overview of Programme
There are some changes to the TY curriculum this year that reflect feedback from students, teachers and parents.
Core: English*, Maths, Irish, Languages, PE
Elective: Art/Junk Couture, Music, BT Young Scientist, Enterprise, DCG, Media studies
Each class will rotate timetable after 9-10 weeks. In this way, students get to sample all subjects.
Lilliput Adventure, EMPOWER, Poetry Slam, Forensic Science, First Aid, Kairos Media Skills training Day, Road Safety workshop, Language film, European Trip, Leaders on Our Level, Shout Out Workshop, As I Am, Risk Prevention Programme, end of year hike.
AIB Build a Bank, NNI Press Pass competition, Young Economist, Young Entrepreneur, Francis Ledwidge Poetry competition, BT Young Scientist, others as they arise within subjects throughout the year.
TY Teams and Leaders
In order to assist with the day to day organization of TY and provide leadership roles for students in the year group, a number of committees have been established:
Each group nominated a leader. When the coordinator/staff member needs assistance in a particular area, they can contact the team leader who will ensure the task is completed.
Teaching methods and approaches
A key feature of Transition Year should be the use of a wide range of teaching/learning methodologies and situations. The goals and objectives of the programme are best achieved in DCC by placing particular emphasis on:
- negotiated learning;
- personal responsibility in learning;
- activity-based learning;
- integration of appropriate areas of learning;
- team teaching approaches;
- group work: discussion, debate, interview, role play;
- project work and research;
- visiting speakers and seminars;
- study visits and field trips;
- work experience, work simulation, community service.
A Note on Self Directed and Negotiated Learning
One of the aims of TY is to facilitate the move towards self-directed learning. Students may have to research, explore and figure things out for themselves, with the teacher in a more supporting rather than directing role. Students are expected to take much more responsibility for their work, complete all assignments on time and carry out their work to the best of their ability in the hopes of developing more mature, responsible, diligent and flexible learners.
Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Assessment within Transition Year is school-based. Assessment in TY provides accurate information with regard to student strengths and weaknesses, and facilitates improved student performance through feedback, guidance and affirmation.
Ongoing continuous assessment across the programme is facilitated by the implementation of a credit system and student portfolio. Overall, assessment of TYP in Dunshaughlin Community College has three components: Student Portfolio, Credit system and End of Year Interview.
A student portfolio/journal has been designed to encompass a range of assessment tools and templates for teachers to record student achievement and progress in subjects/modules/projects. The portfolio includes evidence of achievement in all the areas of study and learning engaged in during the year and incorporates a wide range of personal qualities. It includes:
- Module/project/options evaluation record
- Work experience evaluations
- Trips/Tour evaluations
- Guest speaker evaluations
- Oral presentation assessment templates
- An Gaisce:Information and record sheet
- Photo journal
- End of year interview
- End of year evaluation
The portfolio is evaluated by class tutors at Christmas and credits are awarded based on the quality of work completed. The portfolio also informs the allocation of credits for certification purposes and the end of year interview.
The aim of the portfolio assessment is to set up a dialogue between the pupil and the teachers about the pupil’s own learning, to promote the notion of pupil’s owning and taking responsibility for their own learning, to give the pupils the time and space for their learning efforts to be appreciated and to give the time and space for the teachers efforts to be affirmed.
Each component of the curriculum has a certain number of credits that can be attained and teachers assign credits based on student completion of projects/assignments, participation and attendance. Core subjects (English, Irish, Maths and Languages) have a written assessment at Christmas and May which also informs the allocation of credits.
End of Year Interview
At the end of the year, students are interviewed and the Student Portfolio provides an evidence based approach to assigning credits as well as informing the content of the interview.
An award of Pass, Merit, and Distinction will be made based on the student portfolio, interviews and credits gained across the curriculum throughout the programme.
A formal presentation of TY certificates takes place on the Transition Year Graduation night and is an important annual event in the school calendar.
The TY Team and their Roles
The TY team is comprised of Coordinator, class tutors and subject teachers under the support and direction of school senior management. The primary focus of the team is to support the students to fully participate in and benefit from the programme. The TY coordinator provides pastoral care to the year group, deals with general issues as they arise, deals with discipline and attendance, looks after the design, planning and implementation of the overall programme. Class tutors support individual class groups, provide pastoral care and monitor daily attendance and notes from parents. Subject teachers plan and deliver the individual modules of the programme and assess the learning.
There are five occasions when parents/guardians are asked to attend TY information meetings during the year. Parents already attended a meeting in October. There is an introductory evening in September and Graduation night at the end of the year. There are two other meetings during the year: an information evening regarding subject choices for Leaving Certificate and a meeting regarding the international tour. We also hope that you will attend the school musical/play.
Please keep a note of the following contact details for reference:
In accordance with the Health and Safety policy of the school students under the age of 18 are not permitted to leave school unaccompanied by an adult. A parent/guardian must sign their child out of school at reception in the event of an appointment, illness, injury or other unforeseen circumstances. If a student is absent for a full day or a number of days, a note must be sent into the class tutor accounting for this absence on their next day in school.
Work Experience Guidelines:
One of the main aims of Transition Year is to prepare the students for adult and working life. Students in TY engage in one full day of work experience per week. In order to gain as much experience as possible, students need to organise two different placements for the year; one placement from September to Christmas and a different placement from January to May.
It is the students’ responsibility to find a placement of value in an area which interests them from a career point of view. An extension of their part time job is not suitable. Community involvement and volunteering in an organisation are also encouraged as an appropriate and worthwhile work experience opportunity.
Extra placements must be approved IN ADVANCE using the 'Work Experience Request Form'.
TY students are unavailable for extracurricular activities on Fridays.
To help students prepare for work experience they will participate in a full day workshop in September. Students will be provided with all relevant information and documentation to prepare them for the commencement of work experience at the end of September.
Ongoing support for work experience is facilitated by the Guidance department and class tutors.
Students must submit all relevant paperwork in advance of EVERY work experience placement. Garda Vetting is required for students over 16 working with children or vulnerable adults.
If a valuable opportunity arises, students are encouraged to avail of work experience opportunities outside of the designated calendar dates. Students need to complete a ‘Work Experience Request Form’ and the placement opportunity must be approved by Ms. Collins in advance. All paperwork must be submitted 2 weeks in advance.
Monitoring and attendance:
Students keep an attendance record that must be signed by the employer on a weekly basis. Employers also provide an assessment of attitude and performance. The school monitors the student’s work experience through phone calls to employers. Each tutor has responsibility for making contact with employers throughout the period of placement.
Students cannot organize medical/dental appointments on the day of work experience. If a student cannot attend work experience due to illness or circumstances beyond their control, they must inform their employer in the first instance and supply an ‘Absence Note’ in the student journal on the day they return to school.
Before you go on your work experience:
- Register your placement online
- Learn as much as you can about the company where you will be working;
- Listen carefully to the briefings from your co-ordinator;
- Contact the company and find out the following information:
- The location of the company.
- The name of the contact person.
- The hours of work.
- Any special rules that apply to the company.
- Work out your travel arrangements.
During your work experience
- Dress appropriately for the type of work to be done;
- Always be on time for work;
- Have a positive attitude to the work experience;
- Listen carefully to all the instructions given to you;
- Carry out all tasks to the best of your ability;
- Keep a daily record of attendance, the work you do, the people you meet and any problems you encounter.
Advance Payment for Activities
The Programme advance payment of Dunshaughlin Community College is intended to assist in meeting costs associated with the various activities and courses fundamental to the programme. This includes Personal Insurance cover which is mandatory for all Transition Year students. It will be used to pay for buses and entry fees for day trips as they arise, and to pay for workshops provided in school time.
The European trip is entirely optional (€600 approx.) and is therefore not included in the advance payment.
All payments are made through the schools online payment system Wisepay. All parents/guardians have been provided with secure log in information. All payments can be made in instalments to reduce the financial burden on parents/guardians.
Optional European Trip
In response to parental demand we offer an optional extra of an overseas trip on our Transition Year programme. As the holistic education of our students is of the highest priority to Dunshaughlin Community College, trips with a clear educational value are selected for our students. Students will receive information about the trips available at the start of an academic year, including information about a payment schedule.This trip is in addition to the standard programme and as such incurs an additional cost to the standard expenses. The trip takes place during school holidays.
Because of the high demand for the European trip, in 2016 there will be two trips for Transtion Year students to choose from with limited availability on both. Each trip will operate on a first come first served basis using the online Wisepay system. It is the responsibility of parent/guardian to ensure they have access to Wisepay in advance of payment if they want to secure a place for their son/daughter on a trip. Payment will only be accepted through Wisepay.
Submission of a deposit is considered to be an expression of interest in availing of the trip. In order for a student to be invited on the overseas trip all Transition Year Expenses must be paid in full by the deposit due date. Those who have not paid expenses in full may not avail of the European trip. If a student submits a deposit for the trip without having all expenses paid in full and are therefore not invited to travel, the deposit money will be transferred to offset outstanding expenses.
Criteria for eligibility to travel
1.Behaviour past and present (First to Fourth Year) will be considered. Students must behave according to school rules.
2.Transition Year Expenses must be paid in full.
3.Parents and students must sign a contract regarding behaviour during school and during the trip.
4.Parents must be in a position to make credit/ debit card details available to the tour leader should their student/ child need to be sent home with an accompanying teacher during the trip.
Upon acceptance of a non-refundable deposit, students are expected to continue to behave in a manner appropriate to school rules. If a student does not maintain these standards they will not be allowed travel, further monies will not be accepted and their deposit will be lost. Student behaviour must be of the highest standard while on the trip thus ensuring the health and safety of all those travelling. Should a student fail to maintain appropriate behaviour they will be sent home with an accompanying teacher at full cost to their parents.
Student will have registered their passport details online. The name used for registration will be used to book flights. If there are any errors, parents/guardians will incur the cost of name change with the airline. A photocopy of valid passport and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are required at time of booking. While travel insurance is included in the cost of the trip students must acquire a European Health Insurance Card themselves. Please log on to www.ehic.ie to apply.
Remember - there IS NO charge for the EHIC card.
Visas may be necessary for the destination and there may be an additional cost to secure a visa. Students with non-EU passports may need visas for E.U. countries as well as other destination countries. The onus is on parents/guardians to ensure that their son/daughter has all the necessary up-to-date documentation well in advance of the tour.
Medical and dietary requirements as well as contact information for parents/guardians are submitted as part of the initial Transition Year online registration.
A school mobile telephone will be with the teachers at all times so that students may be contacted in case of emergency by parents. This telephone number will be distributed to parents and students at the final information meeting prior to travel.