Ireland

WHY IRELAND?

With its beautiful and green landscapes and its hospitality people, Ireland is definitely a good choice!

Ireland has a long and distinguished tradition in education, which continues to the present day. Class sizes in Irish schools are relatively small with an average student-teacher ratio 0f 17. The Irish Government has invested in the Internationalisation of the education system and Ireland has become an increasingly popular destination for overseas students. The level of fees paid by foreign students is relatively low. Irish high school education, particularly the private sector, is substantially cheaper than in many other English-speaking countries.

 

EDUCATION SYSTEM

The secondary school cycle in Ireland consists of 6 years of study, which is divided into 2 cycles: Junior Cycle (lower secondary; three-year cycle) and Senior Cycle (upper secondary; two or three years, depending on whether the optional Transition Year is taken).

 

School year

Age

Description

JUNIOR  Year 1
 12 –13                                                                                
After having completed 8 years of primary school, students start the first year of secondary school. The JUNIOR CYCLE includes 1st, 2nd, 3rd and leads to the JUNIOR CERTIFICATE (external state examination). Students take up to 9 subjects. Overseas students take 2 core subjects; English and Mathematics and several electives to include science and Technology, Languages, Art, Music as well as more traditional subjects such as History and Geography.
 Year 2
13 – 14
 Year 3
14 – 15

EXAM:JUNIOR CERTIFICATE

   

SENIOR
 Year 4: TRANSITION YEAR*
15 – 16
 

TY forms a break between the JUNIOR and the SENIO CYCLE. The program varies from school to school but it is usually less academic than other school years.

TY is a special year for international students since it provides an opportunity for students to experience a wide range of educational inputs, including work experience, over the course of a year that is free from formal examinations.

The mission statement of the TY is:

"to promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society".

This is addressed to those students who would like to spend part of their school year in a High School /Secondary School abroad. It is ideal for Transition Year students who wish to improve their language skills and experience a class room in another country.

The year focuses on many non-academic subjects, such as life skills including: First Aid, cooking, self-defense, driving and typing. A lot of sport goes on, with many different types including: rock-climbing, hill-walking, horse-riding, sailing, kayaking and orienteering. Voluntary Work is a requirement in many schools, with students helping out in local communities and charities. There are many programs especially geared toward TY students such as Student Enterprise.

 Year 5
16 – 17
At the end of these two courses, students take the Leaving Certificate Examination, which is necessary for high school graduation and university entrance. This examination is also recognised and highly regarded by academic institutions in the UK, Europe, the USA and across the world. Overseas students must take a minimum of 6 subjects including the 2 core subjects of English and Mathematics. Students can then choose their other subjects from a broad range, including Science and Technology, Languages, Art, Music as well as more traditional subjects such as History and Geography
 Year 6
17 – 18
EXAM: LEAVING CERTIFICATE  

 

*AIMS OF THE TY PROGRAMME:

The Transition Year offers students an opportunity:

      - To engage in independent, self-directed learning.

      - To develop general, technical and academic skills.

      - To mature and develop without the pressure of an examination.

 

AREAS OF STUDY:

OBLIGATORY CORE SUBJECTS

   Mathematics  
English

ELECTIVE SUBJECTS

Physics

Business Studies

Music

Design and Technical graphics

Chemistry

Accountancy

Art

Engineering

Biology

Economics

Classical Studies

Construction Studies

  Agricultural Science    

History

Home Economics

Technology

Applied Mathematics

Geography

Technical drawings

Modern languages

Psychology

Work experience

Mental health matters

...

 

 

ASSESSMENT AND CERTIFICATION:

There is no end-of-year state examination in the Transition Year. The focus of the TY is learning-led rather than exam-driven. Assessment is ongoing, with portfolio assessment, project work, and exhibitions of students' work. Oral aural, practical and written activities all form part of this assessment process.

 

The TY programme can also develop key skills for the 21st century such as the three Ts:

Thinking

Teamwork

Technology

 

HIGH SCHOOLS

STATE SCHOOLS

State schools in Ireland can welcome overseas students from EU and EEA. Some state schools were founded by the Irish government. These are usually called Community Colleges and they are all mixed-gender. Others were founded by religious orders, and may have originally been private schools, but they are now fully funded by the Irish government. These schools are called Voluntary sector, and are more likely to be single-gender. State schools usually charge overseas students a small fee, known as a 'voluntary contribution' or 'registration fee' to enter.

 

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Private schools can welcome students from all over the world, including non-EU and non-EEA member countries. The majority were founded by religious orders in either the Catholic or Protestant faith. They can be either a mixture of single-gender and mixed-gender schools. These schools receive some funding from the Irish governmen, but they also charge fees. Some of these schools offer boarding accommodation for students.

 

 

 

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