Transition Year

“About Transition Year: A Year to Thrive”

The aim of the Transition Year Programme is

“to provide the personal, social, vocational and educational development
of students and prepare them for their role as autonomous
and participative members of society.”


The Transition Year programme in Desmond College formally began this year on 27th August 2010. It is an optional course within the school. Our programme is based on the DES aims for the Transition Year Programme and the calendar focuses on four main areas:

Within Desmond College the core subjects of English, Irish, Maths and French are continued with heavy emphasis on building on pupils knowledge from the Junior Cycle and giving a strong grounding for the Senior Cycle.

Pupils are given the opportunity to sample the subjects on offer in the school for Leaving Certificate:

2010-2011 Transition Year Cooking Pancakes
Transition Year Students involved in Young Social Innovators 2012

Within Year specific modules. The modules this year are:

Subjects specific for Transition Year pupils are
also provided. These include:


2010-2011 Transition Year First Aid

Our once off calendar year provides the following for our pupils:


The year is devoted to facilitating the pupils to learn new skills, have new experiences, travel, teach, improve their academic skills and develop personally and socially.

The Desmond College Transition Year class are proud to be associated with the Brothers of Charity, Newcastlewest. Each student will experience work experience at the centre, as well as organising events and fundraising for charity. This has proved to be personally rewarding and enriching experience for all involved.

The Desmond Credit Union is also affiliated with our school and a selected group of T.Y. are chosen to become co-ordinators. This process teaches each member of the group job application procedures, interview processes and marketing and administration of a banking system.

The group also have the opportunity to participate in a parenting course, where the realities of life as a parent is witnessed first-hand when the class members have the opportunity to take a “virtual baby” home for the night.

The T.Y programme has been crammed full of activities and events such as lifesaving, Judo, Teaching Physical Education in the Gaelscoil, Young Scientist, mini-companies, driving theory tests and mentoring junior students. The list of activities is endless.

The TY group have had many trips. The 2010/2011 class visited Knock, Killaloe Outdoor and adventurous centre, Clarion Hotel (‘spagetti show’), Thomand Park, Mary Immaculate College music recital, Young Scientist Exhibition, Hunt Museum, Killfinane Outdoor centre and not to mention a trip to London.

The Transition Year has been found to have been an enlightening and exciting opportunity for all involved. Students have made well informed decisions for their Senior cycle due to tasting subjects and research on careers. Each individual has grown in maturity and have developed personal and social skills that will stand to them for many years ahead.





The Transition Year co-ordinator is Ms. Kerrie Collins.

Read about some of the students’ experiences!


Desmond College TYs meet Ryan at Junior Achievement Awards!

May 19, 2014

2014 May: Junior Achivement Awards: Transition Year Students from Desmond College meet RTÉ's Ryan Tubridy
Students Kiara Carroll, Julie Cantillon, Eoin O’Keeffe, James O’Connor and Bryan Hennessy were delighted to meet RTÉs Ryan Tubridy at the Junior Achievement Awards. The Transition Year students who had great success at the Competition were thrilled to get so much attention and chat from the RTE celebrity.

2014 May: Junior Achivement Awards: Transition Year Students from Desmond College meet RTÉ's Ryan Tubridy

Transition Year: Young Social Innovators 2013

May 8, 2014

Young Social Innovators 2013 from Desmond College Newcastle West County Limerick

Transition Year students from Desmond College took part in the prestigious Young Social Innovator Competition which was held in City West Hotel Dublin on May 8th. This competition, founded by Sr. Stanislause Kennedy, encourages young students to take part in a social activity, to believe in it, act on it and change the world for good.

The TY class from Desmond College succeeded in getting two projects into the competition. The Beat the Blues project aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues and the Cardiac Screening Campaign focused on mandatory screening of young people for SADS.

As part of this campaign the TY Class, along with their teacher Ms Ciara Broderick, met the Health Committee and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny for a private meeting, to discuss the implementation of mandatory screening. It was with great joy and delighted that the TY class won a Young Social Innovator Award for their campaign.

However they all agreed that while they were delighted with their prestigious Award, their ultimate goal is to have free screening available to all people in Ireland under the age of thirty-five. This project was motivated by the loss of two young people, both of whom were very special and important in the lives of this Desmond College Transition Year Class and it is a project goal that all are determined to achieve.

Young Social Innovators believes young people are a powerful force in a community and one which can bring about change for good. This TY class certainly live up to this description of young people and are worthy winners of the Award.

Desmond College: YSI 2013 BEAT THE BLUESYoung Social Innovators 2013

ITLG Young Innovators

January 27, 2014

A great day at the 2014 ITLG Young Innovators for our students as both teams were selected in the Final Six!

students participating in the 2014 itlg young innovators

Image courtesy of Young Innovators on Facebook

Launch of SADS Campaign by TYs

January 6, 2014

Students getting ready to dance to launch the SADS campaign Students lining up for the siege of ennistrad musicians playing Siege of Ennis at Desmond College to Launch TY SADS campaign Desmond College Trad Group provide the music for the Siege of Ennis at the TY SADS campaign launchStudents in lines dancing the siege of ennis for the 2013 launch of the transition year sudden adult death syndrome campaignStudents dancing the siege of ennis at the Sudden Adult Death Syndrome Campaign Launch by Desmond College desmond college students supporting the launch of the transition year students SADS awareness campaignDesmond College Students dancing at the 2013 December Launch of the TY SADS campaign Desmond College's students creating awareness of SADS campaign by dancing the siege of ennis at the launchStudents dancing siege of ennis at the desmond college launch of the SADS campaign Students ready to start dancing at the SADS awareness launch in Desmond CollegeStudents from desmond College dance to support the launch of the sudden adult death syndrome awareness campaign Sudden Adult Death Syndrome Awareness Campaign launched by a dance at Desmond College Students participating in the Launch of the Transition Year SADS campaign desmond college students supporting the transition year students' launch of the SADS campaign Teachers supporting the TY students by participating in the siege of ennis at desmond college december 2013 Teachers join in the fun of the siege of ennis to support the transition year students' launch of the sads campaignTeachers, including principal Vourneen Gavin Barry, dance at the TY Siege of Ennis SADS Campaign Launch Students enjoying the record breaking siege of ennis dance Students enjoying the fun of the Siege of Ennis Students ready to go out collecting in December 2013, in aid of the SADS campaign run by the Transition Year Students Staff, Local Business and Sporting representatives at the TY SADS campaign launchDesmond College Staff, Local Business and Sporting representatives at the TY SADS campaign launchStaff, Local Business and Sporting representatives and Students involved in the SADS awareness campaign, including Principal Vourneen Gavin Barry

On 14th December 2013, Desmond College held a record breaking Siege of Ennis in the school.

Students from 1st and 2nd year along with some very brave teachers, including the Principal, danced a Siege of Ennis for 40 mins while the Trad Group played for them!

This event was to launch the TY Young Social Innovator Project which aims to follow last years TY Group and continue to raise awareness of SADS. The dance was watched by members of the school community along with local sporting and business representatives. The event finished with a coffee morning where delicious cakes were served to all including parents of the TY class who came to show their support.

Much thanks must be given to the TY class along with Ms. Carol Liston and Ms Elaine Higgins for organising such a great event.




December 6, 2013

SADS: TY Petition for Screening for All Young People in Schools
Set up as part of our TY Young Social Innovator Project.

t TWITTER: @sads_petition
f FACEBOOK: Follow Our Petition for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome


Young Social Innovators Project: Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

December 3, 2013

TYs are currently planning a launch for the project. This project follows on from the work done by last years’ TYs. Plans for the project include:

  • Making wrist bands with our slogan printed on them. (Slogan = Screening is the heart of the matter)
  • Making an advert.
  • Getting our petition signed, especially signatures from doctors and nurses.
  • Holding a sports day in which screening will be provided.
  • Encouraging our students to learn CPR.


Transition Year Trip to Achill

October 1, 2013

On Wednesday the 25th of September, the Transition Year class from Desmond College hit the road on a fun over night adventure to Achill Island, County Mayo.

The 35 students were bright eyed and eager for the early morning departure at 7 am. Our destination was Colaíste  Acla, nestled in the glorious landscape of Achill.  A number of exhilarating outdoor pursuits and Team Building activities were on the agenda for our visit.

The first day of our visit was an exciting one as students were given Kayak lessons. They braved the cold waters and their enthusiasm for the activity was praised by Team Leader, Martan O Donaghair. Our evening activity was Bog snorkelling! This unique experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all! The following morning allowed the students to embrace their inner dare devils with an opportunity to surf the Atlantic waves once more.   It was certainly an action packed trip!

This excursion provided students with the occasion to be immersed in the Irish language. All activities were conducted through Irish and the students had the pleasure of staying with two local “Bean an Ti”. This meant they had lovely home cooked meals and a warm welcome when they returned from their activities!

The unique and breath taking scenery was enjoyed by all and certainly provided for much Team Building and bonding amongst the group who are eagerly looking forward to the rest of  Transition Year in Desmond College.

TY 2012 – 2013

June 26, 2013

TY Petition for Screening for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

November 27, 2012

As part of a TY Social Education project, a group of students have started a petition to look for free screening for all students in schools.

This project was motivated by the loss of two young people, both of whom were very special and important in the lives of students in TY and Desmond College. A paper and a Facebook petition have been organised.

Please click on the link to support this worthy cause:

Transition Year 2011 – 2012

June 26, 2012

Transition Year 2011 – 2012 :

Transition Year trip to Kenmare

October 20, 2011

Transition Year Trips 2010 – 2011

August 21, 2011

The 2010 – 2011 T.Y. group have had many trips and we wish to thank every one of the teachers that made such an effort to give up their own time to organise these for the group.

The class visited:

  • Knock
  • Killaloe Outdoor and Adventure Centre
  • Clarion Hotel (“Spagetti Show”)
  • Thomand Park
  • Mary Immaculate College Music Recital
  • Hunt Museum
  • Killfinane Outdoor Centre
  • London

The year has been an enlightening and exciting opportunity for all the class. Each individual has grown in maturity and have developed personal and social skills that will stand to them for many years ahead.

They have been a fantastic group to work with and have been terrific ambassadors for the programme. Their commitment has made the year a success” – Kerrie Collins.


2010-2011 Transition Year : Rachel climbing New Heights in Killaloe



Desmond College Transition Year’s Hit London in Style

What an end to a brilliant year! The Desmond College Transition Year students left Shannon on the early morning flight on Tuesday 17th May, bound for London. And what a jam packed trip.

Seeing the sights of London – Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Leister Square, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye ….. the list is endless but each and every sight will never be forgotten.

The group were also able to take part in educational activities such in a workshop in Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.

The natural History museum and the Science Museum were also included.

The highlight of the trip was the trip to the theatre to see “Dirty Dancing”!

2010 – 2011 Transition Year Art Project

June 26, 2011

2010-2011 Transition Year

Desmond College Transition Year

September 26, 2010

A selection of activities by Transition Year Students from Desmond College

Transition Year Group Walking the School Day

September 26, 2010

2010-2011 Transition Year Group Walking the School Day
Transition Year Group Walking the School Day