Transition Year


Subjects & Assessment

Subjects & Modules

Core Subjects

  • English
  • Irish
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Community Care
  • Modern Foreign Language

Subject Modules
(7/8 weeks)

  • Classics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Business
  • Science
  • Religious Education

Monday Modules
(5 weeks)

  • Cookery
  • Photography
  • Film Making
  • Driver Theory
  • Yoga



Your son will have exams at Christmas and summer in the following subjects:

  • English
  • Irish
  • Maths
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • He will have coursework in all other areas



Based on Attendance, Behaviour, Subject Effort & Work Experience.

  1. Distinction
  2. Merit
  3. Pass


Credits for TY Certificate

Each teacher awards credits for their subject/module out of 10 (10 being the top mark and 1 being the lowest). There are a total of 200 Credits available.

  • Distinction above 160 Credits
  • Merit above 140 Credits
  • Pass above 80 Credits

Transition Year Awards

Traditionally in May each year there is a Transition Year Awards night when all 96 transition years and their parents are invited into the school for an evening of celebration of what has been achieved over the past year.

The last two years have been different due to Covid-19, but we hope to welcome both our Transition Years and their families back next year for a proper celebration of the year.

The awards received by students are voted on by their teachers and in 2020-21, the following were the categories: Personal Development, Creativity and Innovation, Dedication and Enthusiasm, Dementia Peer Education Ambassadors, Exemplary Commitment, Substance Abuse Peer Educators, TY Students of the Year 2021, Certificate of Completion of TY.


Making a Difference in the Community

Each year our Transition Years try to make a difference in the local community.


One way in which our TY’s make a difference in the community is through the connections they forge with Abacus, Drogheda’s school for children with autism and complex needs. Over the years our transition years have been involved with a number of initiatives such as facilitating art classes, fundraising during autism awareness month, they can help with reading, play games etc. Last year some of the students from Abacus came into St. Mary’s and did woodwork with the Transition Years that had been visiting them weekly. Our TYs have also made sensory boards in the past few years for the students in Abacus. Sensory boards containing objects like hinges, locks, Velcro, zippers and lights can help children with autism by allowing them to stimulate their senses at their own pace.


Dogs for Dementia

Covid 19 has interfered with a lot of what we would normally do in our Transition Year Programme, probably the biggest loss being the weekly visits to Tredagh Lodge Day Care Centre and St Mary’s and Boyne View Nursing Homes. A pandemic, however, won’t ever stop us from showing our support to the clients and residents of the aforementioned. Now more than ever it is important to keep that link alive and show the elderly living in our community that they haven’t been forgotten and that we care about them.

In this brand-new initiative by St Mary’s Diocesan School in the 2020-21 school year, all 96 Transition Year students fundraised to buy a soft dog Teddy for an elder living with dementia in our community. These were gifted to the residents and clients of local day care centres and nursing homes to improve their wellbeing in these unprecedented times.

The use of life-like soft toy animals can bring great benefits to people with a diagnosis of dementia, particularly those in later stages. Giving life-like animals to people with dementia is considered by some as a type of therapy; it has therapeutic benefits such as relaxation and pleasure and is not merely ‘playing’ with a toy.

Some people with dementia may find that they get enjoyment from holding or simply being with a soft toy animal, such as a cat or dog. It might remind them of a time when they had a pet of their own or simply create pleasant feelings of reminiscence or affection.

Some family members find that giving the person they care for a soft toy animal can help them to connect with the outside world. Some people with dementia can enjoy the sensation of holding something soothing, and it can inspire a renewed sense of purpose, which can lead to increased activity levels and liveliness.

There is evidence showing that the use of soft toy animals can be particularly helpful for those who may not be engaging with others, or who are restless, distressed or anxious, improving their well-being and ability to communicate.

All Transition Year students were given a sponsorship card and were encouraged to try and raise at least €20 to cover the cost of one ‘Dog for Dementia’ and a collar that will display the dog’s name on one side and the owners on the other. This proved to be a huge success. Huge thanks to the boys for getting behind this initiative and to all those who sponsored them.


Litter Picking

Transition years in St. Mary’s Diocesan school always try to help keep their local area tidy. Each year they decide to adapt an area local to the school as part of their “Community Care” class, for example one year they decided to adopt the Dale and to help clean it up on a regular basis. In one forty-minute period alone for example, over eight large bin bags were filled with rubbish. All 96 TYs work hard over the year to help those already volunteering to clean up their locality.


Music & Memory

Music & Memory is a St Mary’s Diocesan Transition Year initiative that was established as part of our ‘Pay it Forward’ theme. The transition year students fundraised for MP3 Players and headphones for elders living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s in our community.
The students spent the year visiting local care homes and centres (Tredagh Lodge Day Care Centre, St Mary’s Nursing home and Boyne view Nursing Home) and met with the residents on a twice weekly basis for a chat. After getting to know the residents the students are compiling personalised playlists for each resident to bring them on a journey through their lives, These MP3 Players and headphones will be gifted to the individuals ensuring each memory has a soundtrack of its own.

The power of music is incredible. It can connect people, bridge gaps between age and experience, bring forward forgotten memories.
It puts us in touch with ourselves and each other. We hope that with our headsets and MP3 Players we can change peoples’ lives.
After sending details of our Music and Memory initiative to schools and TY Coordinators all around the country we are delighted to announce that a number of them are going to implement in the coming year. St Mary’s Diocesan school have hopefully started a movement that will make positive changes nationwide. Watch this space!


Nursing Home Visits

Our Transition Year Students visit St. Mary’s and Boyne View Nursing Homes every Thursday and Friday afternoon to spend time with the residents (in a non-Covid year) and get involved in the different activities that take place there. It is a very important part of our Community theme for the year.

An example of an activity undertaken by our Transition Years during their nursing home visits is a project of painting the residents’ Zimmer frames in bright colours to assist with better recognition and awareness of the frames, thereby reducing risk. The staff of St. Mary’s and Boyne View Nursing Homes have names it ‘Pimp my Frame’. It has been very well received by the residents and the students really enjoyed doing it.


Peer Education

Dementia Peer Educators

The Brain’ is the dementia awareness programme that is being rolled out by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland this year and St Mary’s Diocesan School have been lucky enough to have been chosen as a Pilot School for this Programme.

Eight Transition Year students were chosen as Dementia Champions to undertake training from The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and to then in turn raise awareness by teaching their peers about what they have learned through awareness sessions with Transition Years and then the junior school classes.

Nearly one in three young people know someone living with Dementia. Often this person is a grandparent but increasingly it could be a parent. It is important that every young person feels prepared for what it is like to live with Dementia. By supporting young people to understand Dementia from an early age, you will help remove the stigma.

All eight students visited the first year CSPE classes to deliver the talk.

Substance Use Peer Educators

Six Transition Year students are selected to become Substance Use Peer Educators at the beginning of the school year. This programme involves delivering sessions on Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs to first years in school.

The lads were trained to deliver the above programme over the course of five training days in term one. The training they received focused on the facts relating to smoking, alcohol and drugs. They also received facilitation and presentation skills which they will require when delivering the above programme to the other students.

Substance Use Education from specially trained peers or older students can have greater impact and credibility on younger peers. The Peer Education Programme is run in conjunction with guidelines of NE Regional Drugs Task Force and the S.P.H.E. curriculum. Two students work together to deliver the sessions to first year S.P.H.E. classes over the course of the school year.