​TY Programme Overview

The Transition Year programme is designed to ‘promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of the pupils, and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.’ The year consists of 4 Modules completed during the year, each module last approximately 7 weeks, along with two one-week work experience opportunities, a two-week social outreach placement, and a retreat.

See here for TY dates 2019/20.

Dates 2020 - 2021

  • Social Outreach 1: October 19th - 23rd

  • Work Experience 1: November 23rd - 27th 

  • Social Outreach 2: January 18th - 22nd

  • Work Experience 2: February 22nd - 26th


TY Programme Goals

  • Education for Maturity and Personal Development

  • Emphasis on Self-Directed Learning with focus on Process not Result!

  • Development of Social Conscience

  • Education through Experience of Adult and Working Life.

To see the latest Transition Year photographs, see our Flickr page.

Go to Gonzaga College Transition Year website


gonzagacollegety Instagram

Work Experience

In order to extend the learning experience of students beyond the classroom they will each complete two weeks of work experience, one during the first module and one during the third module. Our aim is education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity.


Each student finds his own placement with an employer in a work area that would, where possible, be the student’s own choice. Every effort is made to link it to career experience rather than just work experience. Students will be given an opportunity to do a guided reflection on their placement and each employer provides an assessment report.


The placements must be confirmed by the end of September and all requisite forms must be given to Mr Byrne, the Work Experience Coordinator. 

  • Week 1: 25th – 29th November 2019

  • Week 2: 24th – 28th February 2020

Students will complete a formal work experience reflection in school. If a student wishes to do an additional work experience placement they must talk to Mr Byrne and the TY Year Head.


Social Outreach

Students will complete two weeks of social outreach during the year. Much like the Work Experience, the placements must be confirmed by the end of September. All forms are to be given to Ms Crawford, the Social Outreach Coordinator. 

  • Week 1: 21st - 25th October 2019

  • Week 2: 20th - 24th January 2020

Students will complete a formal assessment in school. If a student wants to do a Peter McVerry Trust additional placement they need to talk to Ms Crawford and the TY Year Head.


Guidance Programme & Guidance Project

Over the course of Transition Year the students will begin to engage in the Careers process. At the heart of the programme is the Guidance Project, to be completed by every Fourth Year student. This we ask them to reflect on and review each part of the Transition Year experience, focusing on the Work Experience, Social Placement and Transition Year subject reviews. Other parts of the programme include:

  • Exploring Career Options in the broadest sense.

  • Completing a set of Differential Aptitude Tests (DATs) and Interest Profile tests. Please note that the DATs take place during the winter exams and this is the sole opportunity for taking the tests. 

  • Developing career decision-making skills and becoming more informed about subject choices by gathering information on knowledge/subject requirements for specific careers.

  • Improving their practical presentation skills by producing and presenting pieces of guidance work, including career searches and curriculum vitae.

  • Attending a structured interview regarding their experiences to date, allowing them an opportunity to present and discuss the content of their project for feedback and advice.


TY students will study the following core subjects throughout the year: Irish, English, Maths, French, Religious Education, Physical Education & SPHE. They will sample the following subjects as part of their timetable: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, History, Economics, Classical Studies and Business. They will also choose from the following subjects for the first two modules and again at Christmas for the last two modules: Art, Greek, Music, German and Technical Graphics. The students will also have one module in each of the following: Astronomy, Financial Life Skills, Media Studies, Typing, Psychology and Rhetoric.



Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon TY students take part in activities. On Tuesdays and Fridays they take part in an activity as a class group and change each module. On Thursdays they choose from a list of 10 activities and change after two modules.


The activities on offer include: 

  • Arts, Crafts & Film Photography

  • Boxing

  • Cookery

  • Cultural Trips

  • Digital Film Production

  • First Aid

  • Formula 1

  • Golf

  • Health & Fitness

  • Horticulture

  • ITW Drama

  • Ornithology

  • Marketing

  • Sailing

  • Water Safety

  • Young Scientist



The Gaisce Bronze Award programme is an important part of the TY Programme here in Gonzaga College. To complete the programme and receive the bronze medal students must spend 13 weeks on the following 4 areas: Community Involvement, Personal Skill, Sporting Achievement and a Venture Activity. Many of our students complete the program and are awarded bronze medals.

Download the Gaisce Record Card here.


TY Retreat programme

Near the beginning of the year the four classes take part in a three-day induction/retreat . The dates of the retreat for 2019 are:

  • 2nd - 4th September (4C & 4D)

  • 4th - 6th September (4A & 4B)


“Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs and lovely in eyes not his.”


Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ


 “Finding God in all Things” with a specific focus on diversity is the theme of this Transition Year (TY) retreat. We can find God in all things, because God is everywhere and in all that we do - from using our senses to the conversations we have. Because we think of God as huge, we look for God in big things, but God’s presence is deeply woven into everyday life into the simple, which requires us to open our ears and eyes and discover. 

   The three days at the Oceanview Camp and Conference Centre in Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal with the Surf Project team will offer ample opportunity to discover God in all the action, in the nature and landscape around us, in the conversations we have and the friendships that will be built. Surfing and the ocean offer the boys additional opportunity to draw parallels to the meaning, the beauty of and the challenges in life, and of course to bond with their new form group. 


   4th Year retreat letter to parents

   Retreat briefing form for students

   Kit list

   Medical form

   Contract of good behaviour

​​Important dates 2019/2020



Module 1: August 23rd – October 11th

Module 2: October 14th – December 22nd

Module 3: January 6th – March 13th

Module 4: March 18th – May 29th


TY Retreats:

September 2nd – 4th (4C & 4D)

September 4th – 6th (4A & 4B)


Work Experience:

Week 1: November 25th – November 29th

Week 2: February 24th – 28th

Social Outreach:

Week 1: October 21st – 25th

Week 2: January 20th – 24th


Killary Outdoors Adventure Trip:

May 18th – May 22nd

TY Retreat 2019 1.jpg
TY Retreat 2019 2.jpg
TY Retreat 2019 3.jpg
TY Retreat 2019 4
TY Ornithology.jpg
TY Horticulture.jpg
TY SVP and JRS toy appeals.jpg
TY Barista training.jpg
TYs at Young Scientist.jpg
TY Trip to Iceland.jpg