Work experience is a central component of Transition Year, effective in achieving education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity, which is a key aim of the Transition Year Programme.
Students, supported by their WSC teacher, prepare their Curriculum Vitae and cover letter, before seeking opportunities and securing their own work placement. The students then complete two weeks in the workplace. Students can choose to do two weeks in one organisation, or one week in each of two organisations.
Each employer is requested to complete an assessment form evaluating the student’s time on work experience. Each student, on his/her return to school, produces a report outlining his/her own experience in the work place. A further in-depth evaluation is carried out in the classroom immediately after the completion of work experience.
Junk Kouture is a recycled fashion competition which challenges young people to design, create and model high end couture created from everyday junk. It takes in elements of fashion, design, engineering and environmental sustainability and transforms them into a creative contest like no other. Villiers School Transition Year students enter multiple designs each year and have been Munster winners on a number of occasions.
Promoting long-term, whole-school action for the environment Green-Schools is a student-led programme with involvement from the wider community. The programme is operated and co-ordinated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce. Villiers currently has four Green Schools flags.
The Student Enterprise Programme is an educational and fun-packed initiative that teaches second level students what it is really like to be an entrepreneur, and set up and run their own business over the course of the school year. Students gain real life experience about what it is like to be their own boss and how to run a business, thereby gaining invaluable experience about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship along the way! The Programme compliments the business studies curriculum at both junior and senior level and is a rewarding experience for students, giving them the freedom to develop their business concepts to the fullest.
Gaisce or ‘great achievement’ is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25. Many Villiers students complete the Gaisce President’s Awards, generally commencing in TY with the Bronze Award, and many going on to the Silver during LC year and then continuing their involvement in Third Level.
The Bronze Gáisce Award aims to reward students who set and achieve a demanding challenge for themselves in four different areas:
- Community involvement, e.g. helping older people, learning first aid, or lifesaving.
- Personal skill, e.g. learning a musical instrument, computer skills or driving.
- Physical recreation, e.g. swimming, football or tennis.
- Adventure journey, e.g. a cycling, canoeing or hiking group trip.
An Gaisce is a requirement of the Independent Transition Year (ITY) programme.
Each year, the community group work with charity organisations both in Ireland and overseas.
In the past, Transition Year students have engaged in intensive training and preparation, learning how to fund-raise for themselves and be fully fit for the challenges of working with children schools and hospitals in Uganda.
Transition Year students have also walked the Camino Santiago de Compestela, for spiritual, cultural and community reasons.
Throughout the year, students are encouraged to play their part in raising money for charity, e.g. Bake sales, Colours Days, Car Washes, The Christmas Shoe Box Appeal, to name but a few.
Redsokz is a news magazine with articles and news researched and written by Transition Year students. Redsokz gives a flavour of life, experiences and events in the Villiers family, and is available to read online through the Villiers website.
For over 30 years, Villiers students have graced the catwalk in our annual Fashion Show. This show is completely organised by the students, from the design of the posters, dressing and building the stage and catwalk, engaging with boutiques, shops and designers to sourcing spot prizes and sponsors. Proceeds from the show are given to charity.
TY students are also given the opportunity to tread the boards in our annual theatre production. As with many Villiers’ projects, the drama affords students the opportunity to engage in all aspects of the project, from set design to stage hand and from actor to prop manager. Recent productions have included A midsummer Nights Dream, with a twist, adapted by Ann Blake and Niamh Bowen and Our Town by Thornton Wilder.