TY OpportunitiesTransition Year students have the opportunity to take part in many different modules and experiences during the school year.
Buddies Without Borders
An opportunity for Transition Year students to enhance their global citizenship, Buddies Without Borders (BWB) is a global think tank for teens that encourages our students to think globally but act locally. The club acts as a platform for students all over the world to support and inspire each other. Members of the club engage with forums, workshops and weekly discussions with like-minded learners from different parts of the globe. During these sessions students are invited to create ideas to help solve issues which are impacting us all. Participants in this club then use the insight they have gained from their work with other clubs to implement a local initiative, helping those close to them.
Budding journalists in Transition Year get a chance to hone their skills through Redsokz, our student-run school magazine. Throughout TY, students have the opportunity to research and write their very own pieces for publication in the magazine. At certain times throughout the year students have the opportunity to travel to school events to report back to the Redsokz team. As well as this, participants work to shape the look of each edition through the editing process. Redsokz gives a flavour of life, experiences and events in the Villiers family.
Promoting long-term, whole-school action for the environment, Green-Schools is a Transition Year student-led programme with involvement from the whole school and 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 – Litter and Waste, Energy, Water and Transport, and is working towards the fifth – Biodiversity. There is an intensive two year-process to achieve each flag. While Green Schools is a whole school initiative, many TY students become leaders within the programme.
Transition Year Work Experience
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.
The Transition Year Student Enterprise programme exists to develop a spirit of enterprise in Villiers School and to foster entrepreneurship and encourage innovation and originality. Within this programme, students establish real life businesses and participate in enterprise competitions at school, county, and national level. Students experience first-hand the reality of commercial environment and develop the skills and knowledge to pursue the setting up and running of their own business in future. Students learn that running a business is challenging, exciting and rewarding.
The Student Enterprise programme in Villiers has had many recent success stories, ‘The Job’ won a prize at county level for their innovative toolkits for children aged 10+. Agrimech are an Agri-engineering enterprise which also tasted success. They produced an innovative silage pusher for farmers using recycled tractor tyres. The company went on win the Limerick competition in 2020 and represented the school and county at the national final. They achieved the title of ‘Most Commercial Potential’ at this ceremony.
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.
Transition Year Community Group
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.
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.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, students participated in various acting workshops, and, in groups, created their own Podcasts, in place of a theatre production.