The Irish Education System

The Irish High School Education System is split into two cycles called the Junior Cycle & Senior Cycle completed over a 5 or 6-year period usually from age 12 to 18. Below you will find a guideline as to the age range within each year group. However, this is not definitive and does not necessarily determine the year group your child can enrol in. It is simply a guide for your reference. We will always do our very best to facilitate your child’s enrolment in the year best suited to them based on their educational history.

Junior Cycle

The Junior Cycle

Year 1 Age 12/13

Year 2 Age 13/14

Year 3 Age 14/15

3 The Junior Cycle makes up the first three years and offers a broad curriculum where students typically study 11 subjects leading up to the first state exam called the Junior Certificate at the end of year 3.

Transition Year

Transition Year

Year 4 Age 15/16

Transition Year offers students a variety of new educational experiences where students are encouraged to try new subjects and to grow and develop both personally and academically. There are no formal exams in TY so students are under less pressure and can explore and expand their horizons, which can in turn help them make better decisions about which subjects to pursue in their final years and beyond. TY also includes a period of work experience and other opportunities to improve practical life skills.

Senior Cycle

Senior Cycle

Year 5 Age 16/17

Year 6 Age 17/18

The final two years of the Senior Cycle are year 5 & 6 which culminate in the final state examination called the Leaving Certificate. Students take three core subjects and specialise in three or four elective subjects.

The Academic Calendar

START END PERIOD
TERM 1 September 1st December - Christmas 4 Months
TERM 2 January Easter 3 - 4 Months
TERM 3 Easter June 2 Months