St. Mary's College crest

5th Year Subject Choice


21st April 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well during these challenging times.  Normally at this time of the school year, I would be meeting with Junior Certificate and Transition year students to outline their options for the Senior Cycle here in St. Mary’s College.

As Guidance Counsellor I would have made them aware of the importance of choosing the correct subjects, outside of the core subjects of Irish, English and Mathematics.

Choosing the correct balance of subjects can maximise your son’s chances of pursuing a definite course at Third Level. It can also be beneficial in relation to training for a career. Employers are more than ever, seeking skilled people with a good Leaving Certificate and further qualifications. The subject options that your son will take next September should be carefully considered with you his parents/guardians, and not influenced by his peer group, as can often be the case. We need to ensure that his choice is compatible with his future career/course aspirations.

Unfortunately, the information evening for parents in the college had to be cancelled. I had given a presentation to most Junior Certificate classes on subject choice This presentation is available on the college website. In addition, a handout on the important points to consider for subject choice was given out to all Junior Certificate and Transition year students on the day of the school closure. This handout is also available on the college website.


At this stage in our school planning process we have drafted a preliminary/free subject choice form.

Please complete this online form by 9 am on Wednesday 28th April. 

The feedback from this form will be used to draft a final choice form which will be distributed to you in early May. We will try our best to accommodate your son’s choices; however, it may not be possible to facilitate everybody with their particular choice of subject outside of the Core Subjects of Irish, English and Maths.

I urge you and your son to read all the handouts carefully and visit the website before making his decisions. The consequences of not studying certain subjects (3rd language or a science subject) can have far reaching effects and implications later in relation to college faculties and particular career areas.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Pat Healy 

Guidance Counsellor


Resources for Students and Parents regarding Subject Choice

Useful websites:

  • Link on how to use QUALIFAX.IE

  • Curriculum Online

  • ESRI report on subject choice

  • Information on the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme

LCVP Information 2020.2021 

  • Powerpoint Slides from our planned Parent Information Session

Subject Choice Presentation For Students and Parents – March 2020

  • Student Information Booklet on Subject Choice

Student Information Booklet on Subject Choice 2020.2021

St. Mary's College crest

Letter to 3rd Year Parents

31st March 2020

Dear parents of 3rd years,

I sincerely hope you and your families are keeping well during these difficult times.  Due to the school closure we will extend the TY application process until Thursday 23rd April 2020. 

This letter is to address the Transition Year programme in St. Marys college and will hopefully shed some light on the programme been offered for our TY students for 20/21.

The success of our TY programme is in no small way attributed to the dedicated TY teachers, the TY students and the hard work of our coordinators. The programme has grown in strength and popularity in recent times. There is a very clear, concise calendar of events mapped out for the students from their start in August until the course completion in May.

The Ty programme offers a bridge to enable students to make the transition from Junior cycle to Senior cycle. It encourages personal and social development and recognises the need for students to grow in independence. The course aims to promote maturity, improve skills and educate students through experience of a working environment. Students will move from a formal structured Junior Cycle programme to one where they will take greater responsibility for their own learning and decision making. During the year students sample a wide range of core and choice subjects. Students also get to experience a wide range of subjects that they would not have experienced before. They also get to experience a wide range of modules throughout the year.

A number of trips are organised throughout the year including outdoor pursuits, leadership programmes, team bonding and building. Work experience and community involvement, also form an integral part of the TY Programme.

The Department of Education’s mission statement for TY programmes sums it up by stating “To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative, and responsible members of society”.

Work experience forms an integral part of the programme and this year work experience will take place one day a week. This experience will run throughout the year which affords the students the responsibilities and opportunities that comes with working. 

If the TY is something that may benefit your son, please fill out the application form and return by Thursday 23rd April 2020. All applications post this date can only be considered if there is room within the TY programme as well as the usual criteria.


Eamonn Veale