Incoming 1st Year Subject Choice 2020 / 2021


21st April 2020

Dear Parent / Guardian / Student, 

We hope you are well and keeping safe in these unusual times.

The transition from primary school to post primary school begins the process of specialisation in terms of subject choices. As part of our planning process for incoming first year students we will be circulating a subject choice preference survey to you via text message. This survey is not your final subject choice. The purpose of this survey is to assist us in providing a curriculum best suited to the needs of our incoming 1st year students. 

At this stage we ask that you familiarise yourself with the subjects outlined below. Clicking on each subject will provide you with detailed information on that subject. We are also including additional resources for parents and students at the bottom of this page. 




Home Economics

Visual Art

Wood Technology

We encourage all parents / guardians / students to consult with for clear and detailed guidance regarding the implications of choosing or not choosing a particular subject.

It may not be possible to study a subject at Senior Cycle level that you have not studied at Junior Cycle level.

Our survey will ask you to order these choice subjects in order of preference. This information is invaluable to us in our planning and will assist us with timetabling. We ask that you complete this survey fully by next Monday 27th April 2020 at 9am. 

Every effort is made to meet the preferences of students in St. Mary’s College. The process of subject choice and timetabling is very rigorous and time consuming. The subject choices offered by St. Mary’s College must remain within the teacher allocation provided by the Department of Education and Skills. Therefore, it may not be possible to offer all students their preferences. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us on with any queries. 

Stay safe. 

Yours in education, 

Mr. Sweeney                                                               Mr. Healy

Deputy Principal                                                       Guidance Counsellor

Subject Choice – Resources for Students / Parents  / Guardians


It is generally advisable that students should keep a language unless there is a general learning difficulty which makes language learning difficult for a student.

French is very important for entry into certain 3rd level course (UCC, NUIG, UCD, NUI Maynooth, NCAD, etc.) . Please consult for further details. 

Subject Websites

Career Websites


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