Transition Programme:

Transitions are a part of the human experience they occur throughout our lives, they enable us to grow and develop as human beings.  Often transitions are seamless while others can be challenging and it is useful to have support to enable successful transition to be achieved.

Children’s development into adulthood is made up of a series of transitions that enable their emotional and intellectual growth and development and a sense of self  and place.   Every transition has particular challenges, new levels of expectations, new friends, new location, rules and behaviours and an ever evolving skill set.  Each new transition builds on the previous range of experiences and the quality of those experiences impact on the transition experience.  

The transition from primary school to secondary school poses particular challenges to young people it is the end usually of an eight year cycle where the child has established a set of friends an understanding of a system, curriculum and teaching methodology. The 6th class child is the senior child in the system.

In Transit - from Primary to Secondary School
Moving from primary to secondary school is a big step for any young person. New subjects, new teachers, new structures and new friends add up to some big new challenges. We want to help make that experience both comfortable and exciting. That's why we've made this video. It consists of real people, young and older talking about what it means, how to prepare and how to make the most of it. We hope it will help make the transition the best it can possibly be.


Some 57,000 children transfer from first to second level education in Ireland annually and for the majority of these children that transition is successful i.e., they continue to participate and complete Junior and Senior cycles in second level. However, there is a significant minority of children mainly from disadvantaged areas who struggle with this transition and effectively disengage from full-time education.

  • Almost all 13-year-olds had made the transition to second-level education and were broadly positive about their school. However, important gender and social background differences had emerged in relation to school engagement.
  • Boys had more negative attitudes to school, and were more likely to misbehave at school and to experience negative interactions with their teachers than girls.
  • Those 13-year-olds from professional/managerial, high-income and highly educated households had more positive interaction with teachers, lower levels of misbehaviour and more positive attitudes to school.
  • These gender and social background differences are of policy concern, given the importance of school engagement for longer-term achievement and retention.”

Growing Up in Ireland: Second Wave School Experiences among 13-year-olds

IYF Transition Programme "Stepping up to Secondary School"