All students study the following subjects:

  • CSPE

  • SPHE

  • Religion

  • Physical Education

  • Information Technology.

  • Irish

  • English

  • Maths

  • History

  • Geography

  • Science

Students choose either French or German as a core subject.

Students select two of the following subjects for Junior Cert:

  • Technical Graphics

  • Music

  • Technology

  • Metalwork

  • Art

  • Business Studies

  • Home Economics

  • Music

  • Materials Technology (Wood)

If a student requires extra help due to learning needs, time may be arranged for this, and the curriculum may be adapted to provide this opportunity. Students are only exempted from Irish in limited specific circumstances.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment have prepared a set of fact sheets about the subjects in junior cycle. They have been designed with sixth class pupils and first year students in mind but parents/guardians will find them useful too. Visit www.ncca.ie for further information.


The Transition Year (TY) is a one-year programme that forms the first year of a three-year senior cycle in Coláiste Chiaráin. It is designed to act as a bridge between the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Programmes. Transition Year is optional for students in Coláiste Chiaráin.

Transition Year offers learners an opportunity to mature and develop without pressure of an examination.  It also provides an opportunity for learners to reflect on, and develop an appreciation of, the value of learning in preparing them for the ever-changing demands of the adult world of work, further and higher education and relationships.


Coláiste Chiaráin designs its own Transition Year programme, within set guidelines, to suit the needs and interests of its students.  In establishing its own distinctive programme content, the school takes into account the possibilities offered by local community interests.



There is no state examination at the end of Transition Year.  Assessment is usually carried out on an ongoing basis and can include school-based assessment of projects or portfolios, oral, aural, practical and written activities.

The following are some of the activities that take place:


  • Canoeing

  • ECDL

  • Kairos

  • Gaisce

  • Activity Weeks

  • Guest Speakers

  • Photography

  • Self Defence

  • Musical

  • Debating

  • Mock Interviews

  • Film Making


The Leaving Certificate (Established) programme offers students a broad and balanced education while allowing for some specialisation. The certificate is used for the purposes of selection into further education, employment, training and higher education.

Each subject is assessed by an external examination paper at the end of the two-year programme of study.  Some subjects are also assessed by additional assessment methods including oral and aural examinations, practical examinations and assessment of practical coursework.

 All students study:

  • Irish*

  • English

  • Maths

  • French or German*

* Some students may have an exemption in these subjects.

Option Subjects:

  • Accounting

  • Art

  • Biology

  • Business

  • Chemistry

  • Construction Studies

  • Design and Communication Graphics

  • Economics

  • Engineering

  • Geography

  • History

  • Home Economics

  • Music

  • Physics

Students select three of the above option subjects.


The Leaving Certificate Applied is a two-year programme designed for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to higher education or for those whose needs, aptitudes and learning styles are not fully catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes.  Participants in the Leaving Certificate Applied are mainly engaged in work and study of an active, practical and learner-centred nature

The main aim of the Leaving Certificate Applied is to prepare participants for transition from the world of the school to that of adult and working life. The programme has as a primary objective the development of the participants’ literacy and numeracy skills
places a premium on the personal and social development of participants provides opportunities to develop the participants’ processes of self-evaluation and reflection encourages strong community links to complement the school as a learning site
promotes the use of a broad range of teaching methodologies and participant-centred learning provides access to further education and training

The Leaving Certificate Applied is made up of a range of courses that are structured around three elements:

  • Vocational Preparation

  • Vocational Education

  • General Education

Courses are designed on a modular basis and are of thirty hours duration.  Each year is divided into two sessions (September to January and February to May) over the two-year duration of the programme.  Learners must take a total of 44 modules.  They are also required to complete seven Student Tasks over the two years of the programme

As learners complete their course work they collect credits.  It is possible to collect a total of 200 credits.  A certificate is awarded at three levels: Distinction (170-200 credits): Merit (140-169 credits): Pass (120-139).  Students who accumulate fewer than 120 credits receive a Record of Experience.


LCVP is a Senior Cycle Programme of the Department of Education and Skills, designed to give a strong vocational dimension to the Leaving Certificate (established). The programme combines the virtues of academic study with a new and dynamic focus on self-directed learning, enterprise, work and the community. Young people taking the LCVP have a unique opportunity to develop their interpersonal, vocational and technological skills. These skills are equally relevant to the needs of of those preparing for further education, seeking employment or planning to commence their own business sometime in the future.