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Junior Certificate

At Carlow Vocational School our students follow a three year course leading to the State Exams Commission Junior Certificate of the Department of Education and Skills. We make sure that every student is able to maximise on their potential by offering subjects at Higher or Ordinary level courses in all relevant subjects based on students’ ability and potential.

Junior Programme 

‘Classroom management was very effective and
students and teachers were mutually respectful,
thereby creating a positive learning environment’
DES Subject Inspection 2011

All students take a core-programme that incorporates the following subjects:

  • Irish
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Studies
  • Science
  • Religion
  • Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) 
  • Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)
  • Physical Education


In addition, students have to opportunity to study up
to five of the following option subjects:

  • Art, Craft & Design
  • Business Studies
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Home Economics
  • Materials Technology Metal
  • Metalwork
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • Technical Graphics


‘Teachers were keenly aware of their students’ abilities
and circulated in the classroom during lessons to provide
individual and immediate attention to students’
DES Subject Inspection 2010


Transition Year

All students are offered the opportunity to take part in our fourth year Transition Year Programme following the Junior Certificate, subject to enrolment and resources. 

Our Transition Year Programme is a unique one year programme and promotes the personal, social, vocational and educational development of students, preparing them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.

Transition Year provides a bridge to enable students to make the transition from the more dependent type of learning associated with Junior Cycle to the more independent learning environment associated with Senior Cycle. The Transition Year programme encourages
the development of a wide range of transferable critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.

At Carlow Vocational School, our Transition Year programme offers work experience opportunities, real-life business and enterprise projects.  We organise special trips and visits, and visiting speakers to come and work directly with our Transition Year group. Assessment
in Transition Year is based on project work and portfolios rather than traditional homework or exams, and students are encouraged to improve their own learning through regular feedback on their work

The Transition Year programme includes the following subjects:

  • Art, Craft and Design
  • Art Metalwork
  • Careers
  • Construction
  • English
  • Enterprise Education
  • Home Economics
  • Irish
  • Landscaping and gardening
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages 
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Social Education and Leadership
  • Tutorial
  • Theatre and Drama

‘Lessons were characterised by significant levels
of focused student activity that fostered a good degree
of independent learning and initiative’
DES Subject Inspection 2011



Advice and Support

We meet with every student to ensure that their choice of programme, including core and optional subjects
meets their potential and their own specific needs, interests and ambitions.  We will advise students and their
parents/guardians on the best combination of subjects and also on any individual learning needs/exemptions
etc.  The specific programme undertaken is dependent on student enrolment, resources and needs.