In our previous posts we told you about Primary education in Ireland and today we will continue our talk about education in Ireland and tell you about Irish Secondary schools.
Secondary education in Ireland is the second level of the Irish educational which children start when they are around 12 years of age. The children must spend 5 – 6 years in Secondary school, depending on their choice to take transition year, which replaces an academic school year.
Schools have this year so they can help students decide on their future occupation and receive work experience. Some schools give their students the chance to visit a country where the language they are learning is spoken; others give their students the chance to visit a completely foreign country. For example, some schools offer students the chance to visit Africa so as to help children who are less fortunate than themselves.
An average school year in a Secondary school lasts from September to the end of May. We would like to note that Secondary schools are located away from Primary schools; this makes learning more enjoyable.
In Irish Secondary schools, just like in Primary schools, children of different religions go to different schools. The quality of education and the chance to show themselves is in no way affected by this division. For example, we are planning a post on the school Mount Temple, the school that the famous vocalist from U2, Bono attended and where children of all different religions are thought.
In Secondary schools, after 3 years of learning, students do the Junior certificate examination and after a full year in Secondary school the students do an exam on everything that they have leaned in Secondary school. The students get three choices on what type of exam they want to take for their Secondary school exam.
- They could take an exam for the Leaving Certificate
- They could take an exam for the LCVP Certificate
- They could take an exam for the LCA Certificate, but this certificate doesn’t give the holder the ability to go to higher level College.
For students with the LCA Certificate and for people without any certificate that proves they ended school there are one year courses called Post Leaving Certificate Courses; people who complete this course have a chance to apply to higher level education.
90% of all Irish schools function like we have described earlier, the other 10% of schools are boarding schools where the children not only learn but also live. At an average Secondary school the students spend around 31-33 hours per week in school, with each lesson lasting 40 minutes.
Foreign students can also attend Irish Secondary schools. The system of teaching foreign students in Irish Secondary schools is very common and carries its own traditions.
So if you have the will and the ability to send your child to learn in an Irish Secondary school, you could do so with relative ease. You could send your child for not only one academic year but also for just a couple of weeks.
In conclusion we would like to note that Irish schools have a friendly atmosphere of respect towards the students and teachers try their best to prepare their students for adult life. We will talk about the third level of education in Ireland, higher level education, in our following posts.