At St.Bricins College we offer an extensive range of subjects for the both the conventional and New Junior Certificate Cycle



New Junior Cert Subjects
























* The junior cycle subjects Latin, Greek, and Classical Studies were reviewed in 2010. A decision was taken to merge them into a single subject called Classics. This new subject will be included in the new junior cycle..  













After successful completion of the Junior Certificate cycle our students then progress into either our Transition Year programme or directly into the Leaving Certificate cycle:



Transition Year


Transition Year is an optional one-year school programme that can be taken in the year after the Junior Certificate in Ireland and is intended to make the senior cycle a three-year programme encompassing both Transition Year and Leaving Certificate. Transition Year was created as a result of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress which called for a six-year cycle of post-primary education. The mission statement of the Transition Year is:

To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.

Transition Year was introduced as a pilot project in September 1974, however it was not until September 1994 that the programme was introduced mainstream. Transition Year is not examined, but rather is assessed, and is intended to be a broad educational experience which assists in the transition from the school environment by encouraging creativity and responsibility for oneself. Approximately 75% of second-level schools offer the programme and it consists of both education and work experience. Schools generally set admissions criteria and design the programme based on local needs in accordance with departmental guidelines.

The year focuses on many non-academic subjects, such as life skills including: First Aidcookingself-defensedriving and typing. A lot of sport goes on, with many different types including: rock-climbinghill-walkinghorse-ridingsailingkayaking and orienteering. Voluntary Work is a requirement in many schools, with students helping out in local communities and charities. It is not possible to fail Transition Year overall: all students continue to their next year of education no matter what their results. However, if a student does not do the set work or is absent for a large amount of time, there is a chance that the school will request that they leave.

Many consider it to be a break from the pressure of examinations. However most teachers would agree that Transition Year gives students a valuable opportunity to engage in a wide variety of interesting, diverse, and challenging areas of their subjects which do not normally make the curriculum.

Transition Year is offered in 75% of the second level schools in Ireland. In some schools, Transition year is compulsory.


Click on the link below to view the Transition Year Programmes Guidelines



Click here to watch the 'Get Up And Go Final 2016" video



Leaving Certificate



The Leaving Certificate Examinations  is the final examination in our secondary school system. It takes a minimum of two years preparation, but an optional Transition Year means that for those students it takes place three years after the Junior Certificate Examination. These years are referred to collectively as "The Senior Cycle." Most students taking the examination are aged 16–20; in excess of eighty percent of this group undertake the exam. The Examination is overseen by the State Examinations Commission. The Leaving Certificate Examinations are taken annually by approximately 55,000 students.



There are three distinct programmes that can be followed. While the outcomes of each programme are quite distinct, each is intended to reinforce the principles of secondary education; to prepare the student for education, society and work.

·       Established Leaving Certificate: The Established Leaving Certificate, introduced in 1924, is the most common programme taken. A minimum of six subjects are examined, including compulsory Irish. Most students take seven subjects.

·       Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme: The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, introduced as a more practical "hands-on" complement to the conventional Leaving Certificate, is similar to the established programme. The student takes at least five traditional subjects, one of which must be Irish. Two of the student's subjects must be part of one of a list of Vocational subject groupings. They must also study a modern European language and two Link Modules, Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education. The programme is designed to help the student find their potential for self-directed learning, innovation and enterprise.

·       Leaving Certificate Applied: The Leaving Certificate Applied, another variant of the traditional Leaving Certificate, is taken to prepare the student for adult and working life. It consists of three elements. These are General EducationVocational Education and Vocational Preparation. It is designed for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to third level education or for those whose needs, aspirations and aptitudes are not adequately catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes. It is to emphasise areas of achievement and excellence which are not catered for by traditional academic programmes.


Each subject is examined at one of three levels, Higher Level Ordinary Level or Foundation Level. Foundation Level may only be taken in two subjects: Irish and Mathematics. Although English may be taken at Foundation Level for the Junior Cert, it is not offered at this level for the Leaving Cert. All other subjects may be taken at either Ordinary or Higher Level.

The points awarded for a given percentage range are given in the table right.

Maths Bonus Points

25 bonus points will be awarded for Higher Level Mathematics for H6 grades and above. For example, if an applicant receives a H6 grade an additional 25 points will be added to the 46 points already awarded for a H6 grade i.e. Higher Level Mathematics now carries a points score of 71 for this applicant.

Since 2012, a pass (min H6) in higher level Mathematics is awarded 25 bonus points, making it possible to earn 125 points in this subjects. If a student gets a H2, instead of receiving 88 points, as they would in other subjects, they receive 113. This also means that, provided they pass, the minimum number of points a student can receive is 71, which is 15 points greater than a H1 at Ordinary Level.

The points allocations in the table right have been collectively agreed by the third-level institutions involved in the CAO scheme, and relativities that they imply have no official standing in the eyes of the State Examinations Commission or the Department of Education and Skills.


Exam format

Subjects are examined through a number of methods. These will include at least one written paper (English, Mathematics, Irish and some of the optional courses contain two written papers).

Language courses examine the students writing, conversation and listening skills. The spoken section of the exams ('oral') take place some months before the written exams, and the listening ('aurals') take place in the same weeks as the written.

A number of subjects in the sciences and arts include the keeping of records or creation of a physical object or project. This work is designed to provide tangible proof of the students abilities. However, not every book or project is examined, with inspectors being sent to a small few, randomly selected schools each year, or simply examining a small selection of projects from each class to check the standard. Some subjects such as Art and Technology involve a practical exam which is supervised by an external examiner. In the academic year of the written exam, all practical science subjects are partially examined by student assignments which involve stepping away from the books and getting students to put the theory they have learned into practice.


Each subjects paper at Leaving Certificate level may have as few as two variants, or as many as six. They are divided by level: Higher and Ordinary, and in the case of Irish and Mathematics, Foundation. Each subject level-variant will also have provisions for both English and Irish speakers, with the exception of English and Irish themselves (which are printed exclusively in the relevant language). Certain subjects are printed in a combined English/Irish format, such as French or German. This leaves such subjects with only two versions: a bilingual Higher, and a bilingual Ordinary. However Mathematics in contrast has a total of six: three levels: Higher, Ordinary and Foundation, each with both English and Irish versions.

Higher Level papers are printed on pink paper, while Ordinary Level papers are printed on powder blue paper. In the case of certain subjects, such as Geography, full-colour photographs need to be printed and as such, all pages but the cover are white.



Contact us

St Bricin’s College, Railway Road, Belturbet, Co. Cavan.

  • Phone: 049 9522170
  • Fax: 049 9522178