My daughter is doing Transition Year in school. She did her Junior Cert exams in May this year and before going on to do the final two years leading up to the Leaving Cert exams, there is an option of doing a transition year. During this year, students still take most of the usual subjects, such as maths, Irish and English, Science, history and geography and so on, but the number of hours is drastically reduced. The extra time is used for for social, cultural and personal projects. They learn a new language that they haven’t been taught before. Students can do work experience to find out what they are interested in and what they might like to do when they leave school. Students are stimulated to show initiative and shape their own year. Some parents feel that Transition Year has no academic merit, and as such is a waste of time. They put their son or daughter straight into the Leaving Cert cycle. I think they are missing the point. Transition Year is a time to reflect, to grow, and it offers students a chance to spread their wings. And to have fun too. I am very happy my daughter chose to do this year.
My two mares and I will start our own Transition Year tomorrow. When the shoes have come off, a lot of things will change. There will be very little or no riding for an unknown period of time. Instead of going for a stroll on the land at liberty, we will have to do a lot of in hand walking over different surfaces, especially out on the road. I don’t know how the transition to barefoot is going to work out for us, but consensus seems to be that it takes about a year. I see the transition year as an opportunity. A time to reflect and grow. A chance to spread our wings and try new and different things. With Klaus Hempfling’s new book in my possession, we might even learn a new language. And we are going to have fun.