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Kenny from Kilkennylogo of mackdonald language academyKenny from Kilkenny

'All inclusive' English Summer Camps

'All inclusive' English summer camps for teenagers aged 13-18 years in Kilkenny: "Learn English & Experience Ireland!"

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High School Programme in Ireland

Academic school stays for international students in secondary schools in Ireland with residential and/or home-stay accommodation.

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Secondary Schools in Ireland

General Information on the Irish High School System

The Irish High School System (called Secondary School) is divided into two cycles:
  • Junior Cycle which lasts for 3 years (for students from age 12)
  • Senior Cycle which lasts for a further 3 years (for students from age 15)

High School Programme Ireland education system

The Junior Cycle is non-specialised and students usually take between 9 and 13 subjects per school year. At the end of this three-year cycle the Junior Cycle finishes with a State Examination called the Junior Certificate.
The first year of the Senior Cycle is called Transition Year (TY). It is a combination of academic, vocational and personal/social development.
TY is designed to give students, usually aged 15-16 years, the tools necessary to make informed choices about their future study and possible university or other Third Level choices.
The final two years of the Senior Cycle constitute a two-year study program which leads to another State Examination called the Leaving Certificate. This examination is both, an exit exam from school and a university entrance exam.
The curriculum for both cycles - Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle - is set down by the Irish Department of Education as follows:
Junior Cycle (aged 12-15 years)
  • English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Irish, Latin, Greek
  • Classical Studies, Music
  • Mathematics
  • History, Geography
  • Business Studies Science, Technology, Home Economics
  • Technical Graphics, Metalwork, Materials Technology(Wood)
  • Typewriting
  • Art, Craft & Design
  • Environment & Social Studies, Social Personal & Health Education
  • Civic, Social & Political Education
  • Religious Education

leading to: Junior Certificate

Senior Cycle (aged 15-18 years)
  • English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese
  • Irish, Latin, Ancient Greek
  • Classical Studies
  • History, Geography
  • Mathematics, Applied Mathematics
  • Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Physics & Chemistry
  • Agricultural Economics, Engineering
  • Design & Communication, Graphics, Construction Studies
  • Accounting, Economics, Business Home Economics
  • Art, Music 
  • Religious Education

leading to: Leaving Certificate

Please note that no school offers the complete range of subject and the usual number of subjects offered per high school is approx. 16 subjects.

Sample Transition modules include: Debating, Public Speaking, Enterprise, Work Experience and a wide variety of additional modules which vary depending on the specific school.

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