Our Curriculum constantly adapts to meet the changing needs of students and offers a diverse range of subjects at all levels, in both Junior and Leaving Certificates.

We rate success in State examinations highly and so their importance is reflected in our syllabus and teaching methodologies.

In order to achieve this objective we try to ensure that there is flexibility within the curriculum combined with ongoing review of content, methodology and assessment.

A Study Skills programme is an integral part of our school curriculum. A support structure for students with learning difficulties is also provided through our Learning Support Department.

All Students follow a five or six-year course, three years of which are spent in Junior Cycle and two or three at Senior Cycle. An optional Transition Year programme is offered to post- Junior Certificate Students.

Management and Staff at Coláiste Na Toirbhirte work together with the DES, SEC, PDST, ncse and NCCA to provide excellence in education provision for all our students.

We understand that choice in relation to subjects, levels and courses is a priority in order to meet the goals of our Mission Statement i.e.

“To develop the full potential of each student, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social.”


Junior Cycle

Note, as part of the New Junior Cycle there are 400 hours of Wellbeing embedded into the three years of the Junior Curriculum.

First Year

The transition from sixth class to First Year is a big challenge for students and here at Coláiste Na Toirbhirte we have a comprehensive programme of induction in place to make it as seamless as possible. As part of this induction First Year students do not have to choose subjects in advance of enrolling in school here. All First Year students do all subjects so that by February of First Year an informed choice can be made in relation to subject options

First Years are assisted in choosing subjects by their teachers, their parents and the school career guidance counsellor.

First Year Subjects-

English/ Irish/ Maths/ French/ German /Geography /History/ Science/ Art/ Music/ Business Studies/Home Economics /Technical Graphics/ CSPE /SPHE /Personal Development /Tutorial/ RE/ PE

Second Year

Second Years study RE plus the prescribed national curriculum of English/ Irish/ Maths/ History/ Geography/ CSPE/SPHE/PE and a choice of four from

French/ German/ Science/ Art/ Music/ Home Economics/ Business Studies/ Technical Graphics

Third Year

Third Years study RE and continue to follow the prescribed national curriculum in English/ Irish/ Maths/ History/ Geography/ CSPE/SPHE/PE and their chosen four option subjects.


Assessment at Junior Cycle is varied including continuous assessment, terminal exams and other areas of learning. Further information is available on

All assessment modes follow guidelines set down by the DES and the State Exams Commission.

(Information on curriculum content can be accessed on


Senior Cycle

There are three Senior Cycle Programs available in Coláiste Na Toirbhirte.

  • Transition Year
  • Leaving Certificate (Applied)
  • Leaving Certificate (Traditional)

Transition Year

Transition Year bridges the gap between Junior and Senior Cycle. In our school it is optional. Students can choose whether to do TY or not. It is notable that 98%- 100% of students opt for the challenge and opportunity that is Transition Year in Coláiste Na Toirbhirte. We see this as the best endorsement possible of the passion, commitment and hard work that goes in to the Transition Year Program in our school. (See Transition Year above for content)

Leaving Cert Applied

The Leaving Cert Applied Program is a two year Leaving Cert Program. It is a practical, project driven alternative to the Traditional Leaving Cert Program. Students are assessed continuously throughout the two years by the State Examinations Commission. By the time students sit formal written exams at the end of sixth year they have already completed almost two thirds of their Leaving Cert.This is a great advantage to students who choose LCA.  90% attendance is mandatory for completion of this Leaving Cert program.

Students at Coláiste Na Toirbhirte have had the LCA as an option for Leaving Cert since the program was first piloted in 1995. The school was involved with the pilot study and has been at the forefront of innovative practice in teaching and methodology in LCA since then. The educational outcomes for LCA graduates of Coláiste Na Toirbhirte have been exceptional. (See Leaving Cert Applied above for content)

Leaving Cert Traditional

Students who choose the Traditional Leaving Cert Program at Coláiste Na Toirbhirte will study Irish, English and Maths, PE, RE, SPHE, Career Guidance and four of the following subject options

French, German, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Art, Music, Home Economics, History, Geography, Business Studies, Accounting

Note: All subjects are offered at Higher and Ordinary Level

Information on curriculum content can be accessed on