FAQs - 2nd Year

2nd Year

You will see a big change in your daughter in second year.  At this stage the girls are delighted to no longer be the youngest year in the school.  Your daughter now knows the school very well and should be more confident and independent.  However, in some cases social groups which formed in First Year can change and some students may feel isolated and experience difficulty settling back after the summer break.  Some students may not have yet have found their social niche and others may experience anxiety as they become aware of differing rates of maturity amongst their peers.  Studies have shown that bullying can increase in some schools in 2nd year and take the form of jeering or exclusion.  Santa Sabina does not tolerate bullying – please refer to the Anti-Bullying Policy.  

Research has shown that 2nd Year is the year in which some students can “turn-off” school and become disengaged from the education process and may be disruptive.  As parents, we would advise that you keep asking your daughter how things are going in school and check her homework journal periodically.  If you have any concerns about your daughter’s progress or any aspect of school then please contact the school office and arrange to speak to a particular teacher or the year head or counsellor. Second year builds on routines established in first year.

Are there new books to purchase for second year?

There may be a small number of new books required in second year that will be needed for the Junior Certificate. Most books purchased for first year are intended for use throughout first to third year.  The booklist will be posted on the school website by mid-June.

Is there a change to the uniform in second year?

No. Students are expected to wear the full school uniform to school every day.

Will my daughter have the same teachers for second year?

Generally, students will have the same teachers, however, this may not always be possible due to constraints of timetabling and changes in teaching staff.

Do the base class groupings change in second year? Do the base class groupings change in third year?

No. The class groupings, (Emerald, Opal, Pearl and Sapphire) remain as first year.  Class groupings for option subjects will also remain the same.  Due to different curriculum in Irish and Mathematics for Higher and Ordinary Level, your daughter may see some change in the class with which she studies these subjects.

Does the assembly morning change in second year?  

Assemblies are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8.30am.  First and second years have assembly together on one of those days.  The day on which their assembly is held may change from first year, depending on the availability of the year head teachers.  The students will be informed of their assembly day on their first week back to school.  Remember that students must be in school by 8.30am on their assembly day.

Is there any change in extracurricular activities for my daughter?

All the activities in which your daughter took part in first year will still be available providing that the sports coaches are available.  Training or rehearsal times may be different, but this will be posted on the school noticeboards.

Can my daughter join new extracurricular activities in second year?

Yes. It is possible to join new school activities, but depending on training or rehearsal times, a choice may have to be made.  Students must choose between hockey, basketball and volleyball.

Can my daughter take part in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition?

All students took part in the SciFest science competition in first year.  Students may wish to develop that project for consideration in the Young Scientist Exhibition or may choose another idea.  Projects for Young Scientist Exhibition must be discussed with the science teacher, planned and submitted to the competition organisers for consideration in September. Usually a student would have decided in first year whether to enter this competition, given the time constraints for submission of project ideas.

Should I expect to see an increase in the amount of homework my daughter is doing?

Click here to view the school’s policy on homework.

It is likely that there will be more homework assigned during second year as the workload for Junior Certificate increases.  However, as always, it is important to check periodically with your daughter that she is managing her time well and submitting her homework/projects on time.  Even if homework does not increase it is expected that your daughter will use her time wisely for revision.  Learning homework is equally important to written homework.  Your daughter should go over the material covered in class, this will make it much easier for later revision. Remember the 80/20 rule: you can lose 80% of your learning if you don’t review it within 24 hours (NUI Galway).

Will my daughter be given any help with study plans?

There are some very helpful notes in the school journal, in particular, “Study Skills/The Learning Process and Key Skills of the Junior cycle.  These chapters outline excellent tips and study skills and are presented in a very easy to read guide. Some teachers will suggest revision plans when it comes to preparing for the summer exams at the end of second year.

We would add that research in Ireland has shown that whilst most students think it’s a good idea to study many students pretend that they do not study in case of being jeered for studying or of not doing well in an exam despite studying.  In Santa Sabina all students are encouraged to form a study plan and to adopt an intelligent approach to school and studying so that it becomes a positive and meaningful aspect of their education.

At what stage will I know if my daughter is doing higher or ordinary level Irish, English and Mathematics? Who decides? Student or teacher?

Click here to read the relevant policy

It is important to recognise the ability of your daughter and listen to the advice of her teacher.  Be reasonable about your daughter’s ability and refer to her tests and homework before making any decisions.  Allow your daughter a chance to prove herself if additional work is required.

Is it too late to change an option subject?

If you are concerned about a particular subject choice please do not hesitate to make an appointment with the Year Head.  This can be arranged through the school office.



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