FAQs - 3rd Year

3rd Year

Third year is a very busy year academically.  It is also the first time the girls will face state examinations and there can be a lot of pressure and stress associated with this.  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.

As the academic workload increases we would also advise students to remain or become involved in some sporting or other extra-curricular activities so as to maintain a balance between academics and non-academics.

Are there new books to purchase for third year?

No. However, you will be required to purchase exam papers. These are usually not purchased until September to ensure the most recent exam paper is included.

Is there a change to the uniform in third year?

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

Will my daughter have the same teachers for third 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 third year?

No. The class groupings, (Emerald, Opal, Pearl and Sapphire) remain as in first and second year.  Class groupings for option subjects and subject levels will also remain the same.

Does the assembly morning change in third year?

Assemblies are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 8.30am.  Third and fourth years have assembly together on one of those days.  The day on which their assembly is held may change from second 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.

Are there mock exams to practise for the Junior Certificate?

Yes.  There are mock examinations held in all Junior Certificate subjects in the two weeks leading up to the February mid-term. The timetable for these exams is given to students in advance of the exams.

When are the oral examinations?

There is an oral exam in Irish only.  This is the choice of Santa Sabina; not all schools opt for oral Irish exams for Junior Certificate.  Oral Irish exams are compulsory for Leaving Certificate. Your daughter will be practising oral work from the beginning of first year and the oral exam for Junior Certificate usually takes place in March but may be earlier.  Encourage your daughter to listen to the CD that accompanies the text book.  Also listening to Irish radio stations and watching Irish TV can assist her oral Irish.

When are the practical examinations for music and art?

The dates for practical exams in music and art are on the school calendar. The timing of these exams depends on when Easter happens. 

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 third 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).

Now that my daughter is well and truly on the road to Junior Certificate will she be given any help with study plans?

There are some very helpful notes in the school journal, in particular, “Study Skills/The Learning Process, page 17 and page 30, Key Skills of the Junior cycle.  These chapters outline excellent tips and study skills and are presented in a very easy to read guide. Teachers will suggest revision plans when it comes to preparing for the mock exams and then will help with detailed revision work and revision plans for the Junior Certificate.  Your daughter may need assistance from you in preparing a study pan that is tailor-made for her.

Can my daughter change the level at which she is studying a subject?

Click here to read this policy. 

It is important to recognise the ability of your daughter and listen to the advice of her teacher.  Ultimately, the focus, commitment and ability of the student will drive the decision as to what level is taken.  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 there a cost to sit the Junior Certificate?

Yes.  The State Examinations Commission sets a fee for sitting the Leaving Certificate. In 2017, this fee was €109.  In March of third year your daughter will receive a form requesting this payment.  This form must be brought to a bank, where payment is made and the form endorsed by the bank. The form is then returned to the school for submission to the State Examinations Commission.

Must my daughter wear her uniform while sitting the Junior Certificate?

Yes. All Junior Certificate exams are taken in school and uniform must be worn.

When do we receive information about Transition Year?

There is a Transition Year (TY) information evening for students and parents held at the beginning of TY.  This will provide all the information you need in relation to Transition Year.  Before the end of 3nd year, you will be given the dates for TY Community Outreach and TY work experience.  Many organisations run Transition Year programmes which can be in high demand.  Some of these programmes can fill up very quickly.  Parents are advised to carry out their own research in relation to Community Outreach and Work Experience.

Does third year finish early to allow for study for the Junior Certificate?

Yes.  School for third year students finishes exactly one week before the start of the Junior Certificate.  This will be the Wednesday of the last week of school.


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