The Secondary School System Academic Year in Ireland runs from September to June of each year. There are breaks for Mid Terms (end october / end February), Easter, Christmas and Summer.
Students go to High School (Secondary School) from aged 12 till they take the leaving certificate at about 18 . Our Secondary School education in Ireland is excellent and prepares students for life. Because students learn at different speeds subjects are usually offered on a higher and standard grade. In Ireland Maths and English are compulsory subjects for the leaving certificate.
The junior certificate is an exam which is offered at the end of the first 3 years. Students study between 8 - 12 subjects for this certificate.
In the 4th year of secondary school many schools offer a transition year. This means that students have the opportunity to study and participate in areas of life not normally covered in the academic syllabus. Many students participate in voluntary organisations, charity work and start up business enterprises. Students also get the opportunity to work in businesses for 2 to 4 weeks of the year. The Transition year is a valuable year for students to decide which way they want to structure their studies and their academic futures.
The 5th and 6th year are years spent on preparation for the state exam called The Leaving Certificate. The leaving certificate is an important exam for students who wish to continue to tertiary education as these marks are used to place students in courses that they wish to study.