Ireland is the ideal location for student’s to undertake a High School Programme with its long and distinguished tradition in education, which continues to present day. In recent years, Ireland has become renowned as a location where students receive a quality education with approximately 90% of secondary school graduates continuing on to 3rd Level education in Colleges and Universities throughout Ireland and Europe.

The academic year in Ireland runs from September to June with 3 terms. The first term runs from September to December with the second starting in the new year in January and running to Easter. The final term runs from after the Easter break through to June, when students usually sit internal exams or external state exams (3rd and 6th Year only).

The secondary school cycle in Ireland consists of 6 years of study, which is divided into two cycles: Junior and Senior.

Click Here to Learn more about the Irish Curriculum 

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Junior Cycle of High School in Ireland

School Year Description
1st Year
(Aged 12-13)
The Junior Cycle includes 1st, 2nd and 3rd year and leads to the Junior Certificate Examination (external state exam). Students start the 1st year of secondary school at the age of 12 having completed 2 years at infant school and 6 years of primary school.
2nd Year
(Aged 13-14)
3rd Year
(Aged 14-15)

Junior Certificate

Senior Cycle of High School in Ireland

School Year Description
4th Year
(Aged 15-16)

Transition Year
Transition year forms a break between the Junior Cycle and the Senior Cycle. The course varies from school to school but is usually less academic then other school years and is an excellent year for international students to start their studies.
5th Year
(Aged 16-17)
5th and 6th year form the senior cycle. At the end of the two years, students take the Leaving Certificate Examination, which is the examination necessary for high school graduation and university entrance in Ireland. The Leaving Certificate is also recognised and highly regarded by academic institutions in the UK, Europe and the United States.
6th Year
(Aged 17-18)

Leaving Certificate

If you are interested in enrolling in our High School Programme please Click Here to Contact Us