We understand that the first year of Secondary School can be a big change for students. Our students often come from small primary schools where they know most or all of the other students and teachers. In situations like this, secondary school can seem daunting when you have a mix of new people, new subjects and new expectations.

How do we help our First Years?

We have a number of measures in place to help our first-year students adjust as quickly as possible:

Separate Campus

We know it can be difficult to go from a school where you were one of the senior students to suddenly finding yourself being the youngest again. All first year classes are held on a separate campus (adjacent to the main campus) to help first-years adjust and make new friends.

No Homework for First Week

We feel that the first week in a new building with new subjects, new teachers and new classmates is a lot to take in so we don’t give our first-year students any homework for the first week.

Induction Day

Induction day for first years is held on the first day of school each year. During this day students are made aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding their behaviour towards others. The principal and vice-principal introduce themselves and explain how the school works (school journals, timetables, who to bring problems to etc.) The induction process is spread over two days so as not to overwhelm students with new information and to provide ample time to ask questions and seek assurance.

School Bags and Books are not required on the first day of school, a pen and paper required only).

Trying Out Optional Subjects

Some of the subjects available for Junior Certificate are not offered in primary school so it can sometimes be difficult for a first-year student to know which subjects interest them most. They must choose two subjects from the pool of available subjects. In order to help them make this choice, they take each optional subject for a few weeks in rotation before choosing. More information is available on this in our academic programmes section.

Links Programme

At John the Baptist Community School, First Year students are offered another layer of support with assigned Links students. These specially trained Transition Year students act as a constant source of guidance and support over the course of First Year, from the very first day, to multiple specialist activities organised to providing honest, practical day-to-day advice.

Checklist for First Years for the first day

Please click below for a checklist of what you will need to bring for the first day!