Transition Year

Tips for Students

A new book by Oliver Murphy, Bridge the Gap: Maths, has been published in 2022. This is the perfect textbook to bring students from what can be a rather weak base at the end of Junior Cycle to being ready for the demands of the Leaving Cert.

The book has been welcomed by teachers and students alike. It emphasises the basics which are often badly understood: manipulating formulae, algebraic fractions, indices, functions, etc. This book will teach you what you need to know before the Leaving Cert Cycle.

Transition Year is well named. It is the transition from Junior Cert (where much of the learning is teacher-driven) to Leaving Cert (where much of the learning is student-driven). Use TY to become more independent, more determined to do things for yourself. Keep high standards. Do all your homework well.

If you have any weakness in Maths, use TY to brush up on it. For example, if you don’t know all of your multiplication tables, use TY to make sure that you know them ALL from 1X1 to 12X12. Then thank your lucky stars you don’t live in Russia where they all learn up to 25X25 by heart.

Use TY to get ready for the Leaving Cert course. Build on what you learned in the first three years. Don’t just sleepwalk through this key year. You MUST become better at Maths during TY – otherwise you’ve wasted it.

There are some wonderful books which involve Maths to some degree: my absolute favourite is Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh, in which you will learn the connection between prime numbers and the life-cycles of cicada beetles. Astonishing! Other good books are The Code Book by Simon Singh, The Simpson’s Book of Maths, or even The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Haddon which has a thread of Maths through it. Another favourite of mine is Longitude by Dava Sobel. If you love Maths, some of these are great reading. For the more advanced reader, Bertrand Russell’s autobiography (part 1) is really interesting. TY is a good time to read these.

If you have books with a flavour of Maths in them which you would recommend, contact us and let us know. Thank you!