We are exceptional educators. We are pioneers of an innovative teaching approach that nurtures a love of learning through a stimulating mix of creative and academic inquiry.

The King’s Hospital School aims to provide a learning environment in which students can achieve their personal best appropriate to their potential and ability.

We also value the cultural, creative and intellectual development of each student and every aspect of school life is designed to support this process.

We believe education should be less about memorising and more about evaluating information and critical thinking. We educate our students in how subjects integrate. We also offer a comprehensive and progressive range of subjects, extensive specialist facilities and a highly qualified teaching staff.

Students that enter in Form 1 are with us for six years, as TY is mandatory for all students. We do not accept student transfers from Form 3 into Form 5, who wish to skip Transition Year, as we firmly believe that it is a vital stepping stone for students from the Junior to Senior Cycle.

StageYear GroupsState Exam
5-Day Boarding (Domestic)Form 1, 2, 3Form 3 Junior Certificate
TY Transition YearForm 4
Senior CycleForm 5 & 6Form 6 Leaving Certificate


Junior Cycle

According to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the framework for Junior Cycle provides the basis for post-primary schools to plan quality, inclusive and relevant education programmes with improved learning experiences for all students, including those with special educational needs.

This framework is based on eight principles, as detailed in the council’s illustration Junior Cycle Principles.

In Form 1– there are nine core subjects:
GeographyFrench or German or SpanishCivic, Social and Political Education (CSPE – not examinable)
HistoryScienceReligious Education
Form 1 students sample a variety of subjects up to Christmas from:
BusinessTechnical GraphicsHome Economics

They will choose two of these subjects to continue into Form 2. At the end of Form 3, they sit exams in 10 subjects for their Junior Certificate examination.

Check the NCCA website here to find out more about the Junior Cycle – its framework, syllabus, statements of learning and key skills.

Transition Year

Transition Year (TY) – in Form 4 – offers students a broad educational experience. It provides a bridge to help students make the transition from a highly structured environment to one where they will take greater responsibility for their own learning and decision making. Students participate in learning strategies which are active and experiential and which help them to develop a range of transferable critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

TY also gives students an opportunity to reflect on and develop an awareness of the value of education and training in preparing them for the ever-changing demands of the adult world of work and relationships.

TY Links & Updates 

Job Shadowing/TY work experience

All TY students are required to complete a Work Experience Programme (see more in the information booklet above). Email Orla Cummins with any further questions.

Job Shadowing/Work Experience Dates 2023

30th January to 10th of February 2023

Some institutions run courses for Transition Year students that must be applied for well in advance (e.g. DCU, Cathal Brugha Barracks, UCD Conway Institute etc) so this may need to be investigated and applied before entering TY. Word of mouth from previous TY students is a great source of information in this regard, and of course the Careers Department. A list of known external TY courses can be accessed here:


TY Programme Coordinator

Noel Cunningham

Work Experience

Orla Cummins

Work Experience Indemnity Letter 2021/22

Senior Cycle

The Senior Cycle – begins in Form 5 and ends with the Leaving Certificate exam, which is taken at the end of Form 6. Full details on the Senior Cycle Curriculum and future developments be accessed here on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCAA) website, including its framework and syllabus. See also our careers guidance section here.

In KH most students begin by taking eight subjects in Form 5. The highest grades achieved in the Leaving Cert exams, in six subjects, are then converted into points, for Irish university entrance. Detail about the state examinable curriculum for each subject offered at our school can be found here. There are many subjects on the Leaving Cert curriculum, and it is up to each school to choose which subjects to offer. The subjects we offer reflects the high abilities, and aspirations of a typical KH student, to follow their dreams in 3rd level education and beyond.

The core subjects are:
Irish (unless you have a DES exemption)EnglishMathematics
MFL – French, Spanish or German (unless you have an exemption)
The student chooses four to five subjects from the following:
Applied MathsAgricultural ScienceHome Economics
Applied TechnologyHistoryGeography
ArtDesign and Computer GraphicsMusic
Religious Education Politics & SocietyPhysical Education

The Careers Team assists students on their careers journey from as early as Form 1, with a stronger emphasis on subject selection in TY, and 3rd level options in Forms 5 and 6.

Email the team at or see their dedicated section here.

Gifted & Talented Students

Students that have been identified as academically gifted and talented are supported and challenged within the school with allocated resources. Form 1 students that have attained an exceptional grade in their entrance exam will be notified and invited to sit the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland’s Entrance Exam currently the SCAT, and if successful qualifies them to attend the CTYI Summer Courses and Correspondence Courses.

Students are also encouraged to participate in our many extra-curricular activities such as; Maths Club, Chess, Scrabble Club, Creative Writing, Spelling Bee, Maths & Science Olympiads, SciFest, Debating, etc.

A useful website for parents of Gifted and Talented students is

Learning Support

Our Special Educational Needs Department aims to support students with additional needs to achieve their full potential in The King’s Hospital School. The Special Education team, lead by SENCO Yvonne Mahady provides assistance to students, through early identification and in-class support, while liaising closely with parents, subject teachers, house staff and external professionals.


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