Ard Scoil na nDéise



Gaisce or ‘great achievement’ is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25 and has been in existence since 1985. The Awards initially flourished under the patronage of former President Patrick. J Hillary and to date and have been supported by subsequent Presidents. To date over 300,000 young people have participated in the Gaisce programme.

Gaisce is focused on, and driven by, the following core values:

1 - Empowerment

Making a difference, effecting change and enabling young people to shape their own path to self-discovery.

2 - Inclusion & Equality

Every person has the opportunity to grow their potential through equality of access, participation and outcomes.

3 - Respect

Valuing people equally, recognising diversity, and ensuring everyone is treated with dignity.

4 - Excellence

Making an impact through pursuing the highest standards, operating with integrity and in a transparent manner.

Award Levels

There are three levels to the Award programme, starting with Bronze and progressing to Silver or Gold, with the time and investment required increasing as the participant moves from Bronze towards the Gold Award.

While you are able to begin straight away with the Gold Award (depending on your age), most participants begin with the Bronze Award and work up from there to the higher levels.


Minimum Starting Age

Regular Length of Award

Length if Previous Level Achieved



26 weeks



52 weeks

26 weeks



78 weeks

52 weeks

Ard Scoil na nDéise Transition Year Gaisce Trip 2018

Day 1

On the 25th of April 2018, we went to Newgrange, Co. Meath for our Gaisce trip. Gaisce is a programme that the Transition Year students take part in to challenge themselves. You have to do a community involvement activity, a personal skill and a sport activity for 13 weeks. Also, a thirty km adventure hike has to be done over two days. We left at 2 o’clock, because the bus journey was around four hours, and the hostel wasn’t expecting us until six. That night, we were supposed to go on a night hike to see the Newgrange tomb, which was about 7km. We got there, ate our dinner of Chicken Curry and rice, got to see our rooms, and had to head straight off on the night hike. Our leader was James, and we also had helpers from Spain who work for the hostel. They were Quico, Oscar, Paula and Carlos. We left at half past 7, and got to Newgrange at around 8. It was great to be able to see the tomb as it has so much history. We headed back to the hostel, changed and watched a movie for the night.

Day 2

On Thursday, we got up early to eat breakfast and go on the long hike. We had to leave at 10, and we wouldn’t be back until 4. The bit at the start of the walk was the muddiest bit, and I unfortunately lost my shoe. It disappeared into the mud and we weren’t able to find it. I had to go back to the hostel to get a different pair of shoes, and got a lift back to the group. It was unfortunate, but a great story to tell!!! We were then coming into Drogheda, and the walk became less mucky. We took a break at 1 o’clock in a park, and then had to head straight back on the walk, with smaller breaks. The views as we walked beside the river were really nice, and we got to see plenty of the houses in and around Drogheda. We went around in a loop, walking towards and away from Drogheda in different sides of the river. The length of the walk was tough, and the weather changed quite a lot throughout, but it was worth it to have the experience. As we were walking in a loop, we had to go through the particularly mucky bit again, and I made sure my shoes were on tight!!! There were some falls and muddy shoes after, but we were able to be hosed down when we got back to the hostel. We finally reached the end, and we were all tired, but were able to have showers and change. We are dinner, and had a talent show. Every room had to have an act, and there were definitely some creative ones!! Afterwards, we went downstairs to do karaoke, with some people having the courage to do it. It was fun, and everyone ended up dancing. We went back to our rooms, where some people chose to watch a movie. We were definitely all tired, and went to sleep easily. But we were proud of ourselves for completing all of the hike.

Day 3

We woke up early on Friday excited for the morning activities. Breakfast was at 9, and we had to tidy our rooms and pack our stuff to be ready to leave for 12. The activities we were going to be doing were rock climbing, paintballing and archery. First, we were put into a circle to play icebreakers with the Spanish helpers from the walk. We were in groups of two and had to different things such as dancing and running when numbers were called out. The last one to do it was out. After this, we split into 3 groups to take turns doing each activity. My group did rock climbing first with Quico. It was daunting at first, as the wall seemed very high. It was fun, and we were all entertained. We had a competition to see who would climb it the fastest. My group then went paintballing, which involved shooting at targets. We were divided into two different groups, to see who could hit the most. This was great to try out. Our last activity was archery, where we were on different teams again, to try and shoot one of the members of the opposing team. We played games afterwards. We then had to leave the hostel at 12, to be home for 4. We were sad to leave, but happy to be going home to sleep. It was an incredible experience and one that I will never forget.

Written by Robyn Power, TYB

Convent Road,
Co. Waterford,
X35 RR90

058 41464

Ceist- Catholic Education, an Irish schools trust
© 2024 Ard Scoil na nDéise