I was flying as G-PMKY. Ok, basics:
- Aircraft asking to take off and remain in the pattern are going to do circuits (“patterns”); you need to give them a direction with their takeoff clearance, and this is the direction of the pattern they will then enter. Correct control of a pattern is a key part of the IFATC practical exam.
All inbound aircraft require pattern entry (if not already in it), sequence (if required) and then clearance. These calls and that order are mandatory.
- A “touch and go” request requires you to clear an aircraft “for the option”; this authorises the pilot to do a touch and go, stop and go, low approach or landing at their discretion.
- A transition is a request to pass through, or transition, your airspace. If you allow the transition, you must give a minimum altitude which is within the airspace. Hint: 12,000’ is not within EIDW tower’s airspace.
Your ground control is fine and your handling of departures is smooth. You can be more proactive about handing aircraft off onto other frequencies as they leave your airpace.
I admire your approach of learning from other tracking threads first, and then putting your learning into practice. But it’s not always easy to infer from the tracking threads what was going on without having the replays available to watch. I suggest you use the ATC manual as your primary resource, practice regularly as you are today, and follow other controllers’ tracking threads to pick up tips (you can also fly patterns for them, and I’m sure they’ll reciprocate).
You might also find it helpful to avoid complex or popular airports like EIDW, and stick to smaller sites which will not attract lots of departures. That will let you practice pattern handling without too many other things going on. Start with a single runway, then move up to parallel runways as required for the practical.