We are a pupil centred service and students are welcome to make appointments with the guidance department. We strive to provide the supports needed for students to feel safe, happy and cared for. Our ethos reflects the school mission statement and we want to encourage our students to emerge as confident, adaptable and caring citizens.
Guidance refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist students to make choices about their lives and to make transitions consequent on these choices. These choices may be categorised into three separate but interlinked area Personal and Social. Educational and Career.
Career Guidance and Counselling is viewed in St Colmcilles Community School as a process- not an event. Guidance begins as early as in first year when students are choosing their subject options. Students get more intensive guidance as they come closer to making their career choices. All Transition Year students complete the REACH online guidance programme which can be used throughout their final three years of the senior cycle. Interest tests, subject options evening, DATS testing and one to one feedback are provided in fourth year. Career week, open days, university tours and career lectures either in class or during lunch time provide a solid foundation for the senior cycle. Fifth years have regular group work with the guidance counsellor. They set up their qualifax accounts and start to set targets and continue to carry out their career research. Many students attend the UCD summer school, evening career lectures and almost all will attend the open days during the weekends. During the summer term, all fifth years meet the guidance counsellor and start to review their interests tests and the career research that they have already carried out. During this term, students will also attend lectures from the leading Universities, Colleges etc. They will also have had the option to attend specific career talks held throughout the year at lunch time. ( These generally include areas such as Primary teaching, business, law science etc). Sixth years have more intensive guidance. All sixth years have severl one guidance meetings, starting in September. They all attend the Higher Options Career Fair. Speakers provide lectures on CAO, the transition from secondary level to third level and other broader guidance topics.At this stage all students will have attended career talks from the majority of the Colleges and also attended lectures at the open days. They generally attend the lunch time lectures and also have classes at key times of importance. Most students will have compiled a list of courses before Christmas. Students should begin their CAO application before Christmas.The guidance counsellor reviews many of the CAO applications throughout January. Some sixth years also apply to UCAS and to American Colleges. Many students will also apply for FETAC courses. These can provide useful skills for employment or are a back door route into the CAO system. All students should ensure that they have a "wish list" and solid back ups in place.
Counsellling empowers student to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviours and resolve issues in their lives. Sometimes in St Colmcilles Community School, this may be personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling or it may involve combinations of each. Counselling is a key part of the school guidance key programme offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis.
The guidance counsellor provides support also to parents, teachers and the school management in assisting the personal and social, career and educational development of the students.
OVERVIEW OF THE GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT
Counselling (personal/career and educational)
Personal and Social Development
Career Information Management
Consultation with parents, staff and support agencies
Vocational preparation (Interview skills etc)