Guidance and Counselling

St. Joseph's Secondary School

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You are welcome to the Guidance Counselling section of our school’s website.

Guidance in schools refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence that assist students to develop self management skills which will lead to effective choices and decisions about their lives. It encompasses the three separate, but interlinked, areas of personal and social development, educational guidance and career guidance.

The Guidance Counsellors in St. Joseph's operate on an “open door” policy where by students are encouraged to drop in to chat, to seek advice, to ask a question, to make an appointment or simply to say hello!

The Role of the Guidance Counsellor:

The role of the Guidance Counsellor in the school is to assist students in making informed personal, educational and career decisions, set realistic personal and career goals and develop the skills necessary to accomplish these goals.

The Guidance Counsellor is also there as part of the school’s framework to support students experiencing personal, academic or social difficulties.

Responsibilities of the Guidance Service:

  • Counselling: Counselling is offered on a one to one basis and is generally short-term in nature. Vocational Guidance Counselling appointments are also offered with particular focus at times of transition, subject choice, and applying to further education and work. 
  • The Guidance Counsellor provides a respectful environment for the student to discuss in private any such issues or concerns which impact on academic performance or personal well-being. Deciding to speak with a Guidance Counsellor can be a positive step towards making life better for the individual. Self-referral to the Service is welcomed and encouraged.
  • Consultation: The Guidance Counsellor engages in a two way process of consultation with parents, teachers, school management and referral agencies. Consultation may include advocacy by the Guidance Counsellor on behalf of a pupil.
  • Assessment: The Guidance Counsellor uses a range of psychological tests for a variety of purposes e.g. prediction of academic performance, categorisation of occupational interests, assessment of behaviour, educational and career planning, personal and social development. Information from these sources supplemented by school records and public examination results enable the Guidance Counsellor to assist a pupil in decision-making, problem solving, behavioural change and life changes. The results of these tests may also be useful in supporting a student’s teaching and learning.
  • Information Management: The Guidance Counsellor helps pupils to acquire useful information to assist them in decision-making. A careers library with higher/further education information and college prospectuses is available to senior students.
  • Dissemination of information - through liaising with and organising visits in from further education institutions and past pupils or professionals, and visits out to industry, and various higher education institions, we make sure students are aware of and have access to the variety of pathways to qualification and career fulfilment.

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