Aims of Guidance programme
The aim of the Guidance Programme in Beech Hill College is to promote and develop Guidance for all students.
There are 2 Guidance Counsellors :
Ms. Martina Boyle
Ms. Catherine O'Harte
We place particular emphasis on:
- Transition from Primary school and Induction to Second level
- Transition from Junior cycle to Senior cycle
- Established Leaving Certificate/Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme/Leaving Certificate Applied Programme
- Transition from second level to Higher/Further Education and Training and Employment
We are involved in a range of activities which may be offered on an individual , group or class basis
A wide variety of guidance and counselling activities are provided by the school. These include:
- Counselling is offered as part of a developmental learning process or at moments of crisis.
- Educational Guidance-study skills, subject choice, time management skills
- Career Guidance - career decision making skills, job search skills.
- Classroom activities
- Personal and Social developmental Programmes
- Referral-organises theÂ provision of additional assistance from outside agencies following agreed procedures with parents and local agencies.
- Appointments service
|Appointments may be made directly by the students.
Referrals may also be made by teachers or parents. They will be arranged on a first come basis unless the matter is urgent.
The Guidance Counselling Service includes:
Counselling is an interactive learning process between counsellor and student, whether individual or group, which approaches, in a holistic way, personal, educational and/or vocational issues. Moreover, the availability of a counselling service can support individual students inside/outside the classroom context, the pastoral and the disciplinary structures in the school.
Individual Counselling - is an interactive process, which facilitates meaningful understanding of the self and environment and/or clarification of goals and values for future behaviour.
Group Counselling - is a broad term covering types of counselling for more than two people. In group counselling members listen to, support and challenge each other and thus, learn to be open, constructive, assertive and to experience how others see them.
It is essential that a counselling service within the school operates in collaboration with processes within the school, which promotes the wellbeing of the school, particularly pastoral and disciplinary teams. Working within the requirements of The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors Code of Ethics for legitimate practice, ensures that the service is properly supervised and monitored so that the student needs are prioritised and their rights protected. The service would be both reflective of, and in line with, the Dept. of Health and Children's National Guidelines for the protection and welfare of Children Children First (1999) and with the recent Dept. of Education and Science Guidelines on Child Protection (2004)
The SGC along with other specialised teachersÂ i.e. SPHE, Year Heads, Class Tutors, TY and LCVP/LCA Co-ordinators facilitate and partake in developmental programmes designed to help students with their personal/social, educational and vocational development. In personal/social development the programmes would include personal and social skills, self-awareness, decision-making skills, planning and health promotion. In educational development the programmes would include subject/course/level choices, motivation and learning and study skills/exam techniques. In vocational development the programmes would include employment opportunity awareness. Educational and training courses, higher and technical education choices and job search skills.
SGC consultation is provided by and to significant adults in the student's life. These adults include the school principal, the deputy principal, year heads, pastoral team, external agencies and parents. These consultations - advice, information or counselling -must always recognise the primacy of the student's integrity and the need to maintain appropriate confidentiality.
All students have a right to confidentiality in their dealings with the SGC. The right is not universal, however, and there are some cases in which - for the student's best interest - confidentiality cannot be guaranteed e.g. in the case of abuse, bullying, and risk to another student's life. In counselling the student, the counsellor should make the student aware that confidentiality could not be guaranteed in any of the above cases and that information of this nature would have to be referred on. In short, students who meet with the SGC will be informed of the following:
1) All things discussed are confidential between the student and the SGC except when the student herself or another person is at risk.
2) Any information which highlights that the student or another person is in danger.
3) If the student is in danger of doing grievous harm to herself.
Ethical awareness is a prerequisite for the SGC. They are obliged to operate, in policy, process and practice in an ethical manner. The SGC's primary focus is the welfare of the student and they are ethically bound to act in the best interest of the student. The counsellor must act within the law and within the ethical guidelines as outlined by her profession. The SGC is expected to be competent in and mindful of the legal and ethical responsibilities of her work. Furthermore, the SGC is ethically obliged to seek out new developments in the personal, educational and vocational fields with a view to improving the overall counselling service to the student.
Referral is, in essence, a two way process. The SGC may refer and he/she in turn may be the recipient of referrals. Referrals may come to the SGC from parents, staff, principal or deputy-principal. Students who are referred to the SGC cannot be forced to attend and their choice must be respected. If, however, a student is referred and comes to the SGC their presence will be acknowledged and welcomed.
The SGC, in consultation with the relevant parties - parents, principal, relevant staff -, may also refer a student to an external, appropriately qualified professional. A legitimate referral (one made with the received permission of the necessary people e.g. parents) may occur after the SGC has made an informed decision that the student's situation requires assistance beyond the SGC's professional training. Assistance for students may be sought for problems such as learning difficulties, substance abuse, addiction, bereavement and personal crisis from agencies such as the student's GP, the NEHB, NEPS, Educational Welfare Officer and the Junior Liaison Officer of the GardaÃ.
* Parents must be informed of and permission sought for a referral by the SGC to an external agency e.g. Health Board, Educational Psychologist etc.
Psychological and educational assessments/tests are useful insofar as they provide information for the SGC and others for whom it is relevant. Judicious use of test information is helpful in predicting academic and occupational performance, classifying ability, assessing remediation requirements and levels of achievement. Assessment results are important. Yet, their dissemination is of equal or greater importance. In returning the results of a student's assessment, the SGC must be aware of the confidentiality and sensitivities of the student and the manner in which the SGC shares the information with the student.Tests may include: Personality tests, Aptitude tests, Interest inventories, Problem checklist, General ability tests, Performance tests, School exam results and Public exam results.
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
It is important that parents are made to feel free and welcome to come and visit the guidance counsellor. An appointment system is the best operational mode in this way. Alternatively, a phone call from parents over a concern can be accommodated quickly. Also, as part of overall school information dissemination e.g. school notices, parent-teacher meetings, open nights, enrolment days etc. information regarding guidance and counselling is made available as required.