Mercy College Sligo | Guidance & Counselling 

Guidance and Counselling

Mercy College Sligo

Welcome to our Guidance Counselling Website!Fáilte chuig ár Suíomh Gréasáin Gairmthreorach

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Congrats to all Leaving Cert students on their excellent results and good luck with the CAO offers and whatever path they chose to follow upon leaving Mercy College Sligo.

The Institute of Guidance Counsellors operate a helpline on 1800 265 165 for any student who wants help with CAO offers. The helpline is open Monday and Tuesday 8am-7pm and Wednesday 8am-1pm. 


Mercy College is an all girls Voluntary Catholic Secondary school under the trusteeship of CEIST. Mercy College is dedicated to the provision of quality Catholic education, academic, spiritual, moral, physical, social, aesthetic and vocational which will enable students to achieve their maximum potential in a caring and nurturing environment. 

Our school ethos aims to strike a balance between achieving academic excellence, caring for the real needs of the individual student and developing our students’ personalities and strengths. We strive above all to give the girls a sense of their own value. Our talented and professional teaching staff is dedicated to the promotion of high standards in our students, the majority of whom will go to University or Third Level colleges.

Mercy College responds to the broad range of intelligence types which have been identified by research studies in Educational Psychology. We believe that beyond literacy and mathematical talents there are visual, spiritual, physical, inter-personal and aesthetic capabilities which are often undernourished and undeveloped. Because of this belief, we, in Mercy College respond to the broad spectrum of abilities and aptitudes of our students, ranging from the most highly motivated and talented  to the students whose gifts are different.

It is the Guidance Policy of Mercy College to hold these values in mind. The work is done in the context of the school serving the needs of girls from 1st year through to 6th year and a Repeat Leaving Certificate group, and three PLC groups. It is the policy of Mercy College to support all students, in an appropriate manner by offering

  • Personal/Social Guidance and Counselling
  • Educational Guidance and Counselling
  • Career/Vocational Guidance and Counselling

The Guidance Department is part of the pastoral care structure in the school. Care Team meetings are held to plan for student care, consider student progress and discuss issues of concern, which may arise. The Guidance Department works with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads, Class Teachers, The Religion Department, Special Education Needs Team, The Home School Community Liaison Officer, and the S.P.H.E team to provide a support service for the students.

Guidance and counselling is an integral part of our school’s educational provision. 

Counselling: Counselling: helping pupils develop coping skills for the ever changing circumstances in their   personal, educational, and career development; decision-making, problem-solving, behavioural changes. In Mercy College 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 consellor provides support also to parents, teachers and the school management in assisting the personal and social, career and educational development of the students.    Career guidance and counselling is viewed in Mercy College as a process – not an event – which begins on the student’s entry in first year and continues right through the five or six years spent in the school.
First Year Students each year are offered: A short programme on transition from primary to post-primary called “Belomging Plus” – which helps them to adjust to new subjects, more teachers, longer day, changing friendships etc.   Help to those students who are not settling in or who are identified through the school pastoral care programme as experiencing e.g. bullying or displaying disruptive behaviour.
Second Year The students are generally referred by Class Tutors, Year Heads or Principal.  Some students self refer for a wide variety of reasons and these are promptly dealt with through individual appointments.
Third Year Talks take place on  programme and subject choice for senior cycle in class groups and students can have individual interviews arranged. Comprehensive information on the potential benefits of the TransitionYear programme is made available at this time.   Aptitude Tests: The Differential Aptitude Tests are administered and the results are explained to the students.
Transition Year During this year most students who choose the TY option have their first experience of the world for work. Detailed preparation for the two work experience “blocks” is undertaken. During class times students learn about the various options open to them on completion of the Leaving Certificate examination.  Students in senior cycle take part in the Reach Plus programme which is consists of a workbook and access to a comprehensive website facilitated by the guidance counsellor.    
Fifth Year All 5 Year students are met individually as they prepare their Career Investigations as part of the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.  These meetings are also used regularly to reinforce good study habits, caution against excessive hours in part time work and generally to follow up on information that is supplied by Class Tutors and Year Head.   
Sixth Year The Guidance Counsellor meets all 6 years individually during first term.  Some students are seen several times depending on personal needs and circumstances.   All Senior Students (Transition Years, 5 and 6 Years) have full access to Qualifax and Career Directions on their own PCs and on the school computer system. The Guidance Counsellor takes classes for Guidance purposes with 6 years. These classes are used to facilitate the distribution of CAO application packs, UCAS applications, arranging Open Day Visits. At CAO Application time and when “change of mind” forms arrive. Dealing with the procedure for grant applications or arranging accommodation. Preparing classes for visiting speakers.
General In dealing with students throughout the school the Guidance Counsellor works with the Principal, Deputy-Principal, Learning Support Teacher and other staff. Referrals may be may where deemed appropriate by the relevant care staff.



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