St. Mary's Secondary School | Guidance & Counselling 

Guidance and Counselling

St. Mary's Secondary School

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The Guidance Counsellors aim to look after the interests of students both in Vocational/Educational Guidance and Personal Guidance.


There is a facility for students to avail of guidance for subject choice as well as personal counselling throughout the three years of Junior Cycle.

All First Year students are given the Cognitive Ability Test (CAT), results of which are made available to relevant staff in order to plan for the educational needs of our students.

All Third year students sit the Differential Aptitude Tests (DATS). The results of this test are used to enable the student to make an informed subject choice of subjects for the Leaving Cert.


All Senior Cycle students have timetabled career classes with a Career Guidance teacher. As part of the classroom activity students are encouraged to explore and research career paths based on their aptitudes, interests and personality.

Transition Year students complete a variety of career interest questionnaires and then research their particular area of interest. All Transition year students are encouraged to link their work experience placement with their career interests.

This process of research and exploration is continued into the Fifth year curriculum.

All students are encouraged and supported in the decision-making process regarding courses/careers that they may find fulfilling and satisfying.

School Liason Officers from Third Level Institutions are invited to speak to Sixth Year students.


All Senior Cycle students are guided and helped in the procedures required for entry to all Third Level Education in Ireland (CAO) and England (UCAS). All applications are now made on-line.


There is the opportunity for confidential and supportive counselling when a student may require it. There is a self-referral system in place. Students may also be referred to the Guidance Counsellor (by staff or parents). Adherence to the requirements of the code of ethics of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors ensures a legitimate practice of a supervised and monitored service that respects the students needs and rights.


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