Loreto’s guidance counsellors:
There are two guidance counsellors in Loreto, Wexford- Catriona Foley & Lorraine Kelly
We are both qualified guidance counsellors who work with students in three main areas-
personal counselling, educational counselling and vocational counselling.
Our offices are located on the first floor in the Guidance Counselling suite.
In 2019/2020- these are the classes we each look after:
|Ms Kelly||Ms Foley|
|1.1 & 1.2||1.3, 1.4 & 1.5|
|2.1 & 2.2||2.3, 2.4 & 2.5|
|3.1 & 3.2||3.3, 3.4 & 3.5|
|Students who were in 3.1 & 3.2 last year||Students who were in 3.3 & 3.4 last year|
|5.1 & 5.2||5.3 & 5.4|
|6.1 & 6.2||6.3 & 6.4|
Our main aims are to guide students in their holistic development so that they can develop their own autonomy, independence and commitment to their responsibilities. We endeavour to facilitate a culture throughout their six years in Loreto whereby they develop the skills to become critical, reflective thinkers and decision- makers. We envisage that students will learn life- long skills that will support them in their life- long learning. We work closely with many other stakeholders to ensure that there is a whole- school approach to guidance. Students and parents are encouraged to remain up to date on careers related news by regularly checking the news items this website. Additionally, to receive daily updates on careers related news by email, we strongly encourage all students to register on www.careersnews.ie.
We use a mixture of counselling theories in our work, depending on the issue the student may have. Where personal counselling is concerned, we may, following some initial work with a student, decide to refer the student to an outside counsellor or GP if their need for counselling is greater than what a school setting can offer. We work closely with parents/ guardians in this regard.
Late August/ Early September
We meet with our respective first years by class grouping to introduce ourselves and give outline of our job. We show them where our offices and post boxes are and explain how to make appointments with us. (by either asking directly, asking another member of staff to refer them, asking a parent/ guardian to refer them or by leaving a note in the post box outside our office)
Student Profile: We ask students to fill out a student profile to give an opportunity to raise any concerns. We then follow up on specific concerns by means of one- to- one counselling.
Assist SEN department in September with administering CAT4 to help identify learning strengths/ difficulties of students.
Study skills seminars delivered by ourselves or other interested teachers.
We meet our respective classes to give talks on subject choice for second year.
Meet parents at night to deliver the same information.
Link to our PowerPoint presentation
Throughout the year
Cara system- We liaise closely with the Cara system where TY students are trained to mentor 2nd years in need of support.
We aim to carry out an updated profile sheet so students can express if there are any issues arising.
Organisation of Study Skills Seminar by an outside company. In 2019/2020 we had The Super Generation. We usually organise a study-skills talk for parents on the same night.
In collaboration with the Student Support Team (SST), we organise bullying/ cyberbullying/ safe social media/ technology etiquette workshop
Late September/ Early October
Study skills seminars carried out by either ourselves or interested teachers.
As a school we are delighted to be using the REACH+ Programme in 4th and 5th Year. The REACH+ Career & College Preparation Programme is the most advanced career guidance programme available in Ireland. It covers a comprehensive range of topics. The programme encourages students to match their aptitude, values, interests and personality to career pathways and course opportunities. The programme includes a substantial online learning environment where students can complete and store all of their career research.
6th Year students continue to use a programme called “Classroom Guidance” designed by renowned Guidance Counsellors Fred Tuite & Brian Comerford. You will find the PowerPoint presentations at www.classroomguidance.ie. The students fill in a learner’s journal every week in class to keep a record of their learning. We encourage students to tell their parents/ guardians what they have learned every week so that their parents/ guardians are fully informed and involved. We encourage the parents/ guardians to actively engage in what they are learning and to do further research online together on each topic to reflect on its relevance to each individual student and family. We endeavour to instil a growth mind-set in all our students, encouraging them to reflect on their own capabilities, how they can improve further and how to plan for their future college courses/ careers.
The topics we cover in TY class are:
Once- off Workshop (when possible)
Workshop to enhance friendship/ conflict resolution skills/mental health/ self- esteem. Facilitators change year to year depending on availability and needs of particular year-group. Organised in collaboration with Student Care Co-ordination Team (SCCT).
Administration of CAT4 to help with subject choice after Christmas. CAT4 will show students their abilities in four main areas, namely verbal reasoning, non- verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning and numeracy. The results of these tests will inform students of their strengths which will help in subject choice and study skills. Results will be distributed to each individual student in January.
Students learn about subject choice in TY guidance class. We order the Institute of Guidance Counsellor’s (IGC) directory of minimum entry requirements for all courses in the Central Applications Office (CAO) for each TY student. This is to make them fully aware of the requirements needed for certain courses and to instil the importance of the high level of research needed for course investigations. We meet with TY parents at night to deliver the same subject choice talk.
Put in link to our subject choice presentation
Mock interview night. We are very lucky that we have a group of extremely generous business people in our school community who volunteer to conduct mock interviews with our TY students. Our Board of Management member Barbara Foley has been instrumental in building this relationship between the school and local business community. Our students always benefit greatly from the experience.
Throughout the year
Local life coach Eugene Daly contributes hugely to our TY guidance programme. Eugene teaches the students all about positivity/ positive self- talk and goal setting for the future. Additionally, he carries out the Myers Briggs personality tests on all students and shows them how their personality will relate to their future career choice. We hugely appreciate Eugene’s input as he is so generous of his time and is an extremely knowledgeable asset to us and our students.
The fifth-year guidance topics include:
i) Aptitude test –CAT4 from 4th Year
ii) Ability – Junior Certificate Results, Continuous reflection and record of class tests and house exams.
iii) Careers Interest Assessments, Personality Tests, Intelligence Test, Careers skills, Enterprise Skills and Colour Blind Test are all taken by each student on their REACH+ account.
iv) The results of these assessments on REACH+ feed into career and course investigation tools available on REACH+.
HEAR = Higher Education Access Route- a special access scheme for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Look at www.accesscollege.ie for information on applying and documents needed.
DARE= Disability Access Route to Education- a special access scheme for students who have a disability/ condition/ learning difficulty that has impacted on their education. Students and parents need to be very aware of the supporting documents needed for a DARE application and should access this information on www.accesscollege.ie as soon as possible and collect said documentation. We advise that families (whose daughter has a learning difficulty) should contact their educational psychologist to ensure that their reports and percentile scores are up to date/ meet requirements as these assessment results are best coming from the Educational Psychologist. Likewise, make sure that all reports re ongoing illnesses, mental health conditions etc have the proper professional supplying the report. The Guidance Counsellor or learning support teacher will fill up an Educational Impact Statement (EIS) for each DARE student and the student must write a personal statement themselves too.
Be very aware of the deadlines associated with these schemes. They must be strictly adhered to. They are usually- (i) tick the box on the CAO form before the 1st February
(ii) complete any online forms/ personal statements by the 1st March and (iii) post all supporting documents away to arrive in CAO, Galway by April 1st.
Applying to college in Europe, particularly the Netherlands is becoming a growing attraction for Irish students. Students must register on www.eunicas.com where an expert called Guy Flouch will guide them in the courses available and application process.
We meet all 6th year students for one- to- one vocational counselling sessions. We use our counselling skills to guide students to reflect on the choices they're making and to help them to clarify their thoughts on their educational and vocational planning. Ms. Kelly sees students from 6.1 & 6.2 and Ms. Foley sees students from 6.3 & 6.4.
Students receive a “pink sheet” which is filled in during their vocational counselling session with us. The aim of this sheet is to initiate conversations between the student and their parents/ guardians the night of their vocational counselling sessions so that parents/ guardians are aware of the topics discussed at the session. There is a very important section on this sheet called “next steps in my planning”. The parents/ guardians can support and guide their daughters then with these steps. It is imperative that all partners work together and that students and parents/ guardians understand that guidance counselling in schools is to guide and support students with their educational, personal and vocational issues- not replace what must be done by the students and parents/ guardians themselves.
Throughout the year, we facilitate available school liaison officers from third level institutions to give talks to our sixth year students on their particular institutions.
6th Year guidance topics include: