Guidance refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist pupils to make choices about their lives and to make transitions consequent on these choices. These choices may be categorized into three separate but interlinked areas:
- Personal and Social
Our school’s mission statement is
“We aim, through positive interaction to recognise each individual’s uniqueness and to develop each individual’s potential in our school community.”
The entire staff is involved in the guidance of students in our school. It seeks to embrace the entire school community: teachers, management, students, and other staff. We are a very caring school. There is a great sense of the importance of a well-rounded education. We have always sought to provide students with the opportunity to develop their talents whether they lie in the academic, sporting, musical, artistic or interpersonal fields. We have always encouraged involvement from the whole school body in any activities that are going on, because we are a small school there is a great sense of community and there are no distinctions between year groups. It is always quite likely that students from all years will be involved together on a team, on a tour or in a concert item.
The general goals of the Guidance Programme:
- To create a safe and healthy collaborative community where each member can grow, feel a sense of belonging, and establish positive relationships.
- To develop in the student members, self-direction and internalised self-discipline.
- To ensure a school environment that emphasises the rights and responsibilities of each person.
- To welcome diversity as something enriching.
- To promote, as far as possible, the development of a school curriculum that is relevant to the school population.
- To provide experiences which encourages creativity, personal development, decision-making and critical thinking skills.
More specifically the guidance strives to:
- Provide direction in stating the objectives and priorities of the provision of guidance in the school
- Enhance the provision of guidance by targeting the needs of the pupils
- Focus the school’s resources to where they are most needed
- To allow staff react and respond to developments and changes and seek additional resources.
The areas of counselling, while overlapping, can be broadly outlined as follows:
Individual counselling: Students are helped to explore their own thoughts and feelings about their present life situation, about the choices open to them and about the consequences of each choice. Counselling can only take at the request of the person. Where the student is presenting with a problem beyond the scope of the guidance counsellor, the student will be referred to a specialist.
Guidance Counsellor explores with the student the following:
- Subject Choice/Level.
- Study Skills/Exam Techniques.
- Learning Problems.
- Testing (Aptitude Tests, Interest Tests).
- Decision Making Skills.
- Careers Information (students are assisted in following up career options using computer software, careers library, college prospectuses).
- Pathways to 3 rd Level Colleges.
- Interview Skills
- Work experience (L.C.V.P. and T.Y.).
Vocational Development Programme L.C.V.P. and T.Y.
The school provides experiences that promote the vocational development of pupils and prepare them for transition to work and higher education. These experiences include:
- Career exploration, planning and report writing
- Involvement in mini-companies
- Work experience
- Briefing and debriefing for work experience placement and evaluation
- Visits to colleges, institutions, workplaces
- Participation in presentations by visiting speakers.
The Guidance Counsellor works with other significant adults in the student’s life in order to provide a professional service. The purpose of consultation is to enable each one to be more effective in the life of the student. As in all counselling, respect for the integrity of the individual student is paramount and appropriate confidentiality is observed. From the Guidance Counsellor’s first meeting with the student in year one, consultation with or on behalf of the student needs to be done with their full knowledge. Information is available in the career guidance office. Vocational information can be accessed from:
- Careers notice boards located in the main building and outside the careers office.
- Careers library in the office.
- Computer software and websites including Qualifax, Careersworld, C.A.O., Career directions, UCAS website, Fas website.
- Career exhibitions.