The Guidance & Counselling Department, while working to the College’s Mission Statement, has a remit to help students make informed personal, educational and career decisions, set realistic personal and career goals and develop the skills necessary to accomplish these goals. The service also offers students support in coping with personal problems or academic concerns.
The Guidance & Counselling Department provides an “Open Door” policy to students, parents and teachers. All students are informed of the service provided at the beginning of each year and are encouraged to avail of it. They can request an appointment by filling out an appointment card that can be found outside the Guidance Counsellor’s Office. Referrals, on behalf of students, can also be made by teachers and parents. All Leaving Certificate students can avail of as many appointments as they need during sixth year.
The Department has a fully resourced Careers & Information Library with internet access. This is open to all students two days per week at lunchtime with one of the Guidance Counsellors on hand to assist students.
School Guidance and Counselling Department
Aim: We offer a full range of interventions and activities, which assist pupils to make choices about their lives. For second level pupils these choices are focused in a developmental way on three key areas:
Objectives: At the end of the school year students will have experienced:
- Guidance in educational and personal learning management.
- Vocational exploration and information.
- Individual and/or Group Counselling will have been available for all students on request and/or on referral.
- Students will have access to information which is appropriate for their personal, educational and vocational development.
- Parents will have met with the School Guidance Counsellors at Information evenings, at organised Guidance Meetings and on request.
- Students’ needs – with regards to the Guidance Counselling Service – will be evaluated, and in partnership with staff and the Principal/ School Management, planning for the future will be ongoing.
Information for Students:
As a student you will make significant decisions while still at school. These choices are related to personal and social issues, educational issues and career issues. Guidance Counsellors are trained professionals with the expertise and knowledge to help you make choices in the three important areas outlined above. We do this through individual consultation, guidance classes and other activities.
We do not make decisions for you.
During your years in Castleknock Community College we will undertake, with you, some or all of the following:
- Help you to explore your feelings about your present life situation.
- Explore with you choices open to you and explore the consequences of each choice.
- Help you to come up with solutions to any problems you may be experiencing.
- Offer confidential counselling and/or advice on issues of a personal nature.
- Give you information on various educational and training courses and/or employment opportunities.
- Organise classroom activities where you prepare a CV and Letter of application.
- Give you advice and help on study and examination techniques.
- Carry out Assessment and Aptitude Testing and Career Interest Inventories.
- Explain to you, and your parents the CAO system and assist with application.
- Give you information on studying abroad.
The Specific Responsibilities of The Guidance and Counselling Department are as follows:
The Guidance Counsellor draws on knowledge, skills and attitudes from his/her training and experience, to help pupils to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviours or effect changes in their lives. Counselling should be offered on an individual or small group basis. The focus of counselling may be on personal, educational and career issues, individually or in combination. The Guidance Counsellor provides a caring context for counselling young people in personal crisis.
The Guidance Counsellor engages in a two way process of consultation with parents, teachers, school management and referral agencies. Consultation may include advocacy by the Guidance Counsellor on behalf of a pupil.
The Guidance Counsellor uses a range of psychological tests for a variety of purposes e.g. prediction of academic performance, categorisation of occupational interests, assessment of behaviour, educational and career planning, personal and social development. Information from these sources supplemented by school records and public examination results enable the Guidance Counsellor to assist a pupil in decision-making, problem solving, behavioural change and life changes. Confidentiality will be respected at all times.
The Guidance Counsellor helps pupils to acquire useful information to assist them in decision-making. This entails knowing what information pupils require: identifying sources of useful information; setting up systems for acquiring, storing and disseminating information; and showing pupils how to process and use information.
Classroom Guidance Activities:
Classroom guidance activities fall in to two main categories:
- Skills enhancement e.g. decision making, job search, preparation for work, study skills.
- Information giving e.g. education, training and employment, opportunity awareness and pathways.
Referrals cover two types of activity:
Referrals by the Counsellor: The Guidance Counsellor recognises that an individual pupil needs assistance from other qualified helpers outside of school and organises the provision of such assistance following agreed procedures with the school, parents and local agencies. Guidance counsellors need to establish links with appropriate sources of help and have a system o monitoring results.
Referrals to the Counsellor: Teachers,School management and parents may refer pupils to the Guidance Counsellor. The voluntary participation in counselling of the referred pupil must be respected by all concerned.
This refers to the provision of experiences that promote the career development of pupils and prepare them for transition to work, training and higher education.
Examples of such experience are:
- Visits to workplaces, training institutions, Higher Education colleges, careers exhibitions
- Participation in presentations by visiting speakers
- Participation in Mock interviews
Guidance Programme Planning:
The Guidance Counsellor assists the Principal/school management and relevant staff in drawing up the school guidance programme and in reviewing it’s operation