Guidance counselling

This refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist students to make choices about their lives and to make transitions to these choices. These choices may be categorised into three distinct but interlinked areas:

  • Personal and Social
  • Educational
  • Career

Guidance activities that assist students make informed choices include:

  • Personal counselling
  • Assessment using psychometric instruments and inventories
  • Career information (classroom, personal career guidance interviews, attendance at career events…..).
  • Use of information technology e.g. Careers Portal, Qualifax, Career Directions, CAO etc.
  • Personal and social development programmes.

Counselling is a key part of the school guidance programme, offered on an individual basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis. Counselling may include personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling or a combination of these.

Aims of Guidance

  • Provide a framework for the delivery of the school’s guidance programme.
  • Ensure a structured response to students’ personal, social, educational and career guidance needs.
  • The plan needs to include provision for the junior, senior, minority, special education needs etc. of all students.
  • The plan will include all guidance activities: classroom seminars, career guidance interviews, attendance a t careers exhibitions, open days etc., meeting with management, pastoral care teams, support agencies etc., personal counselling etc.

Objectives of Guidance

  • Develop awareness and acceptance of their talents and abilities.
  • Identify and explore opportunities.
  • Grow in independence and take responsibility for themselves.
  • Make informed choices about their lives and follow through on these choices.

The Guidance Curriculum may be divided into two components

  • Formal
  • Informal

Formal Guidance

The Formal Guidance Curriculum is delivered using two forms of intervention employing a number of methodologies.

  1. Individual contact of a personal counselling nature and careers/vocational guidance.
  2. Classroom guidance delivered in regular weekly classes / class group of year group intervention as required.

Informal Guidance

The Informal Guidance Programme consists of liaising with other teaching staff/management to promote cross-curricular links and to enhance the development of a whole school policy in relation to the delivery of the Guidance Plan. Meetings with Parents/Guardians form an integral part of Informal Guidance.

Differential Aptitude Tests

During 3rd Year all students sit the DAT’s (Differential Aptitude Test) during their first term. The diversity of these tests is pivotal to tracking third year students as they pursue various programmes in senior cycle, subject choices, levels and applications to supports students for exam and third level purposes.

DATS consists of the following tests: verbal reasoning, numerical ability, abstract reasoning, space relations, mechanical reasoning, clerical speed and accuracy, language usage and spellings.

It is important to note that these results are based over a period of one day. When interpreting the DATS scores, it is important to remember that the scores are measures of the student’s abilities to learn in different areas.   These scores must be considered as useful information taking into account other factors such as interests, goals, personality, family, work experience and the environment. DATS results provide only one part of the information in arriving at a conclusive decision in making wise, realistic subject choice, course choices, career decisions and plans for their futures.