The practice of the Career Guidance and Personal Counselling Department in St Angela’s College is based around the core values of our school – Kindness, Courtesy and Respect. A warm, friendly, open and non-judgemental atmosphere is created to provide a career guidance and counselling service for all the students of our school.
Our School Guidance Plan aims to assist the holistic development of all students so that they learn to know and value their talents, skills and abilities and effectively manage their personal transitions and decisions concerning career and personal issues, while at the same time learn to value and respect others and make a positive contribution to society.
This service is central to our pastoral care provision and involves a range of activities which include:
• Career and Vocational Guidance
• Psychometric Assessment
• Information gathering, organisation and dissemination
• Educational Development Programmes
• Consultation with parents, teachers and students
• Guidance activities to help students become informed and make transitions
It is focused on student progress in two separate, but interlinked, areas:
• Career and Educational Guidance
• Counselling – Personal and Social Development
St Angela’s College aims to offer a full range of learning experiences which are designed to assist students to make choices about their lives and to make transitions consequent to these choices.
Career Guidance and Counselling is at the heart of our Pastoral Care Structure. Our Guidance Counsellor has a caring, supportive and information giving role in the school where students can get advice and support about a range of issues – from relationships to study skills, family difficulties to college advice, applications and information to personal difficulties. The Guidance Counsellor is on hand to meet with students in a confidential environment where students can be cared for and supported throughout their time in the school.
The Guidance Counsellor aims to help students explore their thoughts and feelings and the choices open to them. The aim is always to give care and support to students learning to cope with the many aspects of growing up and school life and with their individual personal circumstances. The Guidance Counsellor liaises with Management, Learning Monitors, the SEN Coordinator, Class Teachers, Learning Support Teachers, Subject Teachers etc. She is also in regular contact with parents, psychologists, employers, colleges, social services, counsellors, the Department of Education, Access supports, the NUI and the State Exams Commission.
Role of the Guidance Counsellor in St Angela’s College is –
• To respond to Guidance Counsellor Referrals from any of the partners in Education as outlined above
(within time constraints).
• To support students’ needs within the Guidance Counsellor’s remit.
• To meet students on an individual, group or class basis.
• To refer students onwards, where appropriate.
• To maintain a contact list of help agencies.
• To liaise with the Management, the SEN Coordinator and Pastoral Care Teams where students’ needs
require a Pastoral Care Team approach.
• To liaise with all staff groups, parents and students.
• To provide support, where necessary to the above groups eg during a school crisis or
regarding individual students.
• To comply with current legislation. eg. Child safeguarding, TUSLA etc.
• To promote Le Cheile and Ursuline values.
• Career and Educational Guidance
A comprehensive programme is available to students consisting of weekly Career Classes in 6th Year, a Career Module in 5th Year, and Career Talks held all year for TY, 5th and 6th Years. Students also have access to a Career Library and noticeboards – each containing college prospectuses and up to date career opportunity information; College Open Day and Career Exhibition visits; Psychometric Aptitude Assessment; Career Interest Testing; a TY LC Subject Choice Programme, and various publications and presentations pertinent to particular points in the career and academic year also contribute to our school’s Guidance Programme. Parents are also invited to participate with the Career Guidance Counsellor in the guidance process through consultation and attendance at relevant Information Evenings and one to one meetings relating to subject and career choices. The Guidance Counsellor also posts information daily on career events, career taster opportunities, changes to entry requirements , college Open Days etc. on the students’ Google Classroom and also on the school’s Career Twitter feed – @saccareers
All 6th Year students receive individual career appointments. This opportunity to discuss subjects, levels, career ideas, course application systems etc is also available to all students. Students are always welcome to call into the Guidance Counsellor’s office to make an appointment or can be made directly with email@example.com Parents are also welcome to contact the Guidance Counsellor if they have concerns or questions. Parental contact can be made through the email address given, or to phone the main office at 021 4500059.
This area of Career Guidance recognises students’ different learning abilities, personalities, skills, preferences and their inherent talents. Each student is encouraged to optimise their learning and work skills. Looking ahead, planning and planning for backup options is a key focus of the work of the Guidance Counsellor. This area of Guidance helps students to identify career and vocational goals by developing their self-analysis skills and sourcing and managing career information.
This involves –
• helping students with choices as with subjects, courses and levels.
• aiding motivation and management learning.
• showing students how to use available resources, study skills and exam techniques.
• demonstrating how to use computer aided research.
• having an understanding of the pathways into Higher Education and making
applications to opportunities such as FE, CAO, SOLAS, EUNiCAS, UCAS, the
Defence Forces etc.
• helping students make and carry out appropriate life choices and plans.
• practising interview techniques, CV writing and cover letters.
• identifying strengths and weakness from the results of various Career Interest and
• becoming aware of employment opportunities and employment trends.
• helping students access supplementary support schemes such as DARE, HEAR,
SUSI and Scholarships.
• overcoming any information deficit in careers/education.
• fostering a sense of personal responsibility for identifying future
• providing experiences that promote career development and prepare students for the
transition to work/Higher Education.
• introducing and fostering a process of evaluating realistically, attainable
• Counselling – Personal and Social Development
Counselling is a key part of the school guidance programme, offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning process and in moments of personal crisis. This area aims to empower students to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviour and resolve issues in their lives, through individual counselling, group counselling, referral to an outside counsellor, a GP or other outside agency. eg. TUSLA, OT or SLT services.
The Counselling service is governed by Confidentiality, which has clear limits and boundaries.
Personal and Social Guidance helps students with issues like bullying, problems with friends, problems settling into a class, worrying thoughts, concerning behaviours or issues with family members etc. There will be someone to listen if students are feeling down or depressed, or if there is anything a student would like to get ‘off their chest’. The Guidance Counsellor might give advice, might give an opinion, will listen, and will aim to help the student to think about things in a different way. A Guidance Counsellor’s role is not to tell a student what to do. The process should help enable the student to make decisions.
The Guidance Counsellor is available for personal counselling to students who may be in difficulty or crisis. Individual counselling is available to all students on request and/or referral. Personal counselling is a learning process concerned with addressing specific issues, making decisions and forming positive action plans in order to tackle the issue in question. This is achieved through supportive listening and accurate reflecting in an environment which attempts to promote the student’s self-esteem and self-knowledge. Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone about a problem who is not directly involved as they can offer unbiased advice and listen with clarity. This service is here to help pupils make decisions and to allow them to declare and accept dilemmas, and to assist pupils in developing an action plan in order to progress. Counselling can generate self-awareness and develop personal freedom/responsibility and create a positive self-identity with higher levels of self-esteem. Counselling focuses on what one is doing and thinking in order to change how one is feeling.
A full-time Guidance Counsellor is available to TY, 5th and 6th Years to provide counselling support to students, particularly in relation to their personal and social development. Students are always welcome to call into the Guidance Counsellor’s office to make an appointment or can be made directly with firstname.lastname@example.org Parents are also welcome to contact the Guidance Counsellor if they have concerns. Parental contact can be made through the email address given, or to phone the main office at 021 4500059.
An additional part-time Counsellor is available to TY, 5th and 6th Years to support the personal counselling work of the Guidance Counsellor, and is also available to students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year. If a student would like to make an appointment, please email email@example.com
Students are welcome to make appointments and are withdrawn from class during the school day to avail of same.
Pastoral Care Structure –
There is a Pastoral Care Team for each Year Group. The key people involved in each team are the Learning Monitor, the Class Teachers, the SEN Coordinator, the Guidance Counsellor and Management. The team meets regularly to monitor students’ wellbeing, attendance, academic progress, participation and interactions. These team meetings facilitate discussion and planning for the possible interventions and support required for students, be it at a year group, class or individual level. This tightly organised structure ensures that the welfare of every student is a priority.