Our new Guidance Counsellor for 2019-2020 is Ms Collette O'Donnell.
Aims of the Department:
The main aim of the Guidance Department in Ursuline Secondary School is to encourage students' academic, social, emotional and personal development. To ensure this aim is reached, the Guidance Counsellor plays a vital part in supporting the students in their daily school lives. This service plays a pivotal role in the forging of career pathways for our students - working, in particular, with students at a number of key points to help with subject choice, college courses, CAO applications or careers. Through this Department, the school aims to help students find effective solutions to daily problems as they get to know themselves better and navigate their way through both their academic and personal lives.
Facilities offered by the school for the Department:
The Guidance Office is the main hub for the Guidance Department. This room is important as, throughout senior cycle, in particular, students obtain information and guidance on the various opportunities available to them regarding courses and career options based on their interests, work values and career objectives. This allows the Guidance Counsellor to ensure a service that can be provided on a one to one or small group basis, given in a friendly and personal manner to help students reach their full potential. In addition to this, the guidance counsellor meets students on a one-to-one basis to provide extra support or pastoral counselling.
The two computer rooms in the school are also key areas for the Guidance Department allowing for group lessons. Students can learn and engage with the information provided as a class but then personally access information that is specific to their own interests, subject choices or career paths.
Information Services provided by the Guidance Counsellor:
The Guidance Counsellor enables students to equip themselves with the skills to make an informed decision on subjects in school and their future careers. In First Year the Guidance Counsellor will work with students to help clarify the subjects that they feel are their strong points. At this stage students will also find out more about what options are available to them depending on different subjects.
In Senior Cycle the Guidance Counsellor works with students to select the subjects that may guide a student towards a particular college course or career. The Guidance Counsellor will also help the students through the CAO application process. A talk is provided specifically for Parents/Guardians of our students to make sure that both student and Parent/Guardian are supported through this process. Additional talks with regards to College Applications, such as the HEAR and DARE scheme and the SUSI grant are provided also.
The Guidance service is fully inclusive of all students and ensures that a structured response to students personal, social, educational and career guidance needs are catered for.
Meetings with students are all made by appointment.
Parents/Guardians, who wish to do so, can make appointments with the Guidance Counsellor by telephoning the school. Appointments are conducted during the school day. The student is always invited in for whole or part of the meeting with approval from the parent or Guardian. This gives the student responsibility, ownership and inclusion in the meetings outcomes. Notes are kept after all meetings.