Here at St. Dominic’s College we have extensive whole school guidance options available for students at all stages of their schooling here. Our schools efforts are continuously recognized and awarded by College For every Student TA21 with the prestigious “School of distinction award” and furthermore as College Awareness Week “School of Incredible efforts award” in 2018/19. We are also an Amber Flag school for our work to promote positive mental health and have been awarded Cycle Against Suicide award for the 6th year in a row in 2018/19 as well as a Health Promoting school in association with the HSE – These combined efforts keep our whole school guidance alive and active in our school.
St. Dominic’s College promote progression to higher and further education to all of our students and model and support these whole school efforts under five core pillars of encouragement:
- Pathways – exposing students to the many pathways to education and links in our community through our activities during College awareness week, links with top universities, supports with Ballyfermot partnership and outbound activities exposing our students to careers outside their comfort zone.
- Mentoring – We are core believers in the “One good Adult” study and provide mentoring to all students from 1st-6th year through peer to peer mentoring, teacher student mentoring and are thankful to have very unique and strong mentoring links with Allianz worldwide, UCD and DPS engineering.
- Leadership through Service – Leadership is trait encouraged in all are student – yet one which must be active – in our school we have well established student leader voice on every committee, we have captains, head girls, mentors and student counsel which all play and important part in the running of our school – all of which receive training and support to ensure their role in the school is respected.
- Parents as Partners – We believe that relationship with parents is key to our students success and are continuously striving to meet the demands of both our students and their parents. We offer a range of supports through HSCL with many courses, face to face meetings and a space for parents to meet and discuss our schools many initiatives and plans.
- 21st Century teaching and learning – Besides all of the above the Teaching and learning is key – our learning environment is one which is active and engaging and we continuously strive to have the best skilled teachers with continuous CPD in many areas to ensure our students are receiving the best education. New technology advances see our school as being one of the best equipped in the country with new investments and our students are the core of this investment .
Guidance and Counselling is at the heart of our pastoral care. Our Guidance Counsellor has a caring and supportive role in the school where students can get advice and support about a range of issues. From relationships to study skills and family difficulties to college advice and information, the Guidance Counsellor is on hand to meet with students in a confidential environment where they can be cared for and supported throughout their time in the school. Counselling helps our students explore their thoughts and feelings and the choices open to them. It gives care and support to pupils learning to cope with the many aspects of growing up and school life and with their individual personal circumstances.
We offer a comprehensive guidance and counselling service to all our students. The Guidance Counsellor liases with Year Heads, Tutors, Learning Support Teachers, Subject Teachers, Deputy Principal and Principal.
The role of the Guidance Counsellor falls into three areas:
- Educational Guidance & Counselling – providing support at key moments during your time in school. The Guidance Counsellor is involved in helping with the transition from primary to secondary school and with helping with subject choices as well as academic tracking to ensure students are performing to the best of their ability across all subjects. The Guidance Counsellor also works with students on developing their study skills.
- Vocational Guidance & Counselling – working closely with students in 4th, 5th and 6th year on career/ college choices. Help with students in gaining work experience. Work and college Shadowing experience. Interview preparation.
- Social and Personal Guidance & Counselling – the Guidance Counsellor is available to meet with students to talk about any issue that might be affecting them. The students may also have talks and workshops on stress management, making friends, mental health etc.
In first year, the Guidance Counsellor works closely with the Year Head and Tutors to identify students who may need additional support in the transition from primary school into St. Dominic’s College. This can be a difficult time for students and their families as they cope with the academic demands of secondary school as well as trying to fit in and make new friends. The Guidance Counsellor will also be at every parent teacher meeting.
Throughout 1st, 2nd and 3rd year, the Guidance Counsellor works with the year head and tutor to identify students who may need support around personal issues (such as depression or low self-esteem) or who need support around academic issues (such as study skills, subject choices and identifying students with particular learning needs). Providing workshops throughout the year on a personal, social and academic level – setting the seed of aspirations within our student from junior cycle.
In Transition Year all students complete a module entitled Mindfulness and the Social Imagination which enables students to test opinions on social aspects whilst also practicing some skills and techniques which create resilience in each student.
In 5th year and 6th year, the Guidance Counsellor will continue to be on hand for students with personal issues, but also has time tabled classes once a week with each class groups to equip students with all the information and knowledge needed around colleges and choices after school. This can involve research classes, visits to college open days, having guest speakers in and giving presentations to students and parents about their options.
The Guidance Counsellor is always willing to meet students and parents who may want to discuss any concerns or to provide any guidance advice if necessary.
Cheryl Keeler- School Guidance Counsellor firstname.lastname@example.org
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