Guidance and Counselling

St. Joseph's C.B.S

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The School Guidance and Counselling Department delivers personal, social, educational and vocational guidance in a professional and effective manner. Ms Anne Malone works with 6th, 5th,3rd,2nd and 1st years & Ms Helen O Connor works with TY, and 1st years.  We provide appropriate access to Guidance and Counselling, whilst balancing the needs of Junior and Senior cycle students.  Ms Malone works as Guidance Counsellor to 6th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st years as they balance managing exams while making plans for the future.  Ms O Connor offers student support to 1st years,and Transition Years and she also delivers the Reach + programme to TYs, along with Ms Catherine Neligan.  

Guidance is provided in the following ways:

  • Individual and group guidance and counselling is available, as appropriate 
  • Priority given to students with mental health difficulties and students who are showing signs of not coping with their lives
  • Positive behaviour is promoted by the Guidance Counsellors in all their dealings with students.
  • Bullying awareness and conflict resolution are addressed, where possible.
  • Interviews with parents as necessary or requested.
  • Aptitude and Career Interest testing administered by the Guidance Counsellors
  • Referral where necessary (e.g. NEPS), specialised counselling, etc
  • Both Ms Malone and Ms O Connor attend weekly meetings of the Student Support Team and work closely with Year Heads and school management
  • On-going support of students with special educational needs, students who are at-risk and students who require additional support
  • Presentations to parents on year appropriate guidance including subject choices and applications to higher and further education
  • Consultation with NEPS psychologist & other professional services

Career Guidance activities/events include the following: 



1st Year

Student support is offered by Ms Malone, who also co-ordinates the 6th Year Mentorind Buddy programme and  offers guidance in relation to subject choices

2nd Year

Guidance classes are provided to prepare students to set vocational and educational goals.

3rd   Year

Guidance classes are provided to guide students on options for senior cycle.
Additional guidance on subject choices for Leaving Certificate is provided for 3rd year students who are progressing directly to 5thyear.

Transition Year

Weekly classes sometimes in a computer room where we follow the Reach+ program.
All TY Students participate in a one day a week work experience programme

All TY students participate in a social concern programme
All  TYs visit the MidWest Careers Fair in University of Limerick

All TY Students attend NUIGs  ARTS Taster Day

Talk for parents on making effective subject choices for Leaving Certificate.

5th Year

Module of classes to prepare students for choices post-Leaving Certificate.
DATS (aptitude testing) is carried out at end of 3rd year or early in the first term.
Each 5th year student receives at least one individual appointment with her Guidance Counsellor, feedback on DATS forms part of the focus of this meeting.
All students attend career/course/college talks delivered by Third Level lecturers or school liaison officers, professionals and past pupils.
In addition we bring all 5th years on a customised tour and talk to a local Industry.
Higher Level Maths students are brought to Engineering Taster day in NUIG

6th Year

A module of Weekly classes sometimes  in a computer room where we focus on applications to further and higher educational institutions.
Each 6th year student receives a minimum of two individual meetings with her Guidance Counsellor.
In partnership with North Tipperary Co Council we organise mandatory mock interviews for all 6th year students. Oral and written feedback is provided to all interviewees.
6th students attend the Higher Options Careers Fair in the RDS and Limerick Open Day each year.

Individual appointments are available as required. Depending on the needs of the student, referral to external agencies may be required and will be communicated to parents. Our confidentiality policy is communicated to all students in class and at their initial appointment. 


We undertake to take all reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of information about any student in the course of our professional work. Normally, we do not need to share or reveal what they tell us except in the following circumstances:

  • where it is clear that there is a health/safety danger to the student or another person
  • if we are required by law  

The issue of limited confidentiality is explained to the girls in class when the guidance and counselling is introduced and again at the beginning of the first personal counselling session.

Counselling is an interactive learning process between counsellor and student, whether individual or group, which approaches, in a holistic way, personal, educational and/or vocational issues. Moreover, the availability of a counselling service can support individual students inside/outside the classroom context, the pastoral and the disciplinary structures in the school. Competitiveness, bullying, social exclusion, family crisis, scholastic under-achievement, abuse, homophobia, peer pressure, substance mis-use and racism are some of the problems which can be assisted with the support of counselling.

It is essential that a counselling service within the school operates in collaboration with processes within the school, which promotes the wellbeing of the school, particularly pastoral and disciplinary teams. Working within the requirements of The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors Code of Ethics for legitimate practice, ensures that the service is properly supervised and monitored so that the student needs are prioritised and their rights protected. The service would be both reflective of, and in line with, the Dept. of Health and Children's National Guidelines for the protection and welfare of Children (2011), the Dept. of Education and Skills Guidelines on Child Protection and the Children First Act 2015. 



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