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Guidance Links

The Guidance Department has compiled a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) set of weblinks relating to educational, career and personal guidance. The list is regularly amended and updated.

Guidance Links Page

Guidance

CCS Gets "College-Aware"

CCS College Awareness WeekAs part of College Awareness Week (23-29 November), Transition Year pupils were set the task of making "alma mater posters" for all members of staff. The posters are currently displayed on doors around the school. Mr. Liam Harkin explains - "In conjunction with our TY students we are planning a project where we will first of all survey all teachers in the school and find out what their alma mater was. Then we will obtain the individual university and college crests for these institutions and create individual laminated posters for each teacher’s classroom door, indicating the teacher’s name and where they went to college."

http://www.collegeaware.ie/gallery/carndonagh-community-school

“Alumni Alma Mater” – Where did our teachers study? - http://www.collegeaware.ie/events/alumni-alma-mater-teachers-study

Where did CCS pupils go? - http://www.collegeaware.ie/events/where-did-they-go

CCS Guidance and Counselling Service

What is Guidance & Counselling?
Guidance is a service provided in schools by guidance counsellors in the areas of Career Guidance, Educational Guidance and Personal Guidance (or Counselling).

What is a guidance counsellor?
A guidance counsellor offers guidance and advice, helps you make important decisions, listens to your worries and concerns, and provides counselling.

What exactly do we do?
As outlined above, guidance includes the following three areas:

Educational Guidance – This includes giving students advice and help on things like choosing First Year subjects, deciding whether to do Transition Year, choosing higher or ordinary level in the Junior Certificate and / or Leaving Certificate. Guidance counsellors also help students who are having particular difficulties with studying and/or exam preparation, or who are worried about exams.

Career Guidance – helping you decide on a career / a job / a college / a course that will suit you. Students do not usually need to have career guidance appointments until Senior Cycle. Career guidance appointments are available for students on request. Guidance counsellors will help you choose the right career, college course or training course. They may conduct tests such as career interest inventories to help you decide on your future. Note the word 'help’ is underlined; we do not make career decisions for you, you will always make the final decisions yourself

Personal Guidance (Counselling) – Guidance counsellors are specially trained in listening techniques and counselling. We can help students see problems from a different perspective. Students can talk to us about any personal difficulties that they might be having at home, with friends, with your parents, at school or socially. We can help you if you are experiencing bullying, if you have problems settling in to your class, if you are worried about friends or family members, etc. We will also listen to you if you are feeling down or depressed, or if there is anything you would like to get 'off your chest' or get advice on. We guarantee that we will not disclose to anyone else, anything told to us in confidence, unless the students tells us about something illegal, or dangerous, or something that could be harmful to the student or to others

So overall, we might give advice, we might give our opinion, we will listen to you, and we will help you to think about things in a different way. We do not tell you what to do. You make the final decision.

Who are the guidance counsellors?
There are three guidance counsellors in the school - Liam Harkin, Elizabeth Kelly and Roisin Diver. Each guidance counsellor has responsibility for students in particular classes. To find out which guidance counsellor has been appointed to each first year class the students can check the posters on the guidance counsellors’ doors. They can be contacted through the school reception at 074 937 4260.

When can you come and see us?
Just come to our offices anytime and book an appointment. From September until the end of January, we are always very busy with Fifth and Sixth years applying to college, so if you want to guarantee an appointment with one of us, you should come and see us as early as possible in the week and if at all possible on a Monday morning. Booking appointments early in the week is vital.

Where are we?
Our offices can be found just off the mall, between the First and Second Corridors, our names are on our doors.

Which one of us?
You can talk to any one of us with whom you feel comfortable. However if possible, we would like you to go to the guidance counsellor who is nominated for your class.

Who else could you talk to?
If you wish, you may also talk to anyone else in the school with whom you feel comfortable, for example - a subject teacher, a classroom assistant, a student on the Student Council, your class teacher, your year head, the School Chaplain (Mrs. Serena Doherty), the school principal, the deputy principals, the Home School Community Liaison Coordinator (Mary Lafferty), etc.

What services are provided to students by guidance counsellors?
The guidance counsellors provide a comprehensive guidance service to students in the school as follows:

How we help Sixth Class Primary School Students
The Guidance Department has produced a booklet to assist incoming first year students choose their subjects in Carndonagh Community School:

• The booklet outlines the content of the optional subjects available in Carndonagh Community School.
• The booklet looks at the kind of student each subject would be suitable for, the type of homework involved, whether it is an essential or optional subject for any careers, etc.
• The booklet is usually distributed to the parents of incoming pupils by the individual primary school sixth class teachers in February or March of each year.
• Primary school principals are informed of the booklet and are encouraged to use it in their schools.
• If students are having particular difficulties choosing subjects for first year, the guidance counsellors can be contacted for advice as follows:

Carndonagh, Culdaff, Gleneely, Muff, Quigley’s Point - Mr. Liam Harkin
Clonmany, Ballyliffin, Malin and Malin Head - Ms. Elizabeth Kelly.

How we help First Years

• The guidance counsellors provide a Counselling service for first year students who need it.
• The guidance counsellors visit all first year classes early in the first term to introduce themselves, explain what the guidance service is, and how the students can make an appointment.
• Teachers, parents, class teachers and year heads may refer students to the guidance counsellors for personal counselling on an individual basis.
• To find out which guidance counsellor has been appointed to a class for career and educational guidance, please check the poster on the guidance counsellor's door.
• First year students may come themselves for personal guidance (counselling) at any stage of the year.

How we help Second Years

• The guidance counsellors provide a Counselling service for second year students who need it.
• Teachers, parents, class teachers and year heads may refer students to the guidance counsellors for personal counselling on an individual basis.
• To find out which guidance counsellor has been appointed to a class for career and educational guidance, please check the poster on the guidance counsellor's door.
• Second Year students may come for personal guidance (counselling) at any stage of the year to any guidance counsellor.

How we help Third Years

• Educational and Career guidance commences with the process of Subject Choice for the Leaving Certificate.
• There is a series of 3 Information Evenings for parents and students in February and March, on the various options for Senior Cycle:

- Choosing the Leaving Cert Established or LCVP
- Choosing Transition Year
- Choosing LCA (Leaving Certificate Applied)

• During the months of February and March, the guidance counsellors visit all Third Year classes for three or four class periods to explain the three options in greater detail, to answer any questions from students and to clear up confusion.
• During this period, students (and/or their parents) are welcome to come and see the guidance counsellors individually if they have particular questions or difficulties with subject choice.
• To find out which guidance counsellor has been appointed to a class for career and educational guidance, please check the poster on the guidance counsellor's door.
• Third Year Students may come for personal guidance (counselling) at any stage of the year to any guidance counsellor.

How we help Transition Years

• Subject choice for Leaving Certificate is covered in the period between January and Easter.
• Students participate in a range of guidance activities including the completion of career interest inventories.
• Individual appointments are offered to students before they make their subject choices
• Transition Year students may come for personal guidance at any stage of the year, with any of the guidance counsellors.

How we help Fourth Years

• Career guidance is concentrated in the last term (after Easter), with Career Focus Days comprising the completion of guidance profile forms and interest inventories, and presentations from some of our top destination institutions.
• After these "Focus Days", students are encouraged to come for individual guidance appointments with the guidance counsellors.
• Fourth Year students are invited to attend either the UCAS Convention in Belfast or the Donegal Careers Day in Ballybofey
• To find out which guidance counsellor has been appointed to a class, please check the poster on the guidance counsellor's door.
• Fourth Year Students may come for personal guidance at any stage of the year.

How we help Fifth Years / Sixth Years

• Students can avail of a maximum of eight career and educational guidance appointments per term. Students keep a record of classes missed in a special section in their journals in order that no subject is disrupted more than once per term. There is no limit to the number of personal guidance appointments.
• Fifth Years have one guidance class per week. There are also guidance talks for Fifth Year parents on Applying to College - UCAS, CAO, PLC, Third Level Grant Applications, the HEAR Access Programme, etc.
• We invite the most popular universities and colleges amongst our students to the school annually to give presentations to the students, including LYIT, IT Sligo, NWRC, Maynooth University, NUI Galway and DCU.
• Regular Guidance Memos are provided by email, giving details of college open days, closing dates, upcoming school talks, etc.
• Students should only go to the guidance counsellor appointed to their class for career and educational guidance. To find out which guidance counsellor has been appointed to a class, please check the poster on the guidance counsellor's door.
• Fifth Year students may go to any of the guidance counsellors for personal guidance (counselling).

What guidance resources are available to students?

• One-to-one guidance appointments.
• Fully-stocked careers library, with all available UK and Irish prospectuses and a wide range of general career information.
• Dedicated computers for computer-aided guidance activities such as interest assessments, course searches and career information.
• Internet access in the Careers Library for college and course research, and online applications to UCAS, CAO and PLC colleges.
• Talks by college representatives in Fourth Year and Fifth Year.
• Talks for Fifth and Sixth Year students and their parents on UCAS, CAO, Grant Applications, Access Programmes, etc.
• Regular Guidance Memos, giving details of college open days, closing dates, upcoming school talks, etc.
• Regular guidance page in Zodiac