Blessington Community College


Blessington Community College
Guidance and Counselling Service

Guidance in Second Level Schools

Adolescence is a challenging time during which many changes occur and important decisions are made.

Students may need help and guidance during their time in school.

Here at Blessington Community College the Guidance Service offers guidance and support in the areas of:

  • Personal development: In partnership with parents and guardians we offer care, support and advice in times of particular need or crisis.
  • Educational Guidance: Motivation, Learning and Self-Management. Practical advice in study and exam preparation. Information and guidance on Subject Choices and levels.
  • Career Guidance: Guidance, Advice and information on 3rd Level/Further Education and choices available. Practical guidance and information on job application, apprenticeships.

The door is always open to parents, timetable permitting.

Contact Guidance Counsellor: Rónat Lillis on 045 865 170

Counselling in Second Level Schools

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 at moments of personal crisis.

Counselling has as its objective the empowerment of students so that they can make decisions, solve problems, address behavioural issues, develop coping strategies and resolve difficulties they may be experiencing.

Counselling in schools may include personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling or combinations of these.

The Aims of Guidance and Counselling

The guidance and counselling process aims to help students to develop an awareness and acceptance of their talents and abilities; to explore possibilities and opportunities; to grow in independence and to take responsibility for themselves; to make informed choices about their lives and to follow through on those choices.

The Work of the Guidance Counsellor

The Guidance Counsellor is involved in guidance and counselling related activities such as:

  • Planning and delivering the school Guidance Programme – The Guidance Counsellor has primary responsibility for the delivery of the school’s Guidance Programme, but a whole school approach is essential to realise this objective.
  • Providing one-to-one personal, educational and career counselling.
  • Teaching regular guidance classes at Senior Cycle and having an input at Junior Cycle.
  • Assisting students in the transition from (a) Primary to Secondary school (b) Junior Cycle to Senior Cycle (c) Second Level to Higher/Further Education/training and employment.
  • Organising trips to career events (e.g. Higher Options, Open Days)
  • Assessment using psychometric instruments and inventories, to link student’s aptitudes and interests to career options (e.g CAT4, CPIP)
  • Vocational guidance individual interviews
  • Promoting research and ICT skills, so that students can be self-directed in their career exploration and development (e.g. Qualifax, CareersPortal)
  • Study skills
  • Assisting with Subject choice for the Junior and Senior Cycle
  • Senior Cycle Programme Options Consideration (e.g. TY, Leaving Certificate Established, LCVP)
  • Third Level application procedures (e.g. CAO, UCAS)
  • Further Education application procedures (e.g. PLC)
  • Supporting applications for Third Level Access Programmes (e.g. HEAR and DARE)
  • Information on Third Level Outreach Programmes (e.g. Shadowing Days, Leaving Certificate Revision workshops)
  • Organising guest speakers (e.g. Third Level, and Further Education Colleges)
  • Providing information on grants (e.g. SUSI) and scholarships.
  • Interview preparation
  • Liaising with Management, Student Support Team, Subject Teachers, Year Heads, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator/Learning Support both informally and as part of the Student Support Team
  • Dealing with internal student referrals (e.g. from Year Heads) and supporting external student referrals to outside agencies (e.g.CAMHS)
  • Tracking the destination of past pupils.
  • Presenting/Organising Parent Information Evenings (e.g. CAO, First Year Information Evening, Senior Cycle Subject Choice)
  • Attending Parent Teacher Meetings.
  • Providing Parents with summary information on Subjects/Levels/Deadlines
  • Meeting with parents
  • Organising one-off Career Events (e.g. Career Evening 2019).

Making an Appointment with the Guidance Counsellor

Students can request an appointment by asking the Guidance Counsellor.

Parents/Guardians are welcome to contact the Guidance Counsellor at 045 865170 to discuss matters in relation to their son/daughter or to arrange an appointment.

Students can also be referred by teachers, normally through the Year Head and by the Student Support Team.

Guidance Resources

TY, 5th and 6th Year students use the REACH+ Workbook and online programme for class and independent Career Research. Students are encouraged to sign up to the Careersportal e-newsletter and newsletter.

Senior students receive emails on upcoming events and opportunities.

Any students may borrow prospectuses and information from the guidance office on request. Spare prospectuses are free to take from outside the office.

Students are encouraged to keep a close eye on the guidance noticeboard, located in the concourse, as open day and other event information is changed on a continuing basis.

The Guidance part the school website (linked to Careersportal) shows up to date information both on school and outside events, together with relevant parents information given out by the Guidance Department (e.g. Subject Choice Booklet, Induction Booklet)

Useful Links

Numbers When You Need Them

Al-Anon (For family support of alcoholics) 01 8732 699

Aware (Depression support) 1800 804 848

Bodywhy’s (Eating Order support) 1890 200 444

Cari (Children at risk Ireland) 1890 924 567

Childline 1800 666 666

Crisis Pregnancy Agency 01 814 62 92

Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778 888

Emergency to Gardaí / Fire Service / Ambulance 999/112

Gardaí Confidential Line 1800 666 111

Pieta House Lucan (Self-harm and suicide ideation) 1800 247 247 or text
HELP to 51444

Samaritans (24 hour helpline) 1850 609 090/ 116 123

Teenline(ISPCC) 1800 833 634

Teen Between(Supporting teenagers of separated families) 1800 303 191

Wicklow Youth Service (Support groups & Counselling) 083 444 5074

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Please see letter re: Academic Year 2020-2021
Blessington Community College,
Naas Rd,
Co. Wicklow,

045 865 170

© 2020 Blessington Community College