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Guidance Programme

The King's Hospital Guidance Programme is divided into four sections: Junior Cycle, Transition Year, Senior Cycle, and Counselling.

Junior Cycle

Throughout the Junior Cycle, the guidance department teaches Personal, Social, Health and Economic (SPHE).

Through our mentor system, we maintain vigilance in observing for bullying and peer group pressures. We consult with teachers, the “Safety Circle” and house staff, when appropriate.

We liaise with the Special Needs Department to identify pupils with special needs exam requirements, such as a spelling waiver etc.

We provide guidance counselling for pupils who come for support, whether self-referred or referred by others.

In Form 1 we organise:

  • An Open Day for prospective pupils and parents
  • First Year Evening
  • Assessment testing for identifying levels of achievement and any remediation needs, for example, cognitive abilities test
  • Induction – to help pupils to adjust to the demands of second level, such as the longer school day, homework style and changing friendship patterns.
  • A study skills seminar at the beginning of the year.

In Form 2 we continue teaching SPHE, providing guidance counselling and other services, as above, and in Form 3:

  • We provide students with study skills, exam pressure mechanisms and motivation assistance after the mock exams.
  • We meet pupils individually, when required, to discuss subject levels and coping skills.
  • We, along with the Transition Year Co-ordinator, meet students and their parents the end of third year to discuss Transition Year.
  • We pay particular attention to students identified as being at risk academically, socially or in other ways.

Transition Year

During our Transition Year (Form 4) guidance programme:

  • Students, guidance counsellors and heads of department meet to discuss subject choice and subject combinations.
  • We meet students and parents on an individual basis, when requested.
  • We organise a Subject Choice Week to help students make decisions.
  • Students receive a detailed report on subject choice and career guidance.
  • We provide aptitude assessments, such as the Cambridge Profile.
  • We organise Careers Day to allow pupils explore the various career areas.
  • Teach SPHE module.
  • Liaise with Transition Year Co-ordinator, SPHE C-ordinator, Lifeskills and module tutors to discuss course content.
  • Counsel pupils who come for support, whether self-referred or referred by others.
  • An information meeting is held for parents and pupils entering the senior cycle.

Senior Cycle

While the Guidance Department continues to counsel pupils who come for support, it also has a separate programme for Senior Cycle (Forms 5 and 6) students.

In Form 5:

  • We organise Open Days.
  • We help students to develop information research skills, including use of the careers library and the use of the internet to access various websites.
  • We organise a Careers Evening where students are given 'first hand' information from various invited guests.
  • Students sit a Centigrade test to help them make informed career decisions. Each pupil receives a comprehensive report based on his or her scores.
  • We give students a careers folder with information on CAO, UCAS, Careers Library information, a list of career websites, a KH guidance calendar and information on PLC courses, application procedures and entry requirements. We also give them a Degree Course description book.
  • In career classes, students look at CAO and UCAS options.
  • We liaise with Academic head to discuss pupils' subject choice, level and the option of dropping a subject.
  • We meet students individually, on request, to discuss their career choices.
  • We meet all UCAS applicants to discuss application procedures and offer guidance on how to apply.

In Form 6:

  • We hold an information meeting for students and their parents at the beginning of the year.
  • Students attend the Higher Options Conference in the RDS in September.
  • We give students a Directory of Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements and a CAO Handbook.
  • Students receive individual consultations and attend various open days, in line with their choices.
  • Students meet guidance counsellors to discuss CV updates and interview techniques. They also attend a mock interview skills talk and mock interviews.
  • We meet UCAS candidates who are applying to Cambridge / Oxford / medicine / veterinary and dentistry.
  • Students are offered advice and guidance to help them to cope with exam pressure.
  • After exams, we give pupils with particular weaknesses advice, on an individual basis.
  • We advise on CAO 'change of mind', on an individual basis.
  • We liaise with the Special Needs Department and Headmaster to identify pupils who need a third language and Irish exemption.
  • Students have a final meeting with the guidance department to give them important information on, for example, CAO change of mind, UCAS offers, Leaving Certificate results and CAO offers, Leaving Cert appeals, advice for succeeding at third level and 'Flying the Coop' booklet.