C.B.S. Westland Row

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Guidance and Counselling at CBS Westland Row

Mission statement

The mission statement of CBS Westland Row states that the school strives to create opportunities for each individual in the school community to realise their full potential. The guidance service of the school reflects this support for the student with a student centred approach. The goal is the development of student potential – academic, personal and emotional – leading to greater awareness of themselves and their opportunities in life.


What is guidance in schools?

Guidance counselling refers to the range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist students to make choices about their lives. These choices may be categorised into three distinct but interlinked areas:

  • Personal and social
  • Educational
  • Career


Guidance activities that assist students to make informed choices include:

  •  Personal counselling
  • Assessment using psychometric instruments and inventories
  • Career information (classroom, personal vocational guidance interviews, attendance at career events)
  • Use of information technology
  • Personal and Social development programmes.


Aims of the Guidance at Westland Row:

  • Ensure a student centered response to an individual students personal, social, educational and career guidance needs.
  • To be inclusive providing for the junior, senior, further education, minority, special educational needs of all students.



  • Students to develop awareness of their talents, interests and abilities.
  • Encourage students to identify and explore a variety opportunities.
  • To aid and encourage ambition, independence and responsibility
  • Make informed choice about their lives and support them to follow through on their choices.
  • To encourage and support students to be critical thinkers, to embrace personal and academic development.
  • To encourage students to be involved in activities outside of the school


 The key role of the Guidance Counsellor has two distinct but complementary elements:

  • To meet students’ needs as they appear during the students’ time in school
  • To develop a curricular programme which is developmental, preventative, appropriate to the needs of the students and delivered in an integrated and proactive manner in a whole school context.


A Whole-school Activity

It is established policy that guidance is a whole school activity supporting the needs of its students. All members of school staff and management also have key or supporting roles to play. A team approach in identifying student needs and developing agreed strategies to deal with students is considered to be essential good practice. At CBS this team may comprise some or a combination of the following:

The Pastoral Care Team (Identified in the school journal): Guidance Counsellor; SPHE/TY Development teacher;  Senior Religion Teachers; HSCL; Learning Support/SEN; Class Tutors.


Guidance Activities that Assist Students to make Informed Choices:

  •  Counselling
  • Assessment
  • Career Information (classroom, personal vocational guidance interviews, attendance at career events, outside speakers, students)
  • Skills Based Learning in use of information technology
  • Personal and Social developmental programmes.
  • Study Skills /Exam Techniques
  • Motivation
  • Subject Choice
  • Stress Management
  • Support /Procedures on subject change
  • Support/Procedures on subject level change
  • Future Options choice
  • Liaising (formal/informal) with students/parents/staff/management/ outside agencies.
  • Referral of an individual student to the Guidance Counsellor by Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads, Form Tutors, subject teachers, parents, Board of Management
  • Referral by the Guidance Counsellor to other professionals outside  of the school e.g. The National Psychological Service (NEPS), Health Board Professionals, Jigsaw or other appropriate agencies.


Sample of activities in the Guidance Programme:


Sample: Actions/Supports


Individual interviews/class testing/contacts through the year/RESPECT Programme/RSE and Drugs Ed Programme, SPHE/College Awareness Week/KPMG Paired Reading/DIT College Tasters/Assessment


Individual interviews/class/testing/ contacts through the year/RSE and Drugs Ed Programme/College Awareness Week/KPMG Paired Reading/Assessment


Year Group intervention at least two times a year*/ Study skills and TY information classes/College Awareness Week/Assessment

L.C.A. 1

Vocational Prep & Guidance 1 class per week/Individual interviews//RSE and Drugs Ed Programme/College Awareness Week/Assessment

L.C.A. 2

Vocational Prep & Guidance 1 class per week/Individual interviews//RSE and Drugs Ed Programme/College Awareness Week/CFES; Open Days/Assessment


Currently two weekly classes/RSE and Drugs Ed Programme/College Awareness Week/Assessment/Mind Out/Accenture Skills to Succeed programme; DATs; Work experience; email contact with all students for information and follow ups; Google Classroom; Intake and exit interviews with each student. GAISE; the entire programme is developed with personal development and information in mind.

5th Year

Currently two weekly classes*/Individual interviews/RSE and Drugs Ed Programme/College Awareness Week/Assessments/KPMG Mentoring/Mind Out programme/Accenture Skills to Succeed programme; email contact with all students for information and follow ups; Google Classroom; Meetings with each student at least once a school year.

6th Year

Two weekly classes. Individual interviews//RSE and Drugs Ed Programme/College Awareness Week/KPMG Mentoring; Open Days; Higher Options; Meetings with each student at least twice a school year.

 The programme will be regularly evaluated and is always being adapted.


Links with Outside Agencies (sample list):

  •  NEPS
  • Social Workers
  • GPs
  • Employers/Accenture/Work Experience placements: List in contacts
  • Colleges/Admission Officers and Access Officers (DIT/RCSI/TAP etc)
  • Solas
  • Department of Education and Science
  • Business and School Partnership: Business in the Community
  • C.A.O. and U.C.A.S.
  • Corporate Responsibility/Human Resources Managers (KPMG)
  • Mentoring Programme/Paired Reading with KPMG
  • The Bridge 21 Programme: Information Technology and Teamwork Development in conjunction with Trinity College and Google
  • The Trinity College Voluntary Tuition Programme
  • The Trinity Access Programme (TAP) and TAP Achievement Awards
  • Shadowing Day with TCD and DIT
  • Higher Level Maths Programme
  • The Summer Schools Programme
  • Access Programmes:
      • Foundation Course for Young Adults
      • HEAR and DARE
  • Free after-school supervised study
  • DIT Access Foundation Programme
  • DIT Access to College Programme College of Science and Health Taster Days
  • REACH RCSI Grinds Club for Junior Certificate and Leaving certificate
  • RCSI Debating Science Issues
  • RCSI Leaving Certificate Biology Practical Series
  • RCSI Chemistry Grinds
  • NCI Discover University and Stretch to Learn Programme
  • RSE/Respect Programme with St. Andrew’s Resource Centre
  • Accenture
  • Gilbert Library - Study


Support websites   

Aware undertakes to create a society where people affected by stress, depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions are understood, supported, free from stigma, and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies. www.aware.ie  

BeLonG To Youth Services is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland. www.belongto.org  

Bodywhys is a national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders.  

This is part of the Irish Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC). Childline try to empower, support and protect young people. You can contact Childline for free at any time of the day or night by calling 1800 66 66 66. You can also chat live on the website, or, if you prefer to text, you can contact Childline by sending a text to 50101. www.childline.ie  

Jigsaw is a network of projects across Ireland working with communities to better support young people's mental health and well being.  Their mission is to advance the mental health of young people in Ireland (aged 12-25) by influencing change, strengthening communities, and delivering services through our evidence informed and early intervention approach. www.jigsaw.ie

This service supports and gives guidance and information on all aspects of being a parent. Parentline is a completely confidential helpline for parents and guardians. www.parentline.ie  

Pieta House  
Pieta provides a specialised treatment programme for people who have suicidal ideation or who participate in self-harming behaviours.  www.pieta.ie  


ReachOut.com is an online youth mental health service: it helps young people (aged 12 to 25).


Samaritans provide  a 24 hours a day service to those who are dealing with personal crisis. Whatever you’ve done, whatever life’s done to you, no pressure, no judgement, they are there for you any time. 24-hour helpline: 116 123  www.samaritans.org  

SpunOut.ie is Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people. Their aim is to educate and inform young people about the importance of holistic wellbeing and how good health can be maintained, both physically and mentally. www.spunout.ie  

A website developed by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention which highlights some of the things we can do to look after our mental health.   www.yourmentalhealth.ie


For academic or careers info, see the following:

To learn more about our very supportive access programmes, see the following: