Guidance and Counselling

School Guidance and Counselling Service

School Guidance and Counselling service is an integral part of Coláiste Mhuirlinne/ Merlin College.

Guidance in Secondary School.

Guidance in schools refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, that assist students to develop self-management skills which will lead to effective choices and decisions about their lives.

It is made up of three key areas:

  • Personal and social development
  • Educational guidance
  • Career guidance.

The Guidance Department endeavors to support all our students in their journey through secondary education. Our role involves counselling, providing information, educational guidance, career guidance, individual appointments and supporting the personal, educational, and social development of all our students. Students may wish to see the Guidance Counsellors for educational guidance, career guidance, or for personal counselling.

Educational guidance and career guidance are delivered as part of a structured whole-school programme.

Personal counselling is available for all students quite apart from the general provision indicated above. Students may from time to time need care, support, and guidance to help them cope with particular situations or difficulties they may be encountering. The Guidance Counsellors work in conjunction with the Pastoral Care Team and liaise with the Management Team to provide the range of supports which a student may need.

The Guidance Counsellors are available to meet with parents/guardians at all the parent/teacher meetings and various information evenings throughout the school year.

Guidance Counsellors at Merlin College

  • Ms. Danielle O'Neill
  • Mr. Joe Murray

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 guidance classes at Junior and Senior 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)
  • Assessment using psychometric instruments and inventories, to link student’s aptitudes and interests to career options (e.g. DATs)
  • Promoting research and ICT skills, so that students can be self-directed in their career exploration and development (e.g. Qualifax, CareersPortal)
  • Study skills
  • Subject choice for the Junior Cycle
  • Subject choice for the Senior Cycle
  • Supporting students in choosing subject levels appropriate to their educational abilities.
  • Senior Cycle Programme Options (e.g. TY, Leaving Certificate Established, LCVP)
  • Third Level application procedures (e.g. CAO, UCAS)
  • Further Education application procedures (e.g. PLC)
  • Third Level Access Programmes (e.g. HEAR and DARE)
  • Organising guest speakers (e.g. Third Level Colleges 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, etc.
  • Dealing with internal student referrals (e.g. from Year Heads) and external student referrals to outside agencies (e.g. NEPS)
  • Tracking the destination of past pupils.
  • Presenting Parent Information Evenings (e.g. CAO, Junior Cycle Subject Choice, Senior Cycle Subject Choice)
  • Attending Parent Teacher Meetings, etc.

Useful Websites

Follow the links to any of these websites

  • This is the website of the Central Applications Office and for those intending to apply to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) the information on the CAO website should be carefully considered.
  • A very useful careers website with a number of resources for students.
  • This is another useful careers website
  • This website outlines how specific applicants to the CAO may avail of the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) or the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE). Both of these schemes are aimed at increasing participation rate in Higher Education.
  • This outlines what financial assistance is available regarding grants
  • This outlines what financial assistance is available regarding grants
  • A very comprehensive site, run by FÁS, giving details of numerous occupations
  • This is the website for those who intend to apply to colleges in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Doughiska Rd, Galway, Ireland
091 76 9000
Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
© 2024 Merlin College