Student Support Services
Staff at St. Mel’s College strive to provide for the educational aspirations and requirements of each student in a holistic manner, to enable him reach his full potential and pursue his life’s ambitions. A number of Support Services have been established which are available to all students.
Pastoral Care is an essential component to the whole ethos of St. Mel’s College. Students enjoy full access to all pastoral support services throughout their time. These pastoral support services include:
- Class Tutors: Classes are assigned a class tutor whose duties include monitoring the academic, personal and emotional progress of each student.
- Year Heads: The duties of Year Heads include liaising with class tutors, class teachers and parents in order that the overall well-being of all students is addressed. Year Heads also liaise with other support services such as Learning Support Teachers, the Guidance Counsellor, the Principal and Deputy Principal in order that individual students are offered the best care possible.
- Pastoral Care Team: The Pastoral Care team meets frequently with a view to establishing new programs and school structures which will add to the school life of all students.
- School Chaplain: A Chaplain is available to all students. The role of the School Chaplain is to reach out to all students, particularly those who are most in need.
St. Mel’s College operates a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY towards any form of bullying. In September 2012, a new Anti-Bullying Campaign was introduced into the College. It has proven to be most successful and students have reported a friendlier atmosphere in the College following the introduction of this program. This campaign was recently highlighted in the RTE series “Bullyproof” with David Coleman. A number of Schools have contacted St. Mel’s College as a direct result of positive reports filtering out about the approach this College takes to any form of bullying. Furthermore, the Department of Education and Skills has recently advised all schools to implement Anti-Bullying Policies and Strategies like those already in operation in St. Mel’s.
The school Guidance and Counselling service aims to empower students to make positive decisions with regard to their Personal, Social, Educational and Vocational development.
The objectives of the Guidance and Counselling Service are to help students to:
- prepare to manage their successful transition from second level to further or higher education, training or employment
- identify their own key motivating factors
- prepare for a successful transition into adulthood
- learn about job search and job retention skills
- develop research and ICT skills so that they can be self-directed in their career exploration and development
- develop awareness of the need for lifelong learning
- develop skills to become independent and self-motivated learners
This is done through a number of main activities:
The counselling function is at the heart of the school guidance service and runs through the personal, educational and vocational needs of the student cohort. Counsellors understand and are mindful of the developmental tasks associated with adolescence and they are aware that people have different values, cultural, economic, religious, and moral etc. The counsellor will also utilise vocational and counseling theories to assist the student to make informed and effective choices with regard to their future career.
Development of Programmes
The Guidance Counsellor will develop individual or group programs to meet the personal needs of one or more students e.g. anger management, motivation, personal development, raising self-esteem etc.
The guidance counsellor will consult with outside agencies and school liaison officers to bring guest speakers into the school to give the students as much information as possible on future careers, college courses and apprenticeships etc.
The guidance counsellor will provide factual, up to date, unbiased and appropriate information for students to empower them to make informed decisions about their lives. The guidance counsellor will provide information on subject choice, college entrance requirements and matriculation, CAO, PLC, finance and further education and the options in Senior Cycle; TY, LCVP etc. Furthermore students will receive information on job descriptions, apprenticeships, directing students to reliable careers websites and other relevant literature.
The guidance counsellor has the necessary knowledge and skills to choose, administer, interpret and evaluate a range of specific psychometric tests of aptitude and ability such as the Differential Aptitude Tests or Cognitive Ability tests. They will also administer and interpret vocational interest tests to help students find out where their interests and strengths lie and help them work towards those strengths.
When necessary and appropriate, students may be referred to qualified professionals outside the school. The guidance counsellor initiates the referral process through consultation with parents, teachers and the principal.
The guidance counsellor along with school management, staff members, parent’s and students are consistently reflecting on the effectiveness of the School Guidance Service and finding new ways to improve the service for the benefit of students.
The school’s Guidance Counsellor may be contacted as follows:
Hazel Concar: 043-3346469
Each student is assessed and his progress monitored frequently. In the case of students experiencing difficulties with subjects, support structures in the form of Learning Supports are put in place. Students availing of Learning Supports benefit greatly to the point that many eventually move beyond the need for Learning Supports.
The ultimate aim of all teachers involved in the education of your son is that he benefit fully from his learning experience in the College. Those students with more acute educational difficulties are forwarded on to be considered for Psycho-Educational Assessment so that appropriate Resource Hours be granted.