Pastoral Care & Guidance

Blaketown Community School
Guidance Department

The Guidance policy of Blakestown Community School is predicated on the School’s Motto, Education for Living and should be understood in this context. It is the policy of the Guidance Department to support students in an appropriate manner. The function of the Guidance Department is to guide and assist students in two specific areas:

Career and Educational Guidance
Ms. Anna Dineen is the Guidance Counsellor with special responsibility for Junior Cycle Students.

  • Junior Cycle:-The Guidance Department administers the Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) to the incoming First Years. This allows the relevant departments to identify levels of achievement as well as areas where learning support may be required. Junior Certificate students are advised on study and examination technique.
    The Differential Aptitude Tests (DATs) are administered half way through the year and the guidance counsellor feeds the results back to the students on an individual basis. The department uses the results from the DATs to help with students’ subject choice for the Leaving Certificate. Students are encouraged to make an appointment to see the guidance counsellor for assistance in subject choice.
  • Senior Cycle
    Ms. M. Kinsella is the guidance counsellor for all senior cycle students.
    Fifth YearAll fifth year classes are timetabled once a week for Careers. Areas such as decision-making, goal setting and career planning are covered in these classes. Guest speakers from the HEIs and the FETAC colleges, as well as members of professional bodies such as the banks, nursing and accountancy firms are brought in to talk to the students.
    Fifth years attend the Aim Higher Careers Exhibition hosted by the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown to which all the major third level institutions and colleges of further education contribute. The students also attend at least one college/university Open Day as part of their careers education. Finally, the year ends with the selection of 20-25 students to participate on a Taster Programme run by the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown.

    Sixth Year

    In Sixth Year students are seen individually as often as needed and are guided through the application procedures for CAO and UCAS. They are encouraged, where appropriate to do further research by attending Open Days. The school arranges busses to the Higher Options in the RDS, and to the Aim Higher Career’s Exhibition in the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown.
    Sixth Years are allocated one/two guidance classes per week. A comprehensive list of guest speakers from all the major universities and colleges, as well as representatives from the professional bodies are invited in to talk to the students.

Personal Counselling
Blakestown Community School has two fully trained guidance counsellors who are supported by the pastoral care team in the school.
Students in all years may be seen for individual personal counselling either at her/his own request or that of a parent or teacher. The guidance department is supported and enhanced by the Blanchardstown Mountview Youth Initiative, which adjoins the school grounds.
It should be noted that there is a limit on personal counselling that can be offered within the school context, and it is not school policy to offer a programme of ongoing counselling regarding issues which are outside the skills and/or time constraints of the guidance department.

Confidentially
While students who seek the advice of the guidance counsellor are treated with the utmost respect and discretion, confidentiality is not an automatic entitlement. Where there are concerns regarding the welfare and safety of any student in the school teachers and counsellors are obliged to forward their concerns to the School’s Designated Liaison Person in accordance with the “Principles of Good Practice for the Protection of Children and Young People,” issued by the Department of Health and Children