Careers & Guidance

The Careers & Guidance Department provide support for pupils throughout their time at St. Columba’s and provide extensive help in guiding them to the next stage of their working or academic life.

The Careers & Guidance Department in St. Columba’s College aims to aid in both the Personal Development and Career Development of each pupil, throughout their St. Columba’s years, thus allowing them make a smooth and healthy transition from the world of secondary education to the world of work or to further education. Our objectives are established by the good practice outlined by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors and the National Centre for Guidance in Education. We see guidance as a continuous developmental process which begins prior to the entry of the pupil to St. Columba’s Colleges and continues throughout the pupil’s life in the school. Above all else, the needs of the pupil are central to any Guidance practice.

Roles of the Guidance & Counselling Department:

  1. Individual Counselling:  This area includes both personal and careers counselling. It aims to support pupils in their personal development, help them solve any problems they may have within learning, study, subject choice, progression and behaviour. Further detail on both Personal and Careers Counselling is outlined below.
  2. Group Counselling: This service is available to pupils who may share a common purpose including, but not limited to, social skills, sexual health, bereavement, depression, exam pressure, difficulty adjusting to boarding etc.
  3. Psychometric Testing: This includes both cognitive and career based tests. These are used to acquire information for self understanding and to enable adequate monitoring of academic progress. Aptitude tests, interest inventories and examination performance can help in problem solving, decision-making and planning for the future.
  4. Provision of Information: Information is essential for effective decision making. The Masterman Library is the main resource area for 5th and 6th Form pupils when making career decisions. This area includes a large collection of books, leaflets, prospectuses and videos. We also aim to provide lectures on various aspects of careers, seminars, excursions and occupational visits.

Personal Counselling:

All pupils have the opportunity to meet the School Counsellor for counselling. Counselling helps pupils explore their thoughts and feelings and the choices open to them. It gives care and support to pupils learning to cope with the many aspects of growing up and school life and with their individual personal circumstances. Individual may be referred by the School Matron, House staff, the Warden or Sub ‘ Warden. But of course pupils are able to self refer at any time and can arrange to meet the School Counsellor at any mutually suitable time or drop in at the assigned times. An external Counselling Psychotherapist is also available.

Careers & Counselling Team Members:

Head of Careers – Mr. Michael O’Shaughnessy

School Counsellor – Mrs. Sonia Owen