NCGE Resources

Post date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 16:24

Applying for Jobs: A Resource for Guidance Counsellors

A resource sheet for students has been prepared for those who wish to apply for a job. The resource sheet is available below.

The resource sheet suggests that students applying for jobs as part of work experience/placement/shadowing/seasonal part-time work will probably go through the following stages;

They will:

  • Have identified what work they prefer (from experience, learning, courses etc)
  • Seek information about jobs, such as how to apply
  • Have identified a job that is of interest
  • Prepare a CV and, if necessary, an application form
  • Submit a covering letter, to introduce themselves
  • Await a reply

Clearly, your role as guidance counsellor in the longer term is to encourage students to reflect on their interests and experiences, to help them to clarify their personal preferences, to access information about work, careers and the labour market and to help them to decide what areas of work are most likely to match their preferences. You may find the resource 'Understanding Your Interests', available for download below, useful. This resource can be used to support student learning regarding their interests and aptitudes. The resource can be applied in a classroom setting by presenting to students for completion, followed by discussion of their choices in small groups.

The Applying for Jobs resource sheet provides links to the Europass website, which is highly recommended as a valuable asset in guidance provision. In particular, the Europass website facilitates job applications through an easy-to-use interface bringing jobseekers through the development of a CV and cover letter, among others.

In addition to your longer-term work in supporting students career development, it is suggested that the preparation of a CV and cover letter might be the subject of a number of classroom guidance sessions as part of the area of learning: Developing My Career Path (Guidance for All)  (NCGE: A Whole School Guidance Framework, 2017) and in individual work with students, based on the Europass website at: https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/ and on the QQI website at: https://www.qqi.ie/Articles/Pages/Qualifications-and-Skills.aspx

More specifically, CV preparation will be found at:

https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents/curriculum-vitae

and the preparation of a cover letter at:

https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/editors/en/cl/compose

 It is further suggested that, as communication skills, students might be exposed to learning these skills through collaborative work among teachers in a variety of programmes and subjects, and by the creative use of information technology in job searches, information seeking and the preparation of documents.

The student resource 'Applying for Jobs' can be accessed for download below and HERE.

The resource ‘Understanding Your Interests’ can be accessed for download HERE


NCGE acknowledges the contribution of Colum Layton in the development of this resource page.

Post date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 12:11

Exam taking skills: A Resource for Guidance Counsellors

This resource page for guidance counsellors is accompanied by two others: 

one for students and one for parents.


The purpose of this resource is to help guidance counsellors to deal with many of the issues presented by students who wish to improve their approach to examinations. Clearly, while it lists many issues, it provides only a framework on which to explore some of the concerns of students. It does not provide any details or underlying theory about the issues.

A version of this resource page for guidance counsellors has also been adapted for students and for parents. The resource page summarises what is involved in preparing for examinations. It is linked to another resource which summarises study skills, available here.

Guidance counsellors will be familiar with the many resources in book form, on the internet and in the form of assessment instruments that are available, such as Study - Learning to Learn: A Parents’ Guide by Brian Wall (2013) and published by The Institute of Guidance Counsellors.*

These should be used to underpin normal guidance practice. Similarly, and importantly, academic research and evidence on areas related to examinations, such as stress management, memory, learning and assessment, are in constant development and such evidence should be the basis of informed practice.

It is clearly stated in the student resource sheet that, in accordance with the concept of appropriate guidance, the guidance counsellor is there to help those who, having tried to study effectively, wish for affirmation, guidance and help in seeking improvement.

The student resource sheet includes a number of underlying assumptions, such that students will:

  • be self-directing and will have made some progress in their studies
  • consult important people in their lives when in need of help and encouragement
  • have access to a competent guidance counsellor

Some students find it easy to study effectively and to prepare for examinations. They are the fortunate ones. They have found ways of learning more in the limited time available.

Other students, however, find it more difficult. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes the reasons are quite complicated, and students will need the help of guidance counsellors and teachers to seek solutions.

The PDF Preparing for Exams can be accessed for download below and here. It can be presented as a quick reference guide to help you, as guidance counsellor, and your students to think about examinations and to encourage them to deal with any of the issues that might arise. In the context of classroom guidance, for example, it is suggested that any of the topics could be used in the context of a series of classroom guidance as part of the area of learning:  Developing my Learning (NCGE: A Whole School Guidance Framework, 2017) for lessons on exam preparation. It is clear that the involvement of subject teachers in the planning and delivery of such content would provide opportunities for whole-school participation in the delivery of the Guidance programme.

The information in the student resource sheet is designed to help students in reviewing their preparation for the exam. They summarise the essentials of exam preparation and fall under the following headings;

  • Mind yourself
  • Be prepared
  • Revise
  • The exam

When to ask for help?

While the student resource sheet is intended to help students to devise their own approaches to examinations, some will want to improve their methods or to seek affirmation and encouragement about their current work. The guidance counsellor is suggested as a person to approach if a student, for example,

  • Has tried to use some of the ideas listed and they don’t seem to work
  • Is confused by the number of possible things that can go wrong
  • Needs further information about any of the ideas listed
  • Needs help in making a start.
  • Needs someone to check that what is being done is effective.

Students are encouraged to speak to the guidance counsellor and to subject teachers individually or in class groups. It is suggested that the guidance counsellor would welcome in advance some of the questions that students have in mind, in order to help in preparing answers to their particular concerns.

Furthermore, it is suggested that while much information exists about exam preparation, stress management, memory, reading, note taking, etc. in books, such as Study—Learning to Learn: A Parents’ Guide by Brian Wall (2013) and published by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, and on websites such as https://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-for-an-Examhttps://www.how-to-study.com/ and on the Student Resources section of http://careersnews.ie/ , students should turn to the guidance counsellor for help in resolving any issues they might encounter.*


* Disclaimer: Links to external  resources developed by individuals or other organisations are being provided as a convenience and are for informational purposes only.They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by NCGE, of the content the organisation or individual. NCGE  bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of external resources or for that of subsequent links. It is up to Guidance Counsellors to review whether these resources are appropriate and contact the resource owners directly for answers to questions regarding their content.


NCGE acknowledges the contribution of Colum Layton in the development of this resource page.


 

Post date: Friday, October 26, 2018 - 12:14

A Different Approach for a Different Brain - Guiding Students with Asperger’s Syndrome towards Achievable Goals

This article is intended to aid Guidance counsellors working with students with Asperger’s Syndrome/ASD Level 1.  The first step is to understand the condition. One also needs to bear in mind Professor Stephen Shore’s observation in an interview with 'Merely Me' (a contributor to the Health Central website) that “once you’ve met one person with autism you’ve met one person with autism”. This article looks at the various stages and choices involved in the journey through second-level education with a view to laying the groundwork for successful participation in third-level education or work.

Post date: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 12:58

Supporting and Including Refugee and Asylum Seeking Children in Education

The growing global refugee crisis continued in 2016 with 1.5 million people-seeking asylum in EU Member States. More than quarter of a million of those seeking asylum were children. Globally, only 50 per cent of refugee children have access to primary level education, and fewer than one in four are enrolled in secondary school. We know that above all else children want to go to school. Ireland has committed to accepting 4,000 refugees and to prioritising children as part of this commitment. To date, 840 refugee and asylum-seeking children have arrived in Ireland as part of relocation and resettlement programmes. This is in addition to the 1,420 asylum-seeking children currently living in Direct Provision centres around the country. This article provides a brief overview of the current refugee crisis in Europe; the experiences of child refugees and; subsequent impacts on their lives and education. It examines current issues and challenges for refugee and asylum seeking children in Ireland today and concludes by discussing best practice approaches, which support the inclusion of refugee and asylum seeking children in education settings.

Post date: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 10:04

Dyslexia: How the Guidance Counsellor can support the student with dyslexia

This article looks at how the guidance counsellor can support the student with dyslexia in Irish post-primary schools. It discusses the different ways in which dyslexia may affect the student and suggests screening if a student presents with difficulties. Identification of dyslexic difficulties is made through an educational psychological assessment. Supports such as Reasonable Accommodations in Certificate Examinations (RACE), Disability Route to Education (DARE) and language exemptions are discussed. The guidance counsellor has a key role in helping the student with dyslexia make key decisions such as subject and course choice. These decisions are crucial in helping the student cope and succeed. The article also discusses several dyslexia-friendly whole school policies such as easy-to-read style guide for notes and other documentation, the readability of textbooks, use of assistive technology and study skills for students with dyslexia.

Post date: Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 11:52

Subject Choice: A Resource for Guidance Counsellors

The Student Resource Sheet, which is designed as a brief guide to students who are in the process of opting for subjects in the Junior Cycle, accompanies this resource page for Guidance Counsellors. A Parents Resource Sheet, based on that for students, is also available.


Clearly, the range of subjects, both compulsory and optional, will depend on the resources of the school and on the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills. Similarly, the timing of students’ decision making in relation to subjects is largely a matter for schools.

The choice of optional subjects prior to first year is discouraged. While schools have different systems in place to enable students’ subject choices, it is assumed here that students will have had an opportunity to study the optional subjects during first year in order that they may make informed choices following careful consideration. Ideally, this will be with your collaboration and with that of their parents or guardians. It is also assumed that optional subjects are chosen prior to the end of first year.

In the longer term, the development of the Framework for Junior Cycle and of the Junior Cycle Profile of Assessment will have a bearing on the subjects and short courses provided by a school. Further information on this is available on the Department website at https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Curriculum-and-Syllabus/Junior-Cycle-/A-Framework-for-Junior-Cycle1.html

Part of your role, as guidance counsellor, is to provide information to students, in both group settings and on an individual basis. Your role may also be to collaborate with and to inform your colleagues and school management about the implications of the choices made by students and of the processes in place to facilitate those choices. You may find the resource 'Understanding Your Interests', available for download below, useful. This resource can be used to support student learning regarding their interests and aptitudes. The resource can be applied in a classroom setting by presenting to students for completion, followed by discussion of their choces in small groups. 

The resource 'Understanding Your Interests' can be accessed HERE.

 

Students are encouraged to consult parents and important others, such as the guidance counsellor in considering their options.

In brief, it is proposed that, at the level of the Junior Cycle, the primary consideration in choosing a subject is a student’s liking for that subject.

It is also proposed that, in addition to Irish, English and Mathematics, the ‘safe range’ of subjects in Junior Cycle includes an additional language and Science.

For the Senior Cycle, it is proposed that, in addition to liking a subject, students need to consider the entry requirements for their chosen career or course. It is obvious that such consideration takes time for most students and that much information is required. The NCCA website at https://www.curriculumonline.ie/Senior-cycle is an essential resource for this purpose.

Qualifax http://www.qualifax.ie/  and CareersPortal https://careersportal.ie/ are also very useful in identifying course entry requirements.


NCGE acknowledges the contribution of Colum Layton in the development of this resource page.

 

Post date: Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 11:46

Effective Study: A Resource for Guidance Counsellors

This resource page for guidance counsellors is accompanied by two others: 

one for students and one for parents.


What follows is a checklist based on the items in the student resource sheet. Underlying the student resource sheet are a number of assumptions, namely, that students will:
  • be self-directing and will have made some progress in their studies
  • aspire to the characteristics of the effective and efficient student
  • consult with important people in their lives when in need of help and encouragement
  • have access to a competent guidance counsellor
The parents’ resource page is more general in nature but is also based on the content of the student resource page
 
The purpose of this resource page is to help guidance counsellors to deal with many of the issues presented by students who wish to improve their study skills and habits. Clearly, while it lists many issues, it provides only a framework on which to explore some of the concerns of students. It does not provide any details or underlying theory about the issues.
 
Guidance counsellors will be familiar with the many resources in book form, on the internet and in the form of assessment instruments that are available. These should be used to underpin normal guidance practice. Similarly, and importantly, academic research and evidence on areas related to study, such as memory, learning and assessment, are in constant development and such evidence should be the basis of informed practice.
It is clearly stated in the student resource sheet that, in accordance with the concept of appropriate guidance, the guidance counsellor is there to help those who, having tried to study effectively, wish for affirmation, guidance and help in seeking improvement.
 
Similarly, in the context of the continuum of support promoted by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and in the context of whole-school guidance, the resource sheet could be used in a variety of settings by the guidance counsellor or by subject teachers, as appropriate. It is envisaged that, for example, it might be used by the guidance counsellor in planning and implementing guidance lessons and in establishing a consistent and coherent approach to study among teaching staff, both in their general approach to study and in advising students about approaches to studying their individual subjects.
 
On the student resource page, the issues that can help, or hinder, effective study are grouped under the following categories:
 
 
When to ask for help ?
 
While the student resource page is intended to help students to devise their own study plans and routines, some will want to improve the way they study or to seek affirmation and encouragement about their current work. The guidance counsellor is suggested as a person to approach if a student, for example:
 
  • Has tried to use some of the ideas listed and they don’t seem to work
  • Is confused by the number of possible things that can go wrong
  • Needs further information about any of the ideas listed
  • Needs help in making a start.
  • Needs someone to check that what is being done is effective.
 
Issues with study may be subject-related for some students. Collaboration by the guidance counsellor with subject teachers in the identification of useful study methods for their subjects might enable teachers to deal with questions from students as they arise. In addition, such collaboration might help teachers to identify students with issues more appropriately dealt with by the guidance counsellor.
 
Students are encouraged to speak to the guidance counsellor individually or in class groups. It is suggested that the guidance counsellor would welcome in advance some of the questions that students have in mind, in order to help in preparing answers to their particular concerns.

 


It is suggested that while much information exists about study skills, memory, reading, note taking, etc. in books and on websites such as: 

https://www.wikihow.com/Study, https://www.how-to-study.com/ and on the Student Resources section of https://careersnews.ie/, students should still turn to the guidance counsellor for help in resolving any issues they might encounter.


NCGE acknowledges the contribution of Colum Layton in the development of this resource page.

Further recommended reading:

 

'Helping students to concentrate while studying' by Aidan Moran could be read in conjunction with this article.  

It can be found HERE in "Delivering the Guidance Programme" section.

 

 

 
Post date: Monday, February 12, 2018 - 10:25

Data protection for the Guidance Counsellor (GDPR)

The role of the Guidance Counsellor has been an essential element in providing students and job seekers with professional, objective advice on their strengths, abilities and aptitudes.
As such, the role necessarily involves the processing of personal and often highly confidential information regarding people of all ages. In that context, the activities of the Guidance Counsellor must be compliant with the Irish Data Protection legislation.
 
Introducing a further challenge, in May 2018 the Irish and European Data Protection landscape will change significantly with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation – a new set of data management obligations which will take effect across the European region on the same date.This article and webinar offer a brief overview of the Regulation, as well as setting the day-to-day activities of Guidance Counsellors within that context. We consider the data being used by the Guidance Counsellor, the particular challenges of working with minors, and the differences between those working as employees of schools or colleges, and those operating as self-employed professionals.Throughout, we try to offer pragmatic suggestions on how to manage personal data in a manner that is both accessible and relevant for the professional Guidance Counsellor.
 
Click below to view the webinar recording.
 
You can dowload the accompanying article HERE and at the end of this page
 
GDPR4Schools.ie provides an overview of the GDPR for primary and post-primary schools in Ireland and can be accessed HERE 
 
You may also find the article 'a brief guide to GDPR for schools and teachers' from 'The School Education Gateway' useful.
Post date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 12:08

An introduction to Technology Enhanced Guidance

This webinar recording (from December 2017) with Jannie Meedom Nielsen covers areas such as:
 
  • why and how to use technology in guidance
  • using ICT tools and Social Media in guidance
  • the Danish Experience
Jannie has worked within  education and guidance counselling for almost 30 years, as a teacher, guidance counsellor and editor of the first Danish web portal containing information on lifelong learning and continuing education. She continues to divide her time between guidance counselling and editing Uddannelsesguiden.dk - The Danish Ministry of Education's online guide for adult education programmes, training and the labour market.
 
Click below to view the webinar recording.
 
You can dowload the accompanying presentation HERE and at the end of this page

Post date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 19:11

NCGE: A Whole School Guidance Framework

This Framework is intended to be a resource for schools to support the planning, design and delivery of the whole school guidance programme in line with the requirements of The Education Act (1998), that schools provide students with 
“access to appropriate guidance to assist them in their educational and career choices” (section 9c). A continuum of support model for the school guidance programme, similar to the school support model of the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), is presented in the Framework – guidance for all, guidance for some and guidance for a few.The continuum comprises a whole school approach to guidance through guidance-related learning to individualised supports for students.The Framework identifies three areas of learning to facilitate students’ development in eight areas of competence. The areas of learning include: learning relating to oneself (personal/social development), educational opportunities (educational development) and career decision making (career development).
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