Newtown School is committed to the development of the potential of each student. Helping students to recognise, appreciate and develop their own very unique potential is at the heart of the work of the Guidance Department.
The objectives of the guidance plan are:
- To help students develop an awareness and acceptance of their talents and abilities.
- To explore all possibilities and opportunities.
- To grow in independence and take responsibility for themselves.
- To make informed choices about their lives and to follow through on these
Guidance takes place through all years from 1st to 6th Year.
In first, second and third year much of the programme is facilitated through S.P.H.E. where broad goals are set and study skills are discussed. Students can follow up on this class work through individual appointments with the Guidance Counsellor.
In Transition Year the focus on careers sharpens with career investigations carried out through the Work Experience programme. Students complete Differential Aptitude Tests (D.A.T.s) at the start of September. Their function is to help students choose subjects for their Leaving Certificate and give them an indication of what type of courses would suit them at third level. In class, students work on interest inventories and questionnaires, values tests and personality investigations which, along with the D.A.T.s, help them to find their chosen pathway. Multiple Intelligences are emphasised too, both as a way for students to find their most effective learning style and to illustrate how each individual has a most valuable role to play in society according to their own unique skills and talents. The year culminates with their subject choice for Senior Cycle. At this stage, parents and guardians are invited in for a talk on the topic from the Guidance Counsellor to ensure that they are as well informed as the students.
In fifth year, the Guidance Counsellor delivers talks on studying in the U.S.A. and studying in the U.K. She also reviews study skills with the students. Guest speakers from universities, institutes of technology, Lattitude (which organises gap years for students) and eunicas (which assists students who wish to study on the Continent) are invited to speak to the students.
Students are encouraged to make as many ‘one-to-one’ appointments as they wish with the Guidance Counsellor to discuss their aspirations for third level education. Parents and guardians are invited to participate if they so wish.
In sixth year, the year begins with a talk from the Guidance Counsellor on the C.A.O. application process. This is followed by a visit to ‘Higher Options’ Fair at the R.D.S. in Dublin which gives students the opportunity to meet and chat with representatives from various higher education institutions.
Again, students are encouraged to make as many ‘one-to-one’ appointments as they need to especially regarding applications to C.A.O., U.C.A.S. and universities abroad. Parents and guardians are most welcome to assist at these appointments.
At this stage of their education, students often need to review their study skills and the Guidance Counsellor is available to facilitate this.