Guidance

Guidance at Coláiste Pobail Osraí

Subject Choice

 Information for Parents

Students are encouraged to begin thinking about their subject, and, indeed, about their career choices, in collaboration with their parents and guidance counsellor well before the decisions must be made.

Part of professional role of the school’s guidance counsellor is to help students to come to these decisions. This is done by information through different channels, such as in class groups and in presentations to parents and in one-to-one work with individual students.

Choice can be influenced in many ways. It is suggested that parents, as the people most familiar with, for example, the student’s personality, emotional state, ways of thinking and deciding, they are well placed to offer some mature perspectives while students are choosing subjects.

The questions that students should answer in relation to subject choice include:

  • What subjects do I like?
  • What subjects am I good at?
  • What kind of activities, both in school and out of school, do I like? Why?
  • What kind of activities, both in school and out of school, am I good at?
  • Are there things that I like, but am not good at, and vice versa? Why?
  • Do I like a subject because I like the teacher?
  • Will I have the same teacher for the subject next year?
  • Can I choose a subject that I have not done before?Schools expect Irish students to study Irish, English and Mathematics right through post-primary school. In the Junior Cycle, most schools also expect students to study another language and science.

Having those will allow students to opt for subjects in the Senior Cycle (Transition Year, fifth year and sixth year) that will prepare for entry into many courses. For example, an additional modern language is required for entry to some University courses.

Entry to other courses have specific requirements, like having a high grade in mathematics or in Irish, and having one, or two, science subjects is a requirement for entry to others.

For the Junior Cycle, the choice of subjects and courses will be based largely on what a student likes.

When choosing for the Senior Cycle, and before the end of the Junior Cycle, serious thought and accurate information will be needed to answer the question;

What subjects do I need for the courses or careers that I would like to follow?’

It should be noted that, although most students will participate in some form of further or higher education or training after leaving school, the entry requirements vary greatly. Entry to jobs and courses after leaving school will depend largely, though not entirely, on the subjects studied and the grades achieved in their final examinations in the Senior Cycle.

Websites, such as Qualifax at www.qualifax.ie , CareersPortal at www.careersportal.ie  , and the NCCA website at www.curriculumonline.ie provide many of the answers to questions and contain a wealth of other useful information and links to other sites of interest. For further clarification and information, the school guidance counsellor is available to students and parents.

 

Information for Students

You may be asked by your school to choose some of the subjects that you wish to study. This is likely to happen:

o During first year, when you choose subjects or short courses for the Junior Cycle (first, second and third year)

o In third year, for Transition Year (TY)

o In TY for the Senior Cycle

The information below gives a brief outline of what to think about before you choose subjects.

It does not provide answers but, rather, suggests the kind of questions to ask yourself and others, like your parents, before choosing your subjects.

You are encouraged to begin thinking about these questions well before you must choose.

The sooner you begin, the more information you will have to make good decisions. You are also encouraged to speak to parents and other important people in your life, such as your guidance counsellor, while thinking about those questions.

The kind of person you are will have an influence on your choices about your future career. At first glance, some of the answers to the questions might seem obvious. However, finding the answers to questions about yourself and your preferences can reveal more questions that might need the help of other people to answer.

How you make decisions and how you think about things can also influence your choices. For example, do you make quick decisions, or do you like to take your time? Talking about these, especially with parents, can be helpful.

The things you are good at when out of school can have an influence on your subjects. You might be good at music or computers or games, for example. Thinking and talking about these might have a bearing on your choice of subjects.

Other people, like your parents and other family members, probably have some ideas about other things that you are good at, even though you might not think so yourself.

Schools expect students to study Irish, English and Mathematics and History right through post-primary school.

In the Junior Cycle, most schools also expect students to study another language and science. Languages Connect highlights the importance of learning a second language.

Having those will allow you to opt for subjects in the Senior Cycle that will prepare you for entry into many University courses. For example, an additional modern language is required for entry to some courses. Science is required, in addition to Mathematics, for many courses in the area of technology, engineering and, of course, science.

Entry to other courses have specific requirements, like having a high grade in mathematics or in Irish, and having one, or two, science subjects is a requirement for entry to others.

For the Junior Cycle, and because your school will have chosen some of the subjects for you, your choice of subjects and courses will be based largely on what you like.

Ask yourself ‘What subjects do I like?’

Which of your school subjects has been your favourite (and your least favourite and everything in between)?

Did you like those because of the things you learned or because you liked the teacher? Remember that you might have different teachers for those subjects in future.

Would you like to study those subjects in more detail for the next two years or more?

It can be useful also to ask yourself about why you like or dislike those subjects and, similarly, why you like or dislike other activities in and out of school. Think about the things that you like, such as your hobbies, and the activities like nature study, music, science, history that you enjoyed while in primary school. Did you like helping in various events, like shows or in making things or in helping other people? The answers to these questions might have a bearing on your subject choices.

Then ask yourself about what subjects you are good at.

The subjects you are good at are not necessarily the subjects you like. The subjects you like are not necessarily the subjects you are good at. If that is the case, you might need to ask why that is the case.

Can you choose subjects that you have not studied before?

Your teachers can answer questions about

o your results

o how well you are likely to do in a subject in future

o the things to be learned in the subjects in future

o the possibility of taking up a new subject

 

You will find more detailed information about the subjects available in the Junior Cycle, the website of the National Centre for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) website at https://www.curriculumonline.ie/Home/Junior- Certificate-Fact-sheets.

When choosing for the Senior Cycle, another important question is

‘What subjects do I need for University courses or careers that I would like to follow?’

Having some ideas about what you would like to do after leaving school will help you to ask more questions about the subjects you will need.

You will need to think seriously about these before you reach the end of the Junior Cycle.

You should note that, although most students will participate in some form of further or higher education or training after leaving school, the entry requirements vary greatly.

Entry to jobs and courses after leaving school will depend largely, though not entirely, on the subjects you study in the Senior Cycle.

Your overall grades in your final examinations will also matter.  Your school will provide information about the subjects it can offer.

Your guidance counsellor will help you to find information about the requirements for entry to jobs and courses.

Guidance at Coláiste Pobail Osraí refers to the learning experience provided to assist students to develop self-management skills which will lead to effective choices and decisions about their lives. The key developmental areas of focus are: Personal/Social, Educational, Vocational (Careers).

The School Guidance Programme will:

– Be accessible

– Be student-centred

– Be inclusive

– Be balanced

– Be responsive

– Respect confidentiality

– Make full use of resources

Through consultation with relevant teachers and programme coordinators, Guidance will take place on an Individual, Group and Class basis.  Responding to the unique challenges presented by Covid 19, each year group is accessing direct timetabled contact with the guidance counsellor, Múinteoir Mairead.

Múinteoir Mairead is available to meet with all students and their Parents/Guardians to discuss the individual needs of the students of CPO, in relation to their educational, personal and vocational development.

—————————————————————————

SHOULD A PARENT/GUARDIAN WISH TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH M. MAIREAD (GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR), PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE SCHOOL OFFICE.

—————————————————————————

 

 

Resources

Websites,  such as  Qualifax at www.qualifax.ie/ and CareersPortal at careersportal.ie/ have very useful information that will help to answer your questions and to point to other information to help you with your  choices. Similarly, the NCCA website at www.curriculumonline.ie/Senior-cycle contains up-to-date information regarding the subjects available in the Senior Cycle. The Languages Connect website at languagesconnect.ie/why-study-a-language/ highlights the importance of learning a foreign language.

 

Important websites:

www.qualifax.ie – information on third level courses in Ireland

www.careersportal.ie – career interest surveys, personality tests, labour market and personalised  recommendations for further study

www.careernews.ie – subscribe for daily updates on changes and assess options to third level.

www.gradireland.comDo Ghairm le Gaeilge.  Information about further study options and careers through irish.

www.ncca.ie – information relating to subject curricula

www.jct.ie – information relating to Junior Cycle subjects.

Aiming Higher – The purpose of the guide is to give parents a practical understanding of the higher education system in Ireland and to help them to support their son or daughter in making informed decisions around third level courses and career choices.

It looks at:

– identifying strengths, interests, preferences and expectations
– researching courses
– navigating the entry process to higher education
– third level jargon-busting
– expectations of third level
– financing third level education

www.susi.ie – Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) is Ireland’s national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants.

www.dare.ie – Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) an alternative route to college designed to support students that have experienced difficulties with either physical or mental health which has impacted on their second level education.

www.hear.ie Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) –  college and university scheme that offers places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.

www.cao.ie – all key information regarding CAO applications.