Counselling & Career Guidance
The Guidance and Counselling Department of Blackrock College is a central part of the whole school plan.
The personal well-being of each boy is central to the Blackrock College Mission. Individual counselling plays an important role in the Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Social, and Intellectual development of each boy. Each year group has a counsellor who supports the Dean in the care of the boys.
There is a counsellor allocated to each year group. Counsellors are always happy to see a student who can be referred to them through their Dean, the student themselves, a Parent or a Teacher.
One of the most important decisions the boys will make is that of career choice. The purpose of guidance and Counselling in Blackrock College is to empower each student to get to know his Abilities, Skills, Talents, Interests and Values so that when he reaches his final year he will be able to choose a third level course and plan a career that suits his needs and abilities.
We run a career guidance module in 2nd year, 3rd year and TY. We have an allocated Career guidance counsellor available in each year of Senior Cycle, Transition year, 5th year and 6th year. Guidance Counsellors are always happy to meet with students who can be referred to them through their Dean, the student themselves, a Parent or a Teacher. We are also supportive of parents at this time and we hold a Subject choice talk for parents to assist their sons with subject choice
In Transition year, each student completes the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) which provides a robust, standardised measure of cognitive reasoning ability. With CAT4, you get an insight into the student’s ability, to reason across four distinct batteries: verbal, non-verbal, Numerical and Spatial, as compared to the national age average. An explanation of the four batteries is available in the parents section of the website.
Also, Transition year students complete an interest assessment, comprising of a questionnaire about their interests, abilities and personal qualities without the pressure of time. All of this assists with the selection of subjects going forward to 5th year.
In 5th year each student will receive a guidance appointment, career plan assignment and support. At the end of the year the students will complete another interest assessment. It comprises of a specially designed questionnaire where the responses are then analysed and matched with all the courses available. The assessment can significantly improve the quality of your sons decision-making and thus reduce the risk of selecting the wrong course. The Past Pupils Union also link in with the school to organise a selection of Career talks for parents and separately for students to assist with career decision making.
In 6th year each student has access to a full-time guidance counsellor and many one-to-one appointments. Students will have talks on UCAS, CAO and from guest speakers and Colleges. The guidance counsellor will host a CAO talk for parents in November and a Careers fair in January each year, where all the colleges are invited into the school. Students and parents are invited in to meet college representatives and attend talks.
The guidance department also links with the Past Pupil’s Union to organise mock interviews and CV workshops to prepare the students for when they leave Blackrock.
There is always someone here to support your son. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your relevant Counsellor;
Second year Counsellor – Mr. Donal Brennan
Second Year/Third Year Guidance Module – Mr. John Morris
Third year Career Guidance & Counsellor – Mr. Gary Sullivan
TY Career Guidance & Counsellor – Mr. Garry Sullivan
Fifth year Career Guidance & Counsellor – Mr. Donal O Nualláin
Fifth year Counsellor – Ms. Lorraine Crimmins
Sixth year Career Guidance & Counsellor – Ms. Natasha Drew