The Role of the Secondary Student Counsellor
The role of the secondary student counsellor is wide and varied and covers three main integrated areas: personal and social development support, university and career guidance and the coordination of the Home Group Advisory programme. The Counsellor is a support and resource person to students, staff (with student concerns) and parents.
Personal and Social support
The Counsellor works with students in many ways with the aim to ‘normalise’ help seeking in a safe environment. Students might seek the counsellor’s help for personal advice in areas such friendships, sexuality, stress and coping, conflict resolution, drug and alcohol awareness, the list is endless. Being able to express their concerns often allows students to return to the classroom with a greater degree of balance and emotional stability. Students are able to see the counsellor individually or in small groups depending on the area for concern. The counsellor will assist students and parents in all aspects of transition – from PYP to MYP, MYP to DP and ISPP to university.
The Counsellor works in close collaboration with parents, teachers and the Student Support Team to identify students needing assistance. On occasions, following consultation with parents, students may be referred to outside specialists for additional support. All sessions with the counsellor are in confidence expect if the student is seen to be at risk, or when serious legal issues are involved.
Home Group Advisory Programme
The Counsellor works in collaboration with the Home Group advisors and through the Home Group programme to deliver programmes which support wellness and healthy living.
Career and University Guidance
Whilst the International Baccalaureate Diploma is widely recognized worldwide, university systems in different parts of the world have specific entry requirements which can vary from country to country. International recognition of the IBDP is outlined on the IB website. The Counsellor works with students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 to identify career pathways and university choices. Students and parents need to check the website for country and university IB recognition policies for individual countries at: - www.ibo.org/diploma/recognition.
Through the daily notices in ManageBac, assemblies, Home Group Advisory programme and individual and group email the Counsellor keeps students and parents informed about university visitors to the campus, university fairs and other relevant events. Regularly throughout the year the Counsellor visits the Home Group Advisory sessions to speak about university applications. Students and parents are encouraged to be proactive in searching for courses and universities in order to make the right choices about their future studies.
Current ISPP students may request an official copy of the ISPP transcript or past school semester reports via the Secondary Office. Grade 12 students applying to universities are provided with five transcripts free of charge. Additional transcripts incur a fee of $5 per transcript.
Students are able to make an appointment with the Counsellor either by calling into the counselling office in Secondary or by sending an email. Some students prefer to call in first for a quick chat and then make a longer appointment. At times the Counsellor might make a personal appointment with a student directly and discreetly. The issue of confidentiality is important and the Counsellor maintains a high standard of trust with students.
Parents are able to make contact in the same way as the students. There are times when parent concerns will be taken to the Student Support Team to work out who is the best person and way to move forward on the discussions and issue.
Secondary School Counsellor, Ms Karen Skelly
Ms. Skelly can be contacted through the offices or directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org