Kildare Town Community School

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Career Guidance Department

January- February 2017 Guidance Events

Transition Year
The year began with the Transition Year trip to the Y Careers Summit in Croke Park. Students had the opportunity to attend a variety of talks from industry, the Defence Forces, careers in STEM and presentations from third level colleges. A huge amount of information was available for students at the information stands and a number of industry mentors were available for students to learn about employment/work experience etc.
TY students can apply for the TY Engineering week and the TY Computer science week. All information available in the Guidance lobby.
5th & 6th Year
UCD, NUIG, Waterford IT & TCD addressed 6th & 5th year students on the courses and facilities available for students at these colleges.
6th year students have completed their on line HEAR & DARE applications. Supporting documentation must arrive at CAO before April 1st.
6th years applying to NUI colleges and who have an exemption from Irish must fill in their Irish exemption forms this term.
The computer room was made available for student use under the supervision of the Guidance counsellor to help compiling these documents and making applications.
6th years have been attending interviews for Post leaving cert courses at further education colleges and many students have been made conditional offers pending Leaving Certificate results. These interviews will continue over the next few months. Students can apply to individual colleges for as many PLC/FETAC 5 courses as they wish. All students will be interviewed for these courses.
5th year students were met by the Guidance counsellor during the mock examinations to review progress and outline career plans.

Educational Guidance
Skills at Work Programme
This month 5th year students continued with the SBP programme with Kildare Village. Students attended two master classes in CV & Interview preparation with the HR director and following this, each student will participate in a mock interview in Kildare Village. Students had the opportunity to experience a Day in the Life of a variety of professionals at KV including Retail, Visual merchandising, Law, Interior Architecture, HR, VIP & Services. This experience gives students a real insight into a variety of careers and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who participated.
3rd Year
3rd year students have met with the SGC to discuss the results of their Probe interest and CAT4 aptitude tests and their significance in relation to subject choice. All students have now submitted their subject choice forms and TY interviews are taking place. Students will receive the results of same in early March.
Personal Guidance is available for all students of the school. An appointment can be made with the SGC by filling out an appointment slip and posting it in the Post Box in the Guidance lobby.

January 2017

The school Higher education presentations drew to a close this month with presentations from UCD, NUIG, TCD and Waterford IT.
68% of KTCS 6th years have now made applications to Higher Education colleges in Ireland and UK. Students can add new courses or change the order of existing courses through the CAO from May5th-July1st2016 free of charge. Students have applied for UCD, TCD, RCSI, NUIM, NUIG, DIT, IT Carlow, IT Tallaght, Carlow College amongst others. Students who have applied for restricted courses with extra application procedures will be called for auditions/interviews/aptitude/performance tests over the next few months.

All students should watch college websites for information on scholarships as information is being made available now for 2017 entry.

Access Routes
Students applying under HEAR & DARE for the universities and some IT’s must have their online forms filled in before March 1st and must forward additional statements and extra documentation to the CAO before April 1st 2016. The NUIM access officer addressed students this month to outline the supporting documentation required when applying under these access routes. Many students have applied to IT Carlow under their access scheme. The closing date for this scheme was 01-02-2016.
The SUSI grant application system will open online in April. Students can apply for funding regardless of whether they receive HEAR/DARE funding. Students will be taken through the application system at school and will be notified by email if they are successful or not.

Educational Guidance

Subject Choice
TY and 3rd year students have met the SGC to discuss options available to them at senior cycle. Third year students are considering the 4th year programme Transition Year, the work focused Leaving Cert Applied and/or  the extra subject involved in the Leaving Certificate Vocational programme. Parents who requested have received a copy of the CAT 4 report to help when making decisions. All students also have a copy of their Probe Interest test which recommends career areas based on the student’s interests. Ms Urell has met all students and parents who have requested an interview in advance of the deadline for returning subject choice forms at the end of the month. Interviews for TY & LCA, to select the most suitable candidates for the programmes, will take place after the midterm.
Educational Guidance is available for all students of the school and students can make an appointment with Ms. Urell by filling out an appointment slip and placing it in the post box outside the Guidance Office.

Student Life Summit
TY students attended the Student Life Summit in Croke Park as part of their TY careers module. Students had the opportunity to explore diverse career sectors and attend talks from inspirational Guest speakers as well as attend employability, equality and diversity workshops. The Defence forces, Aer Lingus, PwC and Engineers Ireland amongst others gave presentations on recruitment campaigns and/or future employment prospects. The day was hugely informative for all who attended.

Skills at work programme
5th year students have taken part in the Schools Business partnership programme in association with Kildare Village. The programme opened before Christmas with an address from the Retail director. Students were given a tour of the Village and heard from a variety of employees including Operations, Retail, VIP, Digital marketing, Human Resources. It was hugely insightful for students to hear how these professionals developed their own career paths and how a strong work ethic is fundamental in any career. 
The next session took place in the school where the students heard from the HR director about the importance of CV’s and interviews.  A huge amount of useful information and excellent tips for success made this session hugely beneficial for students.
Feedback from students was excellent. It is wonderful for students at this stage in their lives to experience so many diverse careers at a real and practical level.

December 2016

Career Guidance
6th Years
6th year students are continuing to make applications for courses at levels 5, 6, 7 & 8 of the NFQ. CAO application costs €25 for 20 courses and remains open at this rate until January 20th 2017. Applications for FETAC Post leaving Certificate courses in Dublin have now opened and students can apply online in most cases. Costs for applications vary. Some students have already received interviews for Ballyfermot College early next year. Colleges in Kildare, Carlow and Portlaoise will open early in 2017.
Students can submit applications in the student career centre and print off receipt of applications.  The School Guidance Counsellor (SGC) is now meeting all 6th year students again to discuss final course selections, scholarships, grants, access, exemptions etc. Students applying to the NUI who are exempt from Irish should contact Ms. Urell for their exemption forms as soon as possible. Students applying to the CAO under HEAR & DARE should arrange a meeting with the SGC this month. Carlow IT Access forms must be submitted before February 1st 2017. Applications for Sports Scholarships has been posted on the website and displayed in the Guidance Lobby. 
6th & 5th Years
Students had presentations from a variety of third level institutions including DIT, UL and IT Carlow. Students also heard about the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship Programme and opportunities to qualify as a Financial Adviser. A Nurse addressed 5th & 6th years about working as a Nurse in Ireland.
1st Years
The 1st year careers poetry Competition was a joint initiative between the English & careers Department where 1st years were asked to write a poem entitled Ideal Jobs for me. The standard of poetry was extremely high and after lengthy deliberation, 5 students were declared to be prize winners. Their winning entries are displayed in the Guidance Lobby.
College Awareness week for all
Teachers in KTCS shared their college experiences with students as part of College Awareness week. Each classroom teacher’s door had a sign indicating which college each individual teacher attended and inside the classrooms, students were reminded to ask their teachers about their experiences at the college. A total of 23 colleges were represented in Ireland, UK & the wider world and the project helped spread the college word amongst the student body. The students and SGC are very grateful to all of the teachers in KTCS for sharing their experiences with the students.
As part of College Awareness Week at KTCS, 6th years participated in a college ‘Speed dating’ event. A total of 24 past pupils returned to the school on Wednesday, December 21st to share their experiences, good, bad and great with the present Leaving Certificate students. Each student was given 3 minutes with the past pupil to ask about the costs of college, the subjects studied, the travel, the social life! etc. A total of 11 colleges were represented on the day including UCD, DCU, DIT, NUIM, IT Tallaght, NCI, UL, St. Patrick’s College, NUIG, IT Carlow, and students received valuable insights and great information that is not always available in the prospectuses.  The atmosphere in the school was wonderful and we are highly appreciative of all the students who gave so generously of their time and expertise. We are grateful to the Leinster Leader for covering the event.
Personal Guidance
This month was a busy one in Kildare Town Community School as we continued to promote a climate of positive mental health while working towards our Amber flag. On December 14th, John Doran gave a presentation to 3rd & 6th years on Staying Standing when the storms come: Building Emotional Resilience for Academic Achievement. The students learned about coping with Failure, the discipline through which we advance and how to cope when the tide turns. Students were advised to lower their threshold of gratitude, to get good out of bad and to remember the people in their lives who are in their corner, who are packing their parachutes.
Educational Guidance
3rd Years
Third year students all sat their CAT4 F tests this month. These tests are designed to help students in their subject and career choices. Parents were able to order a copy of their son/daughter’s report by paying €5. The Guidance counsellor has met all 3rd year students to discuss the implications of the test with them. Each student was given an overview of their aptitudes in the areas of Verbal reasoning, Numerical reasoning, Spatial reasoning and non- verbal reasoning and the implications of this on subject, career choice and study skills. It is highly recommended that students study these results with their parents before making their final subject choice selections. 
3rd year students also did the Probe Interest Inventory online and received a summary of careers in which they might have an interest. Each student printed an A4 summary page of their results to discuss at home with parents.
The SGC introduced students to the websites relevant to subject selection and gave information on minimum subject requirements (matriculation) for third level. These websites can be accessed form the careers page of the KTCS website. Students learnt how to relate their aptitudes and interests to career choice
Parents can continue to request a meeting with the Guidance Counsellor by calling the school or emailing Ms. Urell at
Guidance is provided for all year groups on subject levels, entry requirements and subject choice.
Transition Year 2016/2017
Transition year students have also done a careers project, carried out career interviews, done some self-assessment tests, learnt about the factors influencing career choice, learnt about the National framework of Qualifications and how to access the levels at different entry points . Lara Gilbert & Andrew Dempsey have been awarded 1 st prize in the Careers Competition for their projects on Nursing and Art teaching.
LCA & 5th year
December saw the commencement of the Schools and Business Partnership Programme with Kildare Village. 40 LCA & 5th year students heard from the Retail Manager of Kildare Village about the parent company, Value Retail. They received an insight into the workings of the company and the 9 villages around Europe. Students then had a tour behind the scenes at Kildare Village and met the retail director, VIP manager, Visual merchandiser, Digital marketing manager, Interior Architect and Brand manager. Students learnt a lot about these careers. We are delighted to be taking part in this programme and the students look forward to developing many work related skills during the programme.
If any parents wishes to contact the SGC on any aspect of the Guidance service, the SGC can be contacted at

New Application System for Apprenticeship in the Construction Industry
Are you interested in an Apprenticeship in the Construction Industry ?
The Construction Industry Federation have just launched a new website promoting opportunities in the construction industry for apprenticeships –
6th years Apprenticeship Vacancies in Kildare in 
Carpentry & Joinery
Brick & Stine Laying
Construction & Plant Fitting
To register your interest go to
Sports Scholarships
DCU application forms available in Guidance Lobby
Maynooth University Sports Scholarship applications open online
UCD Elite Ad Astra sporting scholarships open until 31-01-2017 (eg For inter county GAA)

November 2016 News

Career Guidance

6th Year
6th Year students have been attending Open days in a variety of Higher Education Institutions (HEI). This experience allows student to get a feel for the college, speak to college academics and lecturers, take a tour of the campus and view facilities & accommodation, and discover more about student support, careers and funding.
Forty students attended the KTCS tour to IT Carlow and Carlow College Open days on November 17th where they attended a variety of talks on transitioning to third level as well as individual course talks over a range of disciplines. They visited information stands on Courses, admissions, access, health care, Students Union, Clubs & Societies and grants.  Students viewed demonstrations in the sports hall from a number of clubs & societies. Library tours provided students with the opportunity to view all the facilities and supports provided to learners while in college and viewed the academic and sporting facilities that Carlow has to offer. Students met with some past pupils here and at Carlow College in the afternoon. The day was hugely beneficial allowing students to see both old & new colleges and to give them a further insight into life at third level.
6th year classes have received presentations from school liaison representatives from  IT Carlow, and IT Tallaght.
All 6th year students have now been met at least once by the School Guidance counsellor. They have each been given a list of recommended options that would suit their aptitudes, interests and career aspirations. The early closing date for the CAO is €25 and students intending to apply for levels 6, 7 & 8 courses in HEI’s in Ireland are advised to do so by this date. Students can apply at home or at school if they wish. All students have been given information and shown DVD clips on the application process. Students intending to apply under HEAR or DARE should indicate this on their CAO form by February 1st 2017 and provide all supplementary information on the due dates. The Carlow Access application forms for students requesting extra financial or learning supports is available in the Guidance Lobby. Students who intend to apply to IT Carlow and who think they are eligible should contact Ms. Urell asap.
In relation to the Higher Education Grant, SUSI, it is important to note that SUSI assesses income from the previous year as part of its assessment criteria. Therefore, the income assessed for the 2017/18 academic year will be gross income for 2016.Also where there is self-employed, farming or rental income; SUSI requires a full set of trading accounts for 2015. SUSI also requires an acknowledgement of self-assessment (received from the Revenue Commissioners on submission of tax returns). SUSI cannot fully process applications without this information, therefore such tax returns should be made early in 2017. See the following link for more detail:
Students are encouraged to use the student career centre and to look at information in the Guidance lobby regarding alert list courses and supplementary admission procedures.
All senior cycle students should sign up for to receive     the latest information in the world of careers.
As part of Science week, some Transition Year students attended the STEM Program at Kildare Library which introduced students to coding and careers in this area.
5th Year
44 Fifth year students are taking part in the Schools and Business partnership Programme in association with Kildare Village. The skills at work programme aims to give students experience of the world of work and offers a wide range of workshops and events which the students will greatly enjoy. The dates for the programme are outlined below.
Introductory Session
30th Nov
Site visit, company overview and ‘A Day in the Life’ speakers
7th Dec
Kildare Village
CV Prep/ Interview prep Workshop
25th Jan
Optional Session
14th Feb
Kildare Village
Mock Interviews
14th Mar
Kildare Village
Wrap Session
22th Mar

Transition Year
Transitions have had their careers module where they learnt about college research, the points system, applications, career skills and also carried out a range of interest tests to help them with their subject selection for next year. All information is collated in a Careers File which will be collected on Wednesday December 7th 2017.
TY’s also attended a one hour Careers Workshop by Mr. Joe Casey where they learnt about their Multiple Intelligences and how they relate to subject choice.
TY students are part of a Career Development Committee and are involved in r school campaigns such as College Awareness Week (week of December 1st KTCS due to exams in November) and the Careers ‘Speed Dating’ event on December 21st 2016 at 11.30am in the school canteen. Ms. Urell would love to speak with any past 6th years that could spare an hour to participate in this informal event which would involve chatting informally with the present 6th years about their experiences of college life so far. The information that is not given in the prospectus is required! Any past student who is attending a third level course at the moment and who could help at this fun event please contact Ms Urell at  Many thanks to all those who have volunteered an hour of their time already.
3rd Year Students Educational Guidance
As outlined to parents in a letter home (available also on website) and at the Parent-Teacher meeting, 3rd year students sat their CAT4 tests on November 28th & 29th in the school IT rooms. Students got the opportunity to do an Interest Inventory to help them to think about their preferences and their effect on possible job choices. Information was given on subject requirements for third level courses. Students now have a range of information including
Interest test results, Subject booklet, name of every head of subject department to contact,
Websites showing information and grades in each subject, websites showing minimum entry requirements for colleges and to follow CAT4 results to help them with their decisions.
Subject choice selection forms were given to each student to rank their subjects from 1-7. It is hoped to give most students their top four choices. The forms will be collected back commencing the week of January 23rd until Friday 27th January 2017.
Ms Urell is planning to meet all students to review their CAT$ scores inlight of subject selection for Leaving Cert. These meetings will take place on December 13th & 14th. Parents’ reports will be sent home for parents who have paid for same.

7th November 

CAO Applications Open
The Central Applications Office (CAO) online application facility opens  (4th November) from noon.
Applications can be made online for a reduced fee of €25 before the 20th January at 5:15 pm. The normal closing date is 1st February at 5:15 pm and a fee of €40 applies.
To apply to CAO go to and click on ‘Apply’.
Potential applicants are advised to read the CAO Handbook and to become familiar with the various guides available in the Student Resources section of the CAO website, including the demo application facility and the video guides explaining the application process.
Students can practice their application in advance. There is an online demo application facility available on the CAO website. This facility can be used by applicants to become more familiar with the application form.
Once you have read the CAO Handbook you can go to the CAO website and click on Apply. You must enter your personal details and you will also be asked to indicate the qualifications and assessments sections that are relevant to you, ie Leaving Certificate 2017, before making a payment and creating a password. If all of these steps are completed correctly you will receive an email containing your CAO application number and the details that CAO holds on file for you.
Once you have registered, you can then log in to your CAO account to provide the additional information required to support your application and to enter your course choices.
It is a good idea to enter some course choices at this stage, however applicants can log in to their account to add, remove or change the order of their courses as many times as they like up to 31st of January for no extra charge.
For more information go to

October 2016 News 

6th Year
At this stage over half of the 6th year students have been interviewed by the Guidance Counsellor at least once. Interest and Aptitude Tests are used to help recommend various courses and colleges for each student. Parents are as always welcome to attend these interviews. All 6th years are met twice. Students applying to UCAS for courses in the UK are working on their personal statements in the student career centre. It was a pleasure to meet with so many parents at the Parent Teacher meeting to discuss colleges and courses with you.
Speakers from NUIM, DCU, Shannon College, IT Tallaght have addressed 6th years this month to provide valuable insights into the courses and facilities available at their HEI’s. The Guidance Lobby area provides students with a plethora of career information on options after the Leaving Cert. as well as information on Open Days, Application Deadlines, Career Competitions and Employment Trends. College prospectus and brochures are available in the student career centre and also in the library for students’ use. This centre is a wonderful resource for students to help with career development.
Students will be attending college Open days in November and December. It is recommended, where possible that students attend on a Saturday to avoid missing a day at school. Students have been given a list of Open Days and the full list can be found on under career events. The open day should be a good learning experience enabling the student to look behind the title of the courses. The focus should be on understanding what courses are about.  Students should make arrangements for travel to the colleges themselves and get a map of the college beforehand. It is recommended students take an overall tour of the college to get an overall feel for the particular campus. Students should leave time for lectures, demonstrations and/or visits to laboratories. The Carlow IT Open day is on Thursday 19-11-2016 and the cost of the bus is €7. A visit to Carlow College has been planned for the afternoon. All permission slips and money to be returned on Friday 11th November. The bus will leave at 9am and return back at the school in time for last class.
The CAO system will open on November 4th at 12 noon and will cost €25 to apply for 20 courses at levels 6, 7 and 8 of the NFQ between then and January 20th. Within certain windows, students can change their minds for free up to July 1st 2017. Fetac 5 /PLC application will commence in December 2015. PLC applications deadlines vary depending on each individual college. Most applications are submitted in January 2017 with interviews held in February-March 2017.It is each student’s responsibility to check application deadlines on each college websites. Practice interviews will be held in 2017.
Any 6th years intending to apply for medicine must register for the HPAT test after they register with the CAO. A CAO number is required by HPAT for registration. The HPAT Ireland website contains all information regarding registration for the test, deadlines, procedure, terms and conditions. The cost of registration is €120.00. Many organisations run preparation courses for the HPAT and vouchers for the career services course are available at the Guidance office. HPAT preparation tests are available for students to use in the student career centre.
Thirty 3rd and thirty 6th year students participated in a Study Skills day with Student Enrichment Services on 26-10-2015 at a cost of €10 each. Topics covered included Time management, Goal Setting, Note Taking, Exam Techniques, and the SES TEST study method.  The feedback from students was extremely positive.
3rd Year
3rd Year students will sit the online CAT4 F test on 28th (3.1, 3.2, 3.3) & 29th (3.4, 3.5, 3.6) November 2016 after their November tests. They will need a set of headphones each to hear the instructions and to do the test at their own pace. Further instructions will follow.
5th Year and LCA
5th year students were given a window in the first term whereby they were facilitated to change their option subject if required and if space was available. Students met the Guidance Counsellor to discuss the implications of the change and submitted their change of mind form signed by their parents and teachers to the Principal. It is hoped now that all students are well established in their Leaving Cert. classes and working to the best of their abilities in order to maximise their choices post Leaving Certificate.
The dates for the Schools and Business Partnership programme with Kildare Village for the 44 5th year students who applied to take part have been set for 2016/2017 and are as follows:
Introductory Session
Site visit, company overview and ‘A Day in the Life’ speakers
CV Prep/ Interview prep Workshop
Work Shadow (In depth)
Mock Interviews
Wrap Up

Personal Issues
The Guidance Counsellor works as part of our schools Pastoral Care Team and as such links in with our Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads, Tutors, Chaplain, Home School Liaison Officer and School Completion Team.
Any student wishing to make an appointment with the Guidance Counsellor to discuss personal, educational or vocational issues should fill out the appointment slip and post them in the post box in the Guidance Lobby. They will be given an appointment slip detailing the time and date of the appointment. This slip is given to the subject teacher before the student leaves the class.

September 2016 News

  • HPat Sample Tests
HPat Sample Tests are available for student usage in the Student Career Centre during breaks/study class by appointment. 
  • 6th Year Career Guidance Appointments 
Parents are welcome to attend the 6th Year Career Guidance Appointment with their son/daughter. 

Thank you to all of the past leaving certificate students who have contacted the school to tell of their experiences at third level. The numbers of students in KTCS accessing courses in further & higher education continues to grow. The Guidance department can be contacted if any student wishes to speak with the SGC about any aspect of college life. We welcome any students who are available back to the school on December 21st at 11.15 to share their experiences with the present leaving cert students.

6th Years
The year commenced with a visit to the Institute of Guidance Counsellor’s Higher Options Conference in Dublin in September where Leaving Certificate students got the opportunity to speak with representatives from over 180 third level colleges in Ireland and many institutions in England, Scotland, Wales, Europe and the US. Afterwards we visited IT Tallaght for a campus tour and a presentation from two heads of Departments. A dedicated bus route will run from IT Tallaght to Kildare town starting September 2017.
Speakers from, Shannon College and St. Patrick’s College Maynooth have addressed 6th years to provide valuable insights into the courses and facilities available at their HEI’s. IT Carlow, (Sunday Times IT of the Year 2013) will set up a roadshow in the canteen on Thursday October 27th at break time to allow all students to speak college representatives about the 60 courses available to them at the college. Parents are welcome to drop in also. Eight other colleges will visit the school between now & Christmas.
The Guidance lobby area provides students with a plethora of career information on Options after the Leaving Cert. as well as information on Open days, Application deadlines, Career competitions, Employment Trends etc. The Student career Centre is open to 6th year students. Full internet access is available to carry out career research as well as College prospectuses are available here to students to read at break and lunch and with their teacher’s permission during a study class. Students sign in to use this facility.

1st Years
All 1st year students have been met by the School Guidance Counsellor and chaplain to explain the support services available in the school. They were each given a brochure explaining the services offered personally, educationally & vocationally by the Guidance Counsellor. All students have now completed their CAT4E test online. This test gives an indication as to the students’ verbal, numerical & spatial abilities. It will help students when selecting subjects and courses in the future. Parents’ reports of the test are available at a cost of €10.

Transition Years
The Transition Year Careers programme has begun. All students have submitted a careers project which is displayed in the Guidance suite. The standard of information, graphics and interviews is extremely high. TY’s have had a presentation about the importance of studying a language from Steiner Study. All TY’s should have a scrapbook to record to record all Career Guidance activities during the year.

5th Years
5th years have begun their new Guidance programme using classroom guidance, a new publication by Guidance guru, Brian Comerford. The course starts with motivation and setting goals to alert students that they ‘do their leaving Certificate in 5th year’. All students are becoming familiar with the new Leaving Cert points system. 5th years also have the opportunity to hear about careers from the career professionals who give so generously of their time to come into the school and share their experiences with the students. The presentation on Childcare was most informative. Any parent who could share their time with us is very welcome and can contact the Guidance Counsellor about this.
Any students who wished to change their subject options was given advice by the Guidance counsellor on the implications on their future careers etc. All subject changes have now taken place.

3rd & 6th Year Study Skills
A study skills seminar has been arranged for 3rd & 6th years on October 26th in the school. At the time of press, there are 6 places left on each seminar. The half day costs €10 and is extremely worthwhile in helping students make the most of their study time.
If any parent wishes to discuss any of the above they can contact Ms. Urell at or by phoning the school at 045 535228.

September 2016

Congratulations to the Leaving Certificate class of 2016 on their Leaving Certificate results. Many students have contacted the school & Guidance department to tell of their final destinations at UCD, UCC, NUI Maynooth, DCU, UL, DIT, IT Carlow and DIT. Many students have opted for further education courses at Colleges of Further Education in Kildare, Carlow & Dublin. The School Guidance Counsellor is available at for all career news & concerns.  We wish each & every student every