Caring and Nurturing our Girls
Our girls are our most treasured asset and consequently our focus is to ensure that they thrive in an environment which allows them optimal opportunities to achieve both personal and academic success.
As a Counselling and Careers Department, we have adopted a whole- school approach to support our school community as we strive to work holistically, preventatively and systemically in order to best meet the needs of the girls, families and members of the school community with whom we work in St. Margaret’s, the Junior and Senior School .
Our department consists of Clinical Psychologist Dr. Marty Ferreira and Educational Psychologist Mrs. Jacqui Gomes Da Silva. Parents and girls who require support are welcome to make contact and set up an appointment with either of us in the department.
The Counselling and Careers Department form part of the School-Based Support team, and collaborate closely with the Academic Support team, the Pastoral Care team as well as Life Orientation teachers in the Senior School as and when is required and applicable, to ensure that pupils’ needs are met systemically and as holistically as possible. In St. Margaret’s and the Junior School, we work closely with parents, teachers and a mulch-disciplinary team which consists of a Remedial Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapists and a Physiotherapist.
Regular meetings between members of the Mulch-Disciplinary team and Pastoral Care team are held to ensure that girls in need of support are identified timeously, their progress and well- being monitored, and the provision made for ongoing professional assistance as and where necessary. We also offer emotional assessment and support, subject choice and career assessment and counseling, study skills support, parental guidance, support to teachers, and are able to refer to professionals outside of the school context, be this psychologists in private practice or other professionals when necessary.
The 21st century workplace has undergone and continues to undergo a number of significant changes economically, socially and occupationally which have presented unique opportunities and challenges to school communities globally. As a result of these changes, school communities are in the unprecedented position of preparing our learners for a world of work that is very different to that which their parents and teachers know- a world of work which is characterized by change and complexity, and where the landscape of the psychological career contracts between employer and employee are underpinned by the need for employees to self- direct, self- motivate and self- manage their careers. (Hall, 1995).
It is also a world of work that places emphasis on the well- rounded individual, and one who possesses morally and ethically sound personal and community leadership skills and abilities. With this shift, there is a profound responsibility placed on our school community to create opportunities for learners to acquire and develop the knowledge, skills and values to develop self and career information- both of which are imperatives in developing self- reliance and resilience when entering and navigating in an ever-changing and dynamic world of work.
At Roedean, we aspire to offer a holistic and comprehensive program which delivers instruction and the opportunity to develop these attributes through the curriculum, individual and group career counseling and our comprehensive resource centre.
Development of Personal and Community Leadership
The 21st Century demands far more than just academic potential and the ability to fulfill basic job requirements, but also a wide range of soft skills and a high level of emotional intelligence. The following additional support is offered in an endeavour to develop each pupil further.
The Service Learning Project: – in collaboration with the Social Responsibility Programme, a project has been developed in which the Grade 8 (Upper V) pupils are assigned to community-based organizations. They are taught the basic skills of team work and effective communication with these groups, completing a needs analysis; project planning and proposal writing; developing a budget; actual implementation and evaluation. The purpose is for the pupils to understand the project process and to encourage the importance of being engaged, conscious, responsible citizens; pupils gain an understanding of solution-based civic action and leadership.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test: – This test measures pupils personality type and allows pupils to discover the true essence of themselves. It is aimed at the Grade 11 (Ante-Matrics) and enables individuals to know themselves better, work better in teams and choose careers more wisely.
Career Decision Making
Similarly to the Subject Choice dilemma, committing to a career proves even more daunting. Work is done throughout high school in Life Orientation to assist girls in building on their existing knowledge from each consecutive year and to internalize their research, so that they are able to make an informed decision in the final year of school and contribute significantly and effectively to their prospective vocations.
Individual and group counselling offers further support to those who are still unable to make a career choice in their senior years. Roedean also offers additional co-curricular support.
Class work: – Various questionnaires, worksheets and projects assist girls from grade 8 to 12 in internalizing their discoveries and class discussions assist pupils to ask relevant questions and clarify any uncertainties. Pupils are then able to make mature and responsible decisions around careers.
Alongside the work on careers, additional work is covered in the area of the social and emotional development. This assists pupils in developing soft and hard skills necessary for life. Through self knowledge, confidence, effective communication skills and assertiveness, pupils gain the ability to make responsible and successful career choices.
Choosing subjects at the age of 14 or 15 years is always a very daunting exercise. Girls are overly concerned about making incorrect choices that could potentially prevent them from pursuing a specific career later on.
The Life Orientation department assists the girls in removing much of the anxiety that comes with making such a choice and assists them in making more informed choices. Individual counselling offers an additional support for those girls who have particular difficulty in their decision making.
Life Orientation Class work: – Pace Career computer programme and Ideas Booklets (psychological interest questionnaire) allow pupils to identify their top areas of career interests.
These lessons are seen as complementing the information provided at the Grade 10 (Middle V) Subject Choice Meetings for parents and girls.
We offer the girls the opportunity of meeting with either of the school psychologists to embark on a career exploration and planning journey, either individually or in small groups. These meetings provide the girls with the opportunity to engage in qualitative self- exploration which includes an exploration of their personality, work style and lifestyle values and preferences, abilities and talents.
They are also afforded the opportunity for an exploration of the world of work which entails exploring and analyzing various career fields and occupations in order to make an informed career choice.
We offer the Grade 11 (Ante-Matric) and Matric girls the opportunity to meet with a consultant psychologist at the beginning of each academic year. The consultant psychologist meets with interested girls to conduct a quantitative career assessment, after which time she meets with the girls and their parents for a feedback session to assist the girls in the process of making their career decisions.
S.A.O.R.A University Evening
Each year, some “Old Girls” of Roedean spend a few hours with our matriculants where they make themselves available to answer any questions and clarify uncertainties regarding university campuses and courses.
Booklets, brochures, magazines and application forms for various institutions are accessible to the learners in the Life Orientation Classroom. Various publications are available to give learners information on different fields of study and careers. Girls are also informed of any external visits, institutions’ open days, financial aid opportunities on the careers information board outside the Life Orientation classroom.
Bursaries and Scholarships
Career Wise: – Corporate Recruitment and Bursary Services invites schools to identify top achievers to apply for bursaries on offer. At present, Career Wise subscribes to the BHP Billiton Energy Coal and Samancor Bursaries.
Allan Gray Orbis Foundation: – Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is a non-profit organization that awards university scholarships to ambitious and entrepreneurial Grade 12 applicants. The scholarship provides full financial support to complete a university degree in the fields of Commerce, Engineering and Science at South African Universities. Nomhle Gumede (Matric 2008) is an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation fellow.
Tertiary institution Talks and Career Evenings:
We host Careers Evening in the first term annually. The Grade 11 (Ante-Matric) and Matric pupils have the opportunity to speak to representatives from various South African and International Tertiary institutions with regards to the institutions’ admissions requirements for various degrees as well as financial aid. Gap year organizations are also represented.
We have also had representatives from other organisations like Flour, addressing the learners on the Corporation, the different Engineering business groups and on the minimum application requirements.
The Work Experience Programme allows students to spend two days out of the school calendar to shadow a person from one or two places of employment. This serves to assist Grade 11 (Ante Matric) students in gaining more insight into the particular kind of work that they may be considering as a future career, which will hopefully allow them to make more informed decisions regarding career and study choices.
The Matric Talk session offers one hour, every two weeks, that is free from normal school expectations and allows the girls to be exposed to various people, who in their professional capacity, can motivate the girls to explore the broad spectrum of job opportunities available and understand the skills necessary for success in adulthood.
Hall, D.T. (1995). The New Career Contract: Developing the Whole Person at Midlife and Beyond. Journal of Vocational Behaviour 47, 269-289.