GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING CENTER (GCC)
Singapore International School – Bona Vista is committed to ensuring that students receive an all-rounded education modeled after the Singapore curriculum and taught in an international environment. Towards this end, the school provides opportunities for students to advance their intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth through rigorous academic training and the implementation of student development programs.
The Guidance and Counseling Center (GCC) is a new service unit developed for this aim. It is a service arm of the institution which is tasked with furthering the school’s mission through its programs and services. Its main purpose is to serve students by facilitating their growth towards a positive well-being.
At the heart of the guidance program is a Counseling Service, where various student issues and difficulties are addressed with the help of the counselor. Through counseling, students are assisted in terms of problem management, decision making, life skills training, and self-realization. Thus, counseling comes in different forms and touches various aspects of life, which include:
- Individual Counseling
One on one counseling sessions are given to all students to serve as a venue for discussing common school and/or family concerns. This enables the counselor to know the students and be able to identify those who might need further assistance in handling certain aspects of life.
- Group Counseling
Students with similar concerns are given the chance to voice their difficulties, form a support group, and learn from each other.
- Special Counseling
Referrals from teachers and parents about students who seem to have special needs, which require intervention and are considered as special counselees. Such students are monitored periodically and progress is assessed in collaboration with form/subject teachers, or parents if necessary.
- Career Counseling
Students in Secondary and Junior College are assisted with planning and deciding upon their academic and occupational paths through counseling.
- Academic Counseling
This form of counseling aims to provide support to academically weak students. Learning skills and study tips and strategies are provided to such individuals.
In general, all students are welcome at the GCC and may see the counselor for guidance and support in:
- Decision-making and problem solving
- Establishing academic, vocational, and personal goals
- Developing positive attitude towards self and others
- Appreciating the joys and challenges in life
Students may see the counselor through:
- A counselor request
- A student self referral
- A teacher referral
- A parent referral
In addition, the GCC is also working towards the establishment of other guidance services and special programs. These activities and programs will offer opportunities for students to develop positive self-esteem, good social relationships, and moral responsibility. These activities and programs make the students feel they belong to a caring, helpful, and supportive learning environment. The following programs are on their way towards full implementation:
- Individual Inventory
This aims to provide a record and a synthesis of information about each of the students. It contains counseling records, academic reports, discipline matters, test results, and personality profile, among others. Such files are updated periodically and are kept confidential.
- Career Planning
University-bound students are exposed to career talks, career exploration activities, university orientation, and are provided with other helpful information as they take responsibility in planning their future career.
The GCC is working towards acquisition of various assessment tools that would provide a picture of students’ personality, abilities, achievement levels, interests, and aptitude. Such information will be used in identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Values Formation
Students will be exposed to assembly talks, seminars, special classes, and reading materials about various topics applicable to students for personal growth and development. This includes discipline, leadership, time management, goal setting, creativity, and others.
- Peer Counseling
This program is designed for students who feel hesitant to go to adult figures in times of troubles. The goal is to train a group of students to become Peer Counselors – students who could mediate student conflicts, offer help and guidance about personal issues, and assist in academic needs of fellow students.
As crucial partners in shaping the lives of students, services for parents and teachers are likewise offered by the GCC. This includes:
- Student-Parent Conferences
The counselor convenes with parents and students for consultations regarding school performance, behavior issues, subject selection, family concerns, and other matters affecting any student.
- Learning Sessions for Parents and Teachers
Parents and teachers are given talks, seminars, and sharing sessions about topics that could assist them in understanding further the needs and mentality of students and how such matters could affect their relationships, behavior, and performance in school.