Career Guidance

Ms. McEntee, Ms. C. Brennan and Ms. C. Phelan are the school’s Career Guidance Counsellors. The school provides a complete Guidance and Counselling service for all students. The Career Guidance Counsellors, work in close liaison with teachers and parents to ensure that a student can develop his potential as far as possible during his stay in the school. The service aims to meet the needs of the students during their stay in St. Mary’s.

In relation to First Years, the school makes every effort to ensure that the transition to Post-Primary is as smooth as possible. As part of this effort, the Guidance Counsellors will see all First Years during the first few months.

In Third Year the students are individually counselled about their Subject Choices for Fifth Year and the possible career consequences of the choices. To inform parents, there is a general meeting to explain Subject choice and to discuss Senior Cycle options.
The major input of career work occurs in Fifth and Sixth years. The students have access to the very best career search facilities. These consist of Computer-aided Career Searches and a full range of Career Selection Tests. At all times parents are most welcome to call to discuss their son’s progress or career options.
Study skills seminars are organised for all 1st, 3rd and 6th year students.

Access our dedicated St Mary’s CBS Careers Portal for more detailed information.


Guides & Advice

Should your son do LCVP?

Download this guide in PDF

When selecting subjects for Senior Cycle, many people presume that LCVP is a subject. But  it’s not a subject, it’s a programme. A student must have a certain combination of 2 subjects to be allowed to sign up for it. I will explain…

LCVP's objective is to prepare the student for the world of work - this includes doing work experience, preparing his CV, interview practice, a great deal of time spent in the Computer Room, career investigations and more. The Leaflet attached will explain LCVP's purpose, requirements and ways in which it is assessed.  It also lists clearly the combinations of subjects which a student MUST have one of to be allowed to do the Programme.

Why would a student opt to do LCVP?  One reason is it’s seen as  a safety net. How so?

It has 3 grades of awards. The points gained from earning a Distinction are 66 which is equal to a H4 in a LC Higher Paper. The exam and portfolio are completed before the student finishes classes in May. One less exam in June is an advantage. It is considered a safety net as a student who doesn’t do as well as expected or as he needs to can substitute the LCVP Award points if they are Merit or Distinction for the lowest subject points of his LC Results. Nobody can predict what illness or event will occur during their exams, and they may find themselves at a disadvantage when the results come out. The fact that their LCVP Exam is done in May, the Portfolio submitted before that, means that he can concentrate on his other 6 subjects and still have one in the bag, so to speak.

There are other reasons for doing LCVP – it is what it says – preparation for the world of work. It bridges the academic aspect of our Leaving Cert with valuable experience in a workplace, gives opportunities to learn more about career choices, how to work, and more.

Is it a good idea for your son to take it up (if he has the correct subject combination)?

  • If he is taking on another subject outside of school – No – he has enough to do.
  • If he doesn’t keep on task with projects and assignments and doesn’t meet deadlines – No – this is about all those things. (preparation for the world of work)
  • If he may need a safety net as he is weak enough in 1 or 2 of them, and he is willing to keep on task – Yes – it will be good for him.
  • If he has done TY, done the work experience there, done the career investigations, become certified in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, is prepared to do his projects and submit on time – Yes – it should be perfectly suited to your son, because he's had a taste of some of this content before.

If he is eager and driven to get the most out of what he does and take advantage of opportunities to learn about possible careers – Yes – he should do well. Whether he has TY or not makes no difference, it is the attitude that he brings to 5th year that will make the difference across all his subjects.

The subject combinations – any Career Guidance Teacher will tell you that a student should not pick subjects just because they want to do LCVP. The subjects should be chosen on the basis that they have an aptitude/talent/enjoyment/interest in this area after school – the right reasons. If he gets these subjects and they match up to the combinations listed, (there are no exceptions, these must match) then he is eligible to do LCVP.

A few more things to keep in mind about LCVP:

  • It will be timetabled against PE
  • If you enlist you must soldier – meaning if you say yes, there is no pulling out of it in September or October. Classes will be formed and teachers assigned for the number who expressed interest which cannot be reversed.
  • If you are not continuing either French or Spanish into 5th year, you will have to do 1 class a week of a language. If you have never done a language, you will do 1 very basic class of a language. There is no exam at all at the end of 6th year in this language, but it is a requirement that it be timetabled for an LCVP student.

Other sources of information about LCVP may be found by clicking the following links:


Overview of the 18 Subject Choices