Friday 23 January 2015
What is the capital of Senegal?
What currency is used in Vietnam?
What type of creature is a Bombay Duck?
The answers to these and many other important questions are being relentlessly pursued by a 16-strong group of students as they prepare for a big challenge in the week ahead. The group – ably coached by Mr Fitzpatrick, Mr Kearney and - that old quiz veteran himself - Mr Patten, face a stern test next Friday when they take on an array of teams from other schools in the Credit Union Quiz Competition in St Mary’s Boys School in Rathfarnham. We wish them all the best in their training this week and hope their quiz skills will shine on Friday 30th.
The fine run of our debating team came to an end this week when they faced a formidable team from Powerstown School. Despite the strength of the opposition, our team acquitted themselves very well. Indeed they posed quite a dilemma for the adjudicator who took 25 minutes to decide the eventual winner. We are really proud of our debating team comprising Leah Etherington, Colm Du, Sarah Fagan and Cian Durkan. They have achieved a great deal and set a very high standard for all future debating teams from St. Colmcilles.
Friday 16 January 2015
A Good Read
Groucho Marx once said ‘I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go into the library and read a good book. ‘
Groucho – at the time – could not have realised that television would not be the only screen vying for our (and our children’s) attention. We are all easily seduced by the immediacy of video games, mobile phones, tablets and laptops and we can go through life ignoring the richness that lies within books. Reading is one of the most valuable and rewarding activities a person can engage in. Indeed, learning to enjoy books is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself – a gift that stays with you throughout your life.
Currently in our school we are promoting the joys of reading. We have introduced ‘Reading Time’ which involves each and every member of the school community. A little chime is heard over the intercom and all pupils, teachers, special needs assistants (and even Mr Connolly!) drop what they’re doing and read for a half an hour. In many classrooms pupils groan when they hear the second chime signalling the end of Reading Time, as they have become so engrossed in their books. Maybe at home you could encourage little minds away from the television and raise the profile of reading in your house? Being a conspicuous reader yourself is one of the best ways of doing this.
In conclusion I refer again to Mr Marx: ‘Books are great. Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.’ And who can argue with that?
Wednesday 14 January 2015
Camogie training for 5th and 6th class will take place today on the green - 2.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.
R. Walsh and R. Sweetnam
Friday 9 January 2015
A Fit and Healthy New Year
No doubt many people will have resolved to get fitter and healthier in the New Year. Our Fifth and Sixth Classes have been very quick off the mark in this regard. Beginning on the first week back after the holidays, our 6th class students have been working hard in aerobics classes with the inimitable Tracey as their coach. Not to be outdone, our fifth class pupils have begun a six week programme of Badminton lessons with coaches Shane and Alan, both of whom have represented Ireland in the sport. So – the gauntlet is down and it’s up to the rest of us to follow suit and improve our health and fitness in 2015.
More Debating Success
Our school debating team have gone from success to success in recent times. This week – opposing the motion ‘Ireland should leave the European Union’ – they faced a team from Castleknock National School in the quarter finals of the All-Ireland debating competition. The team comprising Sarah Fagan, Leah Etherington and Cian Durkin were successful once again and, joined by their teammate Colm Du, (who was chairperson for the debate) they look forward with confidence to the next round of the competition. Go n-éirí leo.
Friday 12 December 2014
Last Tuesday's Oíche Cheoil was awaited with great interest and not a little apprehension. The people behind this musical extravaganza worried if the large open space of our new double hall would be suitable atmospheric for this annual event which has become one of the highlights of the school's calendar. They needn't have fretted; the large space was transformed by subtle lighting, beautiful Christmas trees and handmade decorations and the enchantment of the evening began as soon as you entered the new venue.
Introduced by two of our sixth class students - Cian and Aisling - the evening got off to a rousing start with our 50 strong folk group under the direction of Ms. Murphy and Ms. Minogue. A highlight of the night was the outstanding performance of the Grúpa Traidisiúnta who played a lovely selection of jigs and reels and a touching rendition of Mo Chile Mhear. Interspersed throughout the performances were seasonal poetry readings and a tableau representing the Nativity and several performances from our school choir. The latter's reputation for tasteful arrangements, varied programmes and beautiful harmonies was certainly upheld as they entertained the audience with a wide selection of choral classics and seasonal favourites. In case proceedings got too sedate, Scoil Rock - the school's rock group- cheekily announced that they were going to 'rock this place' and blazed into 'Get Back' and 'Rockin' All Over The World'. However, even the rock guitarists were in awe of the musician who followed them on stage. Sixth class student Colm Du gave a flawless rendition of an extended study on the classical guitar and really underscored the diversity of musical talent of which the school can boast. The evening finished with a collaboration of all musical groups and individuals as they led the audience in singing the anthemic 'War is Over' by John Lennon.
In her closing words Ms. Corcoran referred to the Cyndi Lauper song ' True Colours' which the choir had sung earlier. This evening, in many ways, shows the true colours of our school. A happy and harmonious place full of talented people who combine and collaborate successfully for the betterment and enjoyment of everyone.
Friday 12 December 2014
On Tuesday last our annual Oíche Cheol took place in the school hall. Two of our sixth class pupils, Joe Moran and Shane Francis, put together a video montage of the preparations for the event. Follow the link below to watch the video.
Oíche Cheol video
Friday 28 November 2014
Another Auspicious Day
Our first day in our new building in September this year was quite a day for the school community as we finally – after many years of planning, lobbying, consulting and indeed waiting – spent our first school day in the new building. However, even then, the final phases of the contract – including playgrounds, bicycle shelters and the right of way beside the school - were not yet complete. Today, at precisely 11:30 am, this milestone was passed. Broadcast live via the school PA system, this momentous event was relayed to everyone in the school and there was an enormous cheer throughout the building as Mr Louis Burke, the project architect, formally handed over the fully completed facilities to Fr Éanna chairperson of the Board of Management.
The Board of Management of St Colmcille’s would like to express their heartfelt thanks to all those who have brought about this monumentous achievement. These include the aforementioned Louis Burke, Ms Hanna Andrykowska (assistant architect) and Mr Frank Moran (clerk of works) as well as the entire design team. This project was supported and generously funded by the Department of Education and Skills.
This school and its facilities constitute a major addition to the Parish of Knocklyon and it will continue to facilitate and enhance the education of the children in this area for generations to come.
We are proud of our title of ‘All-Ireland Cycling School of the Year ’ which we won due to the amazing interest in wheeling to school which has been generated in the school community over the last few years. However, as the newly completed bicycle shelters are handed over to the school, it is timely to reflect on safety considerations associated with cycling.
The new bicycle/scooter lockup facilities will no doubt encourage many former ‘wheelers’ to resume cycling to school. However, our new location poses new problems for cyclists. The stretch of road from Scholarstown roundabout to our school is extremely narrow and does not have a cycle lane. As such, it is dangerous and unsuitable for inexperienced cyclists particularly on dark winter mornings. The decision to cycle to school is ultimately a parental one and – as you can see – there is much to consider in arriving at this decision.
There are of course many other more general aspects of cycling to consider when making up your mind about whether or not your child should cycle to school.
Firstly, a child must be competent to cycle his/her bike and this is something which parents must decide. Secondly, a bike should be roadworthy and suited to the age and size of the child using it. In addition, weather on a given day might make cycling unsuitable for some children. Conditions such as rain, high winds, fog, ice or snow present particular challenges which may be too much for inexperienced cyclists. Here again, parents must determine whether or not cycling is the safest option on a given day. And - last but not least – what your child wears when cycling is important. As well as wearing a helmet, being visible to other road users is essential, therefore, at the very least, cyclists should wear a hi-viz jacket. Talk to your child and advise him/her about the dangers of cycling.
We would love to see as many children as possible enjoying the benefits of cycling and scooting but safety has to be our first concern and we ask parents to help us in this regard.
Friday 28 November 2014
Breaking News - it's official. The school building project has just been finished and the building has been handed over to Father Éanna. We are back in the heart of the community where we belong and the future looks bright for the children of Knocklyon.
The official handover took place this morning at approximately 11:30 am. Well done to all concerned in bringing this mammoth building programme through to fruition.
Friday 21 November 2014
Last week saw the usual hum of activity in the school extend beyond normal hours due to our Parent-Teacher meetings. Many were meeting the new teacher for the first time and, indeed, many were seeing the new school for the first time. As always, the attendance rate was virtually 100% and we would like to thank parents for their interest in their child’s learning and their support for the work of the school.
Running concurrently with the parent-teacher meetings was the annual Book Fale. All indications are that it has been another bumper year of book sales and, once again, we would like to extend our thanks to all the parents who donated or who purchased books during the week. Mr Ruddy’s students are ‘doing the books’ and are sure to be reporting a healthy profit for their efforts shortly.
Friday 14 November 2014
Windin’ the Willows
Recognising the depth of our Irish cultural heritage is an important part of learning in any school. In St Colmcille’s we approach this from many angles and this week the emphasis was on traditional hand-crafts.
For centuries, practical and decorative items have been made in this country using the raw materials provided by the willow tree. This week, an expert in the field – Paul Finch – visited the school and taught the children in fifth class about the history and uses of this versatile native tree. Once the willow branches have been boiled, they become flexible and easy to work. By winding and weaving flat strands of willow fibre around a more solid willow frame, the children created fish designs. Hanaa in Ms. Walsh’s class said ‘ In the end, all the fish were different and that was what made them perfect. It would be great if Paul could visit again soon.’
Paul Finch has given us an insight into this aspect of our cultural heritage and it is clear that he has whetted the appetite of the children to look further into this area of heritage and design. Paul continues his work with other classes in the school next week.
Friday 7 November 2014
This week saw the convening of Tithe Tionól or House Assemblies so instead of classes meeting in their usual year groups, the children met up with the other members of their House or Teach.
In our school we have 6 Houses, each named after a significant place in the life of Saint Colmcille – Moville, Doire, Gartan, Kells, Iona and Tír Chonaill. Each House comprises one class from each year group so each House contains a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th and a 6th class. This can be great in situations such as sports events or on St Colmcille’s Day with special Inter-House events. However, perhaps more importantly, it is used in the school to foster communication and links among classes of different ages. And this week, that was what it was all about. The new third classes got an opportunity to introduce themselves to their older schoolmates and the senior classes had a chance to speak to and interact with their younger colleagues. Before splitting into smaller mixed groups, each House Assembly was introduced to their newly appointed House Captains (one boy and one girl from 6th Class) and the older students were given a forum to offer advice and suggestions to their younger counterparts.
Some of the advice from the older students was very thought-provoking and revealed something of the spirit of the school. ‘Be yourself – don’t try to be somebody you’re not, just to please somebody else,’ said one. ‘Be kind. Don’t ever exclude other people,’ said another. Other suggestions included, ‘If you’re unhappy – tell someone’ and very importantly:
“We all live in the shelter of each other”.
“We are all allowed to be different”.
“There’s no need to be afraid of anyone because we’re all in the same school together”.
“You don’t have to be perfect at something to give it a try”.
“Work to the best of your ability and you’ll be happier that way”.
Monday 20 October 2014
Re: Pedestrian Lights on the Eastern Link Road to the M50 - Scholarstown Interchange.
South Dublin County Council has requested us to advise parents that they are not in a position to provide School Warden cover at the above location for the afternoon crossing on Thursday, 23 October and both morning and afternoon crossings on Friday 24 October 2014.
Rockbrook Park School have notified us that they are offering scholarships for students commencing in first year in September 2015. These scholarships will continue for the duration of the student's attendance at the school and may cover the full cost of fees. Full details on the Rockbrook Park School website or Telephone 01 4933204.
Templeogue College C.S.Sp. have notified us that they will hold an Open Day on Thursday 13 November 2014 - from 1.30 p.m. to 3.15 p.m. for interested parents/guardians of 5th class pupils only. Application forms for 2016 available on the day and thereafter form the Secretary. Closing Date for receipt of same Thursday 15 January 2015.
Friday 17 October 2014
Two games took place this week. The first involved the team coached by Mr Johnston and Mr Fitzpatrick who took to the field in the Hermitage against St Mary’s boys’ school. Although the final result did not go in their favour, the coaches expressed great satisfaction with the level of improvement apparent in the boys’ performance.
Disappointment too for Mr Durkin and Mr Patten’s junior football team who were in action against Hollypark. Despite a rousing team talk by Mr Patten at half-time and a spirited performance from the team in the second half, the quality of the opposition proved too much for our boys.
Putting this week’s results behind us, we look forward to cheering on our girls in Croke Park on Thursday next.
Demand for places on the buses was high on Friday and we look forward to a large contingent from the school giving their full-throated, noisy support to the girls on the field. We wish them every bit of good luck. Go n-éirí go geal leo ar an Déardaoin.
Wednesday 15 October 2014
1.22 p.m. - Senior Girls A Team - training scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled due to bad weather
The Senior Girls Sciath Austin Finn final has been scheduled for Thursday next, the 23rd of October at 12:20pm in Croke Park. As always, we intend to give all of our pupils the opportunity to travel to the game. Buses will leave the school at 11:00am and return at approximately 2:30pm to 3:00pm. Check back later for further details.
Please note - 3rd class hurling and camogie WILL go ahead today. It will take place on the green, weather permitting, or in our fabulous new school hall if necessary.
Friday 10 October 2014
Girls for Croker
Having dispatched Scoil San Treasa, in some style, from the Sciath Austin Finn competition last week, our Senior Girls football team was drawn against Presentation Terenure in the semi-final this week. Venue for the showdown was the Hermitage and with many courageous performers and wonderful team spirit, the girls prevailed once more and emerged winners of a tough competitive game. Under the expert guidance of their coaches Ms Ni Fhearghaíl and Mr Kearney the girls now find themselves in that much-coveted position of contesting a final in Croke Park. When will the big day be? All eyes are on the Cumann na mBunscoil website scanning for an update. Suffice to say, whenever it happens, we’ll all be there, in full voice, cheering on our talented girls. Well done – we’re very proud of you.
Friday 3 October 2014
Over two evenings this week, the school threw open its doors and welcomed all our parents who had been, for months, observing the building from the outside and wondering what lay behind this marvellous-looking edifice. It is fair to say that they were impressed by what they discovered.
Mr Connolly’s revelation of the ‘sky fold doors’ in the main halls drew gasps of surprise, as did the scale of the building. Some of the most common observations referred to the ‘space’ and the ‘light’ in the building and the quality of the finishes.
As they stood on the elevated roof garden, watching a beautiful autumn sunset, more than a few were prompted to remember the buildings in which they themselves were educated and to reflect on how fortunate the children of Knocklyon are to have such a wonderful state-of-the- art learning environment.
Friday 26 September 2014
Beginning of Year Mass
This week, as is traditional, the new school year was marked with a special Mass in the parish church. However, this is no ordinary school year given the enormous changes to our working environment that have taken place so, the theme of ‘New Beginnings’ had a special resonance on this occasion.
As we embrace our new surroundings, Fr Éanna echoed the words of the gospel when he reminded the congregation to clothe themselves in Compassion, Patience, Forgiveness, Humility and – above all – Love. These values are the building blocks which underpin a happy school community.
It was lovely to see the new Third Classes participate so fully in their first major school event. Their singing was especially appreciated. This will be, we hope, the first of many special events in their time in the Senior School.
Local History Tours
Local history tours continued this week for our fourth classes who visited Knocklyon Castle gatehouse, the cross sculpture in Dodder Valley Park, the walled garden of Prospect House and the ancient weir on the Dodder. They were, as always, expertly guided by Tomás Maher, well-known historian and guide.
Friday 19 September 2014
Anyone can handle victory, but how you handle defeat tells a lot about your character. Having been put to the sword last week by St Mary’s Rathfarnham, our senior boys football team were in action this week against the boys of St s Castleknock, a well-fancied team in the Corn Kitterick competition. With the score at 2:4 to 2:3 in our favour at half-time, our boys put on a tremendous display in the second half, running out 7:11 to 4:7 winners at fulltime. The team’s coaches, Mr Patten and Mr Maguire, were pleased to have won but were even more enthusiastic about the quality of the performance. Mr Ruddy was heard to declare (loudly) ‘We’re back on track!’
Local History Tours
Taking advantage of the fine weather, some of our Fourth Classes ventured out this week to discover the local history of Knocklyon. Among the landmarks they visited were Knocklyon Castle, Prospect House Gatelodge and a cross sculpture by renowned local artist Oisin Kelly. The children were guided in their discoveries by an old friend of ours – Tomás Maher who is a well-known historian and guide. More fieldtrips are planned for next week.
Tomás has been working as a Heritage expert with our school form many years and is always highly impressed by the maturity of our pupils’ questions and by their impeccable behaviour.
Tuesday 16 September 2014
South Dublin County Council has asked me to bring the following notice to your attention.
South Dublin County Council is currently recruiting Relief School Wardens for the Greenhills/Templeogue/Rathfarnham area.
Closing Date for Applications is 12 noon on Friday 26 September 2014.
Application Forms and Details from:
Recruitment Section, Human Resources Department, South Dublin County Council, County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
Telephone: 01 4149229 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
L. Corcoran (Príomhoide)
Friday 12 September 2014
A number of school activities stirred to life this week as the rhythm of the term became more established. Monday saw the first rehearsal of the 8th line-up of Scoil Rock’, the school’s own rock band, in which the new members got down to the serious business of learning a repertoire of classic rock songs for upcoming live performances. The choir announced its auditions for prospective members and called the ‘veterans’ of last year’s choir together for a rehearsal of their own.
Sport, too, sprang to life with the school’s Senior A football team in Corn Kitterick action against St Mary’s Boys School Rathfarnham. When asked to comment on the match, the team’s coach Mr Patten said ‘It was a learning experience! Watch this space for updates on these and all other extra-curricular activities as they go full speed ahead in the coming weeks.
Friday 5 September 2014
An Historic Day
Monday September 1st truly was an historic day. After years of planning, preparing and dreaming we witnessed the arrival of the first senior school pupils to our new, custom-built, state-of-the-art facililty. Probably not since September 1st 1976 – when our very first school opened on the site – has there been a more auspicious day for St. s. On that day, 54 pupils entered their new 16-room building. On Monday last over 1,400 pupils lined up in the schoolyard – many of them seeing the building for the first time. For those who have been watching the building emerge over the last 3 years, it is undoubtedly an imposing and impressive landmark. Although equally impressive inside, the school had a distinctly strange atmosphere in recent weeks when teachers visited the building for meetings and classroom preparation. It was only when the pupils arrived and all the normal business of a busy school resumed that you could really appreciate what we had - a truly magnificent facility in which to teach and to learn.
It was often remarked, when we were located in our temporary accommodation in Ballyboden St. s, that hardly a beat was missed with the move and that the particular spirit of St. Colmcille's School was clearly evident in the way the school operated on a daily basis. The same is true of the current move. The impressive but inert building is finally teeming with life and activity. The spirit of St.Colmcille’s is alive and well and – a new school year extends before us full of promise and endless possibility.
Thursday 28 August 2014
Moving into our New School
We are preparing for our move to our new school building. Please read the information below, which we hope you will find helpful. We are delighted to be back in the heart of the parish and we are looking forward to welcoming your sons and daughters on Monday 1 September 2014.
Q: What time will the Senior School start in the morning?
A: 8.50 a.m.
Q: What time will the Senior School close in the afternoon?
A: 2.30 p.m.
Q: Where will my child assemble on the first morning?
A: We will be assembling on the playground at the back of the school.
When your child arrives at the school he/she will be met and directed by staff to their assembly point. Pupils walking from the Coolamber direction will be able to access the playground directly.
If your child is starting in 3rd class we request that they assemble on the first morning in the School Hall to the front of the building where they will be met by their teachers and by Mr. Connolly, Deputy Principal.
Q: What doors will my child/children exit from at the end of the day (2.30 p.m.)?
A: All children including 3rd class children will exit from the back of the school at 2.30 p.m.
Q: What happens if it is raining on the first day?
A: All children will be directed to the School Hall.
Q: My child cycles to school. Will there be facilities for parking and locking bikes/scooters?
A: Due to ongoing site-works, we are not yet in a position to offer secure lock-up facilities for bikes and scooters. When we are happy that the environment is safe, we will encourage our pupils to cycle/scoot to school. In the meantime, we ask that pupils walk or park and stride to school.
Q: What are my child’s P.E. days?
A: 3rd Classes Wednesday and Friday 4th Classes Monday and Wednesday
5th Classes Tuesday and Friday 6th Classes Monday and Thursday
Q: When will the uniform shop open again?
A: Uniforms will be on sale on Thursday 11 September from 1.30 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. for parents. Pupils may
purchase uniforms during that day.
Q: When will my child get his/her school books?
A: On the first and second days back.
Q: What is the school phone number?
A: The school phone number remains the same: 01 4942527.
Q: What about car parking for parents?
A: Parking on the school campus is very limited. There will be a small number of car park spaces available for
parents picking up a pupil who is unwell or a pupil who has to go to the dentist/doctor during the day. We
would strongly urge parents not to bring cars into the campus area.
Q: How can I, as a parent, help as we move into the new building?
A: - Please encourage your child to walk to school. If you live far away, please consider the park
and stride option.
Over the weekend, please familiarise your child with the route to and from school and with your
agreed meeting point, if applicable.
Please do not bring your car onto the school campus unless absolutely necessary.Be very aware of
children crossing the roads.In our previous site in Ballyboden, the vast majority of parents proved
themselves to be most considerate and mindful of the safety of our pupils.
We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation with the above and look forward very much to many happy years in our beautiful new school.
- Equip your child with appropriate wet gear so that their regular travel arrangements can apply irrespective of the weather.
(There will be wet days occasionally. It is wonderful to see all the pupils who regularly walk and cycle to/from school even on the wet days, while wearing appropriate clothing.)
Use the designated Entrance/Exit.
If it is absolutely necessary to bring a vehicle onto the campus, you are requested to: