Friday 26 June 2015
Slán agus Beannacht
On Thursday night in the parish church, Fr Éanna celebrated a very special mass to mark the graduation of our sixth classes. Six hydrangea plants were brought to the altar by representatives of the six graduating classes. These plants symbolised the children’s growth in faith and were planted the following morning in the school garden. Fr Éanna spoke to the group about making good choices in the year ahead and he urged them to remember the importance of the love of family and friends.
At the conclusion of the mass each graduate was called to the altar to accept a certificate and a St Colmcille’s pin to remind them of the significant time they had spent in our school.
Sad as it is to be saying goodbye to such a spirited and memorable group of students, it is good to see them progressing, as they should, to the next milestone in their development where they will no doubt meet and overcome challenges with the talent and determination they have displayed here since their first day in school.
Go mbainfidh said taitneamh agus toradh óna gcuid ama sa mheán scoil sna blianta atá rompu.
Tuesday 23 June 2015
Mr. McGovern and Mr. Sweetnam are organising a Summer Camp in the school during the first two weeks of the school holidays with lots of fun games and activities involved. The application form can be downloaded below and returned to Room 27 or room 25 as soon as possible.
Summer Camp Aplication Form
Friday 19 June 2015
Many of our senior classes were on tour this week. In fact, half of the school ventured off-campus over the last few days.
Lead by the intrepid Mr Ruddy, two of our sixth classes headed west to Achill Island where they were kept very busy for two days and nights pursuing a variety of outdoor activities. Not to be outdone, their counterparts in the remaining four sixth classes headed to Avon Rí Adventure Centre on the shores of Blessington Lake where they engaged in activities ranging from abseiling and rock climbing to zip-lining and canoeing.
Meanwhile, the entire fifth class group set their sights on Trim in the royal county of Meath. All six classes have studied the Normans in detail this year and everyone was eager to see the magnificent example of a Norman castle which stands proudly in the centre of the town. Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, was constructed over a thirty-year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter and is perhaps the finest example of a Norman castle in the country. Following their journey into medieval history, the students headed for Tayto Park where they enjoyed the thrills and spills of roller-coasters, rotators and all manner of stomach-churning rides before returning home safely.
A feature of all of these diverse tours was the impeccable behaviour of all of the children. Everyone managed to enjoy themselves without acting dangerously or inappropriately. This is traditionally how St Colmcille students conduct themselves when off -campus, a tradition of which we are very proud.
Recently we reported on the school’s successful first visit of the year to the Santry Athletics field events. The second visit of our school to Santry’s track events proved to be no less successful.
Four boys and four girls contested the sprint heats with almost everyone qualifying for the final. In a very tough final race, our athletes secured two medals with Nadislan Kabongo claiming a gold and Jennifer Hanrahan a silver.
In the relays, four boy’s and four girl’s teams competed and seven out of the eight teams got through to the final. The end result of all this was a cup for first for both the under-10 and the under-11 girls teams with a third placing for both the under-12 and under-14 girls relay teams. The under-12 boys team came fourth.
This year at Santry our school has won a total of 20 team medals 2 cups and 2 individual medals. It was our best showing ever at the Santry Athletics and much credit and appreciation goes to Ms Synnott and Ms Minogue for all the time and expertise they have given to organising and coaching all of our athletes.
Friday 12 June 2015
St Colmcille’s Week
Each year at this time, we celebrate the life and teachings of St Colmcille the patron saint of our school and this year was no exception. Beginning with a well-attended pilgrimage on Monday, the week continued with a wide variety of dramatic, musical, artistic and sporting events. Great credit is due to Mr Johnson and his class for their depiction of the life of the saint presented to all classes over the course of the week. The theme for the annual Design and Make Exhibition was ‘Flight and Float’ and the high standards of previous years were maintained by exhibits which showed great imagination and design expertise – some even being good enough to eat! A much anticipated event each year is the Relay Race on the final day of the week. On this day, representatives from the 6 Houses of the school lined up against each other and – against a backdrop of noisy support and riotous colour – competed for the much-coveted trophy. Winners on this occasion - with a stellar sprinting performance from all team members - were the Kells team. Following this was the traditional 6th Class vs. Teachers Relay. Such was the talent on the teachers’ side this year that they entered two teams. However, despite their swagger and over-obvious confidence, both teachers’ teams were eliminated on the grounds of serious infractions of the complicated rules of this hallowed annual event. After a lengthy stewards’ enquiry, the Iona team was deemed to be the winner. Once again, St Colmcille’s week was celebrated in style.
GAA President visits School
Thursday was a very special day indeed as it saw a visit by Mr Aodhán Ó Fearghaíl, President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, to our new school. St Colmcille’s has a long history of association with gaelic games and it was indeed a great honour to welcome this important guest. In recognition of the big day, students were wearing the colours of clubs and counties from all over Ireland and the atrium was festooned with GAA jerseys. After a brief tour and a visit to classrooms (including the classroom of his daughter Niamh Ní Fherghaíl) the VIP was brought to the hall where he was treated to varied entertainment in the form of Irish dancing as well as traditional Irish music played by our Grúpa Traidisiúnta. In an address to a packed hall of eager listeners, Mr Ó Fearghaíl recognised the contribution of the school to the promotion of excellence in gaelic games. He mentioned also our local club Ballyboden St Enda’s and the symbiotic relationship which exists between school and club. Our esteemed guest did not however escape with just a speech as a line of students took to the stage to ask him some tough questions. After a reception in the staffroom Mr Ó Fearghaíl bade farewell to St Colmcille’s and left having given wonderful boost and great encouragement to the many players and coaches of gaelic games in our school.
Second Hand Uniform Sale
Do you need a spare jumper or two?
There will be a second hand uniform sale taking place on Wednesday 17 June in the Iona Centre from 1.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
We are looking for donations of unwanted Uniform items in good condition. Please drop off donations to the Iona Centre from 15 June or call Michele Crossan 0876616023 or Anne Lawlor 0871341583 for further details.
Friday 5 June 2015
Track and Field
In addition to the many sports detailed in last week’s update, the school has also been busy in the field of athletics.
The Cross Country Race Series was held recently. Organised by South Dublin County Council the competition involved more than 50 runners from our school representing all age groups from 3rd to 6th classes. The runners took part in three races against teams from all over Dublin and - we are proud to say - emerged winners of the competition.
On the 25th of May last, 20 children went to represent our school in the first day of the Santry athletics. The competition included high jump, long jump, shot-put, hurdles and a 600metres event. By the end of the day our athletes had netted 8 medals - 2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze. Much gratitude is due to Ms Synnott and Ms Minogue who have put a great deal of effort into selecting the representatives and training them for their events as well as organising training for the aforementioned Cross Country Race Series.
At the time of going to press, results of a second day of events at Santry were filtering back to base. Watch this space for updates.
Monday 25 May 2015
Sport For All
The Irish government through the Department of Health is currently promoting an initiative call ‘Hi’ which stands for Healthy Ireland. It focusses on a number of different aspects of health, well-being and exercise and is targeted at number of specific age groups in the country.
Here in St Colmcille’s we have always understood the importance of sport and physical activity. What follows is a quick report on the diverse range of physical activities and sporting pursuits currently being undertaken in the senior school.
In association with Glennane Hockey Club and the Irish Hockey Association, our fourth classes are availing of expert coaching from Paul Byrne – an ex-pupil of St Colmcille’s. Both fifth and sixth classes are benefitting from the expertise of half a dozen rugby coaches courtesy of Terenure College. The enthusiasm of these young coaches is infectious and it is wonderful to see every single student fully engaged in all of the rugby drills and games each week. Badminton coaching has been made available to both the fifth and sixth classes through Mark Topping and Sian Williams, both of whom have represented Ireland in the sport. The recent success of the Irish cricket team has heightened interest in this sport and we are very lucky to have Diarmuid Lynch from Leinster Cricket giving a short module of lessons on the game. This module is subsidised by South Dublin County Council to whom the school is very grateful. Another initiative supported by SDCC is our annual cycling lessons for fifth classes undertaken by Don Mc Sweeney – an old friend of the school. In his own inimitable style, Don prepares children for the challenges of cycling on the city’s roads and by opening up this possibility for our students, they are enabled to use their bikes safely in their daily lives. In addition to all of the above, swimming continues weekly for our fourth classes in Templeogue College and our first team ever to compete in the Primary Schools Tennis League took to the courts recently.
Of course we have always had a reputation for participating in gaelic games and there is on-going promotion within the school of these three sports. Hurling and camogie training has begun for third and fourth classes and lunchtime football has just begun for our fifths. We have Junior hurling teams in fourth and fifth and our senior B hurlers have just finished their league. Meanwhile, our senior A hurlers are about to contest the semi-final of the Herald Cup and – dare we say it – are within sight of a trip to Croke Park. Our senior camogie team have also been very successful and were unfortunate to lose in the semi-final to St Brigid’s of Castleknock last week.
According to the Deptartment of Health: ‘Being physically active is important for our health and wellbeing, and is a key factor in maintaining a healthy weight.’ and their National Physical Activity Plan ‘aims to encourage greater participation in, and greater recognition of, the importance of physical activity.’
We believe that Dr Leo Varadkar would be more than pleased with the amount and variety of activity that takes place both in class time and in after-school activities in our school and the extent to which we promote the health and well-being of our students.
Friday 15 May 2015
Official Opening of School Library - Leabharlann Uí Néill
Tuesday last was a momentous day in the history of our school as it saw the much-anticipated official opening of our new school library. Fittingly, the tape was cut by no less a literary celebrity than Eoin Colfer – creator of Artemis Fowl and world-renowned best-selling author.
Eoin took the stage in a packed school hall and regaled both adults and children with hilarious tales of his youth and family life. To all who were listening, he revealed himself as a master storyteller. However amid the yarns and the quips Eoin Colfer also showed a deep passion for reading and writing. Connecting with the young students in the hall, he remembered the books he read as a child and how life-changing they were. He said, ‘I love the book ‘Stig of the Dump’ and I think reading that book made me officially realise that I was a reader’. His message on the day focused on the importance of stories and reading and he clearly saw the opening of a library as a momentous occasion.
But the entertainment wasn’t all one way – Eoin’s love of Queen was recognised by Mr Maguire and Mr Casey’s classes who gave renditions of two of that rock band’s greatest hits. Eoin was greatly impressed when three students –Jonathon Cross, and Adriana and Gloria Cramer-Curtis - performed ‘Love Suddenly’, a song which featured in a musical - ‘The Lords of Love’- which he had written many years ago. Finally – acknowledging the writer’s Wexford roots - Mr Ruddy gave a lusty rendition of ‘Boolavogue’ the famous Wexford ballad.
Special guest on the day was Mr Jimmy O Neill. Jimmy was the founder of our school’s very first library and his energy in promoting and organising it over the years allowed many students – now in their adult years – to officially realise that they were readers. Appropriately, the new library was named after Mr O Neill. Much appreciation is also extended to Ms O Gara who organised the day’s events and who herself – as our co-ordinator of library and literacy - is an important person indeed in a school like ours which celebrates books and reading and recognizes the important role they can play in our lives.
Wednesday 29 April 2015
1.20 p.m. Please note, both 3rd class Hurling and Camogie and the Junior Hurling game in Deerpark scheduled for today will go ahead as planned.
Monday 27 April 2015
1.45 p.m. Senior Hurling - Please note that Senior Hurling scheduled for this afternoon has now been cancelled due to imclement weather.
1.20 p.m. Camogie - Please note that Camogie scheduled for this afternoon has now been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Friday 24 April 2015
History of Dublin
Three of our fifth classes took to the streets of Dublin this week to learn about the history of our great city. Lead by Tomás Maher – a well-known local historian –the students’ first stop was at Christchurch where they admired flying buttresses, saw the tomb of Strongbow and learnt the difference between Roman and Gothic architecture, both of which are showcased in this magnificent building. Standing as it does on the same site where the Viking King Sitric first built a church circa 800AD, this cathedral is a very important part of the history of our city.
After this, the history tourists proceeded to Dublin Castle, once the seat of power of English rule on this island. Behind the castle, they visited the park under which the River Poddle flows and heard about Viking exploits in this area which the invaders chose as the centre of their new settlement in the 8th Century prior to making Dublin their most important trading port.
Finally they visited the City Hall and were particularly fortunate this year to visit – in addition to the Rotunda on the first floor – the basement where there is a museum, soon to be opened to the public. With pictures, maps, interactive displays, videos and fascinating exhibits on display, the children were enthralled.
The behaviour of all fifth classes on these trips was exemplary and they returned safely to class which much to relate and discuss about the wonderful city we live in.
Friday 17 April 2015
National Quiz Finals
Happening as it did during the Easter holidays, the Credit Union National Quiz Finals almost slipped under the radar. However, such was the showing of our junior quiz team in this event, it is worthy of a full report.
The team which comprised Seán Carberry, Fionn Keating-Mac Dermott, Caoimhe O Sullivan and Oliver Tobin registered their participation in the final in the RDS on Sunday last having beaten 28 teams from local schools in the local final in St Mary’s Rathfarnham and coming second (in a tie-break) ahead of 22 other teams in the regional finals held in Scoil Mhuire, Sandyford.
The quiz teams occupied the Main Hall in the RDS as chartered accountancy exams were in progress next door. According to the Irish Times this week, the quiz generated more tension and in a comment on the standard of the quiz questions observed that, ‘ these primary school students could probably have sat the accountancy exams on their way in and passed with flying colours.’
48 teams from every county in Ireland – including Northern Ireland and even the islands off the coast of Ireland – participated in the junior final. After many gruelling rounds, our four heroes emerged in eighth place overall – a fabulous showing when you consider that from the preliminary stages over 25,000 students had competed nationwide in this event.
Hearty congratulations to everyone involved including the team coaches – Mr Patten, Mr Kearney and Mr Fitzpatrick – who put a great deal of effort into preparing the quiz teams over many weeks. And next year?........who knows?
Friday 20 March 2015
T here has been a recent upsurge of interest in the sport of badminton in St Colmcille’s. It all began with the arrival of two badminton coaches in term one who really caught the imagination of the fifth classes during a six week programme of lessons. Currently our sixth classes are enjoying the same lessons. Arising out of this connection to the sport, our school entered the All-Ireland Schools Badminton Blitz. Under the supervision of Mr John Murphy and with the help of local badminton enthusiasts Máire Curry and Eileen Giblin, our school entered four boys’ and two girls’ badminton teams. The boys and girls competed against schools from all over Ireland including Kerry, Cork, Kilkenny and Roscommon, winning quite a few matches. One girl’s team – comprising Saoirse Towell, Serena Fox, Alana Newe and Saoirse Carr – managed to get as far as the final of the girls event.
Could this be the start of something big?
Friday 13 March 2015
Outrageous, Extravagant and Indefensible!
Above are three of the difficult words faced by the contestants in this year’s competition to find the St Colmcille’s Senior School Spelling champion of 2015. During the week each fifth and sixth class put forward 5 spelling experts for the competition. With 3 ‘lives’ a-piece, each contestant in turn stood alone in front of the microphone and grappled with whatever spelling was thrown at them. The atmosphere in the hall for each contest (with the entire year group in attendance) was competitive but very sporting and supportive. Emerging triumphant from fifth class was Emily Keane while the pre-eminent speller in sixth class turned out to be Ruaidhrí Gollogly-Doyle. Ruaidhrí will go forward to the Dublin finals of the Eason’s Spelling Bee 2015 – a national competition in which a record 1,100 schools from all 32 counties participated this year. We wish Ruaidhrí the very best of luck in the competition and we will follow his progress with great interest in the weeks ahead.
Thursday 12 March 2015
Camogie Team v Hurling B Team match scheduled for this afternoon in Cherryfield has been cancelled due to bad weather.
Wednesday 11 March
- 3rd Class Gaelic Football will take place today 2.30 p.m. 3.30 p.m.
Friday 6 March 2015
The Confirmation provides one of the highlights of the school year and this year was no exception. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Bishop Eamonn Walsh led the ceremonies assisted by Fr Éanna, Fr Seán and Fr Martin. In his homily, Bishop Eamonn urged the candidates for Confirmation to take their commitment seriously and to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in fruitful ways .To use, for example, ‘Right Judgement’ to make good decisions in life and ‘Courage’ to resist pressure to give in to poor choices. To embrace the gift of ‘Reverence’ in order to communicate with God in prayer and to not allow negative influences to fill a void in their lives. Bishop Eamonn had individual words of advice for candidates as they received the sacrament of Confirmation. He said to some candidates ‘Self-confidence brings its own reward’ and to others, ‘Be yourself’ and ‘Have courage’. Fr Éanna, Fr Seán, Fr Martin and Fr Michael were thanked during the ceremony and the contribution of the Carmelites to our community was acknowledged. The School Choir and Grúpa Tradisiúnta provided beautiful music for the occasion and Ms Ruth Kelly, as always, deserves our sincere gratitude for her accompaniment on the piano.
Córfhéile na Scoileanna
Córfhéile has for many years provided the students of St. Colmcille’s SNS with an impetus to strive for excellence in singing, musicianship and drama. It is a non-profit making, voluntary organization that aims to provide an opportunity for children in primary school right around Dublin to perform in a non-competitive music festival. The children who perform in the Córfhéile do so for the enjoyment of singing, for the love of playing music or the desire to participate in a play or drama. This invaluable opportunity to play in front of a large audience, in a large venue with full technical support was grasped by a wide array of musical groups in the school this week. These included the Grúpa Traidisiúnta, the Folk Group and the School Senior Choir on Monday night and Scoil Rock on Tuesday night. Each group did themselves proud and were highly complimented by the judges on the night. It is safe to say that music – in all of its different guises- is alive and well in St. Colmcille’s.
Monday 2 March 2015
Camogie scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled.
Friday 27 February 2015
‘Connect with Respect’
The Garda Síochána launched the ‘Respectful Online Communication’ programme for schools in 2012. This Garda initiative forms part of the overall Garda Primary Schools Programme which is a comprehensive education programme for 4th, 5th and 6th class pupils in Primary Schools throughout the country.
As part of this programme, our good friend Garda Pat Tarrant spent time in the school this week visiting the 5th classes. He spoke about the new technologies- Internet, social media, smart phones etc - which the children are using and outlined ways in which these tools can be dangerous when not used sensibly. There was also an emphasis on care and respect for others and the children themselves were encouraged to be responsible in their dealings with others online. Garda Pat will return over the coming weeks to speak with our 6th and 4th class pupils.
The ‘Connect with Respect’ leaflet gives the following website addresses for advice on this issue. These include:
Friday 13 February 2015
Ceremony of Light
The Service of Light – a ceremony which is part of the children’s preparation for Confirmation – has become a focal point in the school year. This year the service was lead by Fr Martin and it involved the participation of every Sixth Class student. From the beautiful hand-painted glass candle holders to the artwork on the walls and the thoughtfully composed prayers from each child on the prayer tree, each and every candidate for Confirmation was represented as an essential participant in the ceremony. The event focuses on the belief that we, as practising Christians, are ‘lights’ for the rest of the world. We are lights in the sense that our way of living is an outward sign of the faith we carry inside. To help the children’s understanding of this idea, they studied the lives of six witnesses who, by their own lives, show us how we might bear witness to our own faith and be a light to others. These included Nelson Mandela, Pope Francis and Fr Peter McVerry champion of the homeless in our city.
In this ceremony too, the importance of the role of parent s is recognised and it is always a special moment when – in a symbolic representation of the passing on of faith to a younger generation – the parents light their children’s candles with their own.
The Ceremony of Light touched many hearts and minds this week and it remains a very special event in the life of the school community.
Third Class on Tour
The children of Third Class took to the city centre during the week in pursuit of all things artistic and historical. They visited the National Museum where - in keeping with their particular interest in the topic – they visited the Viking section to investigate firsthand the artefacts and exhibits to do with our erstwhile conquerors and indeed founders of our great city. They also visited the Treasury where they saw the wealth of our Irish heritage in the form of such marvellous exhibits as the Derrynaflan Hoard and the Ardagh Chalice. From there they proceeded to the National Art Gallery in Merrion Square where they admired artworks and listened to commentaries on the many paintings in this relatively small but significant gallery. Works viewed included paintings by Picasso, Yeats and Carravaggio. Each student left with an art pack which they will use in class to further their study of the treasures of the National Art Gallery. The teachers and accompanying parents were particularly impressed with the excellent behaviour of the children and their keen interest in the many wonderful items they saw on their trip.
Friday 6 February 2015
Dublin Peace Proms 2015
Our 4th Class students participated last weekend in the Dublin Peace Proms 2015 at the RDS joining over 1,000 students in a night of fun, music and ‘bridge building’.
Peace Proms is a choral education programme which impacts 20,000 children from different social, economic, cultural, religious and political backgrounds throughout Ireland each year – from inner city areas in Dublin, Belfast and Limerick to tiny isolated rural communities on the islands off the coasts of Donegal and Galway. Recognised widely as Ireland’s most valuable Arts Education initiative, the Peace Proms under the baton of renowned conductor Gearóid Grant was joined by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland which is composed of over 100 young musicians from across the entire island of Ireland.
In a truly uplifting evening of song, our 4th Class students gave their all as they sang an eclectic mix of songs which ranged from recent pop hits from Pharrell Williams and One Direction to ‘golden oldies’ such as ‘There’s a Place For Us’ and ’You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Reviews of the evening were unanimously positive and it comes highly recommended so – if you missed it this year – put it in your diary for 2016.
Two teams represented St Colmcille’s SNS on Friday last at the Credit Union Dublin Schools Quiz which was held in St Mary’s Boys School Rathfarnham. A total of 29 teams were involved and the standard of answering on the night was very high. Having been ‘hot – housed’ over recent weeks by their mentors Messrs Patten, Kearney and Fitzpatrick, the teams were extremely well prepared and acquitted themselves well against stiff opposition. The senior team were pipped at the post however when they answered ‘only’ 2 out of 3 questions in a tie-break. Their knowledge of 18th century English architects was found wanting when they were faced with the question ‘Who designed St Paul’s Cathedral in London?’ (How many adults could have answered that one?) The Junior team however went one better and the 4 young quiz brains walked away with first prize on the night and a place in the semi-final which is due to be held in mid – February. All in all a pretty successful outcome for the St Colmcille’s quizzers.
Friday 30 January 2015
Catholic Schools Week has been celebrated in Ireland for the last five years. This annual event calls on Catholic schools to give expression in a special way to a particular aspect of Catholic education. This year the theme was ‘Called to Serve’ and this theme was echoed in a number of ways in our school this week through reflections spoken over the intercom, activities in individual classes and masses for all year groups in the parish church.
Perhaps the most noteworthy of these was the mass for third class children who involved their grandparents in their celebration. In this very special event, grandparents were acknowledged as great teachers and supporters of young children and as people who have nurtured and passed on the gift of faith to new generations. In his homily, Fr Éanna reminded the children to show love and kindness towards all – and not just their closest friends – and to be joyful, truthful and just in their dealings with others. He urged them to seek out little ways in which they could ‘serve’ others – little acts of kindness and compassion – as a way of expressing their faith. Led by Fr Éanna, the children blessed their grandparents and, after mass, the children led their very special guests back to their classrooms where they served them refreshments and chatted to them. All in all, a very special day in which the school community paid tribute to grandparents and to their invaluable place in the lives of our children.
My Nana is nice and kind
And my Grandad is cool and funny
My Nana tucks me in
My Grandad tells me stories
I ring my grandparents all the time
I love my grandparents
And they love me
By Laura, Third Class
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: