Friday 6 November 2013
Christmas – Pure and Simple
Last Thursday marked the end of vocal rehearsals, instrument practice and soundchecks as every musical element in the school combined to stage the St Colmcille’s Christmas Oíche Cheoil – a delightful evening of musical performances which really seemed to capture the true spirit of Christmas.
The Junior Folk Group began proceedings with a programme that included a Christmas Medley and Mc Fly’s – ‘It’s All About You’. Following them was the school choir singing a trio of songs which included their recently recorded version of ‘Don’t Stop’. Next onstage was the Grúpa Traidisiúnta with jigs and polkas and a rendition of the song ‘Mo Ghile Mear’. The choir returned to perform some Christmas favourites which included’ Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town’. After this the decibel count was raised as Scoil Rock took the stage and gave a gutsy performance of the rock classics ‘Wonderwall’ and ’I’m a Believer’. Later in the evening all four groups combined in an ambitious arrangement of Pompeii’s ‘Bastille’. And just when you thought there couldn’t be any more, a gang of teachers arrived to lead the audience singing ‘Wagon Wheel’ and’ Fairytale of New York’.
It was a night of musical excellence and a celebration of the talents and collaborative abilities of the teachers and pupils of our school. But it was also something more – amid the clamour, commotion and commercialisation of a modern Christmas, it was a reflection of what Christmas is really about – coming together and sharing in a simple, joyful way.
Friday 22 November 2013
Our 6th class Debating Team is going from strength to strength. Three members of our six member team - Megan Fenlon, Amy O’Hare and Daniel Ryan pitched their talents against St Brigid’s B.N.S. in Foxrock this week. The motion was ‘i-Pads Should Replace All School Books’, with our team opposing. In this knock-out series of debates our team won the votes of both adjudicators and find themselves competing in the fourth round of the competition. A great deal of preparation, research and practice goes into a successful debating team and we congratulate the students on their hard work and dedication. Thanks are due to the team’s mentors Ms. O Gara, Ms. Maher and Ms. Fahy who have lent a great deal of experience, advice and expertise to this initiative.
All four year groups were involved in separate celebrations of Mass in the school hall this week. The theme common to all four masses was ‘Remembering Our Loved Ones Who Have Gone To God’. Fr Éanna who celebrated at all four Masses focused on the idea that we are still connected to those we love who have passed away; they are still an important part of our community of friends. This was Fr Éanna’s first time to celebrate Mass in our school and we thank him sincerely for his thoughtful contribution this week.
Exploring local history is an important element of our education and with this in mind our intrepid fifth classes took to the roads and walked the not insignificant distance to Rathfarnham Castle last week. Although a structure has existed on this site since Norman times, most of the current building dates back to the fourteenth century when it was the residence of Adam Loftus – Lord Chancellor of Ireland and Archbishop of Dublin. The fascinating history of this building was revealed to the children through artefacts and anecdotes by the well-versed guides who gave a thoroughly engaging insight into the daily life of the castle’s various inhabitants – both ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’. Unfortunately the castle is now closed to visitors as the OPW undertakes significant restoration work. We look forward to its re-opening in all its splendour sometime in the New Year.
Friday 8 November 2013
A Croke Park Final
The first day of the new half-term was a bit unusual. Instead of a return to familiar routines and regular schoolwork, the entire school decamped to Croke Park to witness our senior boys football team challenging for the Sciath Kitterick at gaelic games most prestigious venue. Their opposition were the boys of Drimnagh Castle - a strong physical side who showed they meant business from the word go. Our boys fought hard but were a little overawed in the first half and reached half-time several points behind. However, they rallied well after the break and managed to draw even going into the final ten minutes. Unfortunately it was not their day and, despite heroic performances all round, their opponents ran out winners in the end. Despite their disappointment the boys’ coaches, Mr Maguire and Mr Patten, were more than pleased with the performance of the team. So too were the hundreds of fans who cheered and sang ‘gan stad’ from beginning to end. Both our supporters and our footballers did us proud. Molaimíd sibh go léír.
Classical Music and Ballet
The unusual start to the half-term continued for the students of Fifth Class who were treated to a morning of high culture in Griffith College auditorium on Tuesday last. After several weeks of studying the works of Saint Saens, Mussorgsky and Smetana the children had the privilege of hearing the pieces performed by the Dublin Youth Orchestra who gave breathtaking performances of these highly dramatic musical works. To add to the occasion, the vivid pictures conveyed by the music were represented in movement by the dancers form the Irish National Youth Ballet Company.
Annual Book Fair
The week ahead promises to be a very busy one with parent-teacher conferences for all classes and our annual book fair which will be held in the school hall. Parents are asked to support the fair by sending in unwanted books and by picking up a few bargains at the fair before or after their parent-teacher meeting.
Friday 25 October 2013
For the first time ever, St. Colmcille's S.N.S. is taking part in an inter-school debating competition for primary schools. Our first debate was last Thursday against St. Joseph's Boys National School, Terenure. St. Colmcille's proposed the motion "Homework is a waste of time". Our team comprised of six members Amy O'Hare, Megan Fenlon, Daniel Ryan, Kate Lyons, Maeve Kelehan and Clare hannigan. The latter three spoke on Thursday. They did themselves proud, winning a very tight competition by a single point. Very well done girls!
Beginning shortly after the Halloween break on November 11th will be our annual Book Fair – Aonach na Leabhar. Every year this creates a great buzz school-wide about books and reading and we’re hoping to make this fair the best one yet. Children are asked to bring in books from home for the sale and the holidays are probably a good time to go hunting for them around the house.
As part of our on-going review and evaluation of literacy within the school, the promotion of recreational reading or reading for pleasure has been identified by the staff as a priority for the year ahead. To this end there has been an emphasis on library visits to choose and borrow books as well as engagement with Ballyroan Library to put the children in touch with authors, illustrators and storytellers. Reading is promoted in a variety of ways in classrooms and you too can play a part in this process by showing that you think reading is an important activity. With a little encouragement your child will read more and before you know it ‘the reading bug’ will take hold. At that point, a lifelong love of reading will have taken root and your child will wonder how they survived without books.
So – over the Halloween break - why not visit the local library or bookshop or download reading material for your child. And while you’re at it, dive into a good book and rediscover the joy of reading for yourself.
Kids love the magic of Hallowe'en and all the activities associated with it. We hope every one of them enjoys a great break and that they will be sensible and stay safe during the week ahead.
See you all in school on Monday 4th when the magic will continue with our trip to Croke Park to cheer on our senior boys.
Go n-éirí leo.
Friday 18 October 2013
A Croke Park Final!
Our senior boys football team have secured a place in the Croke Park final of the their competition. Under the guidance of Mr Maguire and Mr Patten they won, what was for a long time, a tight match against Scoil Eoin Bosco in Russell Park Castleknock this week. The boys showed great skill and determination and ran out convincing winners in the end.
Having met the Dublin All-Ireland champions only a week ago, the boys find themselves following in their heroes’ footsteps. Their own Croke Park final is scheduled for Monday November 4th (the first day back after the Halloween break). We’ll all be there to cheer them on. Go n-éirí leo.
This was Maths Week – a week in which we focus on that subject in the school and try to emphasise the unusual and entertaining aspects of Mathematics.
There were maths trails, maths games and puzzles aplenty. In addition, inter-house maths quizzes were staged to find the maths champions in each year group. There are opportunities to promote maths everywhere in the environment. Why not look for them in activities such as shopping, cooking, D.I.Y., driving etc. and increase your child’s interest in this subject. Here are some useful maths websites for you to look up with your child:
Topmarks, Mathszone, kidsmathsgamesonline and woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk
Wednesday 16 October 2013
Please note - all third class hurling and camogie has been cancelled today due to the inclement weather conditions. It will resume again next week as usual.
Please note that training for Ms. Maher's and Mr. Sweetnam's team scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled.
Friday 11 October 2013
Return of Sam
Passers-by stopped in their tracks last Wednesday as a riot of colour and noise erupted on the all-weather pitch. The reason for all the commotion was the arrival of a trio of Dublin heroes – Michael-Darragh Mc Auley, Darragh Nelson and Jim Gavin. They came weighed down by the trophies won by the Dublin Senior Football Team this season – among them, the Sam Maguire Cup. The three heroes talked to the 700 assembled students about their season, their successes and their inspirations as they answered questions posed by the young footballers of St Colmcille’s. It was clear from what they said that the winning of the All-Ireland came only as a result of huge commitment, dedication and consistent hard work.
In the sea of blue bobbed two red and green jerseys worn by two forlorn-looking Mayo-men – Mr Patten and Mr Ruddy who challenged the three visitors to a shooting competition. All five attempted to hit the crossbar of the goal and after many near misses, Darragh Nelson smacked the woodwork with a powerful shot. The Mayo-men had been put in their place once again by the boys from the capital.
It emerged that Mr Ruddy had coached the Dublin lads under-age for many years at Ballyboden St Endas and there were no sore losers as the five posed for photographs with the Sam Maguire. After an inspirational half-hour, the heroes departed with their hoard. As the strains of hundreds of young voices singing Molly Malone drifted after them we wondered if any of the young singers from St. Colmcille’s might one day return to our school with a major football trophy. Maybe the continuing dedication and commitment of our footballing boys and girls and their coaches will lead someone to the ultimate prize in years to come.
Wednesday 9 October 2013
We were honoured and fortunate to have had amongst us today none other than Sam Maguire! The pupils were treated to a visit from Sam with Ballyboden players Michael-Darragh MacAuley and Darragh Nelson along with the Dublin manager Jim Gavin.
Mr. Murphy introducing the Dublin heroes to the pupils
The entire school gathered on the all-weather pitch to greet their heroes and after fielding some very tricky questions there was a challenge of a different sort awaiting the lads. A Mayo challenge to be precise. Mr. Ruddy and Mr. Patten donned the green and red of Mayo to take on Michael-Darragh and Darragh in a Crossbar Challenge. For the Dublin lads, there was more on the line than pride - the winner would get to keep Sam! It was a close contest for a while, but in the end, just as in the All-Ireland, Dublin stepped up when it mattered most and Darragh Nelson, a past-pupil of the school, sealed victory much to the dismay of our Mayo colleagues. Maybe next year lads!
Two giants of the game going head to head
A huge thank you to Jim and the two lads for bringing Sam to visit us and for taking the time to speak to the pupils so well. Thanks also to Brian and Paul of Ballyboden St. Endas, who continue to work extremely hard with the school in promoting Gaelic Games in the locality.
Friday 4 October 2013
Debate is a formal argument, in which two opposing teams propose or oppose a given proposition or motion in a series of speeches - and that is exactly what Sixth Class were doing last week.
In a quest to find the best debaters in the school they wrote and presented speeches in the school hall broaching such topics as ‘Are celebrities good role models?’ and ‘Should i-pads replace books in schools?’
Debating is a complex activity which requires a range of literacy and presentation skills. Speaking to the Reading Association of Ireland recently, Dr Catherine Snow of Harvard Graduate School identified 3 critical literacy skills for the 21st Century. These were - using academic language, taking a perspective and being able to argue a position.
By the sound of it, Sixth Class are well on their way to mastering these skills. Maybe it’s time to take on outside competition. Watch this space.
We are proud of our title of ‘All-Ireland Cycling School of the Year 2013’ which we won due to the amazing interest in wheeling to school which has been generated in the school community over the last 2 years. However, as we approach winter, it is timely to reflect on safety considerations associated with cycling.
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. At the very least, cyclists should wear a hi-vis jacket. Talk to your child and advise him/her about the dangers of cycling.
It is great to see over 200 pupils a day scooting and cycling to school. Let’s make sure they stay safe on their wheels in the months ahead.
Wednesday 2 October 2013
1:30 PM - As of now, third class hurling and camogie will be going today unless there are very heavy showers at home time. Please note, today's session will take place on the All-Weather pitch.
Friday 27 September 2013
Fieldtrips – of the local history variety – continued as three more Fourth Classes took to the road this week. In the capable hands of Tomás Maher the students of Mr. Johnston, Ms.Kitt and Ms. Maher delved into the heritage of our local area as they investigated listed buildings and local monuments including a cross by renowned local sculptor Oisín Kelly.
All of our boys and girls football teams took to the field in competitions this week and it was the girls who took pride of place this time. Although the Senior B girls team were beaten by Loreto they put in a magnificent performance, much to the delight of their coaches Ms. Maher and Mr. Sweetnam, who can see great potential in this team.
The Senior A girls team were also in action. Pitched against St. Brigid’s Cabinteely – who were unbeaten so far this season – the girls created quite a stir when they emerged victorious in Kilbogget Park. Their coaches were justifiably proud as the girls’ winning performance showed guts, determination and no little skill. They can now look forward to a quarter final position as they emerge from the group stages of the competition.
Well done to both girls teams.
Monday 23 September 2013
Pictures in our Heads
Our old friend Niall de Búrca returned yesterday to delight and enchant everyone with his unique brand of story-telling. Swinging from ancient to modern, Irish to English and from cool to downright weird, he led adults and children alike through an array of fascinating places and characters. When he disappears, Niall always leaves the school in a slightly altered state to how he found it and yesterday was no exception!
Where did he go? When will he return? Who knows. Until then we’ll make do with the magical pictures, sounds and characters he left in our heads – and that’s plenty to be getting on with!
On Wednesday this week over 700 of us walked to the Church of St Colmcille to attend Mass for the beginning of the new school year. It was also a new beginning for Fr Éanna who celebrated Mass with us for the first time. The theme of the Mass was ‘Talents’ and we were reminded that we all have talents – the important question being, ‘ How can I use my talents in the service of others?’
Walking Tours of Local Area
Despite the bad weather on some days, three of our Third Classes ventured out this week to discover the local history of Knocklyon. Among the landmarks they visited were Knocklyon Castle, Prospect House Gate Lodge and a cross sculpture by renowned local artist Oisin Kelly. The children were guided in their discoveries by another old friend of ours – Tomás Maher who is a well-known local historian and guide.
Tuesday 17 September 2013 - 13.18
Due to poor weather conditions both Boys Junior Football matches (4th class) scheduled for this afternoon are cancelled.
R. Walsh & S. Durkin.
Training for the Corn Austin Finn and Corn Irish Rubies scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled. Matches scheduled for tomorrow will go ahead as planned.
C. Keaney, N. Ní Fhearghail, R. Sweetnam and G. Maher
Corn Kitterick (Senior Boys) training scheduled for this afternoon will go ahead as planned. P. Patten
Friday 13 September 2013
Our girl footballers were out of the blocks for the start of the season this week. The senior girls A team were pitched against Scoil Lorcáin, Monkstown who opened up a formidable early lead. However St. Colmcilles stuck to their task, overhauled the deficit and emerged as winners in the end. Well done girls.
The girls B team was also in action this week but, despite a gutsy performance, they were beaten by a team from Our Lady of Good Council, Killiney. It was their first game of the season and, according to their coaches, the girls showed great determination and effort throughout. They are very hopeful of greater success ahead for the girls if they maintain this level of commitment.
Travel to school
Students continue to arrive to school in impressive numbers on bikes and scooters every morning. The count has been in excess of 200 every day this week.
Safety Plan - Notice to Motorists
If it is absolutely essential to bring your vehicle onto the school campus you are reminded that:
- If you enter the traffic system you must follow through the system. “U- turns” on the avenue create dangers for pupils, pedestrians and other motorists.
- Please park in the designated car-park area at the top of the system.
- If you are driving in to “set down” or “pick-up” a pupil, all “set down” or “pick ups” must be carried out in the car-park area at the top of the system.
- Pick-ups/set-downs are not permitted on the avenue.
- Set-down of pupils is to be carried out in the car-park area in such a manner that no pupil is required to cross through traffic.
- All motorists are required to follow the directions of the school appointed traffic stewards.
- As you exit the school campus at the main gates, a left turn only system applies. A left turn only also applies to motorists entering the system off the main road.
The Board of Management of St. Colmcille’s S.N.S. monitors the operation of the traffic system. It is the policy of the Board of Management to communicate in writing with any motorist who does not adhere to the protocols and if necessary to refer the matter to the Gardaí.
The Safety Plan has been devised and is implemented with the intention of creating the safest possible environment for the pupils and all users of the system.
** Motorists are requested not to park on double yellow lines/on corners in local estates.