If the cultural buzz in the school last week was musical, this week it was all about drama.
With a huge range of plays staged in the school hall, audiences were treated to everything from thoughtful Christmas dramas to classic Christmas tales to amusing takes on Christmas characters and the story of Christmas. Ms Keyes’ Third Class set the ball rolling early in the week with a high-energy production called ‘It’s a Party!’ This was followed by Mr Collins' class who staged the musical ‘Silent Night’ which explored the history of the most famous of all Christmas carols. More classic Christmas fare was whipped up by Fifth Class in the shape of Mr Boyle’s fabulous recreation of the Dicken’s classic ‘Scrooge’ and Mr Maguire’s wonderful take on the Red Riding Hood story. Two other productions from the fifth class stable had a modern music theme. Mr Kearney’s ‘Santa Sings the Blues’ saw Father Christmas himself going through a mid-life crisis while Ms Walsh’s class rearranged our understanding of Christmas with ‘The North Pole Goes Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
Photographs of Ms Walsh’s class play can be viewed below and photographs of the other productions will be added as they become available.
Monday 13 December 2016 There is no Choir today. Choir will resume next Monday 19 December 2.30 p.m. - 3.30 p.m.
Friday December 9th
This week saw the blessing of the cribs - a tradition at St Colmcille's. Fr Joe Mothersill officiated, blessing the school crib as well as those made by our Sixth Class students
Oíche Cheoil 2016
From its humble beginnings in a small cramped hall in the old building in 2007, St Colmcille’s Oíche Cheoil has grown into one of the flagship events on the school’s calendar. Awaited as always with great eagerness by students, parents and teachers alike, the event took place on Wednesday night with several hundred people assembling amidst great anticipation in the school hall. The large space of three combined halls was transformed for the evening by subtle lighting, beautiful Christmas trees and handmade decorations so that the enchantment of the evening began as soon as you entered the venue.
But the evening was all about music and the depth and range of musical talent in our school was clear to see. The evening began with the Folk Group under the direction of Ms Minogue and Ms Murphy. The young voices from 3rd and 4th Classes set the tone for the evening with songs such as Hallelujiah Christmas and When I Grow Up. They were followed by our Grúpa Traidisiúnta which was augmented this year, for the first time, by a newly formed Tin Whistle Group. They finished a selection of jigs and polkas with one of the highlights of the evening – a beautiful arrangement of the Carol of the Bells with Ms Woods, Ms Dunphy and Ms Neville Joining the young players on stage. A short drama based on the T S Elliot poem The Journey of the Magi was then staged under the direction of Ms Fahy and, following this, our School Choir’s made its first of three visits to the stage. Under the baton of the various choir conductors during the evening – Ms Synnott, Ms O Brien and Ms Neachtain, the school choir once again demonstrated why they have gained a reputation for themselves over the years as they expertly moved between musical genres with beautiful harmonies and clever arrangements of songs including seasonal favourites, a medley from the musical ‘Oliver’ and the Oasis rock anthem Half the World Away.
Last year our first ever Boys Choral Group made their debut performance at this event. Showing that the group have gone from strength to strength since then, the current compact group of 12 male singers under the direction of Ms Dunphy, performed a beautiful rendition of Nella Fantasia – a song based on the instrumental piece ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ from the film The Mission.
Towards the end of the evening, the school’s own rock band Scoil Rock swaggered onto the stage before tearing into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama and ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man inspiring the audience to join in and leaving them looking for more. Some order was restored by the re-appearance of the choir who recalibrated the seasonal atmosphere with a Christmas medley setting up nicely, the evening’s finale of Silent Night with all groups, the audience included, taking part.
The school’s staff – of whom over 40 were present - deserve credit for the many roles they undertook - from assembling stage parts to organising artwork, to preparing musical groups, to acting as carpark attendants and many other roles - to make this unique and wonderful event possible.
St Colmcille’s is a harmonious place full of talented people who combine, share and collaborate successfully for the betterment and enjoyment of everyone.
Here is a selection of photographs taken on the night and at a dress rehearsal earlier in the day
Friday December 2nd
Play It Again Sam For the second year in a row, a group of Dublin senior footballers proudly brought the Sam Maguire trophy to St Colmcille’s School. They were met with rapturous applause in the school hall as class after class came to show their appreciation for the wonderful achievement of their footballing heroes.
The honour of interviewing the illustrious visitors fell to Mr Kearney – a self-confessed Dublin and gaelic football fanatic who could hardly believe his luck. His three interviewees, who all belong to the Ballyboden Saint Enda’s GAA Club, included Shane Clayton, Robbie Mc Daid and Colm Basquel (a past pupil of our school). All three gave interesting insights into the mindset of top sportspeople.
Speaking to his young admirers, Colm Basquel emphasised the comraderie and friendship which builds up among fellow members of a team and he recalled his own days as an under-age schoolboy playing for our school in the final of the Corn Kitterick competition in 2008. Paying tribute to his coaches when he played for our school – Mr Ruddy, Mr Mac Gabhann and Mr Dundon - he urged the boys and girls in the hall to see the importance of the competitions in which they are involved and the relatively short time between them and possible senior football competitions in the future.
’You never lose’ he said as long as you do your best and learn something from your defeat.
Mr Kearney pointed out to the assembly that, even though this is the third visit of the Sam Maguire trophy since 2011 – many Dublin school kids in the past had never seen the cup in their school and we should realise that this is a golden age of Dublin football. He said that, set in the context of history, the achievement of these visitors is hugely significant.
With the strains of Molly Malone wafting after them, our football heroes left the building but, who knows what depth of inspiration they have left behind them and the sporting feats that may be achieved by some of the pupils of St Colmcille’s in the years ahead.
Friday November 25th
"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl
In a world where screens seem to be taking over our children’s lives, books remain a source of information, stimulation and inspiration and one which we neglect to our detriment. 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 school. To this end there has been an emphasis on all aspects of reading and literature. 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.
Aonach na Leabhar
For many years, a vital link in our school’s reading strategy has been our Book Fair. If you visited the school for a parent-teacher meeting this week you cannot have missed Aonach na Leabhar. This annual event has always excited interest in the school community and this year was no exception. After five days of commotion and commerce the fair raised just shy of €3,000. This money will be of invaluable help in achieving the objective of turning more children on to reading and increasing the number of those who count reading as an enjoyable and worthwhile hobby. Many thanks to Messrs. Mc Govern and Sweetnam and their classes for organising the book sale and of course to the hundreds of families who contributed books and those who bought books this week.
If you visit the Curriculum Corner of this website you’ll find some good ideas for promoting reading such as ‘#Sell a Book’, the 6th Class ‘Readathon’ as well as useful websites. 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.
Ironically perhaps, the closing quotation is from Walt Disney. The great producer cartoons, television programmes and films actually believed.......
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney
Friday November 18th
Barbie's Bad Hair Day If creating slime, electrocuting a Barbie doll and making people’s hair stand on end is your thing, then the Junior Einstein workshop in Ballyroan Library was the place to be this week. Apparently this is the sort of activity which excites the enthusiasm of our Fourth Class students as they braved the elements and walked all the way to Ballyroan to listen to a visiting zoologist who filled them in on the finer points of and the scientific theory behind creating coke geysers and using a Van der Graaf Generator. Non-Newtonian fluids are liquids which don’t flow easily and behave more like solids. In explaining these strange liquids, the zoologist demonstrated how she made toothpaste for the elephants at the zoo - (who would have thought the world's largest land mammals were so concerned with oral hygiene?). Static electricity was the concept which caused poor Barbie to be exposed to a Van Der Graaf Generator and a plasma ball was used to show how our bodies can become conductors of electricity.
All of this was part of Science Week. And Fourth Class weren’t the only ones to focus on the sciences this week.
Our Third and Fifth Class students met meteorologist and well-known RTE weather forecaster Joanna Donnelly on Tuesday and she gave them a fascinating insight into how weather data is collected and how the forces on our planet influence the weather and climate of our region. Joanna is also a strong advocate of renewable energy and she made a heartfelt appeal to her young listeners to become the generation that embraces new technologies which will help tackle the problems of pollution and global warming.
Not to be left out, our Sixth Class students are visiting the Institute of Technology in Tallaght today as part of their involvement in Science Week and we will add pictures of their scientific fieldtrip to this page as soon as they become available.
Friday November 11th
In November We Remember
This month, St Colmcille’s school joined in the age-old November tradition of remembering those who have died and left us. In classes, some shared memories of people to whom they had been close and who have left this world. Others silently recalled the people who have passed on and held their memory in their thoughts. On Thursday morning, the senior school assembled in the parish church for a mass of remembrance. Speaking to the congregation of students, parents, grandparents and parishioners, celebrant Fr Joe Mothersill pointed out that mourning is a part of human life. He recalled the written words of St Paul who urged the Thessalonians ‘Do not grieve’. Fr Joe explained that we should indeed grieve and be sad when a loved one dies but that we should not submit to grief. We should move beyond mourning and live our lives to the full as those who have left us would wish us to do. From their respectful and prayerful presence in the church, it was clear that today’s Colmcille students have great respect and affection for their loved ones who have died. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam
Friday October 28th
Garda Pat Tarrant visited our school recently and spoke to all classes about the dangers of Hallowe’en and how to avoid them. Here are the main points of what he had to say.
Bonfires – Garda Pat advised all students to stay away from bonfires during Hallowe’en Fireworks – Apart from being dangerous, fireworks are actually illegal in this country. A a result, many people who acquire them are not competent to use them safely. Stay away from them and don’t risk serious injury Pets – exercise your pet during the day and keep it indoors at night over the entire Hallowe’en period Trick or Treating – When visiting houses, make sure you stay near home, tell your parents where you’ll be and how long you’ll be out, take your phone with you and make sure it’s charged – and – never go inside the house of someone you don’t know.
Hallowe’en can be great fun but we have to be sensible and take care. We want everyone to return safely to school after the holiday. Many thanks to Garda Pat for his ongoing contribution to our school and to the welfare of our students.
Friday October 21st
History and Heritage Tours Several of our class were on the move this week as part of our History programme.
Our Third Classes travelled to the city centre where they first explored the collection of the National Museum of Ireland. As they are currently studying Vikings, the children were particularly interested in artefacts from the 8th and 9th centuries – artefacts associated with this marauding horde of Norsemen who first attacked Ireland in 795 when they plundered Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim and burned down its church. The children also visited the museum’s Treasury which exhibits some of Ireland’s most valuable heritage such as the Derrynaflan Hoard and the Ardagh Chalice on which the Sam Maguire trophy is based.
Continuing from there, they visited The National Gallery. As part of its participation in the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ the gallery has highlighted works which have a historical connection, especially to 1916 and the years immediately before and after it. Works on display include ‘The Arrest of Constance Markievicz’ by Kathleen Fox , ‘After the Bombardment ‘ by Archibald McGoogan and 'Éire' by Beatrice Moss Elvery.
Interestingly, a copy of this latter work – painted by an ancestor of the famous Elverys sports suppliers – hangs in St Enda’s Pearse Museum where our Fifth Classes were busy this week gathering information on the Pearse Brothers and 1916. Led by Alan, the museum’s engaging curator, the children were shown many primary historical sources including 100 year old teaching resources, a magic lantern projector and a handwritten draft of Pearse’s oration at the graveside of O Donovan Rossa whose funeral is believed to be the largest ever seen in this country.
Using clever logistics, the Fifth Classes staggered their visits to St Enda’s and used the buses hired by our Third Classes to be transported either to or from the Pearse Museum while their younger colleagues were in the city centre. This kept down the cost of a very interesting day of history and heritage for everyone.
MATHS WEEK 2016 October 15th - 21st
This week is Maths Week and St. Colmcille’s is buzzing with a wide variety of Maths related activities. Our inter-house Maths Quizes are generating huge excitement. In the lead after today’s third class quiz is Gartan, with an impressive score of 97. Questions in the 3rd Class Quiz included: * How many edges on a cuboid? * Write one million in figures. * Which is heavier, a kilo of paper or a kilo or coal?
Parents, would you like to get into the spirit of Maths Week yourself? Mathematics and numbers are all around us in everyday life. Here are a few suggestions which you might like to try out with your boy or girl at home. Encourage them to estimate an answer and then check it out.
* In the supermarket, when the shopping trolley is full, guess how much it will cost and then check the receipt.
* In the kitchen, ask your child to guess the weight of foodstuffs e.g. cornflakes, beans etc. Then they can weigh it.
* When you’re in the petrol ask them to check the cost per litre and to observe how much you’re spending on diesel/petrol.
* When in the car draw your child’s attention to distances between places e.g. Knocklyon to Terenure, Dublin to Galway etc.
* Spend a few minutes on a regular basis asking random tables and see how quickly they can answer.
* Make sure your children can read the clock face as well as digital time.
Friday October 14th
Getting ‘High’ on Maths
You could say that the school has been in the grip of strange craze over the last week.
Students have become obsessed with homework assignments and have been spending oodles of time labouring over mathematical concepts and arithmetic challenges on the Internet. All of this is down to a highly entertaining games-based learning website called MangaHigh which was introduced to the students this week in preparation for the upcoming annual ‘Maths Week’. However, such was the stir it caused that hundreds of students throughout the school have become absorbed in it and have amassed thousands of points even before ‘Maths Week’ has begun. The word on the grapevine is that, although Monday is the first school day of ‘Maths Week’, the competition for MangaHigh points and medals actually opens on Saturday. So – don’t be surprised if your child is awake early tomorrow morning doing optional extra Maths homework.
How strange is that?!
End of the Road After a tremendous run in their respective competitions both our senior boys and senior girls teams were beaten at the semi-final stage this week.
In the Sciath Austin Finn competition our girls were beaten by Rush National School. Their coaches Mr Kearney and Ms Ní Fhearghaíl were particularly impressed by the never-say-die spirit of our girls who battled hard all the way to the final whistle.
In the Corn Kitterick our senior boys were beaten by Belgrove, ending a string of victories over other schools. Mr Ryan and Mr Maguire who coach the boys were also impressed by the performance of their charges on the day and –although there will be no Croke Park final for either team – we join the coaches in applauding our footballing heroes. We are very proud of them.
Secondary School Open days
Sancta Maria College has postponed the Opening Evening which was due to take place 20 October 2016. The Open Evening will now take place on Thursday 1 December 2016 7.00 p.m. - 9.00 p.m.
Ballinteer Community School will host an Open Evening on 17 October 2016 7.00 p.m. - 9.00 p.m. Parents and students from all year groups are welcome to attend. For further information contact 01 298 8195
Friday October 7th
Some of our Fourth Classes ventured out this week to discover the local history of Knocklyon.
They began by inspecting the bronze cross gifted to St Colmcille’s Parish by renowned local artist Oisín Kelly (pictured below) creator of the ‘Children of Lir’ sculpture which is the centrepiece of the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square and the imposing statue of Jim Larkin in the middle of O Connell Street. The intrepid historians then proceeded to the site of Prospect House where Kelly lived but which is now gone – a victim of progress – replaced by the ‘A Bridge’ on the M50 . The children did get to see the walled garden of the house however as well as the gatelodge of the artist’s residence. Other places visited included Knocklyon Castle which was built in 1450, the stone cross in Cherryfield and the ancient Balrothery Weir on the Dodder which has been around for nearly 800 years.
The children were guided in their discoveries by an old friend of ours – Tomás Meagher who is a well-known historian and guide. Mr Meagher was impressed with the behaviour and level of attention of all of the fourth classes whom he accompanied on his walking tours. Further tours are scheduled for next week. Oisín Kelly pictured circa 1950
Senior Boys’ Victory Our senior boys’ football team posted an important victory this week in the quarter finals of the Corn Kitterick Competition. Pitted against old rivals St Mary’s of Rathfarnham on Thursday, they were sorely tested by their opponents in the first half. They began the second however with great determination and aided by a great goal from Rory O’ Mahony, they came out winners on a scoreline of 2:4 to 1:11. They are now in the semi-finals of this prestigious competition and will face Belgrove next Thursday in Russell Park. Go n-éirí libh a bhuachaillí.
Anam Cara, the organisation that supports bereaved parents, is holding a Bereavement Information Evening on Wednesday 10 October from 19.30 p.m. to 21.30 p.m. in the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght, Dublin 24. The guest speaker for the evening is Peter McCartan. This is a free event. As Anam Cara will need to confirm numbers for teas, coffees, etc, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 7 October or call the Information Line on 085 2888 888.
Friday September 30th
A Busy Week of Football In the school currently, there are thirteen coaches training five senior and two junior football teams in competitive series.
First out of the traps this week were our two junior football teams in the capable hands of Messrs Boyle, Collins and Reilly. Playing away from home in Sandyford and Ringsend respectively, the teams faced tough opposition in the shape of Scoil Olaf and St Michael’s. Although both teams were beaten, their coaches declared themselves well pleased with their teams’ performances. In this Junior ‘Go Games’ League Mr Reilly said ‘We are improving with every game’.
Our senior girls’ teams were in action on Wednesday. The senior ‘A’ team played Loreto in The Hermitage and now find themselves facing a quarter-final in the Sciath Austin Finn competition. Coaches Mr Kearney and Ms Ní Fhearghaíl thought their girls’ performance was impressive and picked out Emma Byrne, Sarah Kelly, Caragh Ryan and Laura Rourke for special mention. The senior ‘B’ girls were also in action on Wednesday. Although they were beaten by Hollypark in Cherryfield, Ms Walsh and Ms Kennelly were heartened by the way the girls kept battling away until the final whistle. With their level of effort they may well improve on this when they meet Belgrove next Wednesday.
Also in action in Cherryfield this week were the senior ‘B’ boys team coached by Mr Johnston. They met a very strong side from Pius X School and were beaten 3-5 to 5-7. We hope they fare better in their encounter with St Brigid’s in Russell Park next week.
Finally, good news from the senior ‘A’ boys camp who faced Hollypark in Meadowvale on Thursday. Their brave performance – which included a spectacular penalty save by goalkeeper David Colclough – saw them run out 4-5 to 3-5 winners. They now find themselves in the quarter finals of the prestigious Corn Kitterick competition and will face Marino next Wednesday. We wish them all the best for next week and await the result of that encounter with great interest .
Work Hard, Be Kind Thursday saw the entire senior school gather for the traditional beginning of school year Mass in the parish church. Lead by Father Joe, the school community asked for God’s guidance and blessing in its challenges and endeavours during the new school year. Fr Joe gave a homily in which he urged the assembled students not to be quick to judge others and to remember to show kindness to those around you whenever the opportunity arises. This echoed a theme repeated in assemblies during the week in which all students were urged to ‘Work hard and be kind’ this year.
Cluichí for Crumlin As we go to press, the fun has started with well over 400 children participating in an event which will raise much-needed funds for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital. Modelled on last year’s hugely successful ‘Súgradh for Syria’, the event involves the children in a host of fun activities ranging from basketball and hockey to agility, co-ordination and co-operative games. Teachers, SNA’s and office staff are all helping to supervise and organise the event and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. As with last year, the response from the community has been overwhelming and ‘Cluichí for Crumlin’ promises to be another large windfall for charity. Watch this space for further updates.
Sports Update Last week we reported on the success of the boys’ senior football teams and this week, it’s the turn of the girls. Coached by Ms Ni Fhearghaíl and Mr Kearney, the girls’ Corn Austin Finn team had mixed fortunes losing by 2 points to St Brigid’s, Cabinteely in Cherryfield and scoring a 7 point victory over Bishop Galvin NS of Templeogue. According to Ms Ní Fhearghaíl the girls have put in great team performances this week and are improving all the time. They are confidently looking forward to their next fixture which will be against Loreto in Hermitage next Wednesday. Mixed fortunes too for Ms Walsh and Ms Kenelly’s charges who were involved in league games against Scoil Fhiacra and Bishop Galvin NS. They won their first match against Scoil Fhiacra in Whitehall but were beaten convincingly in the second fixture in Tymon Park by Bishop Galvin. We wish them luck in their upcoming games against Hollypark and Belgrave next week.
Friday September 16th
‘A little nonsense now and then is relished by even the wisest of men’
So said Roald Dahl, whose wonderful stories and characters, have thrilled and delighted readers for generations. Of course, amid the madness and the fantasy of his creations there were many insights into human life and there was always great wisdom to be found amongst the mayhem and the nonsense.
It will hardly have escaped anyone’s attention that the literary genuis’s 100th birthday fell on Wednesday of this week. It certainly was not overlooked in St Colmcille’s where ‘Radio Dahl’ ruled the airwaves in the school at midday each day with an eclectic mix of song, poetry, readings, puzzles, competitions and, of course, nonsense. This focus on Roald Dahl generated a lot of artistic, literary and creative classroom activities throughout the school and will doubtless have inspired many to catch up on un-read Dahl titles – not that the great man's reputation was ever flagging!
Sports Latest Our senior boys’ teams got off to a winning start this week in their respective competitions. The Senior A boys played St Brigid’s Foxrock in Cherryfield and scored 6 goals and 10 points on their way to posting an emphatic victory over their opponents in the Corn Kitterick competition. It augurs well for their next encounter which will be against St Lawrences Kilmacud in Glenalbyn. Our other senior boys team played a league match against Scoil Mhuire Rathfarnham during the week and ran our winners with a scoreline of 4-6 to 2-2. Let’s hope they can keep up this kind of form over the coming months.
Friday September 9th
Last week the whole school participated in a prayer service to mark the beginning of the new school year. A thought expressed in that prayer service asked for the following:
‘Open our eyes to the new challenges and exciting opportunities that this new school year brings. Give us the generous spirit to be enthusiastic with our endeavours and the courage to accept new responsibilities.’
In the spirit of this prayer, a number of school activities stirred to life this, the second week of term, as the rhythm of the new school year became more obvious. Monday saw the first rehearsal of the 9th 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. Sport too sprang to life with the school’s senior boys’ football team taking advantage of the good weather and commencing their training for the upcoming Corn Kitterick competition. The senior girls’ team were also seen making preparations for their Corn Austin Finn campaign.
Keep your eyes on this page for weekly updates on the many and varied events and activities in Saint Colmcille's Senior National School as our students - in the true spirit of our school - face the many challenges and grasp the exciting opportunities that will come their way throughout the year ahead.
Friday August 22nd
First Day back at School: Tuesday 30 August – 8.50 a.m.
The staff of St. Colmcille’s Senior School are looking forward to meeting all of our pupils on Tuesday 30 August. This is a full school day. Our new 3rd class pupils are to assemble in our school hall each morning of the first week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We will have a short Assembly of welcome and orientation each morning.
Our 4th, 5th and 6th classes are to assemble on the playground, as usual.