An exciting Song Contest Final, a nail-biting Spelling Bee and a fun-filled Céilí Mór were 3 of the highlights in our school this week.
Rang a Cúig enjoyed Seachtain na Gaeilge so much last week that they continued it into this week. holding a Céilí Mór in the halla ar an Aoine. After a singing session which included, among others, Peigí Leitir Mór and Bob Marley’s ‘3 Little Birds’ as ghaeilge, there were solo performances by expert Irish dancers and a rendition of ‘Cailín na Gaillimhe’ by Seomra 20. The main event however was dancing on a grand scale with over 400 legs stepping out traditional favourites such as Fallaí Luimni and Ionsaí na hÍnse encouraged and cajoled by a microphone wielding Mr Kearney with hair askew, glasses fogged up and arms gesticulating wildly. A day to remember – great craic.
Spelling is probably not the first thing to spring to mind when you think of exciting activities but great excitement indeed attended the running of a Spelling Bee competition in all year groups this week.
Having chosen spelling champions in each classroom, the finalists went head-to-head in a nail-biting play-off in front of a full audience to find the overall champion in each year group. The winners who finally emerged were… In 3rd Class- Fiona Neville from Ms Butler's room In 4th Class - Ross Lawlor from Mr Durkin’s room and Chloe Dowd fromMs Murphy’s In 5th Class – Broghan Mc Clean from Mr kearney’s room In 6th Class the winner goes on to represent the school in the Eason’s National Spelling Bee competition next Wednesday. Niall Reddy was the overall winner but due to his involvement in a football tournament on that day, the school will be represented by runner-up Gavin Leddy (both boys from Ms Ní Fhearghaíl’s room)
After months of activities, displays and initiatives in support of environmental issues, St Colmcille’s SNS was awarded its sixth Green flag by South Dublin County Council last week and - showing its continued commitment to the environment - the school held its popular Green School Song Contest this week.
Many entrants from all classes took part in the 2017 event which was based on the theme of Global Citizenship. The large number of entrants was whittled down to a ‘mere’ 18 acts for the Grand Final which was attended by the entire school on Wednesday. Featuring extravagant costumes, intricate choreography and of course thought-provoking lyrics, the sixty-plus contestants strutted their stuff in front of a panel of judges comprised of teachers, SNA’s and students which – after much deliberation – chose the following outright winners...
I rith na seachtaine bhí gach duine sa scoil ag iarraidh triall a bhaint as a 'chupla focail' - fiu amháin an bheirt seo thuas
Friday March 10th
The Córfhéile 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 that 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 Boys Choir and our rock group Scoil Rock.
First out on Tuesday evening – tutored by Ms Neville and Ms Dunphy - was the Grúpa Trad which included 35 musicians ranging from 3rd to 6th class. They entertained the crowd with a programme that went through 2 polkas, a lullaby and the timeles, Fáinne Gheal an Lae. The traditional musicians were ably accompanied on piano by 6th Class student, Dylan French and they won warm appreciation from both the judges and audience for their performance.
On the same evening – under the baton of Niamh Dunphy - our Boys Choir took to the Córfhéile stage. This small 10-member ensemble were enthusiastically received as they delighted their listeners with their rendition of Nelle Fantasia and the old favourite Trasna na dTonnta. The MC for the evening was promted to remark that surely the next ‘3 Tenors’ would come from the ranks of this small but hugely musical boys’ vocal group.
If the audience in the National Basketball arena on Wednesday night were expecting a soft and serene opening set, they were rudely awakened by Scoil Rock who stormed into Teenage Kicks by the Undertones (re-imagined as Brionglóidi Déagóra for the event that was in it) and ZZ Top’s anthem Sharp Dressed Man. It was noticeable from their performance how much they have grown as both musicians and performers even since their last concert in December.
Córfhéile has for many years provided the students of St. Colmcille’s SNS with an impetus to strive for excellence in singing and musicianship and this year, once again, it gave a priceless opportunity to 3 very different musical groups to express themselves and to grow in music. Long may it continue
Friday March 3rd
This week St Colmcille’s SNS sent six teams to Baldoyle Badminton Centre to compete in the Leinster Open Badminton Championship – and compete they did!
Against opposition from many parts of Ireland, our teams – both boys and girls – fought hard all day. One of our girls teams narrowly missed making it to the finals, being pipped by just 2 points in the semi-final. One of our boys teams however, went all the way to their final and won the overall event. The above picture shows them being presented with their medals by the Head of Badminton Ireland.
It was a very long day; the teams left the school in the morning and didn’t leave Baldoyle until 5pm. Despite this, all six teams behaved themselves impeccably and approached every game with great determination but also, great respect for their opposition. Of great assistance in organising their participation was Maire Curry-Marshall and St Colmcille’s would like to thank her most sincerely for her involvement.
Meanwhile, back in the school, our current Fifth Classes are receiving expert coaching from Mark Topping and Sian Williams on a weekly basis. Who knows – maybe some of these students will be successful in badminton in the years ahead.
Friday February 17th
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, St Colmcille’s Parish welcomed Bishop Eamonn Walshe who came to officiate at the ceremony of Confirmation for our Sixth Class students.
It was clear to the large crowds that attended on both days that Bishop Walshe was keen to put the candidates for Confirmation at ease so that they could focus on the importance of the event in which they were participating. To this end, he used jokes and stories to make everyone feel comfortable while, at the same time, ensuring that he was delivering a clear message to the young candidates. The bishop stressed the need for kindness and the onus on us all to do our part to make the world a better place. This message was reflected on the cards which he handed to each individual candidate when they came before him to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.
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.
Following the ceremony, Bishop Walshe posed for photographs with the children before everyone adjourned to the school where the Parents Association had transformed the school hall into a beautiful reception area where parents, grandparents and children alike could relax and talk about the events of the day.
Below is a photograph of the Parents Association members taking a break from their labours in the school hall. Many thanks to them for helping to make the event such a special one.
Thursday 16 February Hurling Training scheduled for today has been cancelled. R. Sweetnam
Friday February 10th
Our Fifth Classes were lucky enough this week to get an invitation to visit Casement Aerodrome, home of the Irish Air Corps in Baldonnell – and what an interesting, educational and memorable trip it turned out to be.
The airfield – built by the English between 1914 and 1917 - was handed over to the Irish Government in 1922. Irish military aviation began in 1922 when a single-engined biplane, was bought to permit General Michael Collins to escape from London should the Treaty talks with Britain fail. The first ever successful transatlantic flight piloted by an Irishman and two Germans, took off from Baldonnell in 1928. So – Casement Aerodrome, apart from being a state-of -the-art military air installation, has a great deal of history to it as well.
On passing through the strict security at the airfield, the students were introduced to their escorts for the day. They were guided by Airmen Mailey, Byrne, Kirwan and Winters who went out of their way to engage and entertain the students on three different days this week. During the visit, the classes were shown weapons including pistols, rocket launchers, grenades and machine guns and allowed to hold and examine them. A visit to one of the hangars allowed them to see inside several aircraft including helicopters and two-seater jets. The site boasts an impressive museum, housed in one of the hangars and it has exhibits which include aircraft which crashed in Ireland during WWII, vintage aircraft and an exact replica of the Wright Brothers craft which, in 1903, completed the first ever controlled flight in a powered aircraft.
The highlight of the tour for many of the students was when they were introduced to the Bird Control Unit. It came as a surprise to many, that the Air Corps keeps birds of prey in order to control other birds in the area which can pose a significant threat to aircraft in flight. Among the fabulous birds – which were allowed to perch on the children’s arms - were two peregrine falcons and a buzzard. Before leaving, the children were presented with a photograph of their group in front of one of the military aircraft by the Air Corps official photographer. We are very grateful to the Air Corps for their wonderful hospitality and special mention is due to John Martin – father of Jack in Room 20 – who was responsible for organising a very memorable fieldtrip for 200 of our students.
Friday February 3rd
It was a busy time in school this week with many varied events taking place. On Tuesday St Colmcille’s welcomed the grandparents of our Third class students. As the poem in their corridor proclaims....... ‘Grandmas and Grandpas are everything nice’ and the very important visitors were treated with great love, hospitality and respect when they arrived. At a special mass in the parish church, 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. After mass, the children led their very special guests back to their classrooms where they served them refreshments, chatted to them and showed them the work they were doing in class. 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. (more pictures below)
Celebrated in Ireland for the last seven years Catholic Schools Week calls on Catholic schools to give expression in a special way to a particular aspect of Catholic education. This year, the theme for the week was based on a 2015 encyclical by Pope Francis called ‘Laudato Si’ which calls on the faithful to ‘Care for our Common Home’. Emphasising as it does our connection to and dependence on the environment and on the need to cherish and protect it in every way we can, this year’s theme chimed harmoniously with the school’s current focus on Global Citizenship. The events of the week culminated in a mass celebrated by Fr Martin at which the whole school was present. In other events.... The classes of Ms Bent and Ms Butler represented the school as members of the Laudate Choir in St Lawrence’s Church Kilmacud on Wednesday night. Our Fifth classes were visited by a living, breathing, real-life Viking who told them stories and facts about these influential people who are responsible for founding the city we live in. In preparation for their upcoming Confirmation ceremony, our Sixth Class students spent a day in the Dominican Priory in Tallaght, reflecting on their lives and on the significance of the step they are shortly about to take. Mr Maguire’s Fifth Class visited the Junior School and did some ‘paired reading’ with the young members of Ms Flaherty’s class. (see pictures below)
Friday January 27th
In pursuit of our fifth Green Flag, St Colmcille's has embraced the concept of Global Citizenship. In short, this means that we recognise our connection to all other inhabitants of Planet Earth and our dependence on and responsibility towards our environment - the natural world. In 2015, 193 countries agreed on 17 Global Goals which focus on the concept of Global Citizenship and which the United Nations believes we can achieve by the year 2030. Many of these goals concentrate on the inequalities that exist in our world for example in relation to poverty, access to education and discrimination against women. Others identify environmental goals such as clean water, protection of endangered species and the safeguarding of our marine environment. Many different projects and activities have been undertaken throughout the school in our quest to earn our Green Flag as we do our bit to advance the 17 Global Goals. If you would like to learn more about this global initiative visit http://www.globalgoals.org/
In connection with the Global Goals our Fourth and Fifth Classes had a visit this week from Victoria White who is a member of an organisation which helps protect the Dodder River and the huge biodiversity which it supports. As a passionate advocate for the environment, Victoria made a deep impression on the children. She urged them to raise awareness of the pollution of the Dodder by litter and to create 'Dodder Monsters' - 3D models made from the sorts of rubbish which can be found in this beautiful river. Our students were not found wanting in doing what they could to support an environmental issue and below you can see some of the monsters they have already produced.
Friday January 20th
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 Joe Mothersill 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 illuminated prayer trees, each and every candidate for Confirmation was represented as an essential participant in the ceremony.
The ceremony 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. A perfect example of this is 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.
In his address to the congregation, Fr Joe spoke of spiritual as well as physical light and he reminded them that in the darkness nothing changes; everything remains the same although we cannot see it. However, when we shine a light, everything is revealed and we can see what is good in the world
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.