What do you get when you mix story-telling with mimickry and stand-up comedy and wild gesticulations and weird facial expressions and alarming changes of tone and volume mixed through with boundless energy?
Well, you get Niall de Búrca of course!
Our old friend Niall de Búrca returned this week 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 lead 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 this visit 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!
Wednesday January 17th
Sports Cancellations - Due to the freezing cold temperatures and the promised inclement weather, today's 4th class hurling and hockey game have been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Friday January 12th
Do you know this guy?
Well, your child may well recognise him. He is Sean William Mc Loughlin from Athlone – better known through his online pseudonym Jack Septiceye - an Irish producer, game commentator, and internet personality on YouTube.
Most teachers in St Colmcilles’s heard about him for the first time on Wednesday when they attended a presentation on Internet safety for children presented by Paul – a representative of an organisation called ‘Zeeko’. Jack Septiceye has well over 17 million followers on YouTube and yet, was unrecognisable to most people in the room. It was an entirely different matter however when Paul mentioned his name at his meetings with groups of children from the school throughout the week. It illustrated well, how little we know about our children’s online lives.
Zeeko is an organisation which seeks to equip parents and teachers with the knowledge and tools to protect children online and to empower children to make smart decision online. To date, they have made presentations to 20,000 Irish students in over 400 schools so the presentations Paul made, were very much based on Irish children’s use and experience of the Internet.
While focusing as much as possible on the positive effects of the Internet, Paul sought to make the students of St Colmcille’s aware of the online ‘story’ of themselves they are building every time they access the Internet: how they are creating an indelible footprint on the Internet which is virtually impossible to erase. In the course of each presentation he addressed the areas of Digital Identity (your online story), Cyberbullying and how to respond to it, Online Deception, Inappropriate Content and Digital Health.
There was lots to learn and take note of but Paul stressed a number of items. These included: - putting all social media on ‘Private’ - never posting anything online which you wouldn’t wear on a t-shirt - following the ‘Stop, Block, Tell’ rule if you’re being bullied online - never to meet an online acquaintance in real life - to have a healthy offline/outdoor life
The blessing of the cribs is a tradition long-celebrated in Colmcille’s.
Each year a beautiful crib is assembled in the lobby of the school. Meanwhile, our Sixth Class students are busy making all manner of cribs using every material imaginable. Then, in a special ceremony, the cribs are blessed.
This year Fr Joe Mothersill officiated at the ceremony and the two youngest children in our senior school were chosen to place the baby Jesus in the manger.
See the slideshow below for images of this unique event
Friday December 8th
Oíche Cheoil 2017 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 Thursday night with several hundred people assembling amidst great anticipation in the school hall. On the previous afternoon the large open space of three combined halls was organised and decorated by every teacher and SNA in the school working to create the perfect ambience and atmosphere for the following evening’s performance. As a result of their efforts and tasteful design, the lobby, atrium and hall areas were transformed. With subtle lighting, beautiful Christmas trees and handmade decorations used to great effect, the enchantment of the evening began as soon as you entered the school.
But the evening was all about music and the depth and range of musical talent in our school was clear to see. Introduced by MC’s Mr Kearney and Mr Maguire, the evening began with the Folk Group under the direction of Ms Minogue, Ms Murphy and Ms Luke. The young voices from 3rd and 4th Classes sang a wide variety of songs ranging from Christmas carols to movie themes. They were followed by our Grúpa Traidisiúnta and the Tin Whistle Group who moved seamlessly through ‘The Spanish Lady’ and ‘Tripping to the Well’. For their finale, they were joined by the Boys Vocal Group and two members of staff – Mr Dundon and Mr Maguire – for a beautiful rendition of Oíche Nollag na bPáistí. Following this, the Boys Vocal Group remained on stage to finish their set with the John Mercer classic ‘Moon River’ and the traditional carol ‘Away in a Manger’.
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 two 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 ‘Count on Me’, and a medley of songs by The Beatles.
Towards the end of the evening, the school’s own rock band Scoil Rock took to the stage and raised the decibel count while they rocked the rafters with Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ and Guns ‘n’ Roses magnum opus, ‘Sweet Child of Mine’
Some order was restored by the re-appearance of the choir who recalibrated the atmosphere with a final set that included the poignant ‘Winter Song’ and a medley of songs from the musical ‘Annie’ 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 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.
Friday December 1st
A Hero's Welcome
A quartet of illustrious visitors came our way last week and they were met with wild adulation by the students of St Colmcille's The famous foursome - who are all past pupils of our school - consisted of Rachel Ruddy and Emma Flanagan, both members of the Senior Ladies All-Ireland winning Dublin team, Sorcha Farrelly who coached the victorious team and, last but not least, Colm Basquel, who was a member of the Dublin senior men's panel who won the Sam Maguire for the third time in a row this year.
Check out the photographs in the slideshow below of the St Colmcille's community welcoming the Brendan Martin Senior Ladies Championship cup and the renowned Sam Maguire cup to our school in a year which surely is one of the 'golden years' of Dublin football.
Friday November 24th
The Average Age of Dwarfs If the 7 Dwarfs were all born on the same day in consecutive years and the combined age of the youngest 3 is 36, what is the average age of the 3 eldest dwarfs?
On Wednesday evening last a four member team from St Colmcille’s travelled to St Attracta’s SNS in Meadowbrook to compete in a Maths Quiz. Seventeen schools in all were represented at the event where the challenging questions would have posed difficulties for many adults ( see question above).
Our team – composed of Peter Kelly, Ciarán Sharkey, Daniel Tallon and Cormac Nolan acquitted themselves very well emerging as first runners-up in a hotly contested event. This adds to St Colmcille’s reputation as a school which promotes and excels at Maths. Last month, the school was counted among the top ten schools in Ireland by Manga High – the Maths website – for their performance in the annual All-Ireland Maths Week - we're giants not dwarfs in the world of Maths!
Parent-Teacher Meetings Last week saw the usual hum of activity in the school extend beyond normal hours as parents had face-to-face meetings with teachers. As always, the attendance rate was very high and we would like to thank parents for their interest in their child’s learning and their support for the work we do. Book Sale Running concurrently with the parent-teacher meetings was the annual book sale. 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 sent in or who purchased books during the week. As the hectic week of sales ends and, the space once occupied by the Book Fair is currently being replaced by all manner of saleable items for the Parish Fair, Mr Mc Govern and Mr Sweetnam’s students are ‘doing the books’ and are sure to be reporting a healthy profit for their efforts shortly.
Friday November 17th
Beginning next week will be our annual Book Fair – Aonach na Leabhar . Every year this creates a great buzz schoolwide 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 there is still time to donate if you have any unwanted books around the house.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
As part of our ongoing 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. 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. Maybe at home – you could encourage little minds away from the tv and other screens and raise the profile of reading in your house. Being a conspicuous reader yourself is one of the best ways of doing this. 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 ever survived without books.
Remembering The entire school community assembled in the parish church yesterday to celebrate Mass. As is the tradition in St Colmcille’s, we attend a special service each November to remember those we love who are not with us anymore. The Mass – celebrated by Fr Joe Mothersill - 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. Among the many relatives, friends and colleagues called to mind on the day was our own Mr Francie Connolly who passed away this year - ‘ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam’
Friday November 10th
Calling All Quizzers It is that time of year when the school quiz teams are assembled. This process begins with class quizzes for the 5th and 6th Classes. However, if your child has a particular interest in or talent for general knowledge, ensure that they make themselves known to Mr Fitzpatrick (R26) or Mr Kearney (R18).
The above announcement was made today by the school’s quiz coaches - a versatile pair who have both managed very successful football teams this term. They first took on the task of preparing junior and senior teams to participate in quiz events two years ago. In that short spell, our quiz teams have got to the All-Ireland finals of the Credit Union Schools Quiz two years running. Two years ago they also became overall winners of the South Dublin Libraries Quiz. Preparation for these events is taken very seriously by the teams so if you think someone in your house has what it takes to ‘quiz’ at the top level, make sure you get them to signal their interest right away.
Friday October 27th
Breaking News - Champions again! Huge congratulations to our girls Senior Football team who have captured the Corn Austin Finn title after a wonderful performance in Croke Park yesterday. Well done to the ladies and to their mentors Ms. Ní Fhearghail and Mr. Kearney.
Below is a match report posted by Mr Kearney
The girls of the St Colmcille’s S.N.S. football team became Dublin champions on Thursday the 26th of October when they defeated a gallant Sandymount N.S. team 4:06 to 0:06 at Croke Park.
Goalkeeper Emma Byrne kept a clean sheet in the final, which went a long way towards helping the team to victory.
Defenders Olivia O’Brien, Saoirse McMahon, Emily White, Jeanne Guihard, Ruby Cummins, Clodagh Kinsella and Jessica Hughes proved tenacious in the tackle and intelligent in distributing the ball.
Midfielders Heather Bolger and Emma Moran displayed amazing athleticism and skill by assisting in defence when required and attacking with speed whenever possible.
The forwards Ava Darcy, Sarah Doyle, Jennifer Maguire, Kate Brosnan, Milly Larkin, Ruth Ryder and Rebecca Latimer were incisive in attack and also acted as the first line of defence.
When you consider that the girls were unbeaten throughout the competition, it is fair to say that they are worthy champions indeed, of the Corn Austin Finn!
Teachers and pupils alike got into the spirit of Halloween today and nobody did it in more style than our Fourth Classes. See slideshow below.
A Croke Park Final! Our Senior Girls’ Football team secured a berth in the Croke Park final of the Corn Austin Finn competition this week.
The drama played out on Wednesday against Loreto Rathfarnham on the Sancta Maria all-weather pitch where a large crowd of spectators witnessed an exciting and skilful contest between two evenly matched teams. With most of the girls being clubmates at Ballyboden Saint Enda’s, there was a lot of pride at stake and the bragging rights were hotly contested. However, a great start by St Colmcille’s proved decisive and they held onto their lead until the final whistle when the scoreboard showed a victory for our girls – 3:07 to 2:03.
News just in from coaches Mr Kearney and Ms Ní Fhearghaíl – the final in Croke Park is scheduled for next Thursday. Letters will go home today and places on the buses for the big event will be given on a first-come first-served basis starting on Monday morning.
Senior Boy’s Football Semi-Final On Thursday this week, our senior boys’ football team faced St Fiachra’s, Beaumont in the semi-final of the prestigious Corn Kitterick. Like our girls’ team, they too were chasing a place in a Croke Park final. However, it was not to be. Despite a very good start against a strong wind with Mark Mc Glynn scoring a goal early on, St Colmcille’s were facing a 5 point deficit at half time. They started the second half strongly however, driven on especially by the playing of Damien Gibbons and Dara Durkin. Unfortunately, the boys conceded two soft goals in quick succession leaving them 9 points adrift. According to their coach Mr Fitzpatrick ‘ At this stage every player in red and black upped their performance and we came storming back ’. David Colclough got a second goal which spurred everyone on to reduce the gap to just 3 points. Unfortunately, the clock was now against them and St Fiachra’s were still ahead when the final whistle blew. Coach Mr Ryan said ‘ The boys were a credit to the school and we are extremely proud of them’.
Maths Week This was Maths Week – a week in which we focus on that subject in the school and try to emphasise the more unusual and entertaining aspects of Mathematics.
Despite the best efforts of Ophelia to disrupt proceedings, 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. Pictured here are the winners of the Fifth Class Championship which this year was shared by Ms Neachtain's and Mr Casey's classes.
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
Friday October 13th
There was a lot of ‘venturing forth’ from the school this week with our Third, Fourth and Fifth Classes visiting locations off-campus to participate in activities ranging from guided local history walks to museum visits and theatre events.
On Wednesday, all of our Fifth Classes travelled to the Civic Theatre in Tallaght to enjoy a presentation of the ancient Greek classic The Odyssey by Homer. This saga – the classic of all classics – was presented in a unique style by Patrick Lynch who used sand, stones, boats, bowls, fire and water to bring this ancient story to life. Using multiple camera angles, he manipulated his props on a table and magnified them using multiple camera angles onto a large screen where he could turn a ‘storm in a teacup’ into a raging Aegean tempest. His performance was full of imagination and drama and it held a packed theatre of 11-year olds in thrall for almost one and a half hours – quite a feat! 4th lasses arrived at the Civic Theatre on Thursday. Like our Fifth Classes, they were participating in the Red Line Book Festival, however, the performance they enjoyed was very different. Entitled ‘The Big Picture’, this production involved the current Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch, a poet and celebrated illustrator with special guest Eoin Colfer a hugely successful children’s writer who is no stranger to St Colmcille’s. This interactive performance involved the children in proceedings as they were treated to entertaining repartee from the two performers and wonderful on-the-spot illustrations by PJ Lynch. Following the trail of their colleagues the previous week, Mr Johnston’s class ventured out this week to discover the local history of Knocklyon which included Oisín Kelly’s bronze cross, the gate lodge and walled garden of Prospect House, Knocklyon Castle, Cherryfield’s stone cross and the impressive 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 Fourth Classes who accompanied him this week and last.
Not to be outdone, our Third Classes took to the city centre in search of historical and artistic inspiration (see photographs in slideshow below). Mr Maguire, Ms Luke, Mr Bonham and Ms Butler’s classes visited the National Museum in Kildare Street and the National Gallery in Merrion Square which has recently been beautifully renovated and extended. The same route will be followed by the other Third Classes next week and – believe it or not – the Fifth Classes will be off again, this time visiting St Enda’s Museum as part of their SESE and Literacy programmes.
The last few days have seen two significant victories for our girls and boys senior football teams.
On Wednesday in Cherryfield our girls had a comprehensive victory over Sc Lorcáin Baile na Manach in the Corn Austin Finn quarter final. Emma Moran, Ava Darcy, Emma Byrne Heather Bolger and Clodagh Kinsella lead the charge. The team now face a semi-final with our neighbours Loreto Grange Road in Sancta Maria next Wednesday at 3pm. All support welcome as the girls try to claim a place in the Croke Park Cumann na mBunscol finals the following week.
On Thursday our boys were in action in the quarter final of the Sciath Kitterick against St Brigids Castleknock and a late David Worthington goal saw us through by the narrowest of margins. Throughout the game Tom Griffin, Stephen Coghlan, David Coakley and Mark McGlynn had been stand-out perfromers. They will play a semi final next Thursday …venue and opposition not yet confirmed. Well done to Ms Ní Fhearghaíl, Mr Kearney (girls coaches), Mr Ryan and Mr Fitzpatrick (boys) on the work put into these teams.
Friday October 6th
Forging Links This week saw the convening of Tithe Tionól or House Assemblies; instead of classes meeting in their usual year groups, the children met up with the other members of their ‘House’.
In our school we have 6 Houses, each named after a significant place in the life of Saint Colmcille – Moville, Doire, Gartan, Iona and Tír Chonaill. Each House comprises one class from each year group so each House would contain a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th and a 6th class. This can be great in competitive 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 higher classes had a chance to speak to and interact with their younger colleagues. Before splitting into smaller mixed groups, 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 anybody else,’ said one. ‘Don’t ever exclude other people,’ said another. Other suggestions included, ‘ If you’re unhappy – tell someone’ and very importantly ‘Be kind.’ Wise words indeed.
Friday September 29th
In this photograph are 3 of the victorious Dublin Senior Ladies football team who won the Senior All-Ireland Ladies Football championship last Sunday. What’s special about these girls however is that all three are past pupils of our school and got their first taste of competitive football while playing for St Colmcille’s. This puts in perspective the importance of the fixtures reported on below. Who knows – we could be looking at another crop of seriously successful footballers among this year’s teams. From left:Emily Flanagan Rachel Ruddy and Fordham Farrelly (selector)
Last week we reported on the exploits of our Senior A Boys and Girls football teams and this week we have news of 3 other teams from St Colmcille’s who are involved in competitive football action.
On Wednesday the Irish Rubies Girls Senior B squad lined out against Bishop Galvin NS. In a hard-fought game, our girls ran out winners by a goal and a point. Player of the match was Eimear Mc Donald who put in a sterling performance. Coaches Ms O Rourke, Ms Glynn and Ms Timmons were really proud of the girls’ performance. ‘They’re all stars in our eyes’ said one of the trainers.
On Thursday, two of our Boys Senior teams were in action with Mr Dolan’s and Mr Mc Govern’s boys playing in Sancta Maria against Hollypark and Mr Bonham’s boys playing Scoil Bhríde in Russell Park. Although both teams were beaten on the day, there were plenty of positives to be taken from their performances. Mr Bonham was particularly impressed with his side’s second half performance with super scores from Jason Nolan and Luke faye and an outstanding display of goalkeeping from Adam Gorman. Mr Dolan also picked out his goalkeeper for special mention as well as the defence in general whom he described as ‘heroic’ on the day. In other news..... Currently – on the green – there are hundreds of children and dozens of teachers involved in ‘Fun for Focus’. In what has become an annual event, St Colmcille’s endeavours to raise awareness and funds for deserving causes. This year the spotlight is on the homelessness crisis in Dublin with any monies raised today being donated to Focus Ireland.
Friday September 22nd
Our Gaelic footballers - both boys and girls - are well into their season. Indeed some of them had their first training session 3 weeks ago - on the second day of the new school year. Talk about ' hitting the ground running'!
Several teams were involved in competitive fixtures this week and 2 of them have given updates on the games they played.
In action on Wednesday in the Corn Austin Finn, our Senior Girls team took to the pitch in Cherryfield for an encounter with Scoil Bhríde of Castleknock. The girls were victorious, beating their old rivals by 2 goals and 9 points. Obviously their coaches' strategy of getting them training on Day Two of the school year is paying off. Next week - under the watchful eyes of Mr Kearney and Ms Ni Fhearghaíl - the team will face Scoil Thomáis, Laurel Lodge in their final group game at a venue yet to be confirmed.
Mr Maguire and Mr Fitzpatrick took their boys team to Meadow Vale in Cbinteely on Thursday to face Hollypark in the Corn Kitterick. The boys faced tough opposition and, in a very difficult game, were decisively beaten. Their goalkeeper Collum Mercer deserves special mention for making some great saves which prevented what would have been an even worse scoreline. We hope they can put this reverse behind them and we wish them good luck in their outing next week to face Drimnagh Castle.
Wednesday 20 September 2017 Rosemont Secondary School, Sandyford, Dublin 18 (A Secondary School for Girls) will host an OPEN DAY on Saurday 7 October 2017 11am -2pm
Rosemont Scholarship Rosemont is awarding full scholarships covering tuition fees for a period up to six years. Applicants will be required to sit a Scholarship examination. Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 27 October 2017. For further details please contact the Secretary, Rosemont School, Enniskerry Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18. Telephone 01-207 8007 email - email@example.com
Friday September 15th
On Wednesday this week Ms Corcoran, in her thought for the day, took a quotation from ‘The Twits’.
”A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
It was of course, Roald Dahl’s birthday and, if he were still with us, he would have turned 101 on that day. This important anniversary was celebrated in many classes throughout St Colmcille’s, where attention was drawn to the work of this literary genius. This focus on Roald Dahl generated a lot of artistic, literary and creative classroom output throughout the school and will doubtless have inspired many to catch up on un-read Dahl titles – not that the great writer’s reputation was ever flagging.
And, in other news... The forthcoming Senior All-Ireland final between Mayo and Dublin was the focus of a lot of attention this week. With very few dissenting voices in the school, all the talk was of victory for the Dubs and the coveted ‘3-in-a-row’. Bunting was flying, quizzes were held over the school’s PA and the strains of ‘Molly Malone’ and other notable Dublin tunes could be heard emanating from classrooms.
Will we have a day in October when we welcome the Dublin football team holding the Sam Maguire as we did last year? All will be revealed on Sunday.
Friday September 8th
During the week, the first Nuachtlitir of the year was distributed to all classes. This monthly newsletter is usually issued during the last week of each month. Each issue contains a wealth of information for parents and is well worth reading closely and keeping for reference. The current Nuactlitir contains information ranging from school uniforms and homework to personal accident insurance and after-school activities.
Friday September 1st
Tús Maith Leath na hOibre As we return to school and embrace the challenges and opportunities this new year brings, we are mindful of the words of Plato
Uniform Shop The Uniform Shop will be open on Tuesday 29 August 2017 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.
Monday 26 June 2017 We will have a ceremony to raise our latest Green Flag at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday 27 June 2017. Parents are welcome to attend. Tea/coffee will be provided afterwards.
Friday June 23rd
Sports Days and Tours It has been a week of great activity across the school with the Cube Games being run by Sixth Class, our Fourth Class trip to the National Aquatic Centre and the Fifth Class Sports Day. Check out the photos of all events in the slideshow below
Tuesday June 20th
As the end of another school year draws to a close, have a look back over just a few of the events that have taken place in St. Colmcille's SNS with the help of a great video produced by three of our 4th class pupils - Ella McGrenery, Ryan Gleeson and Jake Lynch.
Friday June 16th
A Jampacked Week of Tours Coasteering, Bog Hopping and Criminal Investigation were some of the exciting and varied activities in which our Thirds, Fifths and Sixths took part in this week
Early in the week some of our Sixth classes took the long trip to Achill Island where they engaged in all manner of outdoor activities including kayaking, surfing, hill-walking and coasteering (which incidentally is travelling along a section of coastline; sometimes swimming in the sea, sometimes scrambling on rocks and jumping from rocks into the sea). Other Sixth classes sought out adventure nearer to home when they visited Avon Rí Adventure Centre in Blessington where they canoed, rock-climbed, zip-lined and navigated rope-line courses.
Fifth Classes also took the road to Wicklow where they visited the genuinely frightening Wicklow Gaol. Whether it is haunted (as some claim) has not been definitively determined but any of our young daytrippers will tell you that there is an unmistakeably dark and chilling atmosphere to this 18th Century gaol. Many unfortunate souls passed through here on their way to a terrifying journey by sea to Tasmania on the opposite side of the world – often convicted of only petty theft crimes. To lighten the atmosphere somewhat, the visitors visited Bray Beach on their way back to Dublin and did a spot of ten-pin bowling in Bray Bowl.
Our Third Classes had a wonderful day out in Lullymore where they learned about Irish flora and fauna at the Lullymore Biodiversity Boardwalk. After visiting the animals at the Lullymore farm, they had some fun in the Funky Forest play area before visiting the Peatlands where they learned about how the bogs formed, what they’re made from, the bog’s historic secrets, its industrial past and the famous ‘bog bodies’ that have been found there over the years.
As tours go, this year’s selection was as wide-ranging, exciting, educational and adventurous as we’ve ever had and, despite the possible dangers in visiting these places with such large groups of young exuberant children, everyone arrived home sated, satisfied and safe after a wonderful trip away. Our compliments to the children who behaved themselves so well and to the teachers who organised and supervised these tours so expertly. Wonder how they’ll top this next year?
Friday June 9th
St Colmcille’s feast day falls on June 9th. It is a special day for our school and one which is always celebrated in great style. This year was no exception.
The feast day was in fact celebrated over two days and involved activities ranging from the religious, dramatic and musical to the artistic and sporting. A myriad of whole-school, year-group and single –class activities were held. Here is a flavour of what unfolded over the two days. (see extended slideshow at the end of this article for photo chronicle of the various events)
The theme for the annual Design and Make Exhibition was ‘Homes’ and the high standards of previous years were maintained by exhibits which showed great imagination and design expertise as they realised such diverse dwellings as Pennsylvania Avenue’s Whitehouse, Bilbo Baggins Shire home and Sponge Bob’s underwater abode. Great credit is due to Mr Johnson and his class for their depiction of the life of the saint presented to classes over the course of the two days. Attention was drawn to the Michelle O Donnell glasswork mural which adorns our central atrium as classes visited it and were invited to interact with it and come to a greater understanding of the story it tells.
On Friday the 9th the school organised its annual pilgrimage to St Colmcille’s Well – Tobar na gCluas – on which the students, teachers and SNA’s were joined by a large crowd of parents and grandparents and over which Father Joe officiated. At the same time, the rest of the school joined other parishioners at the Church of St Colmcille for 10 ‘o clock Mass lead by Fr Paddy.
The double- day celebration finished with a light-hearted sporting event on Friday afternoon where the entire school community gathered to participate in the traditional inter-House relay and 6th Class versus teacher’s race. Against a backdrop of noisy support and riotous colour, the House of Tír Chonaill won the relay race, narrowly beating a gallant Doire team. Following this was the traditional 6th Class versus Teachers Relay. Such was the talent on the teachers’ side this year that they entered two teams. However, despite both teachers’ teams crossing the finishing line ahead of their student opponents, the two teachers’ teams were eliminated. After a rigorous steward’s inquiry and the playing of video-tape evidence, the teachers were adjudged to have taken performance-enhancing drugs and the final outcome of the race, as announced by Mr Johnson, was Iona in third place, Doire in second and, for the second year running, Kells were crowned champions.
One person who was called to mind by many over the two days was Mr Francie Connolly who loved this day and who put a lot of energy into developing and promoting it over the years. He would certainly have enjoyed the spirit in which the 2017 feast day of St Colmcille was celebrated and commemorated.
Friday June 2nd
. This week 43 of St Colmcille’s top athletes travelled to Santry to compete in the track events at the Dublin Primary Schools Sports Believe it or not, these sports have been staged since 1928, originally in Croke Park, later in Belfield, and more recently at the Morton Stadium in Santry. Almost 90 years after its inception, the Dublin Primary Sports this year attracted around 3,500 kids from some 340 schools taking part in a series of both track and field events over 6 days.
At the track events on Wednesday last the St Colmcille’s athletes put in some fine performances with almost every member of the 43-strong team making it through their heats in both the relay and individual 100 metres races. Two of our female competitors, Leila Halpin and Angel Nna, went on to win gold in their respective U 10 and U 11 categories. From the 4 relay teams which represented the school, our U 10 team put in one of the performances of the day, winning the event outright and securing gold for St Colmcille’s.
Ms Minogue – one of the sports coaches for the team – commented ‘Not only did every athlete really enjoy themselves, but they represented our school in an exemplary fashion’.