The College is delighted to be one of 30 schools featured in Tom Sherrington’s new book, The Learning Rainforest Fieldbook, just published by John Catt, with illustrations by Oliver Caviglioli. This is a follow-up to Tom’s hugely successful The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching in Real Classrooms, and focusses on how schools around the world (mostly in the UK but also in the USA, Lebanon, South Africa, Thailand and of course Ireland) are building on the principles in that book. The stories of these very different schools are fascinating, with in each case articles by teachers and pupils giving vivid accounts of teaching and learning, and of the wider particular ethos.

The section on St Columba’s has articles by the Sub-Warden Mr Girdham, Mr Jameson (on reading), Dr Singleton and Mr Jones (on the re-design of our Science Block in 2016, and the subject of their recent researchED Dublin talk), as well as featuring pupils Shannon Dent and Sam Lawrence.

We are honoured to be included in this book, and appreciate Tom Sherrington’s words in his introduction: “It never occurred to me that the Learning Rainforest might find resonance in anything physical but, for sure, the labs at St Columba’s are probably the best classrooms for teaching science I’ve ever seen; another aspect of ultra-modernity nicely juxtaposing the school’s deep traditions. From reading the school mottto to hearing that one of the alumni is U2’s Adam Clayton (how fabulous is that?!) – there’s no end to the charm and quirkiness of this fabulous school.”

15% of the revenue from all sales will be donated to the Thandulwazi Science and Maths Academy in Johannesburg. This is run by St Stithian’s, one of the Fieldbook schools. The money raised will support the training of specialist teachers working in the public schools in Johannesburg, clearly a very worthy cause in an education system under great pressure.