Though the campus is closed, subject teachers will continue to make 2020 Prize Awards (a lot of prizes have already been awarded in the Michaelmas and Hilary Terms). This post will list those who receive prizes this term (some will wait until June, when pupils will have a chance to spend more time on some remaining subjects).

Many congratulations go to:

  • Tania Stokes: Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry
  • Raphaela Ihuoma: Geology Prize
  • Eliza Somerville: Willis Memorial Prize for Shakespeare
  • Hannah Swanepoel: Junior Poetry Prize
  • Keelin Bradley-Brady: John Bevan Classical Studies Prize
  • Eliza Somerville: Physics Prize
  • Poppy O’Malley: Agricultural Science Prize
  • Elys Walker: Junior Science Prize
  • Sophia Cole: Economics Prize
  • Arizona Forde: Senior Earl of Meath Art Prize
  • Nikolaus Wachs: Senior Craft Prize
  • Sveva Ciofani: Photography Prize
  • Georgia Goodbody: Junior Earl of Meath Art Prize
  • Alison Coogan: Junior Craft Prize
  • Songyon Oh: Business Prize
  • Sam Lawrence: Biology Prize
  • Sakhile Khumalo: Senior Drama Prize
  • Ellen Homan: Fry Prize for Stagecraft
  • Zofia Cannon-Brookes: Junior Geography Prize
  • Zofia Cannon-Brookes: Technical Graphics Prize
  • Eliza Somerville: Senior Geography Prize
  • Emily McCarthy: Junior Drama Prize
  • Coco Xu: John Jenkins Music Prize
  • Emily McCarthy: Junior Music Prize
  • Songyon Oh: Senior Music Prize
  • Sakhile Khumalo: Senior Music Prize
  • Marcus O’Connor: Aroti Sisodia Music Prize
  • Cosima Schilling: Sandham Willis Prize for Music
  • Tania Stokes: Senior Music Prize (instrumental).

 

 

You can listen on this page to the Chapel services taking place this term (check the bottom of the page for the three which happened earlier in March/April). A handful of resident staff attend, adhering to distancing regulations.

Pianist: Mr Peter McCarthy. Organist: Mr Tristan Clarke.

You can subscribe to the services via Spotify and podcast players by going here.

Trinity Term 2020

Previously

 

 

Our Sine Nomine choir are taking part in lots of international choir collaboration at the moment, and the latest track has just been released.

If you want your spirits lifted, listen to Andrea Baker leading the way with ‘Ain’t No Mountain’.

Our Librarian, Ms Kent-Sutton, has advice for all pupils and parents about reading now. Many pupils have a great opportunity to deepen and extend their reading both for academic reasons and pleasure.

Note that e-books are available on several platforms (including BorrowBox – see below), and Amazon’s Kindle app can be downloaded for free on all devices (you do not need a physical Kindle). Many classic books are free.

First of all, visit Libraries Ireland who have relaxed their joining policies for the duration of the shutdown. Anyone can join and get immediate free access to their online services with their virtual library card: you need to download some free apps. The Borrowbox app will allow access to audio and ebooks. RB Digital is superb for comics books and graphic novels; the quality of the illustrations is not lost. They also do audio books. And finally in PressReader there is unlimited access to daily newspapers by country.

The Carnegie Medal is always excellent at highlighting the best of YA fiction for the year, and the 2020 shortlist is here. Each title on the list gives an age rating so pupils can access their appropriate level.
The Bookseller also has a Young Adult Book Prize shortlist.

If pupils/parents are looking for a challenge they could try the 16 Before 16 Reading Challenge. Pupils attempt to read 16 “classics” before they turn 16. A sample list is below, which is definitely not exhaustive but a rough guide.

  • I Know why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
  • Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
  • Misery- Stephen King
  • To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee
  • The Catcher in the Rye- J. D. Salinger
  • The Outsiders- S. E. Hinton
  • Frankenstein- Mary Shelley
  • 1984- George Orwell
  • The Crucible- Arthur Miller
  • Great Expectations-Charles Dickens
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland- C.S. Lewis
  • Brave New World- Aldous Huxley
  • Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Never Let Me Go- Kazou Ishiguro
  • Atonement-Ian McEwan
  • All Quiet on the Western Front-Erich Maria Remarque
  • Cider with Rosie- Laurie Lee
  • Schindler’s Ark- Thomas Keneally
  • I Capture the Castle- Dodie Smith

Next, a list of some time-tested series:-

  • The Mortal Instruments- Cassandra Clare
  • Chaos Walking- Patrick Ness
  • Noughts and Crosses- Malorie Blackman
  • Throne of Glass-Sarah J Maas
  • Gone- Michael Grant
  • The Raven Cycle- Maggie Stiefvater
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before- Jenny Han
  • His Dark Materials- Philip Pullman
  • Uglies- Scott Westerfield
  • Abhorsen-Garth Nix
  • Lorien Legacies- James Frey
  • Shatter Me- Tahereh Mafi
  • Cirque Du Freak-Darren Shan
  • Artemis Fowl- Eoin Colfer
  • Young Bond-Charlie Higson
Some notable new releases in the next month, with potential for these to be big summer reads…
  • The Kingdom of the Back-Marie Lu
  • The Enigma Game- Elizabeth Wein
  • Clap When you Land- Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Hunger Games prequel) – Suzanne Collins

BAME/LGBTQ+ Summer Reads

  • On The Come Up- Angie Sage
  • Black Flamingo- Dean Atta
  • Kick the Moon- Muhammad Khan
  • Children of Blood and Bone- Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Gilded Ones- Namina Forna (Released July 2021)
  • And the Stars Were Burning Brightly- Danielle Jawando
  • Clap when you Land- Elizabeth Acevedo
  • You Should See Me in a Crown- Leah Johnson
  • Late to the Party- Kelly Quindlen
  • The Henna Wars- Adiba Jaigirdar
  • The Falling In Love Montage- Ciara Smyth
  • Only Mostly Devastated- Sophie Gonzales
And lastly, the following books have been adapted to films (some Netflix) and due for release before the end of the year:-
  • Dune- Frank Herbert
  • The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Artemis Fowl- Eoin Colfer
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House- Stephanie Perkins (Netflix)
  • Death on The Nile- Agatha Christie
  • The Stand- Stephen King
  • Rebecca- Daphne Du Maurier (Netflix)

Time have a list of the best 100 Young Adult Books of All Time if anyone wants to attempt to read all 100!
Goodreads is pretty reliable for suggestions by genre and for suggesting titles/series.

On Friday evening we were delighted to host a live webinar with Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College Dublin. Professor O’Neill gave an hour-long masterly analysis of the Covid-19 situation in Ireland and around the world and shared the latest developments in the hunt for a vaccine, and the potential of anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs to help fight the infection. He also shared his own recent research, which is showing some promise.

Professor O’Neill was joined online by over 50 pupils, parents and staff, who contributed to a really great question & answer session in the second half of the talk. Professor O’Neill impressed with his knowledge, common sense, humour and, above all else, positive outlook in the fight against Covid-19. We are enormously grateful to Professor O’Neill for giving up his time to spend with the St. Columba’s College (online) community.

Professor O’Neill’s talk is now available online by clicking here (pupils and parents will require their FireFly log in credentials to access).

Today the 25th of April at 1:30 p.m.was when the entire St.Columba’s College community were to join Old Columban and extreme runner Alex Panayotu in stages of her 24 hour ‘Run till the Sun’ around the college grounds in aid of Purple House Cancer Centre.

The entire College community: comprising pupils, staff, parents, Old Columbans, friends of the college Come together to give something back to a very worthy charitable cause. The reason why this is not happening as I write is very clear.

The world will come out on the right side of this current global pandemic. So the ‘Run til the Sun’ is only postponed. It will be nice to have something to look forward to when we will eventually be allowed to get together.

As a cancer survivor, Alex has been in isolation in the northern suburbs of Athens for over six weeks with only her faithful dog Robyn for company. Alex tells me she is doing at least two hours of running and walking every day on Mount Penteli training and preparing for when her ‘Run til the Sun’ endurance challenge will happen. She also said ‘Liam you have no idea how much I am looking forward to seeing and running with all the pupils and supporters of ‘Run til the Sun’.

I am delighted to say that in a time which is a disturbing and challenging one for so many that I can give you some good news. Purple House has finally secured a permanent home after thirty years. The HSE approved a prioritised capital application for funds towards the purchase of its new permanent premises on Duncairn Terrace in Bray. This was announced in the midst of the current crisis it will give hope to the thousands who use its services every year. The ‘Run to the Sun’ committee delighted for Conor O’Leary and Stephanie Murphy, their dedicated team and all the charity’s volunteers. Although the doors of Purple House are closed their hearts are open and hampers and support are being provided for cancer patients who are isolating.

Purple House will need to launch fundraising when the crisis is over as they will need support to fund their move. The St.Columba’s ‘Run til the Sun committee’ are looking forward to giving them as much support as our community can muster.

Luke O’Neill is a Professor of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin and one of Ireland’s leading science figures. He has been a prominent figures on Irish radio and TV over the past number of years and in particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing evidence-based advice for the general public on minimising the risk of contracting Covid-19.

We are delighted to announce that Professor O’Neill will host a live webinar for pupils, teachers and parents on Friday April 24th at  7:00pm. The title of his presentation is “A frenzy of activity: vaccines, antibodies, anti-virals and anti-inflammatories against COVID19“.

To join the webinar simply click on FireFly logo above. This post contains the details of the Google Meet link  (you will need to log in to your FireFly portal to access). Professor O’Neill will give a short presentation before taking some questions from those attending (you can add your questions into the “chat” during the webinar).

12 Fifth Form pupils yesterday met virtually to discuss the impact of Covid 19 on the twelve countries they researched and have personal experience of: the UK, Nigeria, Turkey, Singapore, Hungary, Australia, Spain, Italy, the United States, China, Sweden and of course Ireland.

Each pupil wrote 500 words on his/her country and this was shared with the group in advance of the discussion in order for the chat to be evidence-based. They plan to pull together some form of publication of the research and the findings of the discussions

The topic for next Wednesday’s session is: “Imagining a better post-covid world- what changes should we make and how can governments implement them?”

If anyone else would like to join the discussion, please mail Ms Duggan.

Despite the pandemic and global lockdown, there is some positive news regarding the environment. The waters in the Venetian canals have cleared, LA smog has disappeared and in Thailand restrictions keeping humans and harmful waste off beaches are having a beneficial effect on the numbers of endangered leatherback sea turtles.

Today, April 22nd, is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now involves over 10,ooo environmental groups across 183 countries.

This year St. Columba’s has joined the digital community to raise awareness, and in support will host a College Kahoot Quiz.

You will need to learn a little about Earth Day first: https://www.earthday.org/history/

Then go to Kahoot game page https://kahoot.it/ and enter the code sent to you on Firefly.

The quiz is open until 8.00pm tonight: Who will become the College Earth Day Kahoot Champion?

Today, Monday 20th April, we start term again (albeit not on the physical campus). The SPHE Department will be running a fortnightly photo challenge for pupils (and teachers and parents too!), to help them think about their wellbeing during the next six weeks. We’ll post entries on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, and they’ll be gathered in the album you can see below. Pupils have been contacted by Firefly about this already.

Thanks to Ms Maybury and Dr Rice for kicking things off…

 

This morning a small number of residents again met in Chapel with appropriate ‘distancing’ for an Easter Sunday service. You can now listen to this 17-minute service via the player below, and follow it by the text below that, including the words of the hymns if you’d like to join in.

The service is conducted by the Chaplain, Reverend Daniel Owen. The reading is by Caleb Owen, and Mr Peter McCarthy is the pianist.

Easter Day – The First Sunday of Easter
12th April 2020

The Greeting
Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! Luke 24:34

Introduction from the Chaplain

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth will proclaim your praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen.

Praise the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

Hymn 244

1. There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
where the dear Lord was crucified
who died to save us all.

2. We may not know, we cannot tell,
what pains he had to bear,
but we believe it was for us
he hung and suffered there.

3. He died that we might be forgiven,
he died to make us good,
that we might go at last to heaven,
saved by his precious blood.

4. There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin,
he only could unlock the gate
of heaven, and let us in.

5. O dearly, dearly has he loved!
And we must love him too,
and trust in his redeeming blood,
and try his works to do.

Cecil Francis Alexander (1818-95)

The Reading
John 20:1-18, The Resurrection of Jesus
(Followed by short address by the Chaplain).

Easter Collect
Almighty God,
through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
you have overcome death
and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
Grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayers
Concluding with:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory
for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn 288

1. Thine be the glory risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou oe’r death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where thy body lay:

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou oe’r death hast won.

2. Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting:

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou oe’r death hast won.

3. No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of Life;
life is nought without thee: aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors through thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above:

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son,
endless is the victory thou oe’r death hast won.

Edmund Budry (1854-1932), Tr. R.B. Hoyle (1875-1939)

 

Concluding Prayer and Blessing
Living God,
for our redemption you gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
you have delivered us from the power of our enemy.
Grant us so to die daily unto sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The blessing of God Almighty,
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and remain with you always. Amen.

Go in the peace of the Risen Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Finally, listen to ‘O vos omnes II’ by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) sung by some ‘distanced’ residents on Good Friday below:

Material in the service from The Book of Common Prayer copyright © RCB 2004.

Photograph of the Chapel taken by the Chaplain.

Numerous institutions, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, have taken up the challenge of recreating their favourite artworks with whatever they can find in their homes, with some amazing and interesting results…

Pupils, parents and staff: take a look at the examples on these two Instagram feeds:

We challenge you to recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in your home!

Choose your favourite artwork
Find three things lying around your house⠀
Recreate the artwork with those items

 

Email the pictures to Ms. Cullen or Ms. Murphy and they will be shared on

https://www.instagram.com/stcolumbas_art

Form IV (Transition Year) Art pupils have been working on a portraiture-themed project throughout the Hilary Term. This began with a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland to see The Zurich Portrait Prize in late December. Pupils also researched a portrait artist of their choice and the range of artists chosen was wide and varied. This research, along with a number of drawing exercises, prompted and encouraged pupils through the concept and design phase of the creative process of portraiture. The pupils completed the final portrait in the medium of their choice. Enjoy the gallery below.

One thing that has not been delayed is the production of The Submarine magazine. While it won’t appear in paper form, you can read the Hilary Term edition now here.

Editors Avi Johnston and Edna Johnston have put together an attractive mix of writing and art work by pupils, including Sinéad Cleary, Paz Guitart, Arizona Forde, Iris Foster, Tita Schack v Wittenau, Aiyuni O’Grady, Mika Sacolax, Georgia Goodbody, Eyitore Gbenga-Ajayi, Vivian Tuite, Jasper Wilkinson, Aran Murphy, Aeladh Bradley-Brady, Ayodeji Ediale and Rory O’Dowd. And there’s an appeal for more material for the next edition, too (see the final page).

The Warden is sending a letter to Sixth Form, preparing for their Leaving Certificate. Here it is:

Dear 6th Formers

I hope this letter finds you in decent spirits. It is very hard to maintain morale at this time and I hope you are managing to stay positive.

Let me start by saying how much I and all the staff here miss you all at the moment. Yes, it is holiday time right now, but it has already been a while since you all left and the prospect of an extended break from school is really depressing. The school grounds can feel very peaceful in holiday time but it doesn’t feel like that right now…instead it just feels very empty.

I am sure that you are following the various pronouncements from the Irish government every day. As things stand there is a determination to proceed with the Leaving Certificate exams in June, but how realistic that is I don’t know. It may just be bravado, although one cannot rule out the possibility that in two months’ time the worst will be over and that conditions will allow you to come in each day for exams. There are arguments from some saying that it would be unfair to make you sit exams in the present environment, while there are others who say it would be unfair to deprive you of the opportunity to sit those exams. I don’t know who is right, but we have to be prepared for either eventuality.

What I can say with certainty is that the College will be here to support you fully through whatever happens. If exams need to be sat, then we will make sure that, if you live a long way away, or even abroad, and we are not allowed to accommodate you in school, the wider Columban community will help out in every way possible. We will do everything that we possibly can to ensure that you end up with the grades that you deserve and get into the courses at the universities on which you have set your hearts. I know how unsettling and stressful it must be for you, having to carry on with your revision, while being unsure as to whether the exams are actually going to take place or not.

This is Easter week and, although my biblical interpretation may be a bit contrived, it could be seen to mirror the current situation. On Palm Sunday Jesus rides into Jerusalem, acclaimed by the crowds, who hail him as the king. By Thursday he has been deserted by everyone and betrayed by a close friend and everything looks as dark as it can be. On Friday Jesus dies on the cross, his disciples flee and he is mocked and despised by passers-by. However, that is not the end of the story and on Sunday he rises from the dead, the culmination of the Christian story.

You may or may not be very religious but you will still agree it feels now like we are going through a very dark time. The excitement of the approaching summer term, with its sunny weather, sports day, prize-giving, graduation and emotional farewells to friends, has given way to a sense of betrayal and huge anti-climax. I imagine that that is how you feel. However, I do believe that we will get through it, as a College and as individuals. I can tell you now that, if we are not able to have a graduation ceremony in late May, we will still find an opportunity, when the time is right, to invite you all back to the College to celebrate your time here and to say goodbye in a fitting manner.

On Sunday we will be recording a short Easter service in chapel. Please do listen to it and join in where you can. In the meantime take care of yourselves and support each other in every way you can.

Best wishes,

The Warden.

 

 

 

Members of the College “Virtual Alumni Choir” were on Scala Radio in the UK yesterday morning singing Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with Stay at Home Choir and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Today they will begin the 2nd Stay at Home Choir project: “And So I Goes” by Billy Joel with The King Singers!

But what about our current pupils I hear you say? Well, Sine Nomine Competition Choir (pictured above at the recent Wesley Feis) members have been invited by Boston Children’s Chorus to collaborate with it and other choirs in a ‘Virtual Sing’ this weekend. They will sing a piece called “We Are One” by Brian Tate and they, and the College will be acknowledged for this contribution in a video. Incidentally, below are Sine Nomine members Tania Stokes and Josepha Westphalen receiving their 2nd place certificate at the Wesley Feis.