Congratulations to all the pupils who participated in the Senior Art Prize for 2024. The level of dedication and craftsmanship displayed in each submission is a testament to the commitment of the pupils. Throughout the academic year, amidst the mountains of responsibilities and extracurricular activities, the pupils worked away on their submissions in the art room.

We are very thankful to multidisciplinary Irish artist Serena Kitt, who was invited to judge the entries, which were based on the themes ‘Territory’ and ‘Encounter’.

The Earl of Meath Art Prize, Senior, was won by Ivan Zhu, Form V (his piece above). Serena commented that the work was extremely skilled and innovative for showing the other side of the war through the lens of the camera and for all of the hidden messages around the composition.

The Craft Prize, Senior, was awarded to Felicitas Ratibor. Serena added that her work (above) was thought provoking and visually arresting as it leaves you wanting to see more.

The Photography Prize, Senior, was awarded to Ella Taylor, Form VI. Serena thought this work (below)by Ella was beautiful and a really interesting and innovative take on the theme of territory.

Commendations for the Art Prize were awarded to Ella Taylor, Form VI, for her conceptual, sentimental painting. And to Sofia Gill-Torrejon, Form V, for her painting of the rabbit and fox and for its meaning about two animals in the animal kingdom each vying for territory. A distinction for the Art Prize was awarded to Georgia Goodbody, Form VI, for the scale and sheer skill in her work. Serena added that it was a joyous piece to look at. A distinction was also awarded to Calvin She, Form VI, for his sensitive, gentle rendering of a young girl.

Commendations for the Craft Prize were awarded to Constance Chambré, Form V, for her provoking ideas that she communicated through clay modelling, and to Arthur Jellett, Form VI, for the ship that Serena commented was “beautifully made” and reflected a lot of detailed work and skill and very interesting accompanying drawings. Distinctions in this category were awarded to Maximilia Holstein, Form VI, for her lively batik.

A Commendation for the Photography Prize was awarded to Jacob Owen, Form V. Serena was so impressed with the compositions and the dedication and effort he went to to shoot his photographs.

Generally, Serena expressed how impressed she was with the standard and variety of the submissions, which also included; pottery pieces by Aeladh Bradley-Brady, Amaya Street, Elisa Bulla, Ella Taylor, lino prints by Hedley Butler and batik by Joy Orogun. Photographs by Calvin She and Jason Zhang and drawings and paintings by Clodagh Walsh, Liberty Jacquier-Kende, Finn Tabb, Elisa Bulla.

We commend all the pupils for their outstanding achievements. Please enjoy viewing the work in the gallery below.

Congratulations to Grace Koch, the winner of this year’s Transition Year House Speeches, which took place last weekend. Grace gave a powerful and well-delivered speech, with a personal connection to her Great Grandmother Freda Teitelbaum’s experience with anti-semitism and concentration camps. In joint second, Rebekah Fitzgerald Hollywood spoke confidently on Psychedelics and Psychology and the medicinal benefits of Psilocybin and Safia Walker on the fear and benefits of making a speech. Iona were the House winners.

The annual Transition Year Prize evening tonight featured an overview from Ms Lynch, the TY Co-ordinator, of the huge number of activities the pupils have taken part in this year. Pupil speakers on their experiences included Tomas Echevarria, Catejan Cardona, Mario Ramirez Miranda, Hedley Butler, Ayodeji Ediale and Harry Smith Huskinson, while Alison Wang sang and accompanied herself on piano. Plenty of pictures and videos gave a fine overview of the year. Ms Lynch thanked her team of teacher-colleagues, and paid tribute to her predecessor, Ms Kilfeather.

Academic awards were made in these subjects:

English: Manuela Nassief
Maths: Fee Pirata Schmack
French:  Nooria Nakschbandi
Irish: Molly Mann
Spanish: Carlotta Kirschner
History: Cajetan Cardona
Geography: Ben Sykes
Biology: Melina Paulsen
Chemistry: Tomas Rosa Echevarria
Physics: Alison Wang
Design: Amecie Rose
Art: Keelin Bradley-Brady
PE: Frida Campe
Music: Harry Powell
Classics: Aeladh Bradley-Brady
Economics: Clodagh Walsh
Business: Cajetan Cardona
Religion: Alba Perich-Godo
In addition, the TY Academic Prize went to Shannon Walker Kinsella (presented at the St Columba’s Day celebrations on Saturday, and the Alyn-Stacey Award for Modern Languages went to Clodagh Walsh,

Finally, two non-academic awards were made:

Spirit of Transition Year – Elliot Warnock
Transition Year Award for Outstanding Resilience – Ciara Finn

On the evening of Tuesday 30th May we had the 28th annual Transition Year English evening in the BSR (and so, with two years out for pandemic reasons, this event started 30 years ago). The formula has remained little changed: pupils read out interesting work they have written during the year, and a guest speaker associated with English comments on this, and speaks on wider issues. There is no competitive element: this is a pure celebration of writing. At the end of the evening the pupils receive their year’s grades.

This year our guest (who had also come several years ago) was Mr Toirleac O’Brien, former English teacher at Blackrock College (his comments are in brackets after each speaker). The evening was compèred by Mr Jameson.

The first reader was Ava Fagan, with a special memory this year about a scuba-diving trip (so richly descriptive – wonderful). She was followed by Melina Paulsen, who wrote about her first Irish train journey (a delightful piece, with entrancing dialogue). Clodagh Walsh was third, with a short story including the sentence ‘Suddenly there was no noise’ (it opened effectively in the middle). Amaya Street wrote about her memories of her early homes (this looked at how your life might have turned out differently). Jamie Casey then read Alba Perich’s story of first love (very bravely!), followed by a very different piece, Manuela Nassief’s ‘Waterfall’ (with incredible observation, a remarkable piece of writing). Aeladh Bradley-Brady next read her highly ‘imaginative’ piece about losing one sense – hearing. Finally, Iona McCausland wrote on a long-time favourite personal topic, ‘The Oldest Person I Know’, in her case her complicated grandmother (it was deliciously eccentric, with a lovely way of seeing things).

Mr O’Brien then gave us some heart-felt sentiments on the future of writing and reading, particularly given the new AI world we have moved into so recently. His passionate advocacy for books was striking. He finished by commending all the readers on their bravery in reading so personally and intimately in front of their peers.

Finally, congratulations to the Premier Award winners: Aeladh Bradley-Brady, Cajetan Cardona, Carlotta Castagna, Amber Cotton, Ava Fagan, Emilia Hager, Manuela Nassief, Melina Paulsen, Shannon Walker Kinsella, Clodagh Walsh, Alison Wang and Johanna zu Solms.

FORM PRIZES 2022-23: these are based on all academic work this year so far. Prizes will be presented at the St Columba’s Day celebrations. Congratulations to:

FIRST FORM: Eleanor Hart, Grace Lee, Percy Parkins, Alannah Starbuck, Cora Wheatley.
SECOND FORM: Josefien Hutchinson, Lexi Hunter, Daniel Passmore, Jason Wong.
THIRD FORM: Grant Fabian, Grace Koch, Oscar Ryan, Safia Walker.
FOURTH FORM: Nooria Nakschbandi, Bibiire Oke-Osanyintolu, Clodagh Walsh, Alison Wang, Johanna zu Solms.
FIFTH FORM: Elizabeth Hart, Rachel Shaw, Yilong She, Wong Cheuk Yin.
SIXTH FORM: Tomás Casado, Kamilla Murphy, Cian Slyne, Isabel Warnock.

Last Saturday, six Form V pupils took part in the second round of the Irish Olympiad of Experimental Science at Dublin City University with four of the six achieving medals. In Biology, Lorne Walsh finished in first place, taking the gold medal while Rachel Shaw came second, receiving a silver medal. In Chemistry, Elizabeth Hart won the silver medal while in Physics Calvin She also took silver. Well done to all the competitors but especially the medal winners who now progress to round 3 where they will compete to make the Irish team for the European Olympiad of Experimental Science which takes place in Riga later this spring.

Following the researchED conference on Saturday 24th September, ticket-holders were sent an online survey, and here are some of the comments (all thrown together in no order). 34% of attendees had been to the event in 2019, so 66% were new to the experience.

General comments:

Thank you so much for a wonderful day of professional development … Excellent day all round. So practical and useful. Well done! … Such a brilliant day. Thank you so much for organizing it … It was a fantastic collaborative, energising experience that blew away some of the ennui generated after the impact of Covid restrictions in our schools. It was lovely to meet so many teachers from all over the country & meet up with old friends again. It was very interesting that this was an initiative led by educators not any of the agencies that impose conditions on how we carry out our practice … Superb event. Thank you …. Thanks so much for everything, including the communication in the lead up to the event … Brilliant. So welcoming. So worthwhile  … thank you for a wonderful and inspiring day … A great event for classroom practitioners … A fantastic experience from start to finish. Well done to all involved! …. An extremely beneficial and necessary experience if you wish to enhance your individual contribution to education in schools. … Superb day on all scores. I’m returning to school tomorrow uplifted and grateful for all … A fantastic day. So well organised and so informative … Well done, super organised, good range of speakers. Food amazing and the venue is special … Beautiful venue, lots of very friendly guides and great speakers. Well done … a perfect conference – well done to all those front of house and behind the scenes! … Buzzing from it. Please host it again. You are really good at it … Thank you for hosting such an exceptional event and I’m delighted to have been a part of it … The atmosphere and organisation of the event was outstanding and very welcoming. The volunteers showed enthusiasm all day – all fantastic. The Research Ed booklet was clear and very informative about each session.

A great day! … Excellent Day – very well organised; super staff. Thanks so much … Wonderful campus for such an event, great organisation and staff willing to give up their time on Saturday is very impressive and a sign of a good working relationship between management and staff … A totally amazing day – Thank you so much … Well run.  Great topics.  Hard to make a choice at some sessions … Thank you for all of your hard work in organising this incredible event. It was like going outside for a breath of fresh air!   … Overall, a really fantastic day which went by so quickly. Left with so many ideas and reflections. This is what professional development should be about. Well done to everyone involved … thank you SO much for organising. It was an amazing community to be part of and to speak to so many other teachers and listen to their experiences … Thank you for such a great day. Far more inspirational than ‘regular’ in-services… Brilliantly organised. Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Thank you for setting it up … Brilliantly organised and venue was very well laid out for all the various talks . Unfortunately couldn’t bilocate so missed some events as so many good speakers on at the same time … Well run.  Great topics.  Hard to make a choice at some sessions … PLEASE run this again! It was the most amazing day. My only complaint is it wasn’t long enough! I absolutely loved it and couldn’t believe we were getting all of these speakers for the price we paid- unbelievable value. Thank you, thank you, thank you! … The food was excellent!!! I couldn’t believe the standard, so impressive … Everything about the day was first class and the best CPD ever Thank you to the whole team … I felt invigorated after it … I am in education for over 20 years and I honestly think this is the best event I have been to by far. The energy and positivity was amazing. I would definitely go to it were it to happen again. Thanks so much to all the organisers.

What were your main takeaways from the day?

Loved Paul Kirshner and Kate Jones … Felt really empowered after listening to others. Aine Hyland’s voice needs to be amplified … My idol Miss Olivia Derwin, legend to all of us biology teachers! … Kate Jones was great – nice mix of theory and practical tips … I thoroughly enjoyed all speakers who delivered their ideas in an entertaining and clear manner. Dáire Lambert was excellent, giving us an honest and realistic insight into his classroom practice … Barbara Oakley was outstanding. So clear and concise and her way of getting her point across was soft but with clarity.  It was amazing from beginning to end … It was amazing to be able to hear such big names such as Barbara Oakley and Paul Kirschner… The whole day was superb … The two main Keynote speakers were excellent and I enjoyed Kate Jones’s presentation on retrieval practice. Generally, the more practical the talk, the more I enjoyed it! It is great to get some ideas for classroom practice … Barbara Oakley was superb: her visuals in her presentation really made a great impact on me … As a Science teacher, my eyes were on stalks: I had lab. envy & I love my own lab. but perhaps not as much as I did before my head was turned by yours!) … The entire event was superb. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Dr Barbara Oakley and Kate Jones. I loved the smaller seminars on spelling and giving boys feedback. Thank you  … There was a strong thread on “how students learn” that ran throughout the whole day.  I found this good as multiple perspectives helped to reinforce the basic science and practical applications … Retrieval Practice by Kate Jones and Junior Cycle Planning by Clare Madden were exceptional … Barb was outstanding. I’m teaching twenty years and she is the best I’ve seen! … Barbara Oakley & Kate Jones were very impressive and informative. One day at researchED would save teachers countless days of CPDs!  …

Barbara Oakley, Kate Jones and Aine Hyland were brilliant to listen to. … Delighted to spend time with other teachers in earnest and substantial discussion of pedagogy (as opposed to much “CPD” in recent years)… Prof Barbara Oakley was an excellent start to the day.  Could have listened to her all day … Really impressed with the high quality programme and mix of topics and speakers.  I particularly enjoyed Barbara Oakley, Mark Roberts and Kate Barry … Barbara Oakley was amazing, John Tomsett really impressed with curriculum discussion also. Oliver Caviglioli, Paul Kirschner and Neil Almond were real highlights … The aspects of the programme that were about research and engaging in research at schools were great – Jenny McMahon from UL and Liam Guilfoyle from Oxford gave real practical ideas for getting involved which were great … Barbara was outstanding- so warm, encouraging, knowledgeable and interesting. That said, all speakers were superb! … Kate Jones was fantastic. I thought Sonia Thompson was inspirational … Really loved Emma Regan’s ‘Why set up a Professional Learning Community’ and the SWOT analysis ..They all impressed me from Barbara to Paul to the discussion with Annie, Simon and Clinton … Really impressed with David and Jennifer Keenahan’s work and energy put into discussing physics textbooks and Paul Nugent delivered an excellent session of effective questioning for students. As for takeaways, elements of Brendan O’Sullivan’s and Barbara Oakley’s speeches stuck with me the most … Barbara Oakley was the most enthralling on importance of retrieval practice. Áine Hyland was excellent on state of curriculum development in Ireland at the moment … Barbara Oakley was very impressive as was Áine Hyland. Good to hear somebody of the stature of Áine Hyland express concerns about the direction of the Irish education system particularly around Senior Cycle Reform and presented in a humorous fashion as well … James Maxwell – inspiration leadership of an Evidence Informed School .. The architecture of the brain and how this relates to learning. The importance of understanding working memory and long-term memory. The necessity of retrieval practice in education … Kate Jones, Claire Stoneman were both great …Still digesting it now – so much information.  Need to think how it can be put into practice in school … All brilliant, but I particularly enjoyed Barbara Oakley and Kate Jones’s practical takeaways … Sonia Thompson and Paul Nugent were excellent …. All good – Barbara Oakley super … Barbara Oakley was a particular stand out. Absolutely fantastic presentation. .. Really enjoyed the keynote speakers, main take-away, not to become complacent – our research informed journey has started but this is for the long term! … Really enjoyed all speakers. I loved Barbara Oakley- learning about her own background and her achievements today. I loved her presentation and feel like her presentation really simplified the learning process for me.   Paul Kirschner was excellent as well. I had so many takeaways from all talks that I will use in my own teaching. I loved Kate Jones as there were so many real life applications and examples from the classroom. I am only new to researchED and some of the buzz words at the minute. I would be honest and say I do not keep up the latest educational research and feel like this day really kick started me back into keeping my teaching methods current. I feel like I lost my ‘mojo’ in certain ways throughout covid and online learning … Paul Kirschner was amazing and brought his book and so excited with all the knowledge that I possess …

Both keynote speakers were excellent – Barbara Oakley and Paul Kirschner … Quality of speakers and how ideas that were relevant to the classroom … Really liked how Kate Jones presented retrieval practice and Olivia Derwin on video learning. To be honest, I really enjoyed everyone I went to see, just wish I could have gone to all of them … Barbara Oakley was excellent. Really good explanations of how learning happens … Oliver Caviglioli was really interesting … Paul Kirschner’s keynote was excellent …Daire Lambert was really interesting, funny and directly applicable to the classroom … Barbara was incredible. A great keynote. Plenty to take away from it. Kate Jones is a marvel. Her session was excellent … Jerome Devitt was superb in his talk on the new politics and society LC course … Kate Jones, Clare Madden and Barbara Oakley were very insightful … I was very interested in the discussion on retrieval practice. Barbara Oakley, Kate Barry, Paul Kirschner were great. However, I enjoyed all the sessions I attended … this is what we need to be preaching in universities! Clare Madden brought everything we learned back down to the issues we constantly face… the curriculum. Amazing, realistic approach to learning … Kate Jones- have read lots of her books and she was just as brilliant as I hoped …. Dáire Lambert- really stuck with me and thought he spoke really well! … Good practice comes from evidence and a lot comes from having professional conversations … I was especially impressed by Annie Asgard’s talk about providing for refugee children effectively within our education system … Professor Áine Hyland was brilliant and summarised all the key points about Senior Cycle reform so clearly. Jerome Devitt was also fantastic and I learned a lot about trying to implement vague syllabi in the classroom … I’m from the US, and the fascinating take away for me was the matrix of similarities and differences among our school systems … Ms Oakley was brilliant – but everyone was very good … Professor Barbara Oakley and Aine Hyland were both outstanding … Barbara Oakley, fabulous example of weaving stories into content. Kate Jones – brilliant! … It was a fantastic day, very enjoyable. The workshops were brilliant. Paul Kirschner, Oliver Caviglioli and Barbara Oakley were outstanding.

Back in pre-pandemic times in 2019, the College organised and hosted the first-ever researchED conference in Ireland, a hugely-successful gathering of over 350 educators at the cutting-edge of best practice in teaching and learning. The 2020 conference was cancelled for obvious reasons, but the school was delighted to put on the second event on Saturday 24th September, organised by Mr Girdham and Mr Jones.

Again, the campus was packed (the tickets sold out in May after under 3 weeks on sale), and from 8.00am people arrived from all over Ireland (including a strong showing from Northern Ireland) and abroad. Talks were held between 9am and 4.30pm, starting with the brilliant opening keynote by one of the giants of world education, Barbara Oakley from the United States. She was followed by a mixture of third-level academics and ‘ordinary’ teachers covering all aspects of education, such as leadership, Senior and Junior Cycle, diversity, feedback for boys, the asylum experience, digital content and retrieval practice.

A lovely lunch provided by one of our sponsors, the College caterers Sodexo, was followed by three sessions in the afternoon, culminating in the closing keynote by another legendary figure, Professor Paul Kirschner from the Netherlands. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and the school is proud to have played its part in having a positive impact on Irish education.

Presentations are available here, and the programme and a photo album of the day follow.

One of the highlights of 2019 was the College’s hosting of the first-ever researchED conference in Ireland on October 5th of that year. 350 educators from around Ireland and the world came to hear a top-class line-up of academics and classroom teachers talk about best practice. Of course, it was not possible to repeat the experience in 2020 or 2021, but now we are getting close to the second event, on Saturday 24th September (when the pupils are on Exodus).

Again, all tickets were long-ago sold out, and again there are some extraordinary speakers, including the keynote presenters Professor Barbara Oakley (from the US) and Professor Paul Kirschner (from the Netherlands).

The timetable will be released before long, but for the moment here are the session details, in alphabetical order.

We’ll have more here in the next couple of weeks: meanwhile, here is a report on the 2019 event.

This year’s Transition Year came (almost) to an end on Thursday evening, with the annual Final Presentation and Awards Evening, led by the TY Co-ordinator Ms Kilfeather, who described what a formidably busy year the pupils have had, term by term. She picked out events such as, in the Michaelmas Term, the Causey Farm and Dublin Zoo visits, the talk by John Lonergan, the sleepout on College grounds and the Architects in Schools programme. Elizabeth Hart and Amber Cotton described the many activities that formed the Gaisce programme, co-ordinated by Ms Lynch, and Alannah McKee presented on the F1 in Schools, co-ordinated by Ms Hennessey. 

In the Hilary Term, there were powerful talks by Patricia Carey and Jackie Fox, the Activities Day, Work Experience (which Oisin Germaine talked about) and Careers in Screen. This term, there have been presentations by Raoul Empey on climate change and Alex Hibbert on his adventure career. The TY Academic Prize evening took place, as well as the English and Modern Languages ones. There was sailing in Dun Laoghaire. Recently we heard that Cameron McKinley was runner-up in the Music Section of the Mary Elmes Prize in Holocaust Studies for Transition Year students from Holocaust Education Ireland, and Cameron accompanied himself on piano while singing his piece.

Ms Kilfeather paid tribute to the nine other full-time teachers who also take on responsibilities as part of the Transition Year team: without them nothing would happen. Before the evening ended with a photo collage of the year, she announced the winners of the academic subject prizes, and of the Spirit of Transition Award:

Music – Lauren Ng

Economics – Michael Onyeka-Patrick

Art – Georgia Goodbody

Irish – Kate Dementyeva

History and French – Elizabeth Hart

PE and Spanish – Hannah Bergmann

Biology and Classics – Rachel Shaw

Chemistry -Daniela Gasull Algas

Design, Physics, Mathematics & joint English – Calvin She

Geography, Business, RE & joint English – Cayden Wong

Spirit of Transition Year: Hughie Casey and Lara Hunter.

FORM PRIZES: congratulations to this year’s winners of these prizes, awarded for academic performance across all subjects. Presentations take place at the St Columba’s Day Celebrations on June 4th.

Sixth Form: Theodora Clare, T.J.Hopkins, Avi Johnston, Marcus O’Connor, Mika Sacolax.

Fifth Form: Tomas Casado, Kamilla Murphy, Fiona Noack, Isabel Warnock.

Fourth Form: Hannah v Bergmann, Elizabeth Hart, Rachel Shaw, Calvin She, Lorne Walsh, Wong Cheuk Yin.

Third Form: Oleana Cowan, Edith O’Brien, Alison Wang, Lucas Weber.

Second Form: Stella Borrowdale, Grant Fabian, Johnny Leonard, Safia Walker.

First Form: Josefien Hutchinson, Marianne Lee, Jack-Francis McKeon, Alberto Sanchez Nistal.

In October 2019 the College held the enormously successful first-ever researchED event in Ireland, with 350 visitors on the campus throughout the day listening to a series of stimulating presentations on best practice in education. Read a report on that day here.  Check out the short video below.

The 2020 event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, but now plans are advanced for the second event in Ireland, on Saturday 24th September.  Again we have a truly excellent line-up of speakers: see the conference page.  Tickets are just €40, including lunch, and can be purchased there, or directly from the Eventbrite page. In 2019 tickets went very quickly, so get in early…

researchED Dublin from St Columba’s College on Vimeo.

Congratulations to the following pupils on receipt of one of the Senior Art Prizes.
Senior Photography Prize.
‘Blurred Time Series’ by Alice Letort, Form V.
Senior Craft Prize.
‘Finite Infinity’ by Antonia Ladanyi, Form V.
Earl of Meath Art Prize, Senior.
Time and tide wait for no man’ by Georgia Goodbody, Form IV.

The Model United Nations is a fantastic extracurricular schools programme, involving schools participating from all over the world. It challenges students of all abilities to develop skills and improve confidence. The Model UN simulates the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, assigning countries to individual schools and asking them to speak and work on behalf of that country, usually on a specific issue e.g. climate change. Recently, the College Model UN team (supported by Dr Robson) took part in an online Model UN Assembly. Form V pupil Kate Higgins reports:

Last Friday January 28th 2022, our team of 12 delegates and 3 research assistants logged into a zoom conference modelled after the COP26 climate change conference that was held in Glasgow last November. Schools from countries all over the world, such as Australia, China, and the UK, joined us each assigned to represent countries other than their own. Our team was assigned China and, over the period of 3 weeks, we met after school to research China’s approach to climate change and formulate our responses to the various resolutions that had been put forward.

On the day itself, the zoom conference had almost 150 people logged on, and the conference started at 10am for us here in Ireland. First up were talks and introductions from various speakers along with an opening speech from a delegate from each school. Ours was delivered by Wong in TY who even got a special mention from one of the chairmen after the debating and is definitely a very talented speaker.

It was then around 11 o’clock when the debating began. We were divided up into 3 break-out rooms depending on which resolution would be debated. Within my break-out room, we were speaking about the phasing out of coal and subsidies, while the other 2 were about carbon tax and the protection of vulnerable communities. Two hours were to be spent in these break-out rooms debating anywhere between 8 and 12 clauses, however, within my own break out room we spent the entirety of the two hours only the first 4-5 clauses and ran out of time to finish the rest, showing how dedicated every delegate was.

Each break-out room group had their own successes, my fellow delegates and I successfully argued for the removal of the 2nd and 3rd clauses, these clauses penalised low-income countries and made no allowance for historically differentiated carbon emissions. Our proposed amendment to the 4th clause was adopted, this made allowance for lower-income and developing countries to maintain strategically important fossil fuel subsidies while they progressed towards phasing out coal. We were also commended for our positive contribution and strong arguments with a special mention in the General Assembly for Cheuk Yin Wong for his commanding contributions. In the second break-out room, dealing with carbon tax, the delegates successfully amended the 1st clause of the resolution which embedded a higher and incrementally increasing rate of carbon tax contributions for countries based on the length of time for which they have been industrialised. These delegates were commended in Plenary Session (General Assembly) for their substantial and positive contribution. In the final break-out room, discussing climate finance and the protection of vulnerable communities, the delegates were initially thrown by an unexpected vote to delete clause 4 which was their primary target for amendments. They stuck to their task and collaborated very impressively in the ongoing debate, and successfully amended clause 8, concerning sanctions for non-compliance with climate funding commitments.

After these break-out rooms, we had a 20-minute break during which there were pastries, sandwiches and hot chocolate which was very kindly brought to the BSR by the kitchen staff. After our break, we returned once more to our various devices for feedback from the break-out rooms and a word of thanks from each school taking part; our thanks was relayed brilliantly by Elena O’Dowd, Form V. Our entire team consisted of 3 TYs (Cheuk Yin, Elizabeth & Lorne) and 9 Form V pupils (Elys, Isabel, Nikolai, Elena, Georgie, Kamilla, Florian, Monty, and I), then, of course, we had 3 Form V pupils helping with research in the lead up and on the day itself who can’t go without mention, MacKenzie, Elle and Tadhg. Of course, none of this would have happened without the brilliant planning and coordination of Dr Robson and a huge thanks is in order, it truly was a brilliant experience.

Many congratulations to last year’s Sixth Form, who today received their Leaving Certificate results. They had a very difficult year, and their studies were repeatedly disrupted, so it is greatly to their credit that they completed the year so strongly, and that their results were excellent.

Due to the unique mixture of the accredited grade process and the altered examination system, it is is impossible to make valid comparisons with previous years, but an average points score of 511 out of 625 is most pleasing.

Candidates can see the official process for appeals and viewing of scripts here.

FORM PRIZES 2020-21: congratulations to the winners
• First Form: Stella Borrowdale, Naoise Bradley-Brady, Grant Fabian, Felix Jellett, Grace McCarthy.
• Second Form: Carlotta Castagna, Oleana Cowan, Edith O’Brien, Alison Wang, Lucas Weber.
• Third Form: Kate Dementyeva, Elizabeth Hart, Rachel Shaw, Calvin She.
• Fourth Form: Nikolai Foster, Kate Higgins, Emily McCarthy, Kamilla Murphy, Isabel Warnock.
• Fifth Form: Thea Clare, TJ Hopkins, Avi Johnston, Nathan Kutner, Marcus O’Connor.
• Sixth Form: Sinead Cleary, Gioia Dönhoff, Stella Jacobs, Aiyuni O’Grady, Kaspar Twietmeyer.
We wish the best of luck to our F1 in Schools Team (Marco Trolese, Caleb Owen, Monty Walsh, Carl Krenski, and Florian Zitzmann) who take part in the Virtual National Finals this weekend. The competition is broadcasting on the F1 in school YouTube channel from 7PM on Thursday the 20th of May, Friday 21st of May, and Saturday the 22nd of May.

The team put in a great performance on Thursday evening at the time trials and you can watch their race in the video below.

On Saturday the 22nd of May, the winners of the following awards will be announced:

Best Engineered Car,

Fastest Car,

Best Social Media,

Best Newcomer,

Best Enterprise & Pit Display,

Innovation Award,

Women in Motorsport,

Best Team Identity,

Best Verbal Presentation and

Best Communicators.

On Sunday the 23rd of May, the televised National Finals will be broadcast on TG4 at 8:30PM where they will be announcing the National Champions 2021.

Bebras is an international initiative aiming to promote informatics and computational thinking among school students at all ages. It is run in over 50 countries and takes place every November. The aim is to get students all over the world to get excited about computing. The challenge introduces computational thinking to students where they are required to solve interactive tasks. These tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking.

Forty two pupils from Forms II, III & IV entered the Bebras Computing Challenge in November 2020 in their respective age categories. Of there, nine pupils, listed below, have succeeded in gaining entry to the Bebras National Final based on their score from November. This is a fantastic achievement considering there was close to 6000 pupils who entered the competition in these two age categories. The finals will take place on Tuesday 20th April 2021 as part of Tech Week 2021. The pupils who made the final are:

Cadet Category (12-14)
Alexander Fought
Sean Lang
Manuel Montez Perez
Elliot Warnock Cadet

Junior Category (14-16)
Alison Coogan
Leonid Mylvaganam
Elena O’Down
Tyrone Shi
Ella Taylor