For those parents who were able to attend this talk by Patrick Foster we were treated to an insight into the world of someone whose life almost ended through an addiction to gambling. Patrick was a young man who was hugely successful in sport and then in his career but lost everything through gambling and was within minutes of taking his own life.

 

Julia Kaptein, Form V, reports on the recent art trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Newgrange.

On October 19th, Saturday morning we left the school on a bus filled with V and VI Form Art pupils to go to the Boyne Valley. We arrived to the Interpretive Centre (currently undergoing renovations) where we met a shuttle bus which would bring us to our destination. Our first stop was Newgrange. Our guide showed us around and explained everything to us about the Newgrange passage tomb, a UNESCO world heritage monument. Through the narrow passage, we entered the grave. It is astonishing to think about the craftsmanship that was needed to build this structure. Looking up inside the passage tomb, we could see the corbel vaulting technique that was used to keep the grave dry inside. We walked around the outside of Newgrange and took a second shuttle bus that took us to Knowth. We were shown a short video about Knowth before we went inside the passage tomb. The Knowth monument was more decorated on the outside and surrounded by smaller tombs. We walked on top of the tomb and although the weather was not as beautiful as we hoped, the view was stunning and overlooked the entire Boyne valley. I think it was very helpful for all pupils to see and walk around the tombs rather than just learning from of our books. Visiting the site brought to life all that we had learned in the classroom. Many thanks to Ms. Cullen and Miss Murphy for organising this memorable trip. The excursion was very successful and a chance for us to learn outside of our classroom.

Maxim Meddah gives an account of the annual TY House Speech Competition:

On Sunday 29th September, the annual Transition Year House Speeches took place once again in St Columba’s College. Each house was represented by two pupils. The topic the pupils could choose was up to them. Some were serious and some were humorous. The contestants were marked out of ten points for delivery and content and five points on lack of reliance on notes. They each spoke for three to five minutes.  

Glen was represented by Antoine Dulauroy who spoke about how Astrophysics can change your view on the world and Akin Babajide who spoke about why the idea of world peace is naive. Gwynn was represented by Tom Casey who spoke about why the earth is flat and Peter Taylor who spoke about anxiety. Stackallan was represented by Marcus O’Connor speaking about the profound message of Kung Fu Panda and Andrew Maguire on the importance of team sports. Edna Johnston spoke about being a twin and Amalia Falkenhayn speaking about being tall represented Iona. Representing Hollypark were Emma Hinde talking about ‘the power of words’ and Caroline Hager speaking about Flying.  

The event started with the announcement of the first speaker Edna Johnston by the evening’s MC, Guy Fitzgibbon. Edna then commenced with her speech which was about being a twin. She talked about her least favourite response to people finding out she has a twin which was “Oh I know a set of twins” and her favourite response being when people look in shock with their mouths wide open. In retrospect, her speech was really about being her own person and that she and her sister are not one and the same person but two individuals that merely look alike. The next speech was by Antoine Dulauroy. He talked about the two different ways someone’s view of the world could be affected by astrophysics, showing us how big the universe really is. The first point was that you feel tiny in such a huge world and that nothing matters. The second being seizing that feeling of feeling small and meaningless and use it as a pretext to trying scary and challenging new things. In the end, he mentioned his dream, or rather his objective of becoming an astrophysicist.

The third speech, a humorous one, was given by Tom Casey and he talked about the earth being flat with the example of a grapefruit. His first reason was that if the earth was round an aeroplane which flies from the northern hemisphere to the southern one should arrive upside down, which quite evidently does not. He also reasoned that all the water would pour down the face of the earth if it were round. His speech entertained the audience well and by the end of his speech the whole room was filled with laughter. Next up was Amalia Falkenhayn talking about being tall. She started her speech with a quote from a recently released Netflix movie called Tall Girl. She compared how the movie portrayed being a tall girl and how it really is. But what her speech was really about was that you should feel comfortable in your body and be confident about something you simply cannot change like your height. The next speech was about the power of words and was held by Emma Hinde. She began with reciting a fact about bird species being extinct in the Amazonian rainforest sounding quite convincing but then telling us that that was not true. She then continued her speech about how someone can sound convincing spreading lies and how powerful that could be and then talked about how these powerful words could also be used to comfort people and make them feel good. The next speech was by Andrew Maguire who talked about the importance of team sports. He talked about his first days in the school not knowing anyone and not being able to make new friends during class because he was not allowed to talk but then proceeding to the hockey pitch and finally being able to talk to someone. He talked about how the friends he made on the hockey pitch that day later came to be his best friends. He talked about how team sports binds people together and strengthens relationships.

Then Caroline Hager talked about how she has always dreamed of flying an aeroplane, not the big commercial airline planes but the four-man acrobatic planes in which she could do loops and nosedives. Marcus O’Connor followed, and talked about the profound message of KungFu Panda. The message here was that there is no secret ingredient, no quick way to earn success and that you should always believe in yourself and focus on being your best self and not someone else and that you should believe in others and that they can change for the better. The next speech about a controversial topic was by Akin Babajide. He talked about why the idea of world peace is naive. He talked about how human society is based on conflict and that it is a primal part of us we cannot simply ignore. He said that for millennia humans have been at war and millions of people have died because of this but yet we still continue waging war on each other with no end in sight simply ending one war does not mean peace it just means a temporary agreement to a ceasefire. He said that because war has always been there that it is impossible to keep away. The last speech was by Peter Taylor who talked about anxiety. He talked about the effects this disorder can have on a person and how it can affect their life, and how some of the most courageous people have the highest level anxiety and as an example, he mentioned his friend who is one of the bravest people he knows having crippling anxiety.

While the judges were deciding on the placements of the contestants there was a very entertaining performance of Irish dancing performed by TJ Hopkins. When the placements were announced it was announced that there would be a tie for second place. Both Tom Casey and Peter Taylor were awarded this position. First place was given to Akin Babajide. Thank you to Ms Kilfeather, Raphaela Ihouma and Reverend Owen for their excellent adjudication of the event.

The pastoral care team (called Cúram, the Irish for “care”) has organized a busy schedule of activities for our annual Bullying Awareness Week. Our theme is “small change, big difference”.

These include:

  • Workshops for Forms IV and VI with Stuart Wilson (from ZestLife) on the themes of “small change, big difference” and “leadership” on Monday.
  • A talk for Forms I and II from Monica Rowe from Key Conversations on developing the skills to cope with change, friendships and to develop a strong self-image on Tuesday.
  • A workshop called Hero Starts With Her for the girls in Forms I, II and IV which aims to raise awareness of the negative effects of female bullying on Wednesday.
  • A visit to the Gaiety Theatre on Wednesday for Form V to see the play Asking for It. (They will return to the College at 11:00 p.m.)
  • Teacher/pupil workshops for all on issues such as how we all have a responsibility to address bullying and how to report bullying behaviour on Thursday.
  • A workshop for Forms IV and V from Shout Out on Friday. This will address the issue of homophobic bullying. The Department of Education and Skills requires schools to focus on developing pupils’ awareness of bullying and asks that they deal explicitly with the issue of homophobic bullying.
  • A film evening for Forms I and II on Thursday (6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).
  • A documentary and discussion for Forms III and IV on Friday (6:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.).
  • An art project involving the whole school.
  • Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) classes on the themes of friendship and bullying.
  • The theme of “small change, big difference” in Chapel.
  • A display of books in the Library on the theme of bullying and how to handle it.

We hope that day pupils will be able to join their classmates for evening activities. Please feel free to contact the College if you have any queries or if you wish to withdraw your child from any of the activities above.

On Saturday last, October 5th, the College hosted a researchED conference, the first time this international educational movement has been to Ireland, South or North. 350 educators, including 30 speakers, were joined by 25 of our own staff from morning to late afternoon going to presentations by world-class speakers from England, Scotland, Sweden and Belgium, as well as many presenters from all over Ireland (Derry to West Cork to Wexford to Dublin to Armagh). The programme can be seen here.

researchED Dublin (joining venues in the UK, USA, Australia, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Dubai, Chile, Switzerland and South Africa, with China coming) opened in the brand-new Whispering House at registration, with delegates arriving from 7.30am on (most of course were Irish, but we did have visitors from Switzerland, the UK and even Australia), collecting programmes and having coffee and eats provided by our superb caterers Sodexo. Then the conference proper started in the Big Schoolroom, with everyone being welcomed by the host and organiser, the Sub-Warden. Tom Bennett, founder of researchED, spoke about his delight in being in Ireland at last and gave an account of researchED’s purpose. He then handed over to the keynote speaker, Daisy Christodoulou, author of Seven Myths about Education and Making Good Progress? She showed how cognitive science has had a profound impact on teaching and learning.

After that, delegates chose from 6 strands, with sessions taking place in the BSR, the Cadogan, the Science Lab, the Physics Lab and the Biology Lab. Renowned speakers like Tom Sherrington, Mary Myatt, Alex Quigley, Pedro de Bruyckere and David Didau were interspersed with first-time presenters such as Conor Murphy, Kate Barry and Leona Forde. One of the exciting things about researchED events is how academic researchers meet and interact with classroom teachers, and the former here included University of Limerick researcher Dr Ann Marcus-Quinn and Ulster University’s Dr Victoria Simms (she speaks on the video).

A wonderful lunch (the perfect time to network and chat to strangers about common interests) was followed by three sessions in the afternoon, culminating in Carl Hendrick’s excoriating and hilarious dismantling of feeble pedagogy which sells children short. In the evening, the presenters came back together for dinner in town.

Reaction on the day was immensely positive, and online even more so: read this collection to get a flavour of what has been said since.

Many thanks to Ian O’Herlihy for the video of the day at the top of this post, and Daniel Owen for the photographs below.

The College, along with our partners Kilmashogue Golf Club, hosted the inaugural ‘Lionel Munn’ Golf Trophy competition for Sixth Class Primary Schools last week and it proved a tremendous success. The day consisted of the complete spectrum of weather conditions ranging from tropical sunshine to a torrential deluge accompanied by thunder and lightning, meaning all players were called off the course. One group managed to play eight holes and all others seven. So the competition was decided on seven holes.

The Best Boy’s prize was won by Aaron Nolan representing Lios na nOg,  playing off a 27 handicap with a very respectable 13 points. The Best Girl’s prize was won by Ana Abom representing Loreto Primary School off a 25 handicap with an equally respectable 13 points. The Team Prize was won by Loreto Primary School represented by Ana Abom and Sophie Considine.

Very well done to all players, parents, schools and the Kilmashogue Golf Club volunteers, headed by Geoff Brooks. It was fantastic to see so many smiling and positive young faces enjoying and playing golf.

On Saturday last the annual Sports Day took place. The College was awash with colour and, thankfully, sunshine as the boys and girls competed in a range of events from traditional track and field to tug of war (and everything in between). In the end, it was the Blue Team that triumphed!

That evening our annual Sports Dinner took place in the Dining Hall, celebrating the sporting achievements of individual pupils and their collective teams. The assembled pupils, staff and coaches were treated to an extraordinary speech from our guest Old Columban Alex Panayotou; Alex is an ultra-endurance athlete whose story is awe-inspiring.

College ‘Colours’ are awarded to those who are deemed exceptional in every way in their sport: ability, attitude, commitment on and off the playing field, consistency, reliability, character and courage. This year ‘Colours’ were awarded to Avouka Assebian (Athletics), Georg Mueller-Methling (Hockey) and Orla Conlon Batey, Helen Crampton, Anna Laurenceau and Valeria McQuillen (all Hockey). Congratulations to them.

The following were appointment captains of their respective sports for the next academic year:

  • Athletics (Boys) – Leo Moreau
  • Athletics (Girls) – Avouka Assebian
  • Basketball (Boys) – Pedro Grimalt
  • Basketball (Girls) – Calina Sacolax
  • Cricket (Boys) – Daniel Swift (Vice Capt Thaddy McKeever)
  • Cricket (Girls) – Eile ni Chianain
  • Cross Country – Shannon Dent
  • Hockey (Boys) – Alexis Haarman
  • Hockey (Girls) – Sophia Cole (Vice Capt Megan Bulbulia)
  • Rugby – Thaddy McKeever (Vice Philip Shekeleton)

Below is a collection of photos from the day’s activities, courtesy of Rev Owen.

The College will host a Gala Fashion Show, Dinner and Auction on Friday, May 10th 2019, in aid of the new social centre currently under construction in Whispering House. Tickets are almost sold out but can be purchased by clicking here. The auction will consist of online items but with the best lots saved for the live auction on the night. The online auction is NOW LIVE and bidding has begun – don’t miss out on these fantastic items including:

#1 Ashford Castle Hotel, 3 nights Dinner, B & B Plus Extras!

#24 Formula 1 – Belgium Grand Prix – 2 Weekend Grandstand Tickets

The College appreciates your support. The online auction is being hosted on ‘Galabid’ and instructions to take part are below.

To Register via SMS
1.       Text: columbas (capitals are not required) followed by your full name – Example: columbas Brad Pitt
2.       To: 353861803764
3.       Follow the registration link you are sent from GalaBid to login and place bids.

To Register via Browser
1.       Visit: galabid.com/columbas
2.       Click on the ‘register’ button
3.       Enter your details and click ‘submit’.
4.       You will then receive a text to your mobile phone with the link to the auction catalogue and a passcode. Use the passcode to login on any browser or click the link in the text to be automatically logged in on the browser on your smartphone. You are now ready to bid!

To bid anonymously: Go to My Account; Edit My Information; tick the box “Make me Anonymous”

We are holding our regular summer term Open Evening on Thursday, May 16th 2019, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and all are welcome: places may be booked by contacting the Admissions Officer, Amanda Morris via the contact form below or by emailing admissions@stcolumbas.ie.

Visitors are welcome at the Main House from 6.30pm. At 7pm there will be a short presentation by staff on the school, followed by 30-minute tours conducted by Junior pupils.

Register Your Interest

4 + 2 = ?

Open Evening Poster 2019

Emma Hinde, Form III, reports on her experience of participating in this year’s Art Prize and on the prize giving evening, held last weekend. Emma won the Junior Art Prize this year with her painting above.

The Art Prize was different this year. It used to be just drawing or painting any picture or making something within any theme for the craft. But this year there were set themes: Journey and Identity. We also had to make a mind map relating our artwork to the chosen theme. This meant that fewer people entered fewer pieces of work, but also made it easier for our visiting artist, Conrad Frankel, to judge.

On Saturday evening, he came in to talk about his work and announce the prizes. The talk came along with a slideshow, which showed some of his paintings and how they had evolved over time. Inspirations change. He mainly paints landscapes now. We were given lots of useful tips for painting. I will tell you some of these now:

“The sky is light and the Earth is a shadow,” “Shadows are cold” and; “the best colour you can make is unnameable.”

He also told us how he started his paintings; beginning with the sky with a palette knife, looking at what he is painting with his peripheral vision to get the outline, and then blocking a silhouette of the land.

It was a very interesting talk, and then the prizes were announced. Jeanne Levesque won the Earl of Meath Senior Art Prize, Tania Stokes won the Senior Craft Prize, Verlaine Bolger won the Photography Prize, Isabel Warnock won the Junior Craft Prize, and I won the Junior Art Prize. When I heard my name and saw my paintings on the screen, I felt like I could almost have jumped up and down in joy. It was an amazing feeling.

Amelie Buzay , Form IV, reports on her experience of the recent print workshop with Debora Ando.

During Arts Week on Thursday, March 28th, Form IV and V had the opportunity to take part in a print workshop. Debora Ando, who is a specialist in printing visited St. Columba’s for this day to teach us how Intaglio Drypoint printing works.

Firstly, she showed us some examples of her work so we could see what this type of printing is about. There were many different kinds of prints in different colours and sizes. Secondly, she showed us how the actual printing works; firstly, you need to have an idea of what you want to print. If what you want to print is a photo you need to print it out first, on the other hand, if what you want to print is an idea you have in your mind you need to draw it with pencil on a sheet of paper. Once that is ready, you need a small plastic plate that is placed on the drawing. You need to use a tool called a drypoint (a wooden handle with a hard metal tip) and you scratch with it on the plastic as you were using a pencil. The lighter you scratch, the lighter the print. Once you are finished you put the chosen colour of ink on the plastic plate and spread it into the scratched image with a small piece of cardboard. After you finished that, you place the plastic plate in the printing machine. On top of this, you place a wet piece of printing cotton paper. Finally, you run your paper and plate through the print press. This called pulling a print.

We all tried doing our own piece and the results were wonderful prints. It was really interesting trying something new and we all had great fun with this workshop.

Sveva Ciofani (Form IV) describes her recent visit to KennardPhillipps exhibition ‘Finnegans Woke’ at Rua Red Arts Centre, Tallaght; this was an Arts Week event.

Unique, fun and interesting are the words that I would use to describe our Art trip. It was a sunny Wednesday and my art classmates and I took the bus with Ms Cullen to the Finnegans Woke exhibition in Tallaght. We arrived around 3pm we entered a small building  I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of interesting pieces of art in such a small building! A really pleasant man explained in detail some of the pieces and all of them had a really deep meaning. My favourite piece was the first one that we saw: a skyscraper with a background of polluted soil that represented pollution spreading nowadays. The reason why I highly appreciated this piece is that lately, we heard a lot about global warming, pollution and strikes around the globe. Another reason why I like the piece is because it wasn’t actually a painting but a photoshop, a type of art that I find really interesting because it’s related to technology and not to the typical use of markers, paint and pencils. We also saw other pieces, for example, we saw a piece that played with the shadows and represented multiple things; in all pieces, there were various meanings. In general, I thought that all pieces were really controversial and unique, they all dealt with very important themes: racism, war, pollution. These are all issues of which we need to be aware. In fact, I strongly believe that this exhibition is made for opening people’s eyes, to make people aware and most importantly to actually do something about it, so I invite everyone to go visit it.

The exhibition does not just teach us, but also involves the viewer.  In the middle of the room, there was an enormous raft made up of all the posters that were made by the visitors. I think that the raft brings to the world some hope. The posters represented a good vision and awareness of the issues, and all of us made some posters. The poster that Ana and I made was about the gap between rich and poor and how this expands every year. It was about over consuming items and about bad lifestyles. We decided the divide the paper into two different parts, a colourful one and a dark one, because we thought that gave a strong visual impact.

My other classmates made posters about other important issues: for example body shame, inequality, racism and the acceptance of the LGBT community. All of the pieces expressed creativity and a sense of awareness, that is a positive thing in my opinion, because our generation is going to be next one, and if all of us are tolerant, educated and aware it is going to be positive for our society.

We had a good time and I think it was worth the trip.  Apart from learning a lot of things, it was also a way of changing our normal routine and try something new. We also had the opportunity of spending some time together, to work in pairs and to think about how privileged we are to have access to some things.

Below is a gallery of photos taken all the events during Arts Week, including the visit to Finnegan’s Woke.

The Art and Music Prize events took place over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday nights respectively. These events traditionally bring to a close our annual Arts Week.

On Saturday evening we welcomed artist and Old Columban Conrad Frankel to speak with the whole school on his journey as an artist and, of course, to judge the entries for the prize. After a fascinating and humorous talk, Conrad announced the winners in each category. The prizes went to Jeanne Levesque (Senior Art), Tania Stokes (Senior Craft), Verlaine Bolger (Photography, one of her photos featured above), Emma Hinde (Junior Art) and Isabel Warnock (Junior Craft).

The Music Prizes Concert was held on Sunday, March 30th; the adjudicator was Mr Jonathan Browner. He is currently headmaster in Educate Together School in Bray, but was previously Director of Music in Sandford Park School. It was a very entertaining evening with performers from 1st to 6th Form. He gave a very good adjudication and especially praised the high standard of singing in the College. Prizes were awarded to Harry Oke Osanyitolu, Toby Green, Alexandra Murray Donaldson, Alex Russell, Andre Stokes and Songyon Oh.

Well done to everyone involved in a hugely entertaining and engaging weekend, but especially to the prize winners!

Arts Week 2019 kicked off with a morning of fun and magic tricks for Form I pupils. Magician, Jack Wise, kept them highly entertained, but also taught them a thing or two about how some of the tricks work. In teaching them, however, it became clear just what skill is involved in being able to perform convincingly.

Tuesday switched up a gear with Eunan McDonald training about 150 primary school children, from seven different schools, to perform in fabulous concert in our chapel in the afternoon. Parents of many of the primary school children came to watch and were treated to our own choirs singing as well. It is a wonderful way of encouraging singing, but also of showcasing the wonderful choral tradition at St. Columba’s. It was great to hear both St. Columba’s and the visiting primary schools singing a song from New Zealand – a tribute after recent events there.

Depending on which pupils you spoke to, there would be all sorts of different highlights from the rest of the week.

Transition Year pupils art pupils had the opportunity of visiting the Finnegans Woke Exhibition which centred around artwork as a symbol of civil resistance and the struggle for a better future. Sveva Ciofana writes on her experience here.

A first for this year was the opportunity for Transition Years and Form VI to learn new dance moves as brother and sister, Luise and Ferdinand von Waitz from Germany, taught the pupils how to jive German style with Friesenrock! Thursday night the BSR was rocking as about 50 pupils crammed in to give it a go, finishing with an informal competition for best German couple, best mixed (German and non-German) couple and best complete beginners. Congratulations to all involved! Thursday also saw the art room being taken over by print making with a fabulous teacher Debora Ando. Again, a pupil report will follow shortly.

The Guest Artist Exhibition went ahead on a stunningly sunny evening this year. Those here last year will remember we had to cancel because of the snow. We were treated to a wonderful evening with work displayed by Sarah Langham (landscapes) and William Nathans (portraits). Sarah combines painting with amazing craft skills too and, as well as her landscapes, she displayed beautiful handbags made from old kilm rugs, tweed and recycled leather. Both artists inspired us all in completely different ways, Sarah as a self-taught painter and William describing his passion for passing on what he has learned by talking through each of the works exhibited. These events for parents and friends of the Columban community are great opportunities to meet and mingle as well as to learn something new.

What a treat we had on Friday night as nineteen juniors and seniors shared the poems they had written during the workshops on Thursday and Friday. Our thanks to poet Dave Lordan whose mission is to inspire young people in the art of story-telling and performance poetry. The starting point for them all was rooted in Ancient Greece and the work of Homer. The quality of the poems written and performed was outstanding. All work was completely original and as Dave impressed upon us, it had not existed the previous day. Another pupil report will follow shortly.

Form IV and V music pupils spent Friday making and recording music using iPads. “Simply Music” introduce students to the new and emerging software used in the music industry.

Old Columban, Conrad Frankel, a painter of national and international repute, arrived on Saturday and spent the afternoon taking in all the work that had been produced for the Art Prize Competition. This year saw a new format with students being given a brief and entering the prize competition; all pieces were exhibited in the BSR. On Saturday night Conrad addressed the whole school in BSR and all listened attentively as Conrad took us through the influences that inspired his own work and then a look at his own previous and current painting. We had a great back and forth with plenty of questions from pupils before the prizes were presented. The winners of this year’s Art Prizes were: Junior Art Prize – Emma Hinde, Junior Craft Prize – Isabel Warnock, Photography Prize – Verlaine Bolger, Senior Craft Prize – Tania Stokes and the Senior Art Prize – Jeanne Levesque (her winning painting featured above).

Jonathan Browner, principal of North Wicklow Educate Together School and previous Head of Music at Sandford Park School, had the daunting task of judging our Music Prize entrants. We had a fabulous line-up of singers and a wide range of instrumentalists, from the violin to trumpet to accordion and drums. Jonathan’s feedback was appreciated by us all as he described why he had chosen each of the six winners and those who also were also given a special mention. The winners of this year’s Music Prizes were Alexandra Murray-Donaldson, Alex Russell, André Stokes, Toby Green, Harry Oke-Osanyintolu and Songyon Oh.

A big thanks to all those involved in making Arts Week such a success. Below is an album of photographs from the various events that took place.

Arts Week 2019 takes place from March 25th to 31st and kicks off with a little bit of magic for Form I! Jack Wise (pictured) is a  Dublin based magician, who has performed at festivals worldwide, and he will be teaching our Form I pupils a few tricks of the trade. This will be followed on Tuesday with the Primary Schools Choral Day.  This year it will be attended by seven schools and over one hundred and fifty children. Eunan McDonald will be working with our massed choir culminating in a performance at 3.00pm in the chapel.

On Wednesday all Form III will spend part of their morning in the Art Department with Ms Cullen and Mr Horgan.  In the afternoon Form IV Art pupils will have a trip out to the exhibition, Finnegans Woke at the South Dublin Arts Centre in Tallaght. In the evening there will be a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ for all Form IV, but those in Forms V and VI can also sign up for the event.

Thursday is a particularly busy day. Dave Lordan, writer, poet and performer will be working with aspiring poets (Thursday and Friday mornings) from Form I to Form IV preparing them for the Poetry Slam event on Friday evening where they will perform to an audience from the same Forms.

“Dave Lordan is a multi-genre writer, performer, editor, and educator. He has been described as Ireland’s most vital and courageous poet, and a performer of electrifying intensity. He provides a portal to the inspirational power of the spoken and written word, and is currently one of Ireland’s leading educators in creative writing.”

For Form IV and V art students, Debora Ando will be running a print studio workshop on Thursday. Debora Ando is a Brazilian artist, originally from Sao Paulo but currently based in Dublin. Since 2013 she is a part-time lecturer in the Print Department at the National College of Art and Design as well as part of the Visitor Engagement Team at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.  She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In the afternoon there will be a chance for all Form VI pupils to let their hair down, after their mock exams, by trying out their dancing skills! Luise and Ferdinand von Waitz will be running a Friesenrock Dance Workshop and Competition.  Many of our German students know all about Friesenrock, but this is a chance for the rest of the year group to learn a bit more about rock n’ roll too! That evening, we will be hosting the official opening of our Guest Artist Exhibition.  We are grateful to Sarah Langham, Irish Landscape artist, and William Nathans, Portrait Painter, for loaning us so many of their wonderful paintings.  Do come along and meet the artists themselves as they talk about their work.

On Friday Forms IV and V  Music pupils will be treated to a Melody Maker iPad Workshop combining their musical skills with today’s digital technology. In the evening Dave Lordan will be back to host the final of the Poetry Slam competition.  We hope to persuade him to perform some of his own work too!

Arts Week will conclude at the weekend with the final highlights.  Saturday evening we are fortunate to host, Old Columban painter Conrad Frankel, who will talk about his work and then adjudicate and present the Art PrizesThis is a whole school event and is also open to parents.

On Sunday evening the Music Prizes will be awarded to those who have put themselves forward to compete.  This is always a wonderful showcase of Columban musical talent and will be adjudicated this year by Jonathan Browner.  Jonathan is principal of North Wicklow Educate Together School.  He taught music for 25 years at Sandford Park but has also lectured at both Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Again, this event is open to all pupils and parents.

For the full Arts Week Programme click here.

Dmytro Kasianenko, Form V, reports on his experience at the Model United Nations event in Wesley College last week.

As our team was registering for the Model United Nations, I, honestly speaking, didn’t expect much from it – just another debating competition. But, as it turned out, Model United Nations was one of the best experiences in my humble debating career. It happened at Wesley College on Friday and Saturday the 8thand 9th, about two weeks ago.

In regards to the structure of the debates, it was quite simple. First of all, each debating team was given a country to represent. In our case it was Canada. Secondly, each team member was assigned to a certain committee and was to represent the views of Canada on given topics. For example, I was in the political committee and one of the themes discussed was “Chinese neo-Colonialism in Angola”. Since all delegates in one committee had researched the topics beforehand, the argument for and against the motion was absorbing. Thirdly, each person in the committee had to use certain language structures, as for representing the country as a whole. For instance, we used the pronoun “we” instead of the pronoun “I”, or “delegate” instead of the pronoun “you”.

After committee work was finished, each team participated in the General assembly. In it, we had to debate all the clauses for the unseen resolution, which were written by all teams beforehand. At this stage of the MUN, we had to work as a team on the same problem. Interestingly, at the General Assembly, there was an ability to collaborate with other teams via passing notes from table to table. The note passing was done secretaries, who were walking around the room hastily.

Another thing worth mentioning was the organisation. All the organisation was led by Form VI pupils in Wesley College. They had put in place a lot of work to make that competition possible. It is somewhat like a tradition whereas many pupils as possible from Wesley participate in making the competition happen. They have set up a website, sent out the invitations to schools, decided upon the themes of the debate and even printed out the MUN newspaper. It was very enjoyable to participate and we felt welcomed since the age difference between all the people who participated in it wasn’t that big.

In general, it may initially seem like the UN style of debating is very rigid and disorganized. Although, it is the only known way to keep a respectful debate with many other countries. Nevertheless, even though this competition wasn’t particularly successful for us, in the next one we will know what to do better.

Finally, the big idea behind the competition is just to: have fun, make friends and debate along the way.

This year’s Guest Artist Exhibition will take place on Thursday 28th March 2019 @ 6:45pm in Whitehall (the main building). The exhibition features two completely different artists and is one of the main events of the College’s annual Arts Week.

William Nathans is a classically-trained portrait painter and will be exhibiting work ranging from portraits in oils to charcoal sketches.  He will be available to take commissions on the evening.  Sarah Langham is a current Columban parent and draws her inspiration from the Irish landscape.  Her work will be for sale at the exhibition. We are fortunate to be able to showcase these artists and both of them will speak about their work on the evening.

Tickets for the exhibition are €20, including drinks and canapes, and can be paid by cheque – made out to St. Columba’s College – or, alternatively, the amount can be placed on your school account. To book your place please fill out this online form here.

All enquiries should be sent by email to Cathy Boobbyer at cboobbyer@staff.stcolumbas.ie.

On Friday, 15th February, in support of the Schools Mental Health Awareness week, the Parents Association organised a parent walk in the hills above the school. An early morning start, on a gloriously sunny clear day, the parents were transported from the School car park up to the starting point of the walk. A local authority on the area joined the group giving an informative talk during the walk. There was also a viewing of a Cairn located just above the school car park. Following the walk, the parents retired back at school to enjoy a hot cup of tea and coffee in Whitehall. The Walks in the area above the school are superb. For Parents that are not familiar with the region or may enjoy the great outdoors , we encourage you to join us on our next one.

Pizza and movie night in Tibradden Junior Common Room. Housemaster, Scott Crombie recently sent us a photograph of the students enjoying their new sofa’s and 55inch television set which were donated by the Parents Association. An enjoyable new addition to the house. Beginning to look a lot like home. They’re the envy of the other houses.

Upcoming Events

Friday, 15th March is the final coffee morning for the Parents Association for this year. It would be wonderful if as many parents as possible would join the PA for tea/coffee and eats in the Drawing Room in Whitehall from 11h30 onwards.

Rev Owen will be holding a short prayer service in the Chapel at 11 o’clock before the coffee morning.

The 2nd Hand Uniform shop will be open from 11h45 to 12h45 for those parents wishing to purchase any 2 Hand items or cricket uniform.