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.

Elizabeth Hart, Form I, reflects on her experience in this year’s Junior Play.

The Junior Play this year was called The Happy Journey by Thornton Wilder. Emily McCarthy, Kate Higgins, Cameron McKinley, Wolfgang Romanowski, Malachy Murphy and I were the actors. Emily played the part of the mum, Cameron as the dad, Malachy as the son Arthur, and I played the daughter, Caroline. Wolfgang was “the stage manager” and Kate was Beulah, my big sister. This play was about a family going on a trip to visit the older sister in a neighbouring state of the USA. Later we learn Beulah had given birth to a baby, but the baby had died soon after it was born.

The Happy Journey operates as a play within a play (almost), so we all pretended to be actors performing. At the start we pretended to be preparing for the play and Wolfgang was telling us all to get ready. The only props we had in the play were four chairs which were our ‘car’. The rest were imaginary so we talked to imaginary people, pointed at imaginary billboards and Cameron turned an imaginary steering wheel.

We had about 3 weeks to prepare for the play and, at the start, it felt kind of relaxed. As the days went on, it got more serious as we got our costumes and learned the script by heart. Near the night of performing it became tenser and the practices became a lot longer.

On Thursday a couple of people came to watch the dress rehearsal and it was the first real audience we had. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but we didn’t mess up our lines or any stage directions.

Friday came and we were all nervous. When people started to come in there was loads of noise and suddenly I got really nervous. When I walked out on stage my legs were shaking and it was more muscle memory than anything else that got me through to the end. It is a short play so it passed by very quickly. The actual performance only felt like 5 minutes!

Saturday night came and I wasn’t as nervous as before, but I wasn’t exactly relaxed. We went through the play and when I said my last line and ran off the stage it felt really good. When Emily and Kate came off, we went to the front of the stage, took our bow and we had finished the play completely.

Being in the play was a very good experience as it made me more confident in speaking in front of a crowd and was a bit of fun. Our thanks to Mr Swift and Mr Jameson for directing it.

Below are a series of photographs, taken by Rev Owen, from the performance.

Our annual Mental Health Awareness Week officially begins today with another full and varied programme of events scheduled – the theme this year being “This is Us”. There are a series of hikes for all age groups (including the one up Kilmashogue Mountain yesterday), visiting speakers (including Tom Tate from Why Mind and Stuart Wilson from ZestLife), yoga with Old Columban Dylan Stewart and a ‘sound bath’ relaxation experience for Forms III and VI. The Transition Years will be out of classes on Tuesday for an activity day in Stillorgan while Wednesday is a designated “screen-free day”. The prep schedule is altered slightly too with an evening of board games for TY on Tuesday evening. There is a trip to nearby Ballyroan library for a talk on social media and stress for our younger forms while Thursday evening is a designated “movie night” for all junior forms (with a MHW spin of course). There is even a Valentine’s Day surprise – watch this space – and an art project (under the umbrella). Many thanks to the Cúram Team for their hard work putting together this extremely exciting programme of events – we all hope you enjoy the week ahead. Be sure to follow the week’s events on Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, the Chaplain has put together a Spotify playlist for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week and you can listen below…

Shannon Dent reports on the final round of the senior debate, which took place last week.

The idea of completely getting rid of religion over time seems like an impossible task with a lot of issues at hand. It is a very difficult motion to lean to one particular side. There are pros and cons to each, and listening to this debate was a very intriguing experience and well done to all of those to took part in it.

The debate was between our two finalists, Glen and Hollypark. Glen supported the motion while Hollypark debated against it. William Zitzmann was the very first speaker. He talked about the general issues that have been caused by religion. He didn’t just mention events of the past but also mentioned acts of violence because of religion today! He even played with the thought that Jesus was actually anti religion. William gave a introduction to what Glen believed the motion meant. Their main idea concentrated on how religion and faith are two very different things. The first speaker from Hollypark was next and that was Georgia Keegan Wignall. Georgia gave a very articulate speech about how religion was part of human rights, and how we should be able to decide to follow religion or not. She talked about how religion actually brings people together and helps people deal with the very scary concept of death. Georgia, just like William, gave us the main idea for Hollyparks argument.

Ji Woo Park was next as the second speaker for Glen. He gave eloquent and understandable argument that definitely drew everyone in. He further explained the main argument for Glen; religion and faith are two different things and he gave us some differences between the two. Ji Woo even quoted the Bible and showed us how there are many examples of immoral ideas, such as misogyny. He said that people can be faithful and not have to follow all the rules of religion. He also went on to talk about the vast differences of the world back then and the world now. The second speaker for Hollypark was Catherine Butt. She opened up her speech by asking the audience to imagine what life would be like without religion. She even acknowledged the problems religion has caused but how they didn’t necessarily have to be linked back to religion as these people are extremists. Another very valid point that Catherine brought us was the one of charities and how most of them have been built up by religion. She said “Religion teaches the art of giving and this is not just christianity”.

In Glen’s closing argument, given by Harry Oke, they wrapped up and reiterated some of Glen’s strongest points. He brought the debate back to him and showed us a personal view on it all. He talked about faith and religion once again and he even related back to Catherine’s point of charities and he said that charities would continue as they are built by faith, not just religion and the church. He finished off by saying “A person can be good without religion them to be”. Then Alexandra Murray Donaldson wrapped up by talking about how some people need religion to have a good life. It is comforting and a tradition. She also said that people cannot be restricted from religion, they should be able to follow religion if that’s what they want. She finished off by saying “Religion is part of a person’s family and soul. How would it even be possible to get rid of it”.

In conclusion, the debate was summarized by Mr. McCarthy, one of the judges. He announced the winners, Glen, and the best speaker, Ji Woo Park. He gave a bit of his opinion on the verdict as well as some comments to all the speakers. Thank you to our judges (Mr McCarthy, Ms Morley and Mr Brett), the audience members and to all of those who took part. Finally a big thank you to Ms Duggan for co-ordinating the debate throughout the year.

On Friday, December 14th 2018 forty-five pupils, from Forms II to VI, along with six members of staff will head off to Copenhagen for the weekend on a short choir trip. The party consists of 27 girls and 18 boys, singing in a four-part choir. 

The highlight of the trip will be a concert performance in St. Ansgar’s Cathedral on Saturday December 15that 6pm. The programme is an entertaining mixture of Irish folk songs, popular songs, spirituals and madrigals. On Sunday morning the choir will sing a Mass by Palestrina at the 10am service in the same cathedral. 

The trip will also include a Canal Tour of Copenhagen, a visit and dinner at the famous Tivoli Gardens, and a visit to the renowned National Aquarium. There will also be time to savour the atmosphere of the Christmas Markets in Copenhagen. The choir have been rehearsing very hard since September, and we hope it will be a memorable trip!

Today marks the beginning of Bullying Awareness Week in the College and, as per usual, there is a wide range of activities planned for the next seven days. There was a Prefect-led assembly this morning (Monday), around the theme of RESPECT, which kick-started the programme of events. On Tuesday the College welcomes Pat McKenna from Childwatch Ireland who will speak with senior pupils about online bullying and safety. On Wednesday the dram group Humourfit bring their excellent one-man show The Mighty Bully Brady for junior boys. Pupil are also encouraged to wear odd socks on Wednesday to recognise the diversity amongst us all. On Thursday we welcome Dianne Morris to speak with Junior Forms about the value of friendship and on Friday, another play, Hero Starts With Her, will be performed for Junior Girls. Next Monday Form V pupils will visit the Abbey Theatre in Dublin to see a performance of Asking for It. There are also a series of movies in the evenings, a special chapel theme for the week, an anti-bullying logo competition, a display of related books in the Library and a special programme for SPHE lessons has been developed. Look out for photos and updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages – the album below will be updated throughout the week also.

The Parents’ Association & the National Association of COMPASS would like to extend an invitation to all parents to a presentation on “Your Parental Wellbeing and its’ Impact on your Children” on Saturday 17th November, 2018 at 10.30 a.m at Midleton College, Co. Cork. Full details are available here or visit the COMPASS website here.

In almost a year’s time a major educational event will take place at St Columba’s: the College has been chosen as the location for the first-ever researchED meeting in Ireland, which will take place throughout Saturday 5th October 2019. Check out the event page here, which next year will give details of speakers and ticket sales.

ResearchED has become an international phenomenon. Founded in London in 2013 by Tom Bennett, who chaired the Behaviour Management Group for the UK Department of Education and is currently their Independent Behaviour Advisor, it has since spread around the world to venues beyond the UK like Malmo, Pretoria, Philadelphia, Dubai, Melbourne, Auckland, Amsterdam, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.

The goal of researchED is to bridge the gap between research and practice in education. Researchers, teachers, and policy makers come together for a day of information-sharing and myth-busting.

St Columba’s is perfectly located for this event, being on the edge of Dublin with easy access from the rest of the country, and from Dublin Airport. The event will take place in the central spaces and facilities, such as the Big Schoolroom, Lower Argyle, Cadogan, Library and the Science Block.

This event puts the College right at the cutting-edge of Irish education. The best place to see updates is via the dedicated Twitter account, @researchEDDub.

We’d love to hear from potential sponsors, too.

Check out how a researchED day works here, and below see Tom Bennett and others explain.

 

Emma Hinde, Form III, reports on a very successful Book Week 2018.

There were loads of things to do during book week this year. The week featured two chapel talks in which Kate Higgins and James Park spoke about their favourite books and Mr Swift sang a song about his bookcase. The author talk was probably my highlight: Richie Conroy told us about his career as a screenwriter (he wrote the animated movie “Two by Two” and the TV series “Fran: Assistant manager”, along with many more). He also wrote a book called “An Jailtacht” which is in the library. It’s aboout a teenage girl called Emily who goes to the Gaeltacht.
There was also lots going on in the library. The “shelfies” were photos of teacher’s bookshelves and we had to match the teacher to the shelf. I only managed to get one. We could also estimate the amount of books in the library, and design a cover for our favourite book. There was also an official book week bookmark, designed by Tania Stokes.
The first book club meeting of the year took place during lunchtime and we talked about which book we would be reading for the term. Lots were suggested and eventually Geraldine McCaughren’s Where the World Ends was chosen. The next meeting will take place in the library on Monday, 10 December at 1.20 pm.
First, second and third years had Book Speed Dating in the BSR. This is where we talked for two minutes about a book to the person sitting opposite us and then swapped. It was interesting to see what other people were reading. I kept changing the book I was talking about, but settled on one called ‘The Lost Gate’ by Orson Scott Card. It’s part of a trilogy.
The library was open at break and lunchtime, which was so successful that it was decided it would remain open at lunchtimes for the rest of the term.
I loved book week, and hope that others enjoyed it as much as I did.

Last year the first Book Week, to promote reading by everyone at St Columba’s, was a great success, and this year’s equivalent starts on Monday 24th. Mr Jameson introduced the elements of it in a Chapel talk on Wednesday.

These include:

  • The Library will be open every day at break and at lunch-time as well as the usual hours.
  • There will be competitions in the Library (including staff ‘shelfies’) plus a new bespoke Book Week book token available from Ms Kent-Sutton.
  • Book speed-dating will take place for First, Second, Third and Fourth Forms in the BSR.
  • Drop Everything And Read will take place on Friday. All pupils bring a reading book to every class.
  • There will be an author visit from Richie Conroy on Wednesday 26th from 11.00 to 12.20 in the BSR. There is a sign-up list pinned to the noticeboard in the Library.

You can follow events on Twitter at #sccbookweek.

Senior Prefect, Harry Oke-Osanyintolu, reports from the All Ireland Senior Prefects Conference.

The All Ireland Senior Prefects Conference took place last Friday September 7th 2018, with over 40 pupils from 11 schools taking part, from both North and South of the Irish border. Now in its second year, the event once again took place at St. Columba’s and I am happy to report that it was a great experience. We were really honoured to be led by Ms. Katy Granville-Chapman and Ms. Emmie Bidston, from Wellington College Leadership Institute, who made it clear to all of us present the kind of leaders we should work to become. In addition, we all were deeply moved and enlightened by the words of Malebogo Modise, our guest speaker and former pupil of Tiger Kloof School in South Africa. The day really allowed us reflect on what it means to be a school leader and it was great to be with people who understood our responsibilities and our challenges. Many thanks to Mrs. Cathy Boobbyer for organising such a wonderful event and to all who attended.

 

Old Columbans are currently travelling from all over the world for our special 175th anniversary weekend, which coincides with the annual St Columba’s Day Celebrations. We have already welcomed visitors from places such as Singapore and Bangkok who have been seeing the school, and tonight 300 OCs and their guests attend a drinks party in the Dining Hall of Trinity College, Dublin.

Tomorrow sees the prize day marked by a Chapel service at 11am and the prize-giving itself in the Sports Hall at 12pm, followed by a lunch for parents and their guests. Then the Sports Hall will be readied for the evening Ball, with drinks starting at 7pm and the Ball itself at 8.30pm. 400 people have booked places.

Sunday sees a variety of sporting and more informal social activities on the campus, including cricket, golf and hiking, and a barbeque, with everything being rounded off by a Chapel Service at 6pm.

The College is looking at its best and we are excited to welcome so many old friends. Follow #scc175 on Twitter over the coming days.

The College was buzzing on Saturday as sport took centre stage once again.  In the afternoon the main events of Sports Day took place, with pupils assigned to one of four teams (red, blue, green and white). The campus was awash with colour as the pupils competed in a wide range of events ranging from the traditional track and field fare (short & long distance running, long jump, high jump etc) to skills based challenges (cricket throw, rugby conversions, soccer penalties, basketball throws etc) to some less traditional events (like the three-legged and caterpillar race). The final races are traditionally the “cloister dash” – a 100 yard sprint from the Hurley Lane gate to Chapel Square. The race is only contested by Form VI pupils and the winners this year were Sasha Cole and Franz Truchsess. Well done to everyone who competed – Sports Day is, for many, the highlight of the year and this year certainly didn’t disappoint. Well done to everyone on the Blue Team for amassing the most points over all the events. Many thanks to Ms. Thompson and Mrs. Johnson, in particular, but to all the teaching and sports coaching staff for their seamless running of the day’s events.

That evening the College’s sporting successes were celebrated at our annual Sports Dinner, with ‘colours’ awarded to those pupils who have excelled in their chosen sports this year. Colours for Rugby were presented to Sean Cooper, Hector Wright, Adam Murphy, Max Hopkins, Kosi Anyim and Joe Gernon. In Basketball, colours were presented to Ryan Gumsheimer, Franz Truchsess and Tiernan Mullane. In Hockey, colours were presented to Ivan Moffit, Sean Cooper, Kitty Morris, Sasha Cole and Ella Noeldeke and in Cricket, colours were awarded to Helen Crampton. The overall Sports Pupils of the Year were awarded to Sean Cooper and Kitty Morris, for their contribution to College sport over the past six years.

Below are a series of photographs, taken by Rev. Owen, from the weekend’s sporting events.

That excellent annual event, Voices of Poetry, took place last night in the BSR. Every year it seems the sun is shining outside as the darkened space, lit by a single spotlight, gives us an hour’s treat of great poetry. As Mr Swift, the compère in black tie, pointed out, there was a ‘175’ tinge this time.

Again there was the mixture of poems in English and other languages, and of pupils and staff reading. The first off was appropriately the Senior Prefect, Kitty Morris, with a poem she had studied in Irish class, followed by two pupils with their own poems – Emma Hinde, winner of the Junior Poetry Prize, with ‘Eye of the Storm’ and Caoimhe Cleary, Commended for the Peter Dix Memorial Prize, with ‘Electric Picnic’.

Mr Swift was proud to have unearthed possibly the most obscure yet in the history of the event, as Shannon Dent read a poem from a native pre-Columbian Ecuadorian language. This was followed i by Latin (JiWoo Park), Italian (Sveva Ciofani), French (Georg Mueller-Methling), Korean (JiWoo Park again) and Vietnamese (Florian Zitzmann). Tiernan Mullane read in ‘American’ Raymond Carver’s ‘My Death‘, and then there were Swedish (Gioia Doenhoff), German (Carla Ladanyi) and Swahili (Akin Babajide).

Poetry has featured throughout the Columban year, and Jasmine Williams read a piece from the ‘Poem in Your Pocket’ initiative on Ireland Poetry Day (and in Mental Health Week), Walt Whitman’s ‘I Dreamed in a Dream’. Poetry Aloud was represented by national finalist Harry Oke-Osanyintolu, who recited Thomas McCarthy’s ‘State Funeral’. Next Mr Swift sprang a surprise: a €10 tuck-shop voucher with a poem was taped to the bottom of one chair, and Polina Grakhovskaia had it. She sportingly came into the spotlight to read our ‘The Dead‘ by Billy Collins (and retain the voucher). There was a bravura performance by Mr Swift himself of his own ‘Poetry Slam’ piece, written as lyrics for one of his songs. Next was Kate Higgins with another Irish poem.

Four teachers were next. Mr Girdham read ‘Breaking-up Night’, a poem from The Columbanmagazine of 1890 nostalgically recalling the old pre-Christmas tradition; it is reproduced in the new book Floreat Columba. The founder of Voices of Poetry, retired Head of English Mr John Fanagan, had written his own poem marking the College’s 175 years, and read it out. You can see it at the bottom of this post. The Warden followed, impressively reciting from memory Rudyard Kipling’s famous ‘If’ (written for Kipling’s only son, who died in the Great War: this is marked in Wellington College, where the Warden previously taught). Mr Finn followed, also reciting from memory, this time Yeats’s ‘September 1913’, which he had learned when studying for the Leaving Certificate (it is still often on the course).

Frank Meng’s reading of a poem Mandarin was dramatic, as was Katie Lam’s in Cantonese, and then Éile Ní Chianáin read the third Irish poem of the evening.

 Rounding off, as is traditional, was the recent winner of the Peter Dix Senior Prize for Poetry, Tania Stokes, with her ‘Death of A Moth‘ (she is pictured above with Mr Swift and Mr Fanagan), and then Manuela Sanchez from Primary with Yeats’s ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven.’

And so the final whole-school BSR event of the year came to a lovely close.


SCC 175, by John Fanagan

May in 1843 saw
St Columba’s on its way.
From the plains of County Meath
To Whitechurch where we are today.

Wardens, teachers, pupils all
Have given of their very best.
We celebrate 175
Moving forward with new zest.

So much has changed, yet much remains
Of what has made us what we are:
Our friendships and our memories
Now span the world both near and far.

Next weekend it’s party time,
With sports, a barbeque and ball.
Tonight, as one who loves this place,
I say happy birthday to us all.

27 May 2018

 

The annual Second Form public speaking competition was held in the Cadogan last night, and showcased a great variety of topics and eight speakers who really engaged their audience of junior pupils. Much of the material was based on the Classroom-Based Assessments recently done in English classes. Mr Brett and last year’s winner Charlotte Moffitt were the judges, and Mr Girdham compèred.

(Mr Brett’s judging comments are in italics). Peter Taylor opened with an account of his life in Bangladesh, a talk which was clear and well-paced – exactly right). Caleb Swanepoel spoke about bias of various kinds; Mr Brett liked the way he provoked the audience. Franz Schmucker spoke on the topic of fake news, and engaged with audience well with sensible content. Fourth came Donald Thomson, whose talk opened with the famous Johnny Sexton drop-goal against France in opening up the subject of the Butterfly Effect; there were many good examples. Georgina Stewart tackled sexism, with good examples and her point of view coming across in a reasonably way. Emma Hinde spoke on a complicate subject, the tesseract (a four-dimensional cube), making a difficult topic interesting, with fascinating ideas. Poppy Somerville spoke on a very current topic, social media and teenagers, with very good points and sound judgment. Finally, Wolfgang Romanowski’s piece on vampires much amused the audience, being very funny.

Mr Brett then announced that the top places went to Donald Thompson (1st), Emma Hinde (2nd), and Georgina Stewart (3rd). Well done to all eight speakers on their polished and confident performances.