I see that the huge statue of the Confederate general Robert Lee, in Richmond Virginia, has been removed from its plinth. That is a significant move. Let me explain.

Robert Lee was the leader of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War, an icon to those who supported the southern American states. He was certainly a great general, as he won great acclaim despite the fact that the southern states were less well equipped than those in the north, but we need to remember that the Civil War was largely fought to preserve the southern way of life, built on a culture of plantations and the right to hold slaves. Virginia was the front line of the south and Richmond its capital.

I visited Richmond in 2013 together with a couple of black pupils from my school in South Africa. We had a tour of the city, visited the slave museum and some of the significant locations from the civil war and also dropped into a black church. We got a picture of a city divided still along racial lines and its most obvious symbols were the statues of Confederate generals that sit in the middle of Confederate Avenue, the most famous of which was that of General Robert Lee. The fact that it has been taken away is therefore of great significance and doubtless would have been very controversial. Indeed, Donald Trump is up in arms about it, so it is probably a good thing.

Confederate Avenue’s line of statues is extraordinary for another reason. For a very long time there was one roundabout in the middle that did not contain any statue…perhaps they had run out of generals to celebrate. Then, in the 1990s a campaign was launched to place a new statue on the empty space and the people of Richmond voted to erect a statue of the great black American tennis player Arthur Ashe, a native of Richmond. Those of a certain age will remember him defeating the brash young Jimmy Connors in the 1975 Wimbledon Final, one of the great upsets of tennis history. He was a man of great dignity, who sadly died of Aids contracted from a blood transfusion in his late 40s. As you can imagine, putting up the statue of a black tennis player in the centre of the line of Confederate generals was very controversial, but there it stands to this day, testimony to one of the great fault lines of American society.

Tearing down statues always stirs debate, particularly from the lobby that cries out that their history is being expunged. However, statues are symbols of what society values and their public presence can sometimes create great hurt. Rather than tearing them down, it makes sense to me, in many cases, to move statues to museums or other spaces where they can be discussed and put in their context. I am sure that Robert Lee’s statue will appear elsewhere at some point and continue to give rise to lively debate, but his removal does send a good message to the large black population of Richmond that their concerns have been heard and addressed.

On that same visit, we were privileged to be welcomed on Capitol Hill, by Congressman John Lewis, one of the greatest of the civil rights activists, who had been arrested up to 50 times for his protests. I think he is possibly the finest person I have ever met and spent time with, as he talked to us for 30 minutes about his career and his guiding principles.

It is easy to look at the United States and point the finger, but that can also deflect from us looking at the historic injustices in our society and the often shameful history of racial abuse perpetuated closer to home. I should know…I am British! And, even more important and appropriate, we need to look at our own society and our own community and see where we can still learn and improve.

Read more from the Warden’s blog here.

This term has seen the opening of two new day houses, Kilmashogue for boys and Clonard for girls. Kilmashogue is the name of the mountain overlooking the College while Clonard is named after the monastery where St. Columba studied as a young man. The new spaces, situated in the middle of the College in space that has been reassigned, mean that the day pupils now have their own houses, with dedicated space, rather than a corner of a boarding house. I am excited to see how these new units will develop their own character and sense of identity. Those who are day boarders are remaining as part of a boarding house, Glen for boys and Hollypark for girls, houses that were designed to house a number of day pupils. This is a new venture for St. Columba’s, but I do think that it is a step forward in the day experience at the College.

Kilmashogue House is led by Mr. Peter Stevenson and assisted by Mr. Ian O’Herlihy while Clonard is led by Mrs Sonja Owen and assisted by Ms Karen Hennessy and Mme Clotilde de Frein.

For more information about all the boarding and day houses click here.

When I started at St. Columba’s College five years ago, little did I imagine I would find myself in the position of Senior Prefect. The time I have spent at St. Columba’s has taught me the values of friendship and community, which I hope all newcomers will have the opportunity to experience.

Our student body is relatively small and, consequently, we are a tight-knit community with an extensive and supportive network of teaching and support staff.
There are numerous opportunities to be had both inside and outside the classroom as long as you are willing to grasp them.

Sport plays a pivotal role within the ethos of the college, with pupils having to participate daily. The links between exercise and mental health are well recognised, and I really believe this helps maintain a sense of wellbeing in the school. I, for one, cannot wait to return to competitive games.

The last 18 months have not been easy for staff and pupils alike, and unfortunately, we have not been able to take full advantage of what the school has to offer. I am hopeful that we will soon see the College working to its full potential once again.

The values which the school community have chosen are inclusion, compassion, kindness, responsibility and determination. They have been fully embraced by both staff and pupils. The reason for this is that we as a school body fully believe that if we uphold these values we can create a safe and open environment for all pupils. I hope all prospective pupils can join us in sustaining these values.

Evie Pringle, Senior Prefect 2021 / 2022

This is the text of the Warden’s sermon at the first Evensong of term, last Sunday.

 

Who is Your Neighbour?

Who is your neighbour? The two greatest commandments in the Bible, we are told, are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself. So I ask you again…Who is your neighbour?

Religious people, unfortunately, are often inclined to try to create new rules, to want definitions, to know who is in and who is out. They like certainty and clarity. If you like easy definitions and simple answers this is not a good story for you. It is a familiar story, I hope, …but if it isn’t, let me explain.

A religious lawyer comes up to Jesus and asks him what he needs to do to please God. Jesus turns the question back on the lawyer and asks him how he sees it and the lawyer gives an excellent reply: you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength and love your neighbour as yourself. Jesus is impressed and says so. The lawyer feels rather pleased with himself and asks a further question: who is my neighbour? The lawyer wants to define who his neighbour is so that he can be exactly sure who it is that he should be loving. Is it those in his family, or those with whom he does business, his friends perhaps, the people he likes and chooses to be in his circle? Or is it just the Jewish people, those who have the same world view, the same beliefs…those who look the same, speak the same and share his values? He wants a narrow definition that he can easily control and he also wants, I am sure, to know who is not his neighbour, those whom he doesn’t need to worry about. Life is easier when we know exactly who is in and who is out. I think he may have regretted asking that question, but it gives rise to one of the greatest illustrations ever told, the story of the Good Samaritan.

To summarise the story, a man is beaten up and left for dead. Two religious men, greatly respected in their community, pass by and ignore him, reluctant to get involved, afraid the muggers might still be lurking around, concerned that they might become unclean by touching a dead body, full of self-importance that they will be late for their important work. Caring for those who are in need can be a messy business. Then along comes a Samaritan. Now it needs to be understood that Jews and Samaritans did not get on and the Jews looked down on Samaritans as racially inferior. They had nothing to do with them. Why would this Samaritan man stop to help a Jewish man…the injured man would surely not have helped him if the roles were reversed. But this man does not pass by…he stops, he tends the injured man’s wounds, he takes time to nurse him and takes him to an inn, he pays money for his care and promises more if necessary.

Among other things here, Jesus is challenging our racial prejudices. The Jews may have been a chosen people, but that did not give them the right to despise others. Everyone, the Bible makes clear, is made in the image of God. We are all image-bearers, fearfully and wonderfully made. That is something we must remember at all times, a huge lesson for the modern world and a lesson for us too here at St. Columba’s, with our wonderfully diverse community. Every pupil in this school is made in God’s image and that surely demands that we should treat them all with respect and dignity.

The story of the Good Samaritan would have been a great story even if the man who stopped to show mercy had been Jewish, but by making him a despised foreigner it adds so much more power and nuance to the teaching. And it needs to be clearly understood that in telling this story Jesus is being deliberately provocative and his illustration of what it means to be a neighbour would not have gone down well with many of his listeners. Some of them would have been furious. Others, perhaps secretly fed up with the hypocrisy of the religious leaders, would have been delighted and amazed by his boldness and drawn to follow him and listen to him further. They were used to religious teachers or rabbis, but this one was a bit different. Jesus characterises the religious leaders of the day as callous and selfish, while suggesting that even those who were on the outside, not in the club, racially impure, were possibly more acceptable to God than those in the club. You can see why he fell out with the religious authorities, who eventually ended up plotting his death and handing him over to be tortured and killed.

So, with this story in mind, let me ask you again, who is your neighbour? Through every age there have been those who want to define exactly who their neighbour is, so that they can be sure to tick the right boxes and care for the right people. It makes life neater. However, if we are to take on board the lesson from this parable, this story told by Jesus, we will need to rethink our boundaries and widen our circle and be prepared for life to be a bit messier than we might like. Our neighbour, according to Jesus, is anyone we meet who may be in need, anyone who needs our help. In this age, that does not mean just those with whom we live but those whom we come across in any capacity whom we are able to help: the other race, the other community, the other religious belief, those who are suffering, those who have been abandoned. Perhaps our neighbour is the person we see on our screens whom we will never meet face to face, but we are able to support with our time or our finances. Perhaps your neighbour is the Afghan refugee or the asylum seeker, fleeing their country for a better life; perhaps it is the homeless person outside Lidl or the elderly person living on their own down your street; perhaps it is the person in your boarding house who lacks confidence and needs a friendly greeting. Loving your neighbour can be very costly, but sometimes it can also be very simple.

I don’t want to try and define or suggest who your neighbour might be, because Jesus is deliberately getting rid of definitions and comfortable parameters. ‘You can love these ones, but you don’t need to worry about those ones.’ Is that what you would like to know? The smug lawyer who came to Jesus, who gave a good answer and then asked Jesus to define exactly who his neighbour was, got more than he bargained for. I wonder whether he wished afterwards that he had kept his mouth shut after Jesus told him his answer was a good one.

So the question remains and has remained down the ages. Who is your neighbour? You must answer that question for yourself. It is one of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself, but you need to be careful of the answer because it may be awkward or uncomfortable and there is a very good chance that it may not be the one you want to hear.

 

Illustration: The Good Samaritan by by Domenico Campagnola.

The College community sends its best wishes and congratulations to the former Sub-Warden, Housemaster of Stackallan and Geography teacher Mr Norman Lush, on his 100th birthday today. He celebrates this event at home in Somerset together with his wife Joyce, and the rest of his family, including his Old Columban children Nicola, Colin and Tessa.

Norman had a long and distinguished career at the College, retiring in the mid 80s. He and Joyce subsequently moved to England. Several of his former colleagues have sent him a photo book with their own best wishes, and scenes from the school to which he gave so much.

The annual Sports Day is for many the highlight of the year. There is always an abundance of energy, colour, noise and excitement amongst the pupils and the staff. This year, to reduce the scale of the events, we held two afternoons of sporting activities with the usual range of track and field events, alongside some less traditional fare. The pupils were first split between the senior and junior school and then divided into four teams: red, green, blue and white. Pupils competed for individual honours but also to accumulate points for their teams. Both afternoons were extremely successful and at times it seemed liked normality had returned. Rev. Owen was once again our photographer on call and he has a superb gallery of photos showcasing the fun and colour on display.

Just to highlight two events: the second annual mountain run was won by Harriet Berckenhagen (38:19) and Cristoph Salm-Reifferscheidt (32:41), both winning in record-breaking times, while the victors of our traditional Form VI ‘Cloister Dash’ were Tim Otway-Norwood and Aiyuni O’Grady.

A huge thank you to Mr Havenga and Mr Canning for their organisation of the “sports days”, to the pupil captains for coordinating their teams and to the staff for running each event. Thanks to the Warden, Mr Gibbs and Mr Coldrick for assisting with the mountain run. A big thanks also to Mr Canning for coordinating the sports programme within the school, ably assisted by the various heads of each sport. It was heartening that the College could provide a full, meaningful and active sports programme in the final term; of course, thanks to all teaching and coaching staff for running these sessions. Pupils made fantastic use of our sports facilities engaging in golf, tennis, football, athletics, and cricket six afternoons a week and indeed outside the formal sessions too.

Finally, congratulations to Tom Larke who has been selected for the Leinster Rugby Youth Squad summer training programme and to Bruno Marti Jimenez who won the revived pupil Golf Singles Matchplay competition.

Transition Year is like no other year in the Irish education system and even a global pandemic couldn’t stop it from delivering. How Ms Kilfeather and her team of minions managed to provide the vast array of meaningful activities for this Transition Year (TY) group, in these extraordinary circumstances, we are not quite sure. Impressively though, the pupils reacted accordingly and engaged fully right throughout the year, be in online or in person.

In this final term, our TY pupils continued their fine efforts in class but remained busy outside the class too. They kicked off the term by attending TYTalks21, a brilliant online conference organised by IBEC featuring talks on future careers, entrepreneurship, inclusion, diversity and much more. They also took two full days away from the classroom, participating in ‘Activities Days’. The first day saw them play hurling, bake brownies and cupcakes, experiment with tie-dye t-shirts, learn to knit and play petong and croquet. The final activities day wrapped up their year. There were speeches, awards, an ice-cream van, a drone video and games (even some “accidental” acrobatics from the staff).

The ‘Spirit of Transition Year’ Award aims to recognise the pupil who truly embraced the opportunities presented during TY and this year Marco Trolese received the trophy with Elys Walker a close second. Marco was due to spend his Transition Year in a school in South Africa but, due to the pandemic, his plans changed and he remained in Ireland. He dived head-first into everything; he leaned to cook, coached club hockey, trained as a lifeguard, lead the F1 in Schools team and earned his Silver Gaisce Award along the way. Congratulations to Marco!

Speaking of Gaisce Awards, congratulations to the fourteen TY pupils who received their medals from the President. Full details  about the Gaisce Awards here.

Congratulations to the fifteen Form V pupils who have been appointed as Prefects for the coming school year, to be installed in September:

Akin Babajide, Iona Chavasse, Mia Deutsch, Rory Flanagan, Jack Hayes, TJ Hopkins, Avi Johnston, Edna Johnston, Nathan Kutner, Lioba Preysing (not pictured), Evie Pringle,  Matteo Tafi, Peter Taylor, Thea Walsh, Jasmine Williams.

Congratulations also to Evie and Akin (pictured below) , who will be Senior and Second Prefects respectively.

From the Warden:

16th June 2021

This is what I would have said at the St Columba’s Day celebrations in the Sports Hall:

How do I begin to summarise the year that is just finishing? Perhaps some future archivist will be trawling through the speeches of Wardens of yesteryear and will come across these words and wonder what had happened. Then he or she will look at the year and say, ‘Oh yes, 2021. That was the year of the pandemic. That was the year that our parents and grandparents told us about.’

On speech days or prize-givings Headmasters extol the successes of the year and celebrate the individual and collective achievements of the school. However, the achievements of this year have been of a very different kind and it feels like a monumental achievement just to have made it to the end of the year. What can a school principal like me talk about when we have not played a match this year, when there have been no full school concerts, no dramatic productions, no trips within Ireland, let alone abroad, not even a chapel service of more than a handful of pupils, with no singing and with faces covered?

It allows me instead talk about some things that matter more than the traditional list of achievements and highlight the strengths of the school in ways that are not measurable and tangible. It gives me space to talk about the value of the people who make up this community and who stick together through thick and thin and ensure that the future is much brighter than the present.

Let me start with the pupils. What a year they have had, living with uncertainty, being separated from their friends for a large portion of the year and, when they have been here, without so many of the aspects of school that provide the fun. It has been a joy in the last few weeks to at least hear some noise around the school and to see them running around in the sunshine. I know that many of them have battled and struggled to cope with all that has happened. I would be lying if I said that we did not have our share of mental health issues. Our young people are like all others, trying to navigate a confusing world of social media noise and bombarded with messages from all sides that tell them that they would be happier if they were thinner or had better skin, were more muscular or more macho, better at exams or better at sport. I think it was always like that, but it seems that much of today’s epidemic of dissatisfaction is intentionally created by industries that want to make all of us, and children in particular, feel inadequate and disappointed in who we are.

That gives a clear mission and focus for schools and especially one like this, which is such a full immersion experience for both boarders and day pupils. We have an obligation to cherish young people for who they are, to celebrate their differences, to affirm their varied characters and talents and teach them to love themselves. As a Christian foundation we uphold the command to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves,’ which, of course, means that we can only love our neighbour properly if we first love ourselves. Of course, I don’t mean that in a narcissistic way, nor that every person should not be a on a journey to develop their values and their character. None of us is the finished article. But I do mean that we need to encourage our children to love who they are, despite the constant feeds that tell them they are inadequate, make billions from their lack of self-esteem and leave a trail of destruction behind them.

This year we have been speaking a lot more about the values of the College, which were chosen by the pupils and staff: Kindness, Compassion, Inclusion, Responsibility, Determination.  And next year we will be using every opportunity to embed them into our regular conversations in chapel and assembly. I’m sure that all parents have the same hopes for their children, that they develop all their talents and fulfil their potential. However, I am convinced that, underneath it all, what we all want most for our children is for them be comfortable in their own skin and to treat other people with respect and love. If we as a school can help that to happen then we have done far more than can be proven by any list of achievements.

The second constituency I want to address is the parents. I have been very grateful for the support that parents have provided throughout the pandemic. I am sure that when you chose St. Columba’s as the school for your children you had visions of attending matches and plays and concerts, and coming to speech day in summer dress, and meeting other parents, with whom you could form friendships, at the same time as your children. I am sure that you wanted more from this year than your children have experienced. However, despite the frustrations, I have always felt that the parents have understood the challenges and how desperate we have been to provide a safe place for their children to learn, even if that safe place was online. I am excited by the prospect of seeing parents back in the heart of the school, attending events and collaborating with us in the joy and celebration of watching their children grow up…and perhaps sharing a few of the tears and heartache as well. But I would like to thank you for your support and your encouragement, which has meant a lot over the course of this wretched time.

Lastly I want to talk about the staff that work here at St. Columba’s. Working in a boarding school is not so much a job as a way of life, all-consuming and relentless, exhausting but wonderfully rewarding. It requires people who give of themselves to an extraordinary degree and don’t count the hours. I am not going to thank individuals but this year has been a team effort like never before. The sanatorium staff have been on the front line and kept us all on our toes; the cleaners have had to work harder than ever before; the catering crew have had to adapt everything that they do and work under stricter conditions than ever; the maintenance team have kept the place looking brilliant and the finance department have tried to balance the books in a very challenging environment, while making sure that everyone has been paying their fees! I cannot express adequately how grateful I am to them all.

Teachers are human and I know that there were times last summer when they feared for their jobs, when we were unsure if boarding schools were going to reopen at all and, even if they did, whether any of the overseas pupils would be allowed into the country. There were days last summer when I was not sure whether I was going to be the last Warden of St. Columba’s. In the midst of this stress, teachers have had to adapt their teaching to go online at very little notice and, if not living in the school, they have been cut off from their colleagues. Those involved most closely in the pastoral care of the pupils have never had to work harder and I am in awe of the work that they do. To say that I am proud of the teaching staff does not begin to do justice to their hard work, determination and commitment to your children. In my mind they are all heroes.

Next year, I hope, will be very different, even if it is not fully back to normal. And I think that we will take huge pleasure in things that we had previously taken for granted. You don’t know what you have until it is taken away. Morning chapel, singing rousing hymns and the gathering of the whole community every morning; sports matches of all kinds…I will be shouting extra loud on the touchline; plays, concerts and choirs…we have a lot of fantastic musicians in the school at the moment from whom we have heard nothing…and what is a school without music? We will need to create new memories and cherish each moment in a new way.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer. Best of luck to those who are leaving…we look forward to welcoming you back when the time is right. And to those who are returning, come back ready for action, ready to get stuck in and to make up for lost time. We are going to hit the ground at full speed.

Floreat Columba et floreant Columbanenses.

Gaisce (meaning “great achievement”), The President’s Award, is a self-development programme for young people aged 15 to 25. There are three categories: Gold (for people aged above 17 years), Silver (16 years) and Bronze (15 years). To achieve a President’s Award, you set a demanding challenge for yourself in four different areas of activity:

  • Community involvement – for example, helping older people or learning first aid or lifesaving skills
  • Personal skill – for example, learning a musical instrument, computer skills or driving
  • Physical recreation – for example, swimming, football or tennis
  • Adventure journey – for example, a cycling, canoeing or hiking group trip

Congratulations to the following pupils who completed the programme during their Transition Year, both in the College and during lockdown, and will later receive their medal in a presentation box, a certificate signed by the President and a lapel pin. Well done to all! Hopefully some will decide to continue with the programme and achieve their gold medal in the coming years. Many thanks to Ms Lynch who coordinates the Gaisce Awards in the College.

Bronze Awards:

Hugh Bevan, Matilda Pringle, Nina O’Flynn and Elys Walker

Silver Awards:

Liam Campbell, Johanne Raitz, Nikolai Foster, Marco Trolese, Caleb Owen, Ellen Bevan, Elena O’Dowd, Kate Higgins, Isabel Warnock and Emily McCarthy.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020-21 subject prizes, normally presented at the St Columba’s Day celebrations, but this time by the Warden at Whispering House during recent days. They are:

SURNAME, FIRST NAMEPRIZEFORM
Mann OranOld Columban Society ScholarshipForm I
Pollock SophieJohn Bevan Classics PrizeForm I
Finn CiaraJunior Craft PrizeForm II
Mann MollyBertram Walsh Prize for Irish (Junior)Form II
Wang AlisonJunior Poetry PrizeForm II
Dementyeva EkaterinaJunior Spanish PrizeForm III
Goodbody GeorgiaEarl of Meath Prize for Art (Junior)Form III
Kutner NoahRichard Hayes Crofton Prize for Geography (Junior)Form III
McKee AlannahJunior Science PrizeForm III
McKinley CameronJunior Photography PrizeForm III
Shaw RachelJunior Classical Studies PrizeForm III
She CalvinTechnical Graphics PrizeForm III
She CalvinSandham Willis Memorial Prize for Mathematics (Jun)Form III
She CalvinArthur Barton Prize for History (Junior)Form III
She CalvinChristopher Cosgrave Memorial Prize for French (Jun)Form III
Treacy IsabellaJunior English PrizeForm III
Xu CocoJunior Music PrizeForm III
McCarthy EmilyAroti Sisodia Music PrizeForm IV
McCarthy EmilyDrama PrizeForm IV
Walsh MontySenior Music Prize InstrumentalForm IV
Warnock IsabelDrama PrizeForm IV
Babajide AkinkunmiChemistry PrizeForm V
Chavasse IonaSenior Craft PrizeForm V
Chukwueke JurreRichard Hayes Crofton Prize for BiologyForm V
Clare, TheodoraChristopher Cosgrave Memorial Prize for French (Sen)Form V
Hopkins T.J.Physics PrizeForm V
Hopkins T.J.Bertram Walsh Prize for Irish (Senior)Form V
Johnston AviGeology PrizeForm V
Johnston AviWillis Memorial Prize for ShakespeareForm V
Letort AliceBlack-Macken Prize for Photography SeniorForm V
O’Connor MarcusSandham Willis Prize for MusicForm V
Cleary SineadSenior English PrizeForm VI
Doenhoff Gioia vonSenior Spanish PrizeForm VI
Doenhoff Gioia vonBulbulia Prize for EconomicsForm VI
Doenhoff Gioia vonSenior Classical Studies PrizeForm VI
Eichhorn Paul-HenriSandham Willis Memorial Prize for Mathematics (Sen)Form VI
Grakhovskaia PolinaDesign and Communication Graphics PrizeForm VI
Kolat ElizThe Earl of Meath Prize for Art (Senior)Form VI
Ní Chíanáin ÉileAgricultural Science PrizeForm VI
Segui Davalillo BlancaApplied Mathematics PrizeForm VI
Twietmeyer KasparBusiness Studies PrizeForm VI
Williams EliseRichard Hayes Crofton Prize for Geography (Senior)Form VI
Yan OscarArthur Barton Prize for History (Senior)Form VI

 

 

 

 

 

Effective schools value, encourage and listen to the voice of their pupils. School leadership no longer resides simply in the Headmaster’s office and the role pupils play in creating a values-based culture is equally important to the actions of management and staff. We are extremely lucky at St. Columba’s to have a pupil body who uphold the values of the College everyday and take pride in helping those around them. Later today, the Warden will announce the Prefects for 2021 / 2022 and their role as school leaders is extremely important; however, there are leaders right throughout the school and these annual Leadership Awards aim to recognise and reward pupils who embody Columban values and lead by example in all that they do. All of the winners have been nominated for these awards from either pupils or staff and they each received a certificate in recognition of their award, presented to them during Form assemblies this week.

The winners of the Leadership Awards 2021 are as follows. Congratulations to all.

Form I

Dairbhre Murray

Ryan Ovenden

Felix Jellett

Form II

Alison Wang

Sebastian Dijkstra

Form III

Ryan Murphy

Tomas Dwyer

Cameron McKinley

Form IV

Marco Trolese

Johannes Pabsch

Nikolai Foster

Antonia Ladanyi

Form V

Jurre Chukwueke

Thomas (TJ) Hopkin

Avi Johnston

Enda Johnston

Mika Sacolax

Johanna Harms

Form VI

Ailbhe Matthews

Alannah Hassett

Eva Dillenberger

Tim Otway-Norwood

Angus Peacock

Pupils of the College had some excellent results in the national finals of the Bebras Computing Challenge. Notably Alison Coogan, who received a merit award based on her score, featured in the top 10, narrowly missing out on one of the top three places. Elliot Warnock (picture) did one better, placing third in his age category. Old Columban Alexander Fought also took part in the finals and his score placed him close to the top 10. Others who competed listed below.

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

On Thursday 22nd April, pupils and staff shared photographs of what they were doing to celebrate Earth Day. Sharing photographs is a nice way to connect and check in with one another, especially during periods of distance learning. We celebrate Earth Day to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind us that we can protect the earth in our everyday lives. “At the heart of Earth Day 2021 is optimism, a critically needed sentiment in a world ravaged by both climate change and the pandemic,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org. We received wonderful entries from both pupils and staff including; small positive changes people made for Earth Day such as cycling, gardening, finding alternatives to single use plastics, and photographs capturing the beautiful landscapes, plants and animals of our Planet Earth. Thank you to all who entered. Entries can be seen in this album:

The latest edition of the pupil magazine, The Submarine, is now online and can be read here in flippable form.

Editors Avi Johnston and Edna Johnston have gathered pupil writing and artwork by, among others, Zofia Cannon-Brookes, Isabel Warnock, Isabella Treacy, Lorne Walsh, Vivian Tuite, Vanessa McEvoy, Lou Sacolax, Ryan Ovenden and Elys Walker.

Thanks also to Mr Jameson, as ‘patron’ of the venture.

“Seachtain na Gaeilge” (“Irish Week”, in English) was actually celebrated over a two week period – that sounds mad but the country celebrates it for 17 days! Obviously, activities had to be carried out remotely and it was great to see so many pupils taking part in the various activities. We played “biongó foclóra” (vocabulary bingo) and had “tráthanna na gceist” (quizzes) during our Irish classes. Pupils, both those who study Irish and those who don’t, could enter a poster competition in which they were asked to illustrate one of three “seanfhocail” (proverbs). We received some wonderful entries; the winner was Isabella Treacy and Zofia Cannon-Brookes was awarded second prize. Pupils also entered a “tóraíocht taisce” (a treasure hunt) and answers had to be submitted by way of a collage. The winners were Cameron McKinley, Tabitha Larke and Rachel Shaw. Have a look at their amazing work below.

The Irish Department are also running a “Dialann Ghaeilge” (Irish Diary) competition, whereby pupils keep a record of the Irish they use and hear outside of the classroom for 14 days. The deadline for this has been extended until after the Easter holidays, so why not give it a go?! All prizes will be awarded to pupils after the Easter break.

Many words used in English in Ireland come from the Irish language and some of these were displayed on the College Twitter account and on the Irish Department’s new Instagram account @sccgaeilge. We would love it if you would follow us!

Bainigí go léir taitneamh as briseadh na Cásca agus táimid ag tnúth go mór leis na daltaí ar fad a fheiceáil ar ais ar scoil arís go luath! (Enjoy the Easter break and we are really looking forward to seeing all pupils back at school again soon!)

The 2021 Art , Craft and Photography Prizes attracted as much interest as ever and pupils from every year group entered their work for consideration. This year the theme for the  competition was ‘Connections’. Pupils’ interpretations of this theme varied greatly . The result was a fantastic collection of visual responses.

The Junior Photography Prize had a large number of entries. Many pupils focused on how they stay connected during lock down. Cameron McKinley  deservedly won the prize for his striking image of a distorted tree. Jacob Owen’s sensitively shot image of growth in the natural world earned him a Commendation. Also receiving a Distinction in this category were Stella Borrowdale, Henry Jenner, Olive Mui and Safia Walker.

Congratulations to Ciara Finn who won the Junior Craft Prize for her two-colour lino print. A Distinction was also awarded to Carlotta Castagna and Bella Fennell in this category.

Georgia Goodbody’s incredible drawing of ‘Benji the Dog’ earned her the prize in the Junior Art Prize category. There was strong competition from Keelin Bradley-Brady who was awarded a Commendation for his pen and ink image of ‘The Gorilla’. Isabella Tracey was also awarded a Distinction in this category.

The Senior Photography Prize went to Alice Letort for her quiet yet colourful images of glass bottles. Also awarded a Distinction for this prize was Iona Chavasse, Poppy Gleeson, Lioba Preysing and Felicitas Tenge. 

Iona Chavasse won the Senior Craft Prize for her clay model of a pelican launching out of the water. Antonia Ladanyi, Isobel Warnock and Kate Higgins were awarded a Distinction, also for work created in clay and print.

The Earl of Meath Senior Art Prize was won by Eliz Kolat. Her painting entitled ‘Reflections’ is part of a larger project that she undertook this year. Also receiving a Distinction in this category was Iona Chavasse, Jamie Green, Alice Letort and Isabel Warnock. 

Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to all of the winners! Work from the winners can be seen in this album:

Art Prize Winners 2021

• Earl of Meath Senior Art: Eliz Kolat
• Senior Craft: Iona Chavasse
• Senior Photography: Alice Letort
• Junior Art: Georgia Goodbody
• Junior Craft: Ciara Finn
• Junior Photography: Cameron McKinley

 

Many thanks to all those who entered into the Book Week 2021 “Bookface” competition. Below is an album of the best entries. We are delighted to announce the winners are Fee Ratibor & Coco Xu with Charlie Bevan as the runner up. Well done to all!