We are delighted to announce details of this year’s Cultural Trip to London.  The trip will take place over the January Exodus (Friday Jan 24th to Monday 27th Jan) and is open to pupils in Forms IV and V, but is currently limited to 40 places (but this may increase). Places will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis. The estimated cost of the trip is an all-inclusive €550, which includes:

  • Return flights between Dublin to London.
  • All bus, rail and underground transfers.
  • Three nights luxury hostel accommodation in Meininger Hotel, South Kensington (adjacent to the Natural History Museum), with breakfast, packed lunch and evening meals.
  • Tickets to a West End musical (show to be confirmed).
  • Ticket to cinema in Leicester Square.
  • A Thames cruise.
  • Dinner in Leicester Square restaurant on one night.
  • All entry fees & tours for museums and attractions including: The Science Museum, Covent Garden, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, National Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, Tower of London, Cabinet War Rooms & Churchill Museum.
  • A visit to China Town during Chinese New Year celebrations.

There is a jam-packed itinerary for the pupils, catering for a wide array of interests, and is a great way to experience London and see all its major attractions and museums.

To secure a place for your son or daughter please complete this online permission slip (please note, passport details are required at the time of booking). A deposit of €220 is also required and can be paid by cheque (made payable to St. Columba’s College). Alternatively, the deposit can be lodged directly into the College bank account (details available upon request).

If you require more information please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Jones or Mr. O’Shaughnessy.

There are under 4 weeks to go until researchED Dublin, Ireland’s first-ever such event (on Saturday the massive London conference, with 1500 delegates and 170 speakers, was a huge success).

Our event is of course smaller, but certainly very high quality, and below are the titles of the 30 sessions available to delegates. The timetable will be released before long, and there will be some tough choices to make (5/6 sessions run concurrently apart from the first and last ones). More detail on sessions on the @researchEDDub Twitter account during this week. More on the speakers themselves here.

(in alphabetical order by speaker)

Neil Almond: I structure (most of) my maths lessons: putting research into practice

Kate Barry: Retrieval Practice for Long-Term Learning

Edmond Behan: Teaching students to collaborate: the impact of skills training on student engagement in collaborative learning.

Tom Bennett: Behaviour lessons from the best UK schools.

Fred Boss: Open Digital Badges in Formal Education in Ireland.

Pedro de Bruyckere: The Ingredients for Great Teaching.

Daisy Christodoulou: Seven Myths about Education (keynote address).

Daisy Christodoulou: Comparative judgement: an easier way to assess writing

David Didau: Making Kids Cleverer: A manifesto for closing the advantage gap

Stuart Farmer: Networked Learning Communities – the solution to effective professional learning of teachers?

Leona Forde: Getting research into practice: one school’s story of building a system for teacher-led professional development.

Rebecca Foster: On Bjork’s Desirable Difficulties in the classroom.

Gráinne Hallahan: The Batman Effect: what it does (and doesn’t) tell us about concentration in the classroom.

Eva Hartell: Comparative judgment – unpacking teachers’ assessment practices in STEM education.

Carl Hendrick: The Pedagogy Delusion: When Teaching Kills Learning

Humphrey Jones & Mary Singleton: A Research-Led Approach to School Science Laboratory Design.

Peter Lydon: Some Hard Truths from Gifted Education.

Ann Marcus-Quinn and Tríona Hourigan: Open Education and post-primary education.

James McCoy: Introducing a knowledge-rich curriculum at Key Stage 3: a case study.

Jennifer McMahon: ‘Learning from yesterday to prepare for tomorrow’: teacher perspectives on applying evidence to practice.

Conor Murphy: The Importance of Film: a brief history of its place at second-level, and how we can embed it in our schools.

Dianne Murphy: Seven Misconceptions About Teaching Adolescents to Read.

James Murphy: Six Kinds of Behaviour Problems and How to Deal With Them.

Mary Myatt: Curriculum: Controversies, Concepts and Conversations.

Mirjam Neelen: Teachers teach but do they learn? How to improve your own self-directed learning skills.

Sandrine Pac-Kenny: What they don’t tell you about learning a language!

Alex Quigley: Closing the Vocabulary Gap.

Tom Sherrington: Why are Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction so popular and so good?

Victoria Simms: Evidence-based primary maths: what is research really telling us?

Claire Stoneman: Senior Leadership: how can we help novice senior leaders learn?

Parents will shortly be receiving Calendar information by email. Meanwhile, the main events of the school year are on the College Calendar here.

Wednesday 4th September

2.00-2.30pm: arrival of new pupils at boarding houses, and unloading of luggage, followed by refreshments in Lower Argyle/Dining Hall.
3.30pm: Welcome and address by Warden in Big Schoolroom to all new pupils and their parents.
4.00-4.45pm: Meetings with House staff (different locations).
5.30pm: Parents and day pupils depart by this time.
6.00pm: Supper for new boarders.
6.30pm to 8.30pm: Return of all other boarders to House.

Thursday 5th September

Late rising.
8.50am: Day boarders and day pupils report to House.
9.00am: Warden’s Assembly in BSR, followed by Chapel arrangements and then service, followed by administration periods and lunch.
2.00pm: two afternoon classes, finishing at 3.30pm. Day pupils and day boarders may go home after this time.
Evening: short prep sessions for all boarders.

Friday 6th September

First full school day.

Our annual Open Day this year is on Saturday 28th September, and all prospective pupils and their parents are very welcome. No advance booking is needed: just turn up and you will be looked after (pupils will guide visitors from the car parks to the reception point).

Everything starts at 10am: visitors are advised to come between then and 11.30am (the day finishes at 1pm), with regular tours conducted by prefects heading off around the campus. You will see the major facilities of the College like the Library, Chapel, Sports Hall, Dining Hall, Science Block and Cadogan music centre, as well as observing lots of activities, such as the choir practising, science events, public speaking rehearsals and much more. You will have the opportunity of talking to teachers and current parents about the College.

Visitors who would like more information about admissions should contact the Admissions Officer, Mrs Amanda Morris, via the Contact Form, or by emailing admissions@stcolumbas.ie, or by phone at 01-4906791.

We are again taking part in the great annual event which is Culture Night, which this year is on the evening on Friday 20th September. As before, visitors to the College will have the chance to have an architectural and historical tour and talk, which will be given by the Sub-Warden, Julian Girdham. Visitors are welcome from 6.30pm (all Culture Night events are free), and should gather in the Chapel by 7.00pm, when the talk will start, followed by a walk-around.

Featuring will be the fascinating historical context of the College (including its foundation in 1843), the 1880 Chapel itself, designed by the great Victorian architect William Butterfield, the Chapel Square and Big Schoolroom, the 1971 modernist Science Block designed by Robin Walker, and the original Georgian Hollypark Building.

All are welcome, and visitors will be greeted by pupils at the main roundabout entrance, and guided to the Chapel.

See our entry on the Culture Night website here.

The latest edition of the pupil magazine The Submarine, or rather, given the time of the year, The Summerine, has just been published in school in paper form, and now can be read online here, or in flippable form on SCC English here (click for closer view and navigation, click on the arrows to move through the pages). Below, Noah Leach’s composition (see the back page of the magazine).

In this issue, plenty of interesting writing, and lots of pupil art work. Thanks to this year’s Editor Tania Stokes as she hands over to Avi and Edna Johnston, next year’s Editors, and Emma Hinde, sub-editor.

Image of the Chapel above by Nikolaus Wachs.

Cricket, athletics and tennis are the principal sports played this term, although the pupils have also utilised our fantastic golf course over the past month too. In cricket, the Senior Boys had a decent season, reaching the semi-final of their league but were defeated by eventual winner CUS. The star performance was Daniel Swift’s ‘88’ against Sandford, albeit in defeat. He also produced some decent spells of bowling and was assisted by all-round performances from Thady McKeever and Philip Shekleton. Daniel was selected to represent Leinster Schools’ Development Team against Marylebone Cricket Club yesterday ….. There were some good wins and individual performances in the Form III and Form II boys teams also, with the latter reaching their semi-final but, once again, being defeated by CUS. The Form I boys also had a decent season and showed good promise. They started with a good win against St.Andrew’s and also defeated “arch-rivals” Headfort, thanks to ‘87’ not out from captain Isaac Dijkstra.

The Girls Cricket season was extremely compressed, with all league fixtures played within a ten day period. The results were mixed but all teams showed great promise. The Senior Girls were coached by Laura Delaney, captain of the Irish national team, and their progress over the short season was excellent. The College entered two teams into the Junior and Senior leagues and were competitive throughout. The Form I girls also had a great season, under the guidance of Avril Haughton.

The advent of two weeks preparation before the Easter break ensured a successful start to the Trinity Term for Athletics. Sending a group of pupils to the East Leinster Athletics Championship on the first day of term might sound like a logistical nightmare but it came together and from the two days of competition in Morton stadium, 11 medals were garnered with 9 athletes qualifying for the Leinster Championships; an extremely successful outing! These pupils went on to compete in the Leinsters, facing seasoned athletes and gaining vital experience and knowledge. Avouka Assebian emerged from the Senior Girls Triple Jump competition in 1st place with a ticket to the All-Irelands which take place tomorrow, Saturday 1st June. We wish Avouka the very best of luck!

The now annual College ‘Mountain Run’ took place recently with Tobias Voelsgen and Shannon Dent defending their titles and improving their times on the challenging 8km track. Tobias ran the race in 30min 37sec and Shannon in 38min 10sec.

Tennis is an extremely popular sport amongst the pupils and our fantastic all weather courts see plenty of use. Our Girls team won one, lost one and were given a walkover in our third game (we’d rather have played and lost!). The Boys Team beat Gonzaga III, St. Mary’s College and Terenure College in the pool stages to reach the semi-final of their league but lost out to a strong St. Andrew’s College (2-3). Internally, Hippolyte de Preville won the Beresford Cup, our annual boy’s tennis competition.

Tuesday evening saw the 26th annual TY English Evening, the longest-established Transition Year event in the school’s calendar. It was presented by the Head of Department, the Sub-Warden, who welcomed his predecessor, Mr John Fanagan, as the guest speaker. He also remembered with fondness Professor Terry Dolan, who died recently, and who for so long was an established visitor at the Evening.

A variety of writing was heard, and afterwards Mr Fanagan commented on the pieces: Aiyuni O’Grady’s personal piece looked back at holiday experiences on Lough Corrib (‘a vivid sense of place’), Maybelle Rainey read ‘The Silver Night’ (with ‘excellent pace and strong voice’), Éile Ní Chianáin’s ‘Learning to Dance’ about a young puffin was ‘a beautiful observation of nature’, Gioia Doenhoff’s ‘Being Underwater’ ‘got across a sense of tension in a very creative way’, Oscar Yan’s ‘The Wells of Silence’ from the eco-fiction module was ‘very thoughtful and philosophical’, Ellen Homan’s entertaining ‘Day in the Life of the Person Beside You’ achieved humorous effects with ‘a light touch’, Raphaela Ihuoma’s ‘A Casket with John and Me’ was ‘very different and very controlled’, Eva Dillenberger’s ‘Perfect’ on images of the female body was a strong piece, and finally Sinéad Cleary’s piece on Ted Bundy and ‘murder-chic’ was ‘really effective, and very hard-hitting.’

Finally, Mr Fanagan announced winners of the Premier awards: Imogen Casey, Éile Ní Chianáin, Sinéad Cleary, Gioia Doenhoff, Raphaela Ihumoma, Charlotte Moffitt, Oscar Yan.

 

[first posted on SCC English]

Yesterday evening in the Big Schoolroom Mr McCarthy and Ms Maybury presented the annual TY awards. Mr McCarthy, shortly to step down as TY co-ordinator after 8 years, reviewed the impressive range of activities Fourth Form have undertaken during the year. He said it was particularly important that pupils grab the opportunities they are presented with, and that it was enormously gratifying when they did so. He thanked the rest of the TY team for their hard work in maintaining the Programme. Ms Maybury presented certificates for the Columban Award Scheme, which includes self-chosen activities and ones such as Emergency Aid, hikes and CPR training.

The Warden thanked Mr McCarthy and his team for all they have done for the pupils this year, and wished Ms Kilfeather as she takes over as Co-ordinator from September.

 

Awards:

  • Sveva Ciofani: Spanish
  • Kaspar Twietmeyer: Physics
  • Paula Ruiz Sanchez: Chemistry
  • Casimir zu Hohenlohe: Latin
  • Éile Ní Chianáin: Irish
  • Imogen Casey: Geography
  • Gioia Dönhoff: Economics
  • Amelie Buzay: Design and Art
  • Oscar Yan: Maths and History
  • Raphaela Ihuoma: Business, English and Religion
  • Sinéad Cleary: French, Biology, Music and Classical Studies
  • Columban Award Scheme: Elise Williams
  • Spirit of Transition Year: Sinéad Cleary

 

 

Yesterday, Form VI pupils from Stackallan House, accompanied by Liam Canning (Housemaster) and Michael O’Shaughnessy (Assistant Housemaster), visited their chosen charity, the Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice. The pupils and staff formally presented their charity with a new 55′ television, purchased with the funds raised over the course of the year, provided for Hazel House’s newly designed play and sensory room.  Laura Lynn is a wonderful organisation, whose vision is that ‘all children who need us can access us’, provides holistic palliative care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

The members of Stackallan wanted to donate something practical and tangible rather than a cheque. They raised the money by hosting a variety show, self imposing a pizza tax, a chapel appeal collection and House fines. The television is used to play soothing sensory music during the day and for special cinema nights and sporting occasions.

That lovely late-season annual event, Voices of Poetry, took place on Sunday evening in the Big Schoolroom. It is a fine pause in the maelstrom of the ending of the school year, just before examinations start: listening to great verse in many languages is balm for the soul.

Again Mr Swift co-ordinated with his characteristic skill and lightness of touch. Helen Crampton started with a reading of the first poem she had learned as a child, Wordsworth’s ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud‘ (aka ‘Daffodils’), followed by Mr Finn’s strong recital of D.H. Lawrence’s evocative ‘Piano‘ (‘Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me’). He was followed by Iona Chavasse’s ‘Wild Like the Sea That Raised Her’, composed in the Poetry Slam in March, a haunting incantatory piece.

Then it was on to other languages, including Spanish (Anna Laurenceau with Neruda), French (David White with Baudelaire), Sicilian dialect (for the first time, from Ms Pirrone), Latin (Tania Stokes with Horace), Turkish (Liz Kolat), Mexican dialect (Camilla Garcia), Ukrainian (Dmytro Kasienenko), Dutch (Cato Oldenburg), German (Tatiana Hopkins), Igbo (Sarah Maduwuba), Irish (Naoise Murray), Cantonese (Sinéad Cleary) and Mandarin (Zong Yuan Kou).

In English we also heard Stella Jacobs with Whitman’s ‘O Captain, My Captain!’ and Ms Morley with Liz Lochhead’s thought-provoking ‘The Choosing‘. The Warden recited Newbolt’s ‘Vitaï Lampada’, and Mr Swift paid tribute to his late brother in his reading of John Updike’s ‘Perfection Wasted’ (here read by Garrison Keillor). Senior Prefect Harry Oke-Osanyintolu gave us Brendan Kennelly’s optimistic ‘Begin’ from the Leaving Certificate poetry course.

Two highlights were readings by this year’s winners of the poetry prizes, Emma Hinde (junior, with ‘Tree-maker‘) and Tania Stokes (senior, with her sonnet ‘Seeing Tunnels‘).

No better way to finish it all off than with William Carlos Williams’s ‘This Is Just to Say’, read by Daniel Murray:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
[first posted on SCC English]

This evening the annual Public Speaking Competition for Second Form was held again in the Upper Cadogan. In recent years this has highlighted the work of pupils in their Classroom Based Assessments (the oral presentations), which are neatly timed to coincide with this event.

There were excellent 2-3 minute presentations from Elys Walker, Kate Higgins and Zofia Cannon-Brookes (all on climate change – as Mr Jameson, the compere said, rightfully the most common subject), Solomon Babajide (school shootings in America), Ealga Ejase-Tobrise (xenophobia in South Africa), George King (the snowflake generation), Matilda Pringle (gingers) and Tyrone Shi (the band AC/DC).

In his comments, judge Mr McCarthy (who adjudicated alongside last year’s winner, Donald Thompson), commended the excellent work of all eight speakers, and said how important it was that ideas are turned into ideals in the way young people articulate their thoughts. He then announced the first three placings: 3rd= were Matilda and Elys, 2nd was Ealga, and this year’s winner was Kate Higgins.

We are delighted to present an extraordinary discovery on film. In early 2018 the Sub-Warden, while researching old editions of the school magazine for his book Floreat Columba: 100 years of The Columban magazine, 1879-1979, came across repeated references in the 1930s to ‘Mr Barnardo’s film of the College’. This had apparently been regularly shown to the boys, and regularly updated. It seemed extremely unlikely anything remained of it, but the references were intriguing.

Eventually the trail came to the Barnardo fur business in Grafton Street, which was founded in 1812 and is the oldest such surviving family business in the world. Harry Barnardo had entered the College as a very young boy in 1934, and left in 1941, and it was his father, a keen amateur film-maker, who had put together the film. Harry continued his father’s interest, becoming very involved in the Dublin cinema world, and when he died (still only in his 50s) in 1978 his widow Caroline kept the film paraphernalia passed down from his own father.

So it was that in early July 2018 three 16mm films were discovered in the attic of the family home. When transferred into digital form, there was revealed an extraordinary amount of material from the 1930s of the school in action: swimming, cricket, prize-giving, the surfacing of the main drive, the openings of buildings, the visit of Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde and more. You can now watch an edited and captioned selection from those reels below (the music has been added), including some sequences in colour.

This is a very special discovery.

The Barnardo Films from St Columba’s College on Vimeo.

A great man, and great friend both of the English Department and of St Columba’s, left us recently. Professor T.P. Dolan, of the English Department of University College Dublin, more commonly known as ‘Terry’, visited us for over 35 years until recent times. His funeral was held earlier today in Kingscourt, County Cavan, where he was buried alongside his mother, and we were represented by the current and former Heads of English.

In his homily, the priest appositely quoted Goldsmith:
“And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.”

Terry’s particular talent was a humorous lightness of touch, in discussing language and literature, that belied the deep scholarship on which that knowledge rested. This talent became known nationally-recognised due to his weekly slot on the Sean Moncrieff show on Newstalk FM, in which he explained the etymology of a bewildering range of words. This was also his party piece for so many Literary Society meetings here over the years: no pupil could catch him out (though at times he stretched things: he would look you in the eye and insist after some rather unlikely explanation “It’s true”, while a twinkle in his eye suggested otherwise). Regular subjects for his talks included American English, Geoffrey Chaucer (see below) and of course Hiberno-English: his masterpiece is his book A Dictionary of Hiberno-English, regularly updated, the definitive collection of English as it is used all over Ireland. He also particularly enjoyed talking about ‘bad’ language, his Queen’s College Oxford voice articulating the origins of the ‘f’ word to startled pupils. The photograph at the top of this post shows him lecturing in the Lower Argyle on a Saturday evening.

Terry’s Hiberno-English website can still be accessed via the Web Archive here.

In February 2008 Terry suffered a shock stroke that confined him to Tallaght Hospital for a long time. Visiting him there was to witness again his ease with everyone, particularly the nurses and doctors who looked after him, and his fellow patients. In these distressing circumstances, he never faltered from his inner core: kindness and cheerfulness. Almost a year later he returned to the Sean Moncrieff Show to public delight, and in February 2010 he gave an interview to Marian Finucane on surviving his stroke. Indeed, he became a prominent advocate of stroke awareness.

He was in great form when I interviewed him for a podcast on his beloved Geoffrey Chaucer. So here‘s a 30-minute treat from ten years ago (and at the bottom of this post).

Terry was also a stalwart of our annual Transition Year English evenings in May as a guest speaker, always commenting on pupils’ work with great sensitivity. He never patronised 16 year-olds but found the best in what they wrote. His imprimatur always gave such pleasure to them.

Terry Dolan was a wonderful man. May he rest in peace.

JMG

[first posted on SCC English]

UPDATE, APRIL 30th: the event is now SOLD OUT. There is a waiting list here.

Over the weekend we released details of a stellar line-up of presenters for our researchED event on Saturday 5th October. This is the organisation’s first-ever event in Dublin, in a year which sees it represented in the UK, Dubai, the USA, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa and Chile. It’s truly an international phenomenon now. Check out the researchED website for more, and see our own event page here.

So far the following are coming: Keep an eye on the event page, and our own, as well as @researchEDDub on Twitter, for more announcements and a link to tickets when they go on sale.

Neil Almond@Mr_AlmondED, Inner city London primary teacher.
Tom Bennett, @tombennett71, Founder researchED & Behaviour advisor to @educationgovuk
Fred Boss@fboss, NCCA Education Officer, Founder & Moderator of #edchatie
Pedro de Bruyckere | @thebandb | Educational scientist, teacher & researcher, Author of The Ingredients for Great Teaching.
David Didau, @DavidDidau, education writer and speaker, Author of Making Kids Cleverer: A manifesto for closing the advantage gap.
Eva Hartell, @EvaHartell, Researcher, Haninge municipality Sweden, & KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Carl Hendrick, @C_Hendrick, Head of Learning and Research, Wellington College, Berkshire.
Humphrey Jones@humphreyjones, Head of Biology, St Columba’s College, Dublin.
Peter Lydon@peter_lydon, Wesley College, Dublin; President of Association of Geography Teachers of Ireland.
Ann Marcus-Quinn@A_MQ, Lecturer in Technical Communication and Instructional Design, University of Limerick.
James McCoy@DrTJEckleburg25, Vice-Principal, Markethill High School, Co Armagh.
Jennifer McMahon@JennytalksPsych, Lecturer in educational psychology & inclusive education, University of Limerick
Conor Murphy@conorsmurf, Skibberreen Community School, Cork.
Mary Myatt@MaryMyatt,  Education adviser, speaker and writer (The Curriculum: Gallimaufry to coherence; High Challenge, Low Threat)
Mirjam Neelen@MirjamN, Learning Advisor Manager, Dublin. https://3starlearningexperiences.wordpress.com/
Sandrine Pac-Kenny, @sandrinepk, Post-Primary Languages Initiative, Wexford.
Alex Quigley | @HuntingEnglish | Senior Associate at the Education Endowment Foundation. Author of Closing the Vocabulary Gap.
Tom Sherrington@teacherhead, Consultant, Author of The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching in Real Classrooms.
Victoria Simms@DrVicSimms, Reader & Research Director, Psychology, Ulster University
Mary Singleton, Head of Science and Director of Studies, St Columba’s College, Dublin.
Claire Stoneman@stoneman_claireDeputy of Academy, Erdington Academy; organiser #rEDBrum

The end of the Hilary Term generally marks the end of the rugby, hockey and basketball season so it is the perfect time to reflect on the season as a whole. The final few weeks are always busy and usually involved some high-stakes knock out games, in all codes.

Firstly, to Basketball. Congratulations to the Minor Girls Basketball team (pictured above) who were crowned South Dublin Basketball League champions after defeating Holy Child Killiney (after double overtime) in the thrilling final of their league on Monday. Raichael Murray scored the winning basket with six seconds remaining in the game while Elizabeth Hart was awarded the MVP for her outstanding performance. The Minor Girls also reached the East Region semifinal lost narrowly to Mt. Anville 16-18. This was the first year, in recent College history, that the Minor Girls we have reached the knock out stages in this competition. The Junior Girls reached the East Region quarterfinals back in February losing to St. Colmcilles. They also missed out on a place in the South Double League with a loss to Sion Hill in early March, despite a great defensive hustle from the dynamic Spanish duo of Laura Casasus and Lucia Garcia. In January, the Senior Girls played their South Dublin Basketball League semifinal against Loreto Dalkey; Kate Maylor, the team captain, led the charge with great passion and spirit but, despite the team’s best efforts, they lost 30-36.

The Senior Rugby squad played a friendly against a touring German team Rugby Klub 03 from Berlin (coached by a former member of staff Graham Dean, photo above) with Peter Keogh scoring a hat-trick. Their season finished on Saturday 23rd with an internal Stayers (4th and 5th form) v Leavers (6th form), it was great to see many boys return to the rugby pitch for the last time at St. Columba’s. The Junior Rugby squad qualified for the quarter-finals of their post-Christmas league, losing in the final minutes against Blackrock J4’s in a nail-biting game. Tibradden have played a regular series of games against Clongowes, St Pauls and De La Salle in recent weeks.

The Senior Boys Hockey team had a largely unsuccessful season in the league but they had an opportunity to get their hands on some silverware in the Senior Trophy. They eased through their quarterfinal against Sutton Park winning 3-0. However, they were then drawn against a strong Wesley College team in the semifinal.  Even though the team put up an excellent fight they were well beaten.  A special mention must go to Georg Mueller-Methling who had an excellent year as captain of the team.The minor team is one to watch for the future!  There are a number of players in this team who have the potential to play on representative teams.  The highlight of their season was reaching their league final which they narrowly lost 2-3 to The Kings Hospital.The u13 team were easily the most improved team. They struggled early on in the league managing only a draw. The second half of the season included an excellent cup run. They reached the semifinal of the cup playing against St Andrew’s College A team. Andrew’s had won the league while we lost to their B team in the same competition. At full time the score was 2-2, a fantastic achievement, but unfortunately, we lost in extra time. Frederik Strantz had a remarkable season playing matches for every age group from u13s all the way to up to the Senior Team. He is one to watch out for in seasons to come!

Over one hundred Girls Hockey matches were played this season, across the Senior (4 teams), Junior (2 teams) and Minor (2 teams) panels.  It was fantastic to see the great progress made both individually and by teams.  The remaining Senior players next season will be complemented by a set of strong Junior players and likewise, the remaining junior players will be bolstered by an enthusiastic and competent set of players from the Minor teams.  The season ended with an Iona vs Hollypark match, in which Iona emerged victorious (3-0, photo from the match above taken by Amy Cosgrove). Much thanks must be given to all the coaching staff for their time, enthusiasm and commitment, but in particular to Mrs Johnson, Ms Harkin and Dr Rice from the academic staff. Well done to the following girls who received an award in recognition of their fine season:

  • Best Minor Goalkeeper: Valentina McAree
  • Best Junior Goalkeeper: Ealga Ejase Tobrise
  • Best Senior Goalkeeper: Orla Conlon Batey, Antonia Bullrich, Camilla Garcia, Elise Williams
  • Best Minor Defender: Ines de Castro Ferreira Lopes
  • Best Junior Defender: Emily McCarthy
  • Best Senior Defender: Charlotte Moffitt & Georgia Keegan Wignall
  • Top Goal Scorer: Eva Dillenberger
  • Most Improved Player:
    • Minor B: Abbie Murray
    • Minor A: Laura Casasus
    • Junior B: Iona Chavasse
    • Junior A: Elys Walker
    •  4th XI: Paula Ruiz
    •  3rd XI: Caroline Ratibor
    • 2nd XI: Tatjana Hopkins
    • 1st XI: Éile Ní Chaináin

The summer games programme is already underway; athletics, cricket, tennis, golf and football are the summer games in the College.

Here in St. Columba’s we are very passionate about ensuring that our school environment is sustained to a high standard. We are enacting procedures to apply for our second Green Flag as well as attempting to become a single-use plastic free campus with the help of a dynamic Green Committee.
Climate change is the single biggest issue facing this current generation and if it is not addressed it will continue to impact future generations. Members of the Green Committee, as well as IV Form pupils, want to enact change and have established an Instagram page called youthstrike4climate.ie to highlight the vital need to address climate change.
Those pupils are Imogen Casey, Maybelle Rainey, Ellen Homan, Aiyuni O’ Grady and Eile Ni Chianain. To date, the page has amassed almost five thousand followers and continues to grow. Please feel free to follow the page and support their attempts to enact change.

Trish Dunlop (parent to pupils in Forms V & III) reports on last weekend’s parents’ trip to Seville.

A group of parents and family emerged from the winter drear last weekend, ably led by the Warden, Cathy and Michael O’Shaughnessy, and burst into Summer. It seems we had all been checking the forecast anxiously, and the sun shone brightly for the Columban cohort.

We stayed at a wonderfully located hotel, always only a walk away from the best that Seville has to offer a visitor. Just as well, since most parents seemed to be brandishing state of the art step-counters and activity tracking devices which we would then compare and contrast at suitable junctures. How many flights was it up to the top of the bell tower?

It was a pleasure to meet members of the St. Columba’s wider community as we all gathered that evening, spirits were high and we embarked on a weekend of chat, laughter and learning about the joys that Andalusia had to offer.

In stunning sunshine, we walked through the winding streets of Seville as we visited the Moorish Palace and Gardens, the stunning Cathedral, up thirty-five ramps to the bell tower giving a wonderful view of the city. The sensual discovery continued relentlessly – the orange dotted trees and brightly coloured produce as we walked the streets, the wafting scents of lavender, orange blossom and jasmine, the mosaic decoration on sandy golden stone and all punctuated by delicious food and drinks (often with a distant strain of flamenco-style music). All the while the chat and laughter continued. The day was a lovely combination of guided and “free” exploration, at times coming together as a group and at other times opting to “do our own thing” which seemed to be just the right approach.

Sunday started with a robust breakfast before taking a bus ride to Cordoba. Cordoba was a true revelation – its grand history announced by the iconic “Roman Bridge” that greeted us as we disembarked. Set up to explore museums of art and history, we were again “free-ranging” on the hilly streets that sloped up away from the River Guadalquivir.

Most remarkable – in its mixed traditional styles – is the “Mosque” or “Cordoba Cathedral”. We found the visit very moving and had the benefit of a very passionate and dedicated guide. We learned about the layers and layers of Cordoba’s history which are carved into the fabric of the “mosque”, together with its continued dedication to its true purpose of sacred worship.

We returned to Seville on the bus, which gave us a much-needed opportunity to count our steps again. A quick turnaround and off out again to a lively last supper together. The Warden kept us on our toes with the tour quiz, with all teams securing excellent marks on our self-corrected answer sheets. Last late drinks at the hotel, before the reality set in: an early return to less sunny climes via Ryanair.

The beauty of Seville and Cordoba extended beyond the architecture, the sensual pleasures, and the history. Their beauty can also be found in how the cities are lived, everywhere its residents can be seen enjoying eating, shopping, strolling and spending time with each other. For a brief interlude, and thanks to the super efforts of Cathy Boobbyer, the Warden and Michael O’Shaughnessy, we parents and family members of the St. Columba’s community were part of the beating heart of Andalusia, and we are all the better for it.

Below is an album of photographs from the trip.