The College thanks sincerely Siobhán Tulloch, who has sent us a highly evocative collection of photographs from 1922-24. They feature her uncle John David Gwynn, and there are also letters to do with her great-uncles Lucius and Arthur Gwynn who were pupils at the College in the 1880s. They were great sportsmen in cricket and rugby, especially Lucius, but unfortunately both died in their twenties.

Click here for a transcription of the relevant part of a letter (seen in the images below) from Lucius Gwynn to his aunt, about a disciplinary incident at the school.

Another document is a Foot-Races programme from 1862. One of the athletes, R.D. O’Brien,was the uncle of Lucius Gwynn and great-uncle of John David Gwynn.

The photographs, now almost 100 years ago, show a selection of sporting and other activities and can seen below with some captions.

Well done to the young sailing crew of Tim Norwood, Denis Cully and Max Goodbody, who took to the water on Sunday for the All Ireland Inter-Schools Sailing Event at Sutton Dinghy Club. This was the first time St. Columba’s had entered a team for the event so there was considerable excitement amongst the crew. Each member of the crew were at the helm of their own sailing dinghy and competing in the mixed fleet event – the main event of the race. The boys did really well – Tim finished second in his class while Max and Denis finished 10th and 11th respectively in theirs. The team scores were an accumulation of their individual place in the event, with the goal of securing as few points as possible, and the boys managed to finish 6th out of 22 teams competing – a great result for such a young team in their first competition for the school and in difficult low-wind conditions.

For more information and a full report from Sutton Dinghy Club, as well as detailed results, click here. See a collection of photos from the event below. Well done again boys.

St. Columba’s College, being a seven day boarding school, organises a wide range of Saturday evening and Sunday events for their boarders (and indeed day pupils) and last weekend was no exception. On Saturday the College welcomed Old Columbans who left the College in 1997, for their 20 year reunion. It was great to see so many familiar faces back in the College. On the games field the Senior Boys Development Rugby XV took on Wesley’s equivalent, in their first game of the season. All members of the squad played during the fixture but, alas, the visiting Wesley side took the win 29-20, after two tries apiece from Max Hopkins & Hector Wright. Later that evening classical guitarist Pat Coldrick performed an excellent concert for pupils and staff in the Big School Room (BSR). It was a wonderful event, with the BSR’s excellent acoustics making Pat’s music sound wonderful.

On Sunday morning a small but dedicated group of Transition Year pupils joined Mr. O’Shaughnessy and Mr. Coldrick for an early morning walk to the Hell Fire Club – an infamous ruin at the top of Moutpelier Hill in the Dublin Mountains. Normally walkers are treated to a stunning view of Dublin City but, unfortunately, early morning fog ruined the view but did add to the eery feeling in one of Dublin’s most famous haunted houses. Later that afternoon over twenty Transition Year pupils (pictured above) joined Ms. Hennessy for the annual ‘An Taisce Clean Coasts‘ beach clean, on sunny Seapoint Strand in South Dublin. The pupils picked up and recorded the litter on the beach while enjoying the mid-day sun.

Many thanks to all the pupils and staff who contributed to a great weekend of activities. For some more photographs of the weekend’s activities visit the College’s Facebook page.

Congratulations to all our pupils who received their Junior Certificate results on Wednesday. The overall results were excellent, including a set of straight A’s from one of our pupils. In all, 84% of all examination papers were taken at Higher Level with just under 20% of all exam results an A at Higher Level. 50% of all grades were either an A or B at Higher Level with a total of 72% of all papers sat achieving an A, B or C at Higher Level – tremendous results.

This was also the first year the JCSA (the successor to the Junior Certificate) was examined, albeit only in one subject so far, English. The grading is completely different to the Junior Certificate, and so cannot be compared. 88% of our candidates took the exam at Higher Level, and 89% of them achieved one of the three highest grades, ‘Distinction’, ‘Higher Merit’ and ‘Merit’. They also undertook (as all pupils will eventually do) Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) in oral presentations and a writing portfolio, and the results of these will be presented on the Student Profile of Achievement. Other subjects, starting here with Science and Irish, are now moving onto this system, with the dual-system ending by 2022.

The pupils celebrated their success with a full class trip to Causey Farm in Co. Meath, where they got to trudge through the mud, milk cows, bake traditional Irish soda bread, had a céilí (an Irish dancing session) and much more.

See some photos from the trip below.

Well done to the team from Dependable Productions in Yorkshire, who have had two films selected for the London Drone Film Festival, one of which is the drone film they created for the College in May 2016.

The festival is on Monday 25th September at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) in London.

A feature on the website of design company Red Dog gives a good account, complete with photographs, of the process of creating our lovely new prospectus. Many of the photographs in the brochure have since been used on this site.

The prospectus is only available in paper form (a conscious decision) and can be order by prospective parents from Mrs Amanda Morris, Admissions Officer, by filling in the request form at the bottom of this page.

In the words of Red Dog, “With the help of photographer Finn Richards (art directed by us) we spent time on campus capturing daily student life at St. Columba’s. This resulted in a rich bank of photography encompassing all aspects of the school – from the creativity in the art centre, to the contemporary science block and traditional dining hall.

This bank of photography was then used in a distinctive brochure featuring a green cover – alluding to St. Columba’s colours – with the school crest appearing in a matt silver foil. We created two photographic dust jackets with timelines, printed on a contrasting gloss paper, to wrap around the cover.

The interior includes inserts featuring endorsements from alumni – testimony of the unique educational opportunity offered to students at St. Columba’s College.”

Last Friday, September 8th 2017, saw the inaugural All-Ireland Senior Prefect Leadership Conference at St Columba’s. The College welcomed forty three pupils from fourteen schools across Ireland, both the north and south.  This is a first in Ireland. The response from attendees was tremendous. By the end of the day a network of senior prefects across Ireland had been set up and there were requests for a follow up conference at some point during the year. “The Unreasonables”, a group of inspirational young men and women from the UK with a passion for entrepreneurial leadership, facilitated the day.

We were also joined by Rosy Temple, an Old Columban and former St. Columba’s College Senior Prefect (now Irish Sales Manager for Rebel Kitchen) challenged the attendees to be their own person and to step outside of the box. Pupils were encouraged in their understanding of themselves and what holds them back, in personal branding – how the world views you as opposed to how you want to be viewed – and in public speaking – all essential skills for quality in leadership. We look forward to the year ahead and all that these empowered young people have to offer in their schools.

The superb College Library opened on two sides of the Warden’s Garden in 1994, as a result of the Development Appeal in 1993 for the College’s 150th anniversary. Now we are approaching our 175th (in 2018), and the Library continues to be central (literally) to the life of the school. Designed by Old Columban John Somerville-Large, its design has held up superbly, and it still looks as good as new.

Our new full-time professional Librarian, Ms Kent-Sutton, has been busy since she arrived early this year, and indeed over the summer.

Two fine developments as we start the academic year have taken place. The room through the back of the Junior Reading Room, traditionally called ‘The Submarine’, has been completed cleared of piles of old books and detritus, and is now ready for use as a seminar and meeting room (it will also hold the archives, which will be held in special new shelving).

Secondly, the catalogue and borrowing system has moved online to ‘Oliver’, a vital development which allows the Library to reach out beyond the confines of its walls. Pupils and staff can access this here and via the internal Firefly Learning system. It also enables staff to direct pupils to books and other resources in a much more sophisticated and wide-ranging way. Furthermore, all will now have access to the e-book service ‘Leabharlann’.

As we head into that 175th anniversary, the Library is in good shape.

 

[originally posted on SCC English]

Wednesday 6th September

  • 2.00-2.30pm: new pupils and their parents arrive. Pupils should be in school uniform. At the roundabout by the Sports Hall you will be directed to the appropriate parking place by Prefects. Unload luggage and books at your House, followed by refreshments in the Dining Hall and Lower Argyle.
  • Note: pupils who were here last year should not arrive until 6.30pm. Boarders should note that all beds are allocated in advance, and you will not be able to select your own.
  • 3.30pm: all new pupils and their parents to the Big Schoolroom (main hall on Chapel Square) for a welcome by the Warden, Mr Boobbyer.
  • 4pm: all new pupils and parents go to House locations for meetings and information sessions with House staff and senior House pupils.
  • 5.30pm: all parents, and day boys/girls, leave.
  • 6pm: Supper for new boarders.
  • 8.30pm: all other boarders to have returned by this time. Roll-call in House.

Thursday 7th September

  • 8.50am: all day boys and day girls report to House.
  • 9am: Warden’s Assembly in BSR, followed by Chapel seating arrangements, followed by first Chapel service.
  • 11.30am: Form administration periods.
  • 2.00-3.30pm: First classes, after which day boys and day girls may go home.

Friday 8th September

  • First full school day.
  • Day boys and girls report by 8.10am.

The College will again be a venue for the great national event that is Culture Night, which this year is on Friday 22nd September. Last year over 80 visitors came to the College for a talk on its history and an architectural tour of the highlights of the campus, and this year the format will be the same. Visitors are welcome to come from 6.30pm (there will be pupil guides at the entrance), gathering by 7pm in the Chapel. Then the Sub-Warden, Julian Girdham, will give a short talk and lead the tour, which of course includes the Chapel itself, Chapel Square and the Big Schoolroom, the central gardens, the Science Block (recently refurbished) and the 18th century main Hollypark House.

See the College’s entry on the Culture Night website here and check out the Dublin brochure here.

No booking is required for our event.

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new and improved website. The new website, designed and built by Head of Biology, Mr. Humphrey Jones, aims to provide a more visual site for our viewers while also improving navigation and ease of use. Within the new site is a new and improved Media Gallery, News section, more detailed Admissions page, dedicated section for the Boarding Houses and much more. There is also a new page for our Development Office with the ability to donate to or gift the College online becoming available shortly. The site is greatly enhanced by the work of photographer Finn Richards, who will shortly release some new video content for the site also.

Along with our new site we are delighted to announce a new Facebook page aimed at current pupils, parents, staff and friends of the College. The new Facebook page will allow those interested in the College engage with our news in a more exciting and interesting way. Click here to like our new page.

There are two summer reading lists just out which visitors to the site may be interested in –

The Librarian, Ms Kent-Sutton, has compiled a list for pupils which can be downloaded here, or read online here.

The English Department is back with another parents’ reading suggestions list here (26 books over 6 pages), or if that isn’t enough there’s an extended version with all past issues here.  And again both are online as flippable Issuu versions here.

After the end of term our national-winning CanSat team head to Bremen in Germany for the European Final organised by the European Space Agency, which takes place from June 28th to July 2nd.

Check out a ten-minute video of the team talking about the project here.

Go to their website to check on their work here. And do comment on 1 or 2 posts. They have also created a YouTube channel with a number of videos giving an overview of the project. The more likes on the videos the better!

Lastly we encourage you to share their Facebook Cansat Page  and encourage people to follow the team.

All the best to Ms Hennessey team on their exciting opportunity. Updates will also come via by @sccdubin on Twitter and of course also @SCC_Cansat.

The evening of Sunday 28th May saw the annual Voices of Poetry magic in the Big Schoolroom. Expertly marshalled by Mr Swift, a mixture of pupils and staff read out short poems in English and many other languages.

Primary pupil Carl Krenski kicked off with a Robert Service poem, and, from the other end of the school Senior Prefect Blanaid Sheeran gave us ‘The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently‘ by the fine American Poet Thomas Lux.

The first Nigerian language, Urhobo, was represented by a poem read by Ella Ejase-Tobrise, and the second, Yoruba, by Seyilogo Braithwaite. Mimi Garcia (Catalan) and Casper von der Schuelenburg (Spanish) followed, and this foreign language section was completed by Elena Sirazetdinova reading her own poem in Russia with compelling intensity.

The winner of the Junior Poetry Prize, Tania Stokes, read this poem, ‘Resonance’, for which she was awarded the prize.

Kim Voggel (German), Aleksandra Murphy (Polish),  Lucas Cho (Korean), Vietnamese (William Zitzmann) and Irish (Katherine Kelly, with Megan Bulbulia providing the English translation) were next up.

Three long-term teachers, who are shortly retiring, gave their poetic ‘valetes’ – Dr Garry Bannister, Mrs Frances Heffernan and Mr Fraser Morris. There was a mixture of the light-hearted, the deeply personal and the grippingly emotional in the five poems they recited.

French (Nyla Jamison), Yoruba again (Harry Oke-Osanyintolu) and Latin (Julius Reblin with some Horace, and JiWoo Park with the translation) completed the foreign language poems, before the Warden gave a memorable rendition of Hilaire Belloc’s ‘Matilda’, which he knew off by heart.

Finally, another Primary pupil brought us full-circle, with Nikolai Foster reading Yeats’s beautiful ‘Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven‘, an appropriately magical end to the evening.

 

[first posted on SCC English]

Congratulations to the following, who have been appointed College Prefects for 2017-18:

Kate Bewley, Sasha Cole, Sean Cooper, Marc-Philipp Eichhorn, Kosi Emmanuel-Anyim, Joseph Gernon, Nyla Jamieson, Alex Lawrence, Ivan Moffitt, Kitty Morris, Julius Schäfer, Nathalie Verwijs, Hector Wright.

Due to the pouring rain on Saturday morning and afternoon the sports day was postponed to the following Wednesday. However the Sports Dinner was conducted that evening with Dan van Zyl as the guest of honour. A South-African rugby player and cricketer, he has represented his country at both sports to the highest level. It was very interesting to hear of his sporting career and his inspirational words after he had issued the awards. The following were announced as the captains and secretaries for next season.

Cricket: Captain: Ivan Moffitt Secretary: Thaddy McKeever

Rugby: Captain: Sean Cooper Vice Capt: Joseph Gernon

Secretary: Hector Wright

Girls’ cricket: Captain: Helen Crampton

Boys’ basketball: Captain: Tiernan Mullane Secretary: Franz Truchsess

Girls’ Basketball: Captain: Adaze Mbanefo Secretary:  Helen Crampton

Girl’s Hockey: Captain: Sasha Cole Secretary:  Helen Crampton

Boys’ Hockey: Captain: Marc Philipp Eichhorn   Secretary:  Ivan Moffitt

Tennis: Captain:Tiernan Mullane (boys), Kim Voggel (girls)

Athletics: Captain: Julius Schaefer (boys)

The following were awarded Colours and pictured above with Dan van Zyl.

Rugby: Douglas Boyd Crotty, Freddie Johnson, Michael Kennedy, Igor Petrenko.

Girls’ Basketball: Ciara Murray.

Boys’ Hockey: Eckart Geyer.

 

On Thursday 1st June in the Big Schoolroom, Old Columban Alex Panayotou will talk to all V, IV, II, I and Primary (those in exam Forms are welcome too).

A motivational speaker based in Spain and Greece, with an extraordinary story in extreme-long-distance running, Alex’s talk will be called “Dare to Dream – Dare to be You”.

Alex will based her talk on some of her own experiences, and focus on personal excellence, self-esteem, knowing yourself, accepting yourself, finding your passion and path, trusting yourself, empathy and team spirit, and emotional intelligence.

Alex left the College thirty years ago (she is in Dublin for her thirty-year reunion at the weekend, a close bond that has persisted over the decades), and has kept in close touch since. She knows the importance of  being part of such a community, and the fact that this is not the norm in most schools. The synergies and relationships that are created here are truly unique, and can help us all moving forward in our lives.

Alex also contributed a testimonial to our new prospectus:

“”St. Columba’s helped shape me into who I am today – my inner strength, my passion for sports, adventure, the arts, learning, and interpersonal relationships were nurtured through the unique curriculum, and helped enormously in the development of my career. My home away from home: the pupils and staff were my family.”

Check out her website, including videos, here.

Yesterday 15 candidates were confirmed at the Ascension Day service in Chapel on a gloriously sunny day by the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Reverend Michael Jackson, assisted by the Chaplain, Reverend Daniel Owen. Pictured, the group after the service.