College Life, Routines & Schedules
Life at St. Columba’s College is very busy, rich and fulfilling
St. Columba’s is a seven day boarding school, with lessons taking place on six days. College life is busy, intense and rewarding. It demands much from pupils and staff alike. Looking through the pages in this section of our site, we hope you will get a good sense of the elements that make up our community.
The College Terms
The College year is divided into three terms: Michaelmas (September to Christmas), Hilary (January to Easter) & Trinity (After Easter to end of June). There are half term holidays in the first term (last week in October) and in the second term (mid February) but not in the shorter final term. Additional ‘Exodus’ weekends take place throughout the term (end of September, end of November, end of January, over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, first weekend in May and first weekend in June) meaning that pupils will generally have a break every three to four weeks. Pupils leave the College over exodus weekends and half terms, with most returning home or staying with their friends.
There are holiday breaks between each term; three weeks over Christmas & Easter with ten weeks over the summer.
The weekly routine is busy, deliberately so, but hard works breeds results. There is a chapel service every day and lessons take place on six days (Monday to Saturday). Each day, pupils also participate in the games programme, playing a variety of sports. Wednesday & Saturday are short days, with lessons concluding around 1:00pm, but matches are typically scheduled for these afternoons. Sunday is a day of rest although there is a chapel service every Sunday (morning or evening).
The school day begins with breakfast for all pupils between 7:00am and 8:05am (dependent on your Form). A whole-school Chapel service begins at 8:20am with lessons beginning at 8:45am (the times on Wednesday and Saturday – both half days of lessons – are a little different). There are three lessons in the morning before a break from 11:00am to 11:30am. Two more lessons then a hearty two course lunch before the final two lessons in the afternoon. There are compulsory games for all pupils in the late afternoon before evening supper. After supper, there is supervised prep (homework) before all pupils go back to house to socialise.
We are extremely lucky to have an excellent food partner in Sodexo, who provide a range of healthy, nutritiously balanced and delicious meals to all our pupils, including day pupils. There is a hearty and varied breakfast provided every morning, a homemade snack during first break, a nutritious hot two-course meal at lunch (together with a full salad bar and fresh fruit), biscuits after lessons at 3:30pm, another hot evening meal after games and an evening snack after prep.
The menu changes weekly and you can view this week’s menu in the sidebar.
Pupils wear a uniform during lessons, which includes an academic gown, while there is a sports uniform also. The College has an on-site laundrette, which pupils can avail of three times per week (one for uniform and casual clothes and two for sports clothing). Full details of the uniform can be found here.
The Sanatorium or San is situated in a purpose-built house in the College, and the Matron and her team of nurses are available 24/7. A local GP visits the College weekly and at other times when requested. Except for minor ailments, parents are notified immediately their son or daughter is admitted to the Sanatorium. For full details of the College San click here.