Pass that Baton!

Conlethian kids are many things… intelligent, athletic, creative, devilishly handsome, knowledgeable about LOTR and Star Wars trivia… all the important things, but one thing that most of them are not, is shy.  Conlethians are always eager to put up their hands (or just call out) when questions are asked or volunteers sought, even if the outcome of said volunteerism is still in doubt.  In other words, there is no doubt that if St. Conelth’s was around in 71 BC, Crassus would have had even more work to do after asking, ‘Who is Spartacus?’  Luckily, the questions asked nowadays at St. Conelth’s, not far from the Appian Way, are more like: ‘Who would like to be a guest conductor of the No. 1 Army Band?’   And the response was so overwhelming that a section process was then employed, with Second Year Jack O’Connor correctly guessing the regular conductor’s nation of origin (Australia).  Jack was joined by several Junior and Senior School students in taking their turn directing the wind, strings and percussion.   Our visitors, from the captain conductor to the fourth trombone, were, as always, friendly, good-humoured and, above all, extremely talented: a credit to an Irish Army institution that dates back to 1923.  A brilliant performance, with plenty of booming bass, to stretch the auditorium for the School Concert soon to come!

 

Socceroos!

Only in the Junior School Annual Internal Soccer League could you find a final pairing of Boca Juniors V Falkirk!  And the students tried hard to emulate their namesakes, with ‘Falkirk’ playing a rather dour but effective Scottish style and the ‘Boca’ boys opting for samba soccer! Mr. Keenan started with the Prep School in early morning, then 5th and 6th Form mid-morning and 2nd-4th Forms in the afternoon.  There were thrills, spills and a few tears and tantrums.  Only some players received medals but all received juice and crisps, which made it worthwhile for everyone involved.  A big thank-you to Mr. Keenan and the parents who lent a helping hand!

 

 

The Offensive Continues!

The Conleth’s fencing contingent has been in action again both domestically and abroad. Saturday 25th March saw James, Myles and Claudio fence in Poland at the Challenge Wratislava.  Claudio ended the day ranked a tremendous 30th in the U-13 Boys Foil while James finished 192nd out of the field of 230 fencers. Myles competed in the Under 11s and ranked an impressive 106th out of 172.  Seven days later,  and all three plus the Sherlock brothers were back on piste, this time competing in the Irish Nation Youth Open held at Loreto Abbey Dalkey and marking the end of the domestic season. Again results were impressive: Myles took Gold in the Mixed Under 10s with Mathew taking Bronze. It was a similar story in the Under 14 Boys with Claudio taking Gold and James the Bronze. Luke finished 6th in the Under 12 Boys category.  The St. Conleth’s fencers have once again laid down the gauntlet for the chessmen and the debaters!

 

 

 

 

 

A Week in the Life…

… of St. Conleth’s.  The pupils and teachers of both the Junior and Senior Schools have us run ragged trying to keep up!  Look what they get up to in just a week: Emilio won the St. Conleth’s Spelling Bee and made the 4th Round of the Eason’s Dublin Final, with several classmates in attendance; Our Junior School swimmers competed gamely at the Willow Park Swimming; Mr. Bolger and the TYs began their Green School Re-invogaration programme; Mr. Keenan continued his integration of gymnastics into the PE curriculum; 6th Year took a healthy stroll around Herbert Park and refuelled at Lolly and Cooks; Ms. Long continued to inspire the Juniors in the art room; Mr. Lonergan led his 6th Years on their Geography Fieldwork and Mr. Porzadny encouraged 3rd Forms to get moving in the Conference Room.  And stay tuned for the week ahead: more Orals, Confession, Confirmation and the School Spring Concert are all on the agenda!

 

Port Out, Starboard Home!

The luxurious setting for the Parents Associations Annual Social Event was the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire and the Conlethian parents came with the fashion to match.  The fare was robust as well as genteel with an old-fashioned hog roast the centre-piece (along with Fianna Fáil Councillor and alumnus Frank Kennedy) and an array of haute cuisine making up the surrounding buffet.  But the stunning style and gourmet gastronomy were only the appetisers to the real event: the easy, friendly mixing of St. Conleth’s parents and the accompanying conversation and craic.  It is no coincidence that the same cozy yet exciting atmosphere is the most defining attribute of the school, itself.  Well done to chairmen Peter O’Neill and Michael Mansfield and all the PA Committee members on another smashing success!

 

 

 

What’s All the Hoopla About?

Well, it is about Coach Eoin ‘Noctor J’ and his basketballers, both Junior and Senior School versions, shaking things up on the Irish Schools Basketball scene.  We have had the pleasure of attending four different SDBL and Dublin U19 and U16 Finals and our First and Second Year teams are following in their ‘eurosteps’ with Second Years winning a thriller recently in OT and then a close, quality loss by 3 points in the Dublin Plate Final.  First Years had a respectable close loss to perennial power Pres.-Bray and are into the SDBL play-off ladder.  But most impressive of all was the Junior School’s team victory over Castlepark earlier in the season and then close loss to the same team in the AIJS Tournament Final.  We have been going to this tournament for years and this was by far our best finish.  Just wait till the new extension is built and we have a full-sized basketball court on which to practice.  The boys and girls will be leaping to new heights and shooting out the lights!

 

 

Sacraments by Increments

We do not just pay lip service to the sacraments at St. Conleth’s!  Yes, there is the social aspect to each step which our children take in the development of their faith, and every family marks these occasions with different emphasis and significance, but as guardians of the progressive Catholic ethos exemplified by our founder, Bernard Sheppard, we make sure each of our sacramental candidates approach these important events with due reverence.  Of course, this does not mean it cannot be fun, as any witness to the visits of our friends in the Carmelite Order to our Confirmation class can attest.  The Confirmation class (see below) is also very lucky to have Br. Noel and Fr. Jim who visit every Monday morning in the oratory to discuss spiritual matters in a relaxed, peaceful and good-humoured setting.

 

 

Continued spiritual guidance from our special visitors, the classroom teachers and the priests of St. Mary’s-Haddington Road has been ongoing since September for Second Form (Communion) and Sixth Form (Confirmation) as they prepare for their respective Sacraments. Recent preparation has included a beautiful Family Mass for Second Form in St Mary’s where the school choir sang beautifully. The Ceremony of Light for Confirmation was performed by Head of Pastoral Care David Hickey and the Conference Room was decorated wonderfully for the occasion (see below).  Practice continues for both classes as the Sacrament of Reconciliation takes place in Avila House on the 5th of April with the school choir again accompanying the candidates. The big day fast approaches for Confirmation candidates also as they will walk down St Mary’s Church to meet their families and sponsors on the morning of the 6th of April.

 

Juniors Over the Fields and Through the Water

Like the speaker in a medieval Irish poem or prayer, our Junior Schoolers have been out in the elements:  Our Fifth and Sixth Formers came third in the AIJS Swimming Gala in Castlepark, showing that all hose trips down to Sportsco for Friday Swimming have done more than just fray the nerves of the attendant teachers!  And, this being Ireland, running over grass is what we do and Fifth and Sixth Form recently competed in the Parkside Schools Cross Country race in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. A great cause indeed (see letter below) and as you can tell from the photos, there was great craic at both events!

 

 

Hi all, 
Many thanks again to those who came along on the day, we are delighted to have raised €300 for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, we couldn’t have done it without your support & participation.
Until next year!
Kind Regards
Catherine
 

Seachtain Gaeilge, Stíl St. Conleth’s: Píosa a hAon!

For years St. Conleth’s múinteoirí Gaeilge  have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the whole school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine, but they certainly déan a ndícheall leading up to St. Patrick’s Day!  Both our Junior and Senior School teachers have crammed i bhfad níos mó into 28 Clyde Road, turning it into the  Gaeltacht is galánta this side of Carna!  The páistí beaga  gathered in the Conference Room with Mr. Ahern and Mr. Sheridan, a dynamic duo of Senior and Junior teachers, for Tráth Na gCeist, answering questions (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from MacBride to Macklemore while the déagóiríall took part in the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians.  Bhí sceitimíní ag teacht ar na déagóirí  their own table quizzes on Irish themes and First Years are particularly busy rehearsing with Ms. Fay for a special ‘Busker’s Corner’ on Thursday:  Coirnéal na Ceoltóirí Sráide.  So stay tuned for more nuacht na hÉireann at St. Conleth’s!

 

 

Chess Teams Finish with a Flourish

Gillian O’Leary, chess mom, enthusiast and enabler, reports on the wild weekend which wrapped up the Junior School Chess Team’s season:

Leinster Primary School’s Chess Finals
St. Conleth’s is very proud of its four chess teams who all qualified for the finals of the Leinsters Primary Schools Chess League.  In Division 2, the Conleths D team, Alex Corrigan, Charlie Kennedy, Patrick Coleman and Michael Sweeney, put up a brave battle, but were beaten in the quarter finals by Scoil Lorcain.  Also, in division 2, the Conleths C team, punched well above their weight! They drew with CUS in the quarter-finals, and went through to the semi-finals on tie-break. In the semi-final, they also drew to the Kildare champions, Two Mile House, but unfortunately, lost out on tie-break. Their final match was against Scoil Lorcain to determine the third and fourth place, and again the C team drew! Another great result, but unfortunately, were pipped into fourth place on tie-break. The team, comprising Richard Caldwell, Luke Sherlock, Jude Moes and Liam Hunter, can be very proud of their achievement. In division 1, the Conleths B team came fifth overall. Andrew Morgan, Louis McGovern, Luke Timlin and Sean Caldwell played really well over the whole season. Only half a point separated 3rd, 4th and 5th positions. This team will be back again next year!
The Conleths A team, Eoin Hunter, Richard Sheahan, Jamie Kennedy and Johnny Corr, had led the table for the season. Their final match was against their chief rivals, St. Mary’s Haddington Road, and it came down to the final match of the league. St. Conleth’s drew the match with St. Marys, but overall, St. Marys had a better final result and won the title. Congratulations to St. Marys! And many congratulations to the A team for a strong, consistent performance over the whole season. A special call-out to Jamie, who won every single one of his matches!  A big ‘Thank You’ to all the Mums & Dads and Mr. Kilcommons who came out on Leinster Finals day to support the teams. It was great to have so many supporters on the day, and the boys really appreciated it. A special thanks also to all the Mums who helped out with the transport and supervision of matches during the school term. It would not be possible to have such an active and competitive chess community in St. Conleths without this support. Thank You!

 

 

Alex Baburin Team Chess Competition
And if that wasn’t enough chess action for one weekend, St. Conleth’s teams were back in action again on Sunday, 5th March in a team competition run by Alex Baburin. There were four teams from St. Conleths. The Conleths A team, determined to put their runners-up place from yesterday, behind them, went out and stormed to victory with a clean sheet winning all 6 matches. In addition, they took home three board prizes (highest score on the board!) Many congratulations!
Two more Conleth’s teams represented by the Caldwell brothers, Sean and Richard, Jude Moes and Turlough (Dineen) and Charlie Kennedy, Alex Corrigan, Patrick Coleman and Scott Herbots played really well, and finished strongly in a field of 28 teams.  A special mention to the team from second class – the future chess stars! Well done to Liam Hunter, David MacNicholas, Harry Groarke and Tadhg O’Connell. The team finished 12th overall, and took home three prizes – best board 1 and board 4 for the younger teams, and runner-up board prize overall for board 1.

All the World’s A Stage…

…when you have a book in your hand!  Apparently, reports of the death of the book were greatly exaggerated.  Yes, the old dog-eared paperbacks and weighty cloth-bound tomes were missing in action for a while as Kindles and ebooks became all the rage, and dare we say people became more accustomed to reading news feeds, FaceBook posts and tweets than anything with a full sentence, nevermind an actual paragraph.  Well, as often the kids have set us right and have led us back to what we were missing: the sales of books (the real ones) are climbing across the globe and credit can be given to events like the Road Dahl Day and the  Junior PA Book Sale earlier in the year and the recent World Book Day festivities.   For the latter, the Junior School teachers ran a ‘Design Your Own Cover’ competition and the numbers nd quality of entries attest to the enduring love of children for their books.  The winners were:  JI- Ronan; SI- Alistair; 1st Form-Conor; 2nd- Mohnnad; 3rd- Myles; 4th- Dawson; 5th- Edwin and 6th- Riccardo, but everyone enjoyed the competition and the special awards ceremony in the Conference Room.

 

Ms. Dillon took the ‘retro’ vibe even further and encouraged her 3rd Form charges to investigate the outdoor games that their parents and grandparents played as kids.   The current generation were shocked to learn of the shenanigans such as ‘tag’ and ‘tip-the-can’ which were got up to, with nary a mobile phone or GPS tracer attached!  Then Ms. Dillon had them tell each other all about it in our outdoor classroom:  yes, that bluish blur on your screen behind the Pokemon really exists, and it is available for unlimited, free download!

They’re Baaaack!

Preparations for the annual Past Pupils Dinner is quite similar to those made before the visit of a head of state from a Caucasian ‘republic’: the hedges are clipped back, the recycling bins are surreptitiously emptied into the Dodder, the good silverware is well hidden, extra security cameras are wired up and Willie takes up his customary position on the roof with his high-powered sniper’s rifle.  You just do not take chances when this crowd come to town!  On a serious note, this year’s dinner will simply not be the same without Mr. Kelleher there to greet every single alumnus by name, cajole them and good-naturedly threaten them with retroactive expulsion.   Mr. KDK would be justifiably proud, though, of the record-breaking numbers at this year’s dinner, many no doubt coming to mark the passing of ‘Mr. St. Conleth’s.’  Ronan O’Kelley has been keeping his Thatcherite schedule compiling lists, making mildly threatening Tweets and rolling his eyes when another current teacher joins the ‘comped’ list.  Surely it will all be okay on the night and rumours that ‘The ROK’ plans on sitting ‘Black’ Tom Moylan and those troublesome 2007s out in the gazebo are just that… for now!  Well the first salvo of polite applause for this year’s guest speaker is just hours away but until then amuse yourself with these class photos of Conlethians in those halcyon, hirsute days:

 

 

 

 

Making that Move to Primary School?

All future (and potential) Junior School parents are invited to the school on Monday for a special talk by Arthur Godsil on that significant first step into formal education: the move into primary or junior school.  Mr. Godsil is the principle power behind Godsil Education (link), Ireland’s premier educational consultancy. A frequent media commentator, keynote presenter and consultant on international and domestic educational matters, Mr. Godsil is committed to a strengths-based educational philosophy and has a unique perspective on the pressures and opportunities which are encountered by both child and parent as they negotiate that first significant educational transition. Our Junior School Principal, Mr. Tony Kilcommons, and our Preparatory School Principal, Dolores Kelly, will join Arthur in presenting the St. Conleth’s model within this broader context and in answering specific questions which parents may have about the school years ahead.

 

school flyer

Chess Champs? Four Teams into Finals!

All four St. Conleth’s Junior School Chess teams have qualified for the finals!  Just when the debaters have established a firm rhetorical grip on the headlines, the Chess boys come back fighting proving that we are All-Ireland class in at least these two extracurricular activities!

 

 

The two teams in division one will have two matches each on Finals Day, whereas the two teams in Division 2 are in a knock-out competition. All quarter-finalists in Division 2 will receive medals. Well done to all teams on their achievements so far! Here are the final standings of the Primary Chess Leagues, along with the schedule for Finals day on Saturday 4th March.  A big ‘thank-you’ to Gillian O’Leary and all the other parents who help keep such a busy chess schedule rolling and Baburin Incorporated for instilling some of those Grandmaster-type moves!

Conor White: St. Conleth’s Chuck Norris?

Back in the days before our culture evolved to the heights of meme creation, we used to pass around little ironic jokes that made us feel smart and smile. Sometimes we even said these jokes face-to-face, and not on Skype or Facetime.   A common theme was the omnipotence of certain individuals: Demba Ba and Chuck Norris most notably.  Well, if anyone deserves to make that a trinity of awesomeness, especially from a Conlethian perspective, it is Conor White… and in this case, drop the irony.  Conor White can actually unscramble eggs.   And, yes, Conor White did count to infinity… twice.  When he was serving as School Captain in 2014-2015, the administration basically turned the keys over to him and he ran the school.  Apparently, UCD has now done the same: he was recently spotted showing the infamous Jean-Claude Trichet around UCD… and giving him tips about post-Brexit fiscal policy.   Somehow, perhaps through the saintly power of bi-location, Conor also found time to run our Debating Seminar for incoming Senior School students and coach Fifth Year duo Harry Mansfield and Tomás Clancy into the Oxford Schools Debating Finals.  Oh yes, he also picked up his Ad Astra award, the prestigious scholarship for academic excellence, university involvement and leadership.   Just another week for Conor White, the only man on earth who can speak Braille…and make onions cry…and make a snowman out of rain…

 

Peace Proms Profundity!

At St. Conleth’s, students, teachers and parents often share in the enjoyment of a school event but rarely have we seen a ‘feel-good factor’ to the extent of that which was generated over the weekend by the Junior School Choir’s participation in the Peace Proms at the RDS.  Primary kudos must go to Ms. Eimar Hartnett, who worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the event, getting the boys and girls pitch perfect.  The class teachers and parents also pitched in, making sure all the young choristers got to their many practice sessions. And of course, the students themselves: they put in the ‘overtime’ to get there, and on the day they pulled a ‘Tom Brady’ and nailed it.  Granted, there was a mood that could best be described as ‘pleasantly somnambulant’ in the Junior School on Monday morning, but it was certainly well-earned and well-deserved!  Proud Parent Michael Sheahan describes what it was like to be there on Sunday night:

A memorable nigh! 2000 children singing together on stage, from 52 school choirs, including St. Conleths JS Choir, an orchestra, pipers, drummers, dancers and a capacity crowd of 4000 in the RDS on Sunday night.  A 2 hour avalanche of sound, excitement and sheer joy. I dont think those present will ever forget the experience. Well done to Noelle for suggesting Conleth’s involvement, to Mr K, Ms Kelly, and Kathrin for looking after our boys on the night, but especially to Eimar Hartnett who has done wonders with this choir in such a short time…PS I was not crying all through “Heal the World” and “Ireland’s call”..it was just some dust in my eye or something..

Check out Michael’s video on the PA’s Facebook page!

 

Are You Ready for Chess and Debating in Secondary School?

Chances are that if you are a Fifth or Sixth Class student, you are a bit nervous about making that transition into secondary school, and if you are not, your parents certainly are!  You have already seen our Guide to First Year.  Now we are running two seminars on Senior School activities for 5th and 6th Class Conlethians who plan on attending our Senior School and those from other primary schools who are interested.  And we have chosen two activities which have become synonymous with St. Conleth’s: Debating and Chess.

First up, this Saturday, February 4th, 12:00-14:00, is our ‘Introduction to Debating and Public Speaking’.  If you know St. Conleth’s at all, you know that we have dominated Irish school debating for the last decade decade and a half, winning multiple Leinster and All-Ireland titles and basically serving as a feeder school for the Irish Student Debating Team.  Read all about our recent rhetorical exploits here but register for Saturday’s workshop to get hands-on instruction from two of our most decorated debating alumni.

debate

 

Then, on Saturday, February 11th,  12:00 to 2:00, Grandmaster Alex Baburin will lead the St. Conleth’s College Secondary School Chess Workshop.  Alex has been representing Ireland as its No. 1 ranked chess player for years, and he has also been passing on those skills to our Juniors as an after-school Chess teacher.   The fact that St. Conleth’s Junior School are current Leinster and All-Ireland Chess Champions attests to his talent and teaching ability.  Now, in this seminar, Alex will demonstrate how moving to secondary school affects your chess game (and vice versa!).

 

debating

 

St. Conleth’s Senior School is a greta place to be and debating and chess play big parts in the fun and the learning experience!

All Aboard for the Parents’ Social Event!

St. Conleth’s parents are tireless in their support of the school, from concerts to fundraisers to chaperoning excursions to classroom presentations, and they deserve a night of their own, where they can just enjoy each other’s company and perhaps do a wee bit of networking.  Our intrepid PA Chairmen, Peter O’Neill and Michael Mansfield, have arranged a Social Event on March 24th for both Junior and Senior School Parents in the salubrious setting of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.  Judging by the mouth-watering details below, it seems sure to be a hit and places are limited, so buy your tickets early (through Easypayments) to assure your place.

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And here are some pics from last year’s event.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

 

 

 

Young Knights of St. Conleth’s

You have to admit: the fencing crowd comes up with some pretty wicked names for their competitions and trophies.  This past weekend, for example, the Conlethian contingent of young fencers were competing in the ‘Excalibur Cup‎’.   How cool is that?  You surely feel more Harry Pottery or Tolkienesque competing for the Excalibur Cup‎, rather than the Johnstone Paint Trophy, for instance, or dare I say, the Vinnie Murray Cup.  And as is becoming quite the norm, the St. Conleth’s cohort of fencers left the Excalibur Cup with a considerable collection of trophies and medals (and a good bit of swag):

 

 

Under 10 Mixed Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth- Bronze Medal, Mathew Sherlock- 7th Place

Under 12 Mixed Foil: Luke Sherlock-Gold Medal

Under 14 Mixed Foil: Claudio Sosa-Gold Medal, James Moriarty-Smyth-Bronze Medal

 

 

 

Alumnae Illuminatae

With the St. Conleth’s Past Pupil’s Dinner just around the corner (March 3rd: tickets), we thought this might be the appropriate time to catch up with two particular alumni, or alumnae if you will, who reached new heights in their respective careers in 2016.  And with St. Conleth’s quickly becoming fully co-educational, what better role models for the school’s current girls than two women who walked the same hallways,  learned in the same classrooms and laughed at the similar buffoonery of their male peers?   They come from two very different disciplines, Classics and Engineering, but perhaps that too is a credit to their alma mater, where both sides of the brain are nourished and the only truly required course is having an open mind.

Diana Spencer, St. Conleth’s Class of 1987 and Professor of Classics & Dean of Liberal Arts at the University of Birmingham,  delivered her Inaugural lecture “What I found there: Reading Classical Landscapes” (video).  This is just the latest academic honour for Diana, who studied at Trinity College, the University of London and Cambridge University after leaving St. Conleth’s and has already forged a spectacular career in the Classics (bio).  On hand in Birmingham to hear Diana’s lecture and celebrate with her was none other than Peter Gallagher, St. Conleth’s principal emeritus.  Peter is busy himself these days as a practicing barrister but it may well have been one of those riveting History or Latin classes of his that helped first send Diana down the Appian Way.

Dervilla Mitchell CBE, Class of 1976 and a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland, was awarded an honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by UCD (link).  Dervilla has been committed to addressing the gender balance in science, engineering and technology throughout her career.  It would be a topic she knows something about: when she graduated from UCD with a BSc Engineering in 1980, she was one of only four women in a graduating year of 200!   In 2014, Engineers Ireland awarded Dervilla with the ESB Outstanding Contribution to Engineering Award. In 2011, she received the Women of Outstanding Achievement Award for Inspiration and Leadership in Business and Industry.  Dervilla was also her company’s design management lead for Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 project, the largest construction project in Europe at the time, and is currently the company’s project director on the £2 billion Abu Dhabi Midfield terminal development.

 

So, whether it is in the landscapes of ancient Rome or on the infrastructure of the contemporary Middle East, you will find Conlethian women at work!

On That Point!

We teachers at St. Conleth’s should get extra battle pay, but not quite for the same reason that they pay a bonus to the brave souls who venture into the toughest schools in the toughest slums of Chicago or Baltimore; rather, we should get some ‘encouragement’ money for facing the mighty rhetorical weaponry of some of these Conlethian student debaters.   They may save their most impressive ‘Points of Information’ and bits of rebuttal for the prestigious competitions, but it is in classroom discussions where they sharpen those points and tip-toe along the line between enthusiastic participation and barracking!  Ah well, it is all for the best and I guess we can put up with the thesis-length response to ‘Did you do your homework?’ if it helps our debaters to continue to dominate all the significant competitions.

 

 

You read here earlier how Frank Knowles and Joe Downey have qualified for the prestigious  Cambridge International Debate Final.  Now they have gone through as a team into the Leinster Finals of the Junior School Mace Competition, which will be held at St. Conleth’s March 3rd.  They will be joined, as an individual qualifier, by James Hastings-Raftery, who once famously responded to a request to move his chair in After-School Study with a diatribe about ‘the modes of production and bourgeois control of proletarian freedom of movement’.  On the Senior level, Harry Mansfield and Tomás Clancy have gone through to the Semifinals of the Leinster Schools, with Conor Power, Oisin Dowling and Simon Pettitt qualifying as Individuals.  Other schools would break out the band and slaughter the fatted calf for such accomplishments, but at St. Conleth’s we simply expect such a level of excellence.  A big part of that confidence is the way in which Debating Moderator Mr. Carvill brings back decorated alumni debaters as coaches: currently Conor White and Daniel Gilligan are whipping them (just rhetorically, we assume) into parliamentary shape while pursuing their own debating careers at the third level.  Daniel has just qualified for the Finals of the Irish Times Debate, the pre-eminent third level debating completion in the country.  Past competitors include many Conlethian alumni, most notably Liam Trophy who talked away with the trophy in 2013.

DELF Days Are Here Again!

Is that a whiff of Chanel mixing with the scent of curry wafting from the cafeteria?  Did a well-dressed and stylishly-coiffed professeur just douse her cigarette and sweep through reception en route to the Conference Room? If so, it can only mean one thing: DELF days are here again!

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Prendre le train en marche?  Yes, schools all over the country are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ and getting into ‘DELF’ these days, but do remember that St. Conleth’s was the first school in Ireland to have its students sit this prestigious French exam.  Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley worked tirelessly with Nathalie-Zoé Fabert , the Attachée de Coopération pour le Français en Irlande, to complete the quintessentially French labyrinth of paperwork to bring the DELF to St. Conleth’s last year and they made Trojan efforts again this week, and to be fair to the Transition Years, they responded to their teachers’ efforts and enthusiasm in kind, displaying both zeal and talent on the written and oral exams.  Soon we will have the results and a little soirée to celebrate!

The Three Conlethians!

You have heard of ‘The Three Tenors’ and  maybe even ‘The Three Priests’, Irish singers who have taken the vocal world by storm: well… here come the three Conlethians!  Milan Moran and Edwin Dabsevicius of Fifth Form and Ben O’Brien of Sixth Form will soon be receiving their Bronze medals in a ceremony at the Pro-Cathedral for their musical study as choristers.
The boys will proceed to study for the Silver next as you only do the exams from Bronze through to Gold as you progress.  Of course you can soon hear these three, as well as the whole Junior School Choir, under the direction of Ms. Hartnett at their upcoming Peace Proms performance.

 

 

A Guide to First Year at St. Conleth’s

Whenever we wield our camera through the hallowed halls of St. Conleth’s, all the teachers sensibly dive for cover but most of the students flock to the lens like moths to a flame.  There are, of course, some kids are on the shy side (less and less very year…) but they are able to quietly slip away as their classmates begin to struggle for prime ‘dabbing’ position, all of which makes life difficult for the teacher whose class we have interrupted but quite easy for the aspiring photojournalist!  Attached here is the newest version of the First Year Guide, a little publication we issue to incoming First Year students and their parents to provide them with the essential but perhaps not obvious information for those exciting but potentially stressful first days of secondary school.   It will also be of interest to current First Year parents:  they can see what has been going on this year and the pics will surely serve as cherished mementos (and perhaps for blackmail) in years to come!

 

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The Offensive Continues…

Our fencers obviously did not fill up on too many mince pies this Christmas break, as they have picked up right where they left off in 2016, parrying and pointing their way up the Irish ranks.  Robert Smyth reports:   Saturday saw the St. Conleth’s fencing contingent head North once more,  this time for Round 3 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. As is customary, they returned with a fine hoard of medals:  Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Bronze in the Mixed Under 10s, with Luke Sherlock and Claudio Sosa taking Gold in Under 12 and Under 14 Boys respectively.  Mathew Sherlock attained 7th place in Mixed Under 10s while James  Moriarty-Smyth ended the day in 5th spot, narrowly missing medal position in Under 14 Boys: a tremendous result given his recent six week stint on crutches!

 

 

 

Fun with Science!

Sixth Form may have done the hard work but all the Junior classes enjoyed their visits to the Young Scientists this year.  See some snaps below of  Ms. Dillon’s Third Form’s action-filled visit and the now famous pics of our very own Lucila enjoying some hands-on science fun with her family.

 

 

Missionaries of Chess at the YS!

Sixth Form did St. Conleth’s very proud at the Young Scientist Primary Science Fair, adding a special participation award to their already groaning Chess trophy shelf.  Parent Michael Sheahan reports that the boys involved demonstrated their project professionally and confidently at a very busy stand and were friendly and informative to all their many visitors, including numerous fellow Conlethians and their families.  It was great to see such competitive and tactically aggressive chess players showing their softer, more co-operative side!  And their judge’s comments left no doubt to how impressed he was:  ‘I really enjoyed this project.  The question was really interesting as I do not play chess but would love to. Your productions and reporting of your findings was great.  The testing you carried out was so resourceful and having a chess grandmaster in your corner was amazing!  Your use of photo recording, observation, testing and data gathering was superb.  Your project was so ‘hands on’!  I found your presentation very clear and easy to understand.  Your verbal explanation was excellent.  It might have been interesting to have compared a delayed questionnaire a week or so after the lesson.  Thanks to your teacher, your parents and yourselves as pupils for taking part and representing your school so well!  Well done!”

Check out the boys’ project in their own words here and see some pics of their exhibition below:

 

 

Mock Exams! Communion! Basketball! Put These In Your Diary!

As always, you can check our Events section for all the regular and special events that make up the typical busy week at St. Conleth’s, but as there are loads of Communion and other events on the way, we have also updated the one-page Junior School Calendar which can be found here or under ‘Calendar + Information’.  An updated Senior one will soon follow but here is the list of remaining Senior School basketball fixtures and, of course, the schedules for the Mock Exams are also of great interest (and dread).  They can be found under ‘Calendar + Information’ as well as here (JC, LC) and below:

JC
LC

 

 

SCT Hold Heads High in Loss to CUS

To be fair, the final score actually flattered CUS.  Yes, they were the bigger team in both individual size and pool numbers and, yes, they played good clean rugby, passing on the run (occasionally forwardly) and contesting the scrum with considerable strength and technique, but 47-7 does not tell the true tale of a well-played, competitive match of schools rugby which did the august setting of Donnybrook Stadium and both schools proud.  We are in the midst of a ‘rebuilding year’, having lost so many essential players of last year’s championship squad to graduation, while CUS are at the cusp of a recent surge of development and are favoured to go far in this tournament and these facts showed on the day: they seemed to have an endless, interchangeable set of forward-sized backs and even bigger forwards rolling on-and-off the pitch as our boys manfully sucked it up and battled on, proving that heart and fighting spirit are not measurable in inches and stones.

 

 

Early on we seemed a bit nervous, perhaps as it has been a while since we have had a competitive match.  Two tries went over for them and the threat of a rout loomed clearly on the cold horizon.  But Captain Ross Murphy settled the side with his words of encouragement and strong play and his guided missile Colin Duffy and hitman Oisín Allen started whacking their counterparts into the French cheese section of Donnybrook Fair.   In the second half, we began to tire and the CUS section of the crowd was baying for blood but our many supporters, including plenty of Junior School kids and nearly the whole Class of 2016, rose up as one and willed the team to a stirring try, with Mati Remi touching down with minutes to go after a true team effort marching up the pitch.  Our Sixth Years certainly led the way, but there were plenty of signs of maturing and emerging talent, from Gavin Nugent’s emphatic open-field tackle through Joe Hyland’s scintillating runs to PJ Terry’s pony-tailed daring on the wing.  Gavin and the boys walked off the pitch disappointed but with heads held high and it is clear that St. Conleth’s Rugby is in a very good place going forward, indeed.

A big thank-you to our SCT sponsors, Ballsbridge Motors.

Chess Champs Are Also Young Scientists!

Proving that the generosity of their spirit is as great as their tactical genius, our reigning All-Ireland Junior School champions decided to create a Young Scientist research project about the mysteries and realities of learning the noble game. All of Sixth Class united behind their champions and together they came up with a fascinating science project.  You can read the boys’ own detailed summary here while proud chess parent Michael Sheahan gives us the nuts and bolts below, and until we have pics from the Young Scientists’ exhibition, enjoy some of the highlights of St. Conleth’s Junior Chess’s incredible accomplishments last year!

Can you learn to play chess in 30 minutes? As Conleths have dominated primary schools chess in Ireland in recent years a chess themed young scientist project seemed apt. find out on Saturday in the RDS when sixth form present the results of their groundbreaking research. 16 Conleths parents, 1 brave teacher, and 17 children (2nd-6th) volunteered to get a 30 minute lesson from one of the school chess team from 6th. How much they learned was then measured in a 25 question exam. The results were very interesting! Did males or females do better? Adults or kids? Visit our stand in the primary schools section on Saturday between 9.30 and 4 and ask lots of questions!

 

 

Jude Moes Floats Like A Butterfly!

The rumours about a roof-top swimming pool being part of the next phase of development at St. Conleth’s are fascinating and probably baseless but do we really need our own pool?  The longstanding tradition of bringing our Junior School students down to Sportsco in Ringsend for swimming every Friday seems to do just fine in churning out multitudes of children with respect, ability and affinity for the water and quite a few top class competitive swimmers.  At the recent Leinster Minor Schools Gala, Jude Moes swam two events and earned personal best times in both. In the 50m backstroke, he fell a few tenths of a second short of qualifying for the All-Irish Gala, but he did qualify in the 50m Butterfly.  He’ll swim the All Irish Minor Schools gala on Feb 12th. Luke Timlin was unable to attend last weekend but we are sure he will soon be back in the pool and join Jude as the latest Conlethians to make a splash on the national swimming scene!

 

 

SCT Set for Historic Cup Match!

We knew that matching last year’s ‘golden season’ would be an impossible task for this year’s edition of the Ballsbridge Motors-sponsored SCT and, frankly, we had worries that there would be a rather sudden ‘crashing back to earth’ after the giddy heights of 2015-2016.  We lost a veritable pantheon of rugby gods by name of Dolan, Pogatchnick, Doggett et al and we knew that his time around everyone would be ready for us… and eager to put us back in our supposed place!  But Gav Maguire and the boys in black and green have confounded expectations by having a very strong year and now take another historic first step for St. Conleth’s rugby, as the man himself explains:

This years SCT have done fantastically well this season. They are the first St. Conleth’s SCT team to pre-qualify for the Vinnie Murray Cup. Their first round game is against CUS at 4pm in Donnybrook on Thursday 12th January. Captain Ross Murphy and the team would really appreciate as much support as they can get, so please if you are free please make the short stroll to Donnybrook Stadium.  Last year there was a great atmosphere at the three games we had there and we would like to replicate it again.   Admission is €2 per student and €5 per adult.   Coach Gavin Maguire.

The SCT: all set for our Vinnie Murray Cup showdown with CUS in Donnybrook!

Prep School’s Nativity Play: Simply Beautiful

After the highfalutin drama, dance and comedy of The Lemonade Kid, it was back to basics with the Preparatory School’s version of the Nativity story (programme), but the simple elegance of the production proved that Howe, Hartnett et al are just adept at staging the timeless classics as the avant garde!  Ms. Kelly’s charges were all suited up in exquisite costumes (thanks, parents!) and the assorted kings, angels, shepherds and the members of the Holy Family all performed with spirit and grace, bringing smiles and laughter to those assembled in our beautifully decorated hall.  The Junior School Choir was also on hand to bring a fitting, perfectly pitched close to the term and our Christmas celebrations.

 

 

 

Yee-Haw! ‘The Lemonade Kid’ is a Smash Hit!

When Pat Howe swaggers into saloons in the wilds of South County Dublin, other drama teachers dive for cover as they know he is the rootinest, tootinest stage school top gun this side of the Shannon… even Billy ‘The Kid’ Barry was known to give Pat plenty of room if they happened to meet head-on in a dusty lay-by or the RTE canteen.   And who is always tinkling the ivories and sorting out the notes, high and low, for the young guns?  None other than Ms. Hartnett whose delicate playing belies the sternness of a true lawman when in pursuit of the perfect harmony.  Well, along with the amazing painted scenery of Ms. Long and her student artists, the tireless assistance of all the individual class teachers and all the little gunslingers and arrow-launchers, these two managed to produced an awesome show which was pitch-perfect, full of guffaws and gushes and kept all and sundry on the edge of their seats from the first gunshot to the last yodel.  Broadway surely beckons but we hope to hang onto our talented two at least as long as the summer spectacular.  It will certainly be difficult to top the Lemonade Kid!

See the full Ms. Dillon-produced programme here and the Ms. Leary and Mr. Gallagher-taken pics below.

 

Christmas Brain!

The kids know it… formally loquacious teachers who previously lectured continuously (if tangentially) for the full forty minutes of every class are now staring blankly ahead at a place somewhere between the tops of their charges’ well-coiffed heads and phantasms of Aunt Hilda’s much-desired tiramisu until the rescue of the nervous cough… others are referring insistently to students by the names of their long-graduated older brothers or even fathers… some are even drifting back to their own Christmas schooldays and warning recalcitrants that Sr. Bathilda awaits down the hallway, ruler in hand…yes, Christmas is almost here and everyone who is over the age of 17 and not teaching differential equations is suffering from….Christmas Brain!   Luckily there is still a lot to do to help keep us focused, especially for the music teachers: Ms. Fay is doing Trojan work readying Senior School singers and musicians for our Christmas Carol service on Wednesday and Mr. Howe and Ms. Hartnett are working tirelessly with the Junior School’s acting and vocal talents in preparation for Wednesday’s premiere of The Lemonade Kid and Thursday’s nativity play.  Of course, regular classes are still going on (especially for exam years) but everyone is getting a special Christmas day trip, whether it is go-Karting, bowling or the cinema.  Photos are sure to arrive soon but in the meantime check out these snapshots of what is going on regarding our festive preparations:

 

Christmas is in their Sights!

Mr. TK gives us the run-down on all the Junior School Christmas barn-raisin’ and crop-dustin’:

Our Christmas assembly hosted by 3rd Form in the music room last week officially kicked off the Christmas period in the JS. Pupils read out interesting historical nuggets about the origins of Christmas interspersed with rousing renditions of Christmas favourites accompanied by Ms. Hartnett on the piano.
· The school choir have a heavy workload as many members have big parts in the Christmas show as well as preparing for carol singing at the Prep School concert. They also have to prepare their medley of song for the Peace Proms concert in the RDS on February 5th.

 

 

In a bid to try not to overdose on all things Christmassy, the Junior School is swapping Christmas hats for Stetsons and candy canes for six-shooters as they put the final touches on their big show – The Lemonade Kid- a raucous wild west musical extravaganza. To keep in the spirit of the season, the Prep School are busy putting the finishing touches on their nativity play.

·         In a break from tradition. The Lemonade Kid is taking place after school on Wednesday 21st December at 5pm. All 99 cast members will stay after school to get ready so a long day is anticipated for staff and pupils alike. That leaves the limelight free for the Prep school the next day- Thu 22nd– their play beginning at 10:30pm.

·         Raffle tickets will be sold at both shows with the draw taking place for hamper prizes at the end of the nativity play. This should bring us to 12:00 and the official start of the school holidays.

Happy Christm… ouch! Fencers Not Quite in Holiday Mode

It is the time of year when we are cheery with everyone: we actually discuss the weather with strangers at bus-stops, indulgently sign away our future earnings on a direct debit to ‘Save the Arctic Fox’ and let bygones be bygones with the in-laws… until that fourth mug of fortified egg-nog.  That is unless you are a St. Conleth’s fencer:  for these boys, the giving season is still on hold, unless you mean the ‘giving’ of a foil point in your armpit!  Here is a report from Robert Smyth on the St. Conleth’s young fencers’ latest moves:

 

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Last Saturday saw the St. Conleth’s contingent once again head north, this time to partake in Round 2 of the NI Junior Foil Series. Medals for the Senior School abounded as Luke Sherlock and Claudio Sosa respectively took Gold in the Boys Under 12 and Under 14 Foil. Mathew Sherlock and Myles Moriarty-Smyth fought valiantly to preserve Junior School honour, which was preserved by Myles taking Bronze once again in the Mixed Under 10s. Older brother James was hors de combat courtesy of injury incurred on the rugby field but he proved his coaching potential by guiding his sibling throughout the day!

One More Sleep! The St. Conleth’s TY Christmas Fair & Tree Sale Is Tomorrow!

It’s tomorrow!  Only one sleep till the St. Conleth’s Christmas Fair this Saturday, from 9 to 5! Tell your friends, family, neighbours… tell everybody!

It’s that time of year. Christmas and the holiday beckon. But first, thanks to the TY students and the elves of the Parent’s Association, there’s the matter of the Christmas Fair & Tree Sale!

Saturday 10th of December is the date. The trees are on their way, more than 120 of them, ranging in size from 3 to 14 feet. Posters have gone out to the local community; to businesses and householders. Wreaths, Poinsettas, Tree Stands, Foodstalls, TY mini-businesses, free tea and coffee and the ever popular Waffles are all in the works, waiting for parents, friends and students alike.

 

 

This is an ideal opportunity to source a Christmas Tree and to assist the school in funding a worthy charity.

Since 2010, St. Conleth’s has worked directly with the Kitatya Secondary School in Uganda, and last year with the Ever Green National school in Minali, India. More than €35,000 has been raised through the Tree Sale. On behalf of the whole St Conleths community this money has been used to fund a diverse range of projects including solar power, staff accommodation, livestock development and educational subsidies for local children who would otherwise not be able to access education.

Students have raised their own funds to travel to the schools, to live within their communities and to exchange learning in language and culture. The effect of these wonderful journeys has been profound and lasting.

A lot of organisation goes into the fair and it would be remiss not to thank the students both for their work so far and for what’s to come, all of the teachers who have given so much help, especially Mr Trenier, Ms Long and Ms Killen and the members of the parents’ committee.

So please. Come along to the sale on Saturday 10th December. We’ll help you find the right tree, drill it, net it and even deliver it if you like. If you already have your tree, come anyway, have a cuppa and a bite – and bring a few euros!

Enquiries to JP Coakley (087)679-5565

Poster PDF

Where the money goes! PDF

Conlethians Explore Old and New Technologies!

Boat-building and sailing have been long engrained in this island nation’s consciousness but our kids are more inclined to explore more digital frontiers.  Mr. Kilcommons managed to unite the best of the old and new as he arranged a Skype meeting with a real-life nautical adventurer:

Our 5th and 6th Form had the wonderful experience of participating in a Skype call to Enda O Coineen, skipper of the Kilcullen Voyager Team who is in the middle of an attempt to have an Irish sailor complete the ultimate in sailing tests – The Vendée Globe.  The Kilcullen Team is sponsored by Ballsbridge Motors (sponsors of our Senior Cup Rugby team) who also organised this event.  Only about 100 people have ever completed the race and no Irish person has ever managed it. This is seen as being the best chance for an Irish sailor to complete this non-stop, unassisted, extreme race around the globe. Neil from Kilcullen Voyager Team set up the skype call to Enda and we met him with the wind very definitely at his back somewhere in the Southern Ocean racing at high speed. He patiently fielded many questions from our pupils who seemed strangely preoccupied with his toilet routine onboard. Current Irish Sailing Oppy champion Russel Bolger got right down to brass tacks and asked him in what position he was in the race (19thout of 25 boats.) Enda admitted to feeling isolated but not alone as he had already covered 8000 nautical miles, instead of us trying to entertain Enda however, he took out his tin whistle and played us a lively tune from the West of Ireland, much to the delight of everyone in the conference room. Enda is a real character and we wish him the very best in his attempt. His new fans here in St Conleth’s can now track his progress every day in school. The best of luck to Enda.

 

 

 

 

Madchester!

Mr. Keenan, a Manchester trip stalwart, was thrilled to be back on the proper (red) side of Manchester, even though the match was on a Thursday night and we all know what that means… especially you Liverpool fans!  And our Junior School Principal (and the world’s biggest Ryan Giggs fan), Tony Kilcommons, claimed that the ferry takes a little bit longer each year but we think he is just getting a little bit older.  Rumours that he wants to add a trip to Parkhead next year (i.e. coach ride to Belfast and ferry to Glasgow) are unconfirmed.  Here is his enthusiastic if a bit bleary-eyed report:

5th and 6th Form embarked on their annual pilgrimage to Manchester last week. After gorging on the caviar of Champions League and Barcelona and Bayern in the Etihad for the past two years, it was back to the meat and two veg of Old Trafford on a Thursday night for Europa League action against the might of Feyenoord. Feyenoord are no Barcelona and even Wayne Rooney and Henrich Mikhtaryan managed to get on the scoresheet in a routine 4-0 victory. Mr Keenan and the other three United fans in the party of 47 were nonetheless delighted. For the majority, the match itself was of lower importance in the grand scheme of things. Sugar intake seemed to be the priority for the 5th Formers from early to stockpile energy resources for the long day ahead. Excitement seemed to get the better of many of them and no amount of sweets could replenish the energy spent exploring every square inch of the ferry and Trafford Centre (no mean feat!) The efforts made by some of our pupils to stay awake for the entire 24 hours were truly heroic and if all-nighters are needed for college exams later in their life, they have shown serious potential. Roll on next year and hopefully the Etihad, the chances of Champions League football in Old Trafford look more remote by the day!

 

 

Class of 2016 Clean Up At Trinity and UCD!

We know we punch above our weight in rugby and the recent run by our basketball teams is certainly pleasing the bookies, but where we really annoy the actuaries (some of them our own alumni) is with our academic results.  You have already seen our PPU-produced chart with all the percentages but just recently there was even more tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess:  Last week, Mr. ODulaing sat down for lunch with Paddy Cahill (Economics and Finance), Sean Frison-Roche (Medicine) and Harvey Gleeson (Science) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their excellent LC results.  This week, Mr. ODulaing sampled the wine and hors d’oeuvres at Trinity College where he joined Exhibition Award winners Phillip O’Hanrahan (History and Politics) and Simon Ghose (Computer Science).   Our other Entrance Award winners, Daniel Gilligan (Law and Politics) and Paul Mooney (Science) were unfortunately off debating the Trumpian political landscape and studying recombinant DNA, respectively.  So, that’s 7 entrance scholars from 52 graduates… ‘Small enough to care, large enough to challenge’…indeed!

 

 

 

Book Fair Fun!

We only stopped in at the Junior School Parent Association’s Book Fair for a few minutes but it was long enough to be literally overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and energy of our students as they engaged in a book selecting, buying and reading frenzy!  Luckily some dutiful and friendly parents were on hand to prevent a riot!  Loads of books were sold, filling the school’s literacy coffers, and as you can see form these snaps, lots of fun was certainly had.  Well done to the Parents Association for doing their part to keep books in their children’s classrooms and lives.

 

…and it’s Good!

Can you imagine the pressure on young Liam Reilly’s shoulders as he lined up his conversion attempt in the waning seconds of the JCT’s first Cup match of the season?  The distance was considerable, the angle was ridiculous and hopes were perhaps unrealistically high… After all, the team had just fought back from a rough start with a tremendous second-half rally against an ostensibly superior team, capped by Craig Davis’s scintillating pitch-length run and try.  Surely, St. Conleth’s would walk away as they often had in the past, taking pride in a job well-done: the moral victors but not the actual victors…  But something happened last year when Gav Maguire’s SCT won a historic treble of titles and scared the bejesus out of several traditional rugby ‘powers’, galvanising our sporting spirit:  St. Conleth’s rugby are no longer just the plucky little guys who play stylish, inspiring rugby but inevitably bow to greater size and numbers.  St. Conleth’s now play stylish, inspiring rugby… and run over you en route to the try-line and then stick a dagger in your team’s heart with a soaring, time-stopping touchline conversion!  Full credit to St. Columba’s for playing the game right and accepting the result like the young gentlemen that they are, but let us rejoice with Coaches Louis Magee and Jonathan Ingles and the whole team, and especially Craig and Liam.  They are surely destined for even greater feats in sports and in life, but we will never forget this one that they so heroically provided: one afternoon in November in Ballsbridge when the underdog team fought back against the odds, scored a memorable injury-time try…and the kick was good!

 

JCT stun Columba's in Cup opening round, 19-17, with injury-time try and spectacular conversion!

 

 

 

Civil War: Junior School Chess Teams Face-Off!

The action in the Leinster chess leagues is certainly coming to the boil in the Junior School as our A team, current Leinster champions face their first potential banana skin in their quest to retain their title; namely our school B team who also operate in Division 1 and would dearly love to take a famous scalp. Staff and pupils alike will try to stay neutral even if there is a natural inclination to root for the underdog on these occasions. The two teams face off in the conference room on Tuesday 15th at 2pm. By 3pm we will know if the natural order of chess in the school has been overturned. Our C and D team are also in action this week as they host Gorey A and B teams. The best of luck to all involved and while you wait for the results, enjoy some pics of our chess action from last year:

Old-Fashioned Fun: Real Books for Sale!

Is your child’s letter to Santa full of requests for digital products or the screens on which to play them?  Well, Santa and his reindeer may appreciate the fact that a downloaded game weighs considerably less than a bowling ball, but parents may want to supplement St. Nick’s deliveries, digital or otherwise, with some old-fashioned fun: real books, and some made of paper, no less!  The annual Scholastic Book Fair run by the Junior School Parents Association begins tomorrow, Monday the 14th of November.  The book stalls will be open from :
Monday, 8am to 9am , 1.30pm to 3.15pm
Tuesday 8am to 9am1.30pm to 3.15pm
Wednesday 8am to 9am

We would ask parents to support the book fair as the money raised is used to purchase books for the school literacy programme.  Look at the fun our students had at the fair last year:

 

 

Fencing, Here and There!

The half-term closed with Maître David Couper, with the able assistance of Michael Li, our Senior School Fencing Captain, supervising the first instalment of the all-new St. Conleth’s Fencing League.  Michael, recently awarded the coveted ‘Bronze Blade’, was the most senior fencer in action but he was joined  by enthusiastic boys and girls from Sixth Class through Sixth Year.  The League consists of a series of competitions to be held each term, culminating in a Grand Prix at the end of the school year.  And, further afield, the St. Conleth’s younger fencers were once again in action over the midterm break.  Last Saturday witnessed the opening round of the 2016 -2017 Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, with medals aplenty for both the Junior and Senior School contingents. Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Bronze in the Mixed Under 10s; Luke Sherlock ended the day with a Bronze in the Under 12 Boys, and it was an all-Conlethian affair in the Under 14 Boys Final, where James Moriarty-Smyth earned the Silver and Claudio Sosa, the Gold.  Great to see these young Conlethians competing in such prestigious competitions against each other!

 

 

Kevin Kelleher 1921-2016

(updated)  It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that St. Conleth’s announces the passing of Mr. Kevin D. Kelleher, Headmaster.  Mr. Kelleher is dearly missed and warmly remembered by the many different people whom he met and with whom he worked during his long and active life, especially in regards to his immense contributions to education and rugby.  His many accomplishments were marked by an incredible attention to detail and aided by a prodigious memory.  Combined with an irrepressible wit, these qualities made Kevin Kelleher a truly remarkable man, whose positive influence has spread across generations, disciplines and borders.

 

 

Kevin D. Kelleher was born and raised in Drumcondra, Dublin and was the proud inheritor of a family legacy which emphasised educational and sporting achievement and included a clutch of All-Ireland medals as heirlooms. Shortly after studying Latin, Irish and English and completing his Higher Diploma in Education at University College Dublin, Mr. Kelleher arrived at St. Conleth’s College in 1944, teaching and coaching sports and, in particular, becoming a dominant force in Leinster Schools and Club Rugby. After the untimely passing of the school’s founder, Bernard Sheppard, Mr. Kelleher became Headmaster at St. Conleth’s in 1960 and he performed this role with great strength and foresight for the next fifty-six years. In 1960, Kevin also married his beloved wife Patricia and became a loving father to Ann and these three together would be the lifeblood of St. Conleth’s College for the decades that followed.

Outside of the classroom and the Headmaster’s office, Mr. Kelleher forged a varied and richly decorated career in rugby.  He was a past president of both Lansdowne Road RFC and the Irish Rugby Football Union Leinster Branch and was Honorary Secretary of Leinster Rugby’s Schools Committee for fifty-two years.  Mr. Kelleher somehow also found time to become the most highly respected rugby referee of his era, blowing the whistle (or, as he himself would proudly say ‘not blowing the whistle’) on 23 international matches between 1960 and 1972, including a certain legendary encounter between the All Blacks and Scotland.     More importantly, he was a guiding and nurturing presence for multiple generations of players, coaches and officials in a game he knew and loved so well.

The same boundless energy which he radiated in the classroom and on the pitch, Mr. K. showed in his personal and social life. He was a devoted family man, loving and loved by his wife Patricia, daughter Ann, sister Norah and brother Con, son-in-law Sean, grandson Cian and many other Kelleher, Power, Sheppard and Coakley relatives.  Of course, Mr. Kelleher also had a larger family: the thousands of pupils who attended St. Conleth’s during his 72 years at the heart of the school.  The man known as ‘The Boss’ or simply ‘KD’  will never be forgotten by generations of Conlethians who loved and respected him, just as he himself remarkably would never forget a name or a face amongst the many, many whose lives he had touched with such strength, grace and good humour.

Requiesceat in pace.

 

 

 

Juniors Getting Along Swimmingly!

At the recent Swimming Gala at Willow Park, two Junior Conlethians made a big splash: Luke Timlin qualified for the Leinster Schools Gala in breast stroke, and Jude Moes qualified in freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.  The Leinster Schools Gala will be held on January 7th and we wish them both the very best success.  Clearly, St. Conleth’s long-standing involvement with swimming continues to pay dividends!  And it was not just a two horse race: the overall results for the St. Conleth’s boys were also very good. The 10 boys swam 25 individual races, 15 of those races resulted in personal best times, and 6 races involved either a new swimmer or a boy swimming a stroke for the first time. And most importantly, they proved to be a great group of boys who supported each other and cheered each other on throughout the day.  Thanks to Kristen Moes for attending and reporting!

 

 

 

The St. Conleth’s Fencing League Starts Friday!

A great honour has been bestowed upon St. Conleth’s Fencing:  Our Captain, Michael Li, has been conferred with the Irish Academy of Arms’ Bronze Blade Award which “recognises the progression of fencers in their learning and expertise in fencing.”   And did Michael rest upon this laurel?  Of course not!  Rather he has spent his time and effort organising St. Conleth’s first Fencing League, which will debut this Friday (28/10) from 2:30-4:30 in the School Gymnasium.  All fencers from 6th Class to 6th Year are encouraged to take part, no matter what their level.  The League will consist of a series of competitions to be held each term, culminating in a Grand Prix at the end of the school year.  All the necessary equipment will be provided.  Just bring your school tracksuit and runners.  En guarde!

 

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Junior School Socceroos!

Rugby took a back seat on Saturday for our Sixth Form team who represented the school at the annual AIJS 5 aside soccer tournament hosted by St. Gerard’s. As is usual with St Conleth’s teams, lack of physical size is counterbalanced by high technical efficiency and this team possessed those qualities in spades. They defeated  both the A and B teams of hosts St Gerard’s, as well as dismissing Wicklow Montessori on the way to a final against the might of Willow Park. Leading 1-0 with time almost up, Willow scrambled an equaliser to send the decider to extra-time and then penalties. High drama ensued but luck was not on our side and the runners-up position was our lot on the day. The boys were disappointed but should be immensely proud of their contributions throughout the morning. A big thank you to Charlaine for taking on the managerial duties and well done boys!

 

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Music in the Classroom (in the Concert Hall)

Second, Third and Fourth Forms, accompanied by their class teachers and music and choir teacher Ms. Hartnett, travelled to the National Concert Hall on last Tuesday to enjoy a performance of the wonderful RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s Music in the Classroom series. The pupils danced and sang to everything from Ravel’s Dancing Bear Suite to Katie Perry’s Roar. They had a brilliant time and this may well become a fixture in the calendar, judging by the feedback from teachers and pupils alike.

 

 

A Mathematician and a Philatelist Walk Into a Lecture Hall…

…and the kids go wild! This actually happened down at the headquarters of Engineers Ireland, where Professor Robin Wilson welcomed Ms. NiAonghusa, Mr. Sweeney and all of our First Years to a special ‘Maths Week’ lecture on ‘The History of Maths through Stamps’.  We know… sounds about as riveting as ‘The History of Stamps through Maths’… but it actually was quite an exciting experience!  Both students and teachers were on the edge of their seats as Prof. Wilson regaled them with a historical survey of these intertwining traditions and thankfully the feared dust-up between the Philately and Maths Clubs never materialised!  Maths Week, of course, involves a whole lot more at St. Conleth’s:  You can wreck half your head on the Maths Department Maths Week Daily Puzzles here and stay tuned for some ‘Maths Through Pictures Competition’ entries.  And the Junior School was not to be outdone!   They also enjoyed a maths presentation at the Engineers and once again had googles of fun with the IZAK9 Cubes.  Check out the pics below!

 

 

Juniors Meet Kings Billy and James at the Pembroke Library

Fifth and Sixth Forms travelled the short distance (by foot!) to Pembroke Library to hear children’s author Nicola Pierce reading her latest historical novel – Kings of the Boyne– on Thursday 6th Oct.  Nicola brilliantly set the scene of the famous battle involving Kings William and James and explained how the outcome has echoed throughout modern Irish history.  The pupils were engrossed in the reading to such an extent that many have been inspired to read her previous books since the visit. We look forward to the next visit!

 

Juniors and Seniors Go Cross Country

Mr. Shay Keenan does not do things by halves: when he heard about the happy coincidence that there would be both junior and senior Cross Country race at Morton Stadium in Santry, he hired a bus and welcomed all comers!  ‘The more, the merrier’ is the St. Conleth’s sporting philosophy and so it should be, as participation is the name of the game at our school and we make sure that no-one is ever left out.  We did worry a bit for Mr. Keenan’s personal safety (and sanity), as filling a bus with Juniors and then throwing in a bunch of First Years at their seasonal hyperactive peak is the not the recipe for a morning ‘milk run’ but Shay is an old hand at these things and bringing along a sprinkling of seasoned, responsible hands such as Rory Sweeney and Tony Barry was just the ticket.  As you can see form our pics below, everyone had a great time (free T-shirts always help) and completed the race in very good times.  There will be more races ahead and remember that for First- Third Years, we have a special training arrangement with Crusaders AC.   Keep running!

 

Conlethian Fencers Clean Up at the Killanin!

No, the major trophies in fencing are not called anything like the ‘Johnstone Paint Trophy’: they have a bit more of the ‘rarified air’ about their titles.  Case in point this past weekend when Loreto Abbey in Dalkey welcomed ladies and gentlemen (and quite a few padawan) from all over Ireland to compete for the Lord Killanin Trophy.  And we are proud to say that the Conlethian contingent, both Junior and Senior, absolutely cleaned up! Myles Moriarty-Smyth and Matthew Sherlock took Bronze in the Under 10 Mixed Foil and Luke Sherlock achieved Gold in the Under 12 Mixed Foil.   And Claudio Sosa won gold in the Minor Mixed Foil with James Moriarty-Smyth finishing just out of the medals. A splendid performance from all involved and a fabulous start to the 2016 -2017 season!

 

 

The Weekend Warriors Are Back!

Messrs. Kilcommons, Sheridan, Maguire and Gleeson would all have very boring weekends if it were not for those early Saturday morning rugby blitzes.   They have seen all the episodes of all the different incarnations of Scooby-Doo by now and after a lethargic summer, they really just can’t wait till October rolls around and they get to lead the Conlethian Juniors in rugby adventures on fields near and far.  Reports are still streaming back regarding the different Forms, but here are some pics of our Third Forms in action against CUS.  And a big thank-you to all the parent volunteers!

 

 

 

Junior Sailors Prove Old Salts!

Fifth and Sixth Form go sailing in the Royal St. George Yacht Club every Friday. The course utilises the RSGYC 1720 keelboat yachts. As sailing becomes more accessible to all, it is hoped that school sailing will foster a lifelong interest in the sport for the participating pupils. As is evident in the photos, our sailors are very enthusiastic and certainly have no fear of the open sea!

 

Juniors Getting Psyched for Rugby Blitz!

All of our success in chess, fencing, swimming and various other sports and games does not take away from St. Conleth’s first sporting love: the time-honoured past-time of the sons (and daughters) of D4 (and 6 and 12 and 3…) gentleman (and ladies) … rugby!  Under the watchful eyes (and polite encouragement) of Mr. Keenan and Mr. Maguire, Third through Sixth Forms are gearing up for their first matches this weekend, and though we are sure to get loads of pics soon of all the teams, Ms. Dillon’s Third Formers are first in and, boy, do they look scary!  Our first opponents, CUS, better be hitting the training ground with the same ferocity or there will be absolute carnage Saturday morning!

 

 

 

 

 

On The Offensive: Maître David Couper Makes His Points!

Fencing has a long and strong tradition at St. Conleth’s which got back to its earliest days, with several Olympians amongst our alumni and recent grad Philip Cripwell near the top of the national senior rankings.  And judging by the talent in our Junior School, whence the Moriarity-Smith and Sherlock brothers regularly carved up Europe last year, this tradition is only getting stronger.  Maître David Couper of  Salle Dublin holds classes every Friday for both the Junior and Senior students and he recently held a few exhibitions to encourage even more participation.  The First Formers, of course, were thrilled to be able to put on costumes and pick up weapons but we were pleasantly surprised to see how enthusiastically our First Years, especially the girls, took to David’s lively introduction to the ancient sport.  It surely could not be the popularity of Game of Thrones, as they are much too young to watch such a series, but there certainly seemed to be a willingness to embrace the idea of strong female characters wielding a blade.   A big thank you to David and his eager assistants, Michael Li and James Moriarty-Smyth, for demonstrating the cuts and thrusts of it!

 

 

I’m in the ESB…

Ah, they are the words which generations of Irish mothers would have given their right arms to hear uttered by their favoured son and now our very own Pearse Ahern, Irish teacher and legendary raconteur, can return to Limerick with another badge of honour on his lapel and a few more stories to tell.  Mr. Ahern had already been involved with everyone’s favourite semi-state, coaxing and cajoling the cúpla focail from their tired but well-compensated workforce when he took on a job which involves the other side of his polymathic brain: science, maths, engineering and all things STEMy.  Mr. Ahern was asked to help write the educational content of the ESB’s exciting new website: Inside Aghada, an animated curricular-based explanation of how a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine station operates.  Check it out here, and you are sure to note that familiar lilting Ahern syntax in the descriptions of pistons, turbines, emissions and the like.   This website was launched at the Science Gallery by Pat O’Doherty (CEO of the ESB) and was attended by many luminaries, such as Mr. Pat McGrath and Dr. Judith Harford (Conlethian parent and Director of the PME at UCD) and, of course, Mr. Ahern himself.  (Picture Colm Mahady/Fennells – Copyright© Fennell Photography 2016).  Another instance of  the St. Conleth’s faculty’s wide-ranging interests and abilities!

 

Mr. Ahern and friends at the ESB website launch. (Picture Colm Malady / Fennells - Copyright© Fennell Photography 2016)

 

Loompas Run Riot on Dahl Day!

 

Monday 11th Sept. saw the Junior School overrun with strange and wonderful creatures that could only have come from the imagination of Roald Dahl. Oompa Loompas, huge chocolate bars, friendly giants, hideous witches, fantastic foxes, angry farmers, filthy beards and oversized peaches all paraded around the sports hall and yard. As far as the Junior School pupils are concerned, Mr Kelleher is a modern day Willy Wonka, who just downsized the chocolate factory to  a tuck shop. Prizes for the best costumes and no homework on the day rounded off a squishwifflingly good morning.

 

 

The Results Are In…

Yes, the 2016 Leaving Certificate results have been in our office for a while, but unfortunately this reporter did not benefit from being taught Maths at St. Conleth’s, so we had to go find someone else to do the ‘rithmetic.  At first we asked a few of the nine students (out of 21!)  who received As in HL Maths but they were all, unsurprisingly, packing their bags for high octane university courses (and Freshers weeks).   ‘And besides,’ said one future actuary, ‘I long ago stopped wasting time on the mere multiplication and division of mere real numbers…’  Chastened we wandered away thinking said student had chosen the perfect career for his personality and resorted to Mr. Carvill, who though himself an alumnus of Big Blue and no stranger to Game Theory and the like, agreed to lower himself, get out his calculator watch and crunch the numbers… and we can proudly say these are the best results at St. Conleth’s in the modern era!  The Maths department rightly garnered much attention on results day, but Spanish, Physics and Music had over 50% earning As and, as in nearly all our other subjects, over 90% took the Higher Level paper (in Chemistry and History, it was 100%! And English, 92%!).  We could go on and on about the numbers….so we will!  8% of our students earned over 600 (National avg.: .03%); 32% over 500 (compared to 10%); and 64% over 400 (36%)…but of course what is more important is that our students qualified for the courses which they desired, and that was overwhelmingly the case, and not just for the hi-fliers.  Below you see a few of the class of 2016 who came back to school to advise our current students, and a sample of last year’s class’s interesting university destinations:

 

 

Moriarty-Smyth Brothers’ Reprise!

Yes, the famous fencing brothers of St. Conleth’s (now one a Junior and one a Senior) were at it again over the summer.  At the end of June, James (1Year) and Myles (3rd Form) competed in the 2016 Paris CEP Mini Marathon Fleuret. James in particular fenced extraordinarily well with multiple wins across 3 sets of Poules that saw elimination at each round; a stunning 4 /0 victory in the final poule enabled him to make the tableau of the last 32! He ended the day ranked 32 out of a field of 75, going out 3/8 to the no.1 ranked fencer in an amazing competition that saw fencers attending from as far afield as Australia, Malaysia and Brazil. Myles was the 2nd youngest fencer competing and scored an impressive 3/1 victory and several points across 3 Poules. He very narrowly missed the cut of 40 required for the U10 Direct Eliminator, ending the day ranked 41st.  We look forward to receiving further updates in due course as the new season progresses: Paris is on the calendar again along with Poland!  And perhaps… Tokyo?

 

 

No Free Lunch?

Parents’ Lunches are starting tomorrow, Wednesday the 7th, with our first guests being Senior School First Year Parents.  Soon will follow all the other years from both the Junior and Senior Schools.  It all kicks off at 1:30 in the School Canteen under the watchful eye and agile spatula of Chef Mark.  And to join in all you have to do is go to Easypay….  Just kidding!  Who ever said there is no such thing as a free lunch?  You are all very welcome to get a taste, on the house, of what your kids are enjoying every day.  The lunches are already up in Events but here is the schedule:  Seniors: 1st Year- Wednesday 7th September; Transition Year-Wed. 5th October 2016 ; 2nd Year- Wed. 9th November 2016 ; 3rd Year-Wed. 16th Nov. 2016; 5th Year- Wed. 23rd Nov. 2016;  and 6th Year- Wed. 30th November 2016.  Juniors: 5th and 6th Form- Wed 14th Sept.; 3rd and 4th Form- Wed 21st Sept. ; 1st and 2nd Form- Wed 28th Sept.; and Junior and Senior Infants-Wed 12th Oct.  Bon appetit!

And They’re Off! Conlethians Young and Old Start Year with Spark!

The Junior and Senior Infants seemed distinctly unperturbed by the momentous occasion, getting right to work (and play) under the watchful eye and encouraging words of Ms. Kelly and Ms. Murphy, and First Form seemed delighted with the dynamic duo of Ms. McGuinness and Mr. O’Brien, while the older Junior Forms also seemed happy to be back amongst welcoming faces and in friendly places.  First Years admittedly seemed a bit nervous, as did our new female arrivals in the other Senior Years (to say nothing of our suddenly shy and tongue-tied resident males!) but the ice was quickly broken by a few classroom quips and Tuckshop tussles and by close of business on Tuesday, fledgling friendships were flourishing in the proverbial Conlethian calm.   However there is always one… or in this case, two… as two of our senior boys, Basil Brindley and K.D. Kelleher, caused a minor hullabaloo with their raucous reminiscence just inside the door!

 

 

 

Junior School After School (and Preschool!) Activities: All You Need to Know!

We know you love your kids and treasure every moment you spend with the little darlings, but if they are able to bear separation from you for the regular school hours, why not make it just a bit longer…. so you can finish off that project at work and/or sneak off to that pilates class?  And these after-school activities are good for them too, stimulating their minds and bodies in a way that Netflix or Pokémon just cannot do! Click here for our special brochure which explains all the available activities after school, as well as our Early Drop-Off Supervision Service.  There is also the option of enrolling with our partners, One of a Kind, for a complete after-school programme.  St. Conleth’s can truly be your child’s home away from home!

Welcome to St. Conleth’s!

The late summer flowers are still in full bloom and we still don’t recognise anyone on RTE  but the days are undeniably getting shorter again and we must face facts: ‘Back to School Time’ is rapidly approaching!  But have no fear, new and returning Conlethians, for your school is a fun and friendly place and all the information you need is in one place, on our ‘Welcome 2016/2017’ page.  There, Junior and Senior School students and parents can find out all about start dates and times, year calendars, uniforms, booklists, the canteen and after-school care.  All you need is there, but if you are in a rush, here are direct links (Junior, Senior) to our uniform supplier, and our Canteen deposit page on Easy Payments Plus.  New Junior School parents may be interested in after-school care with our partners, One of a Kind. And we remind First Year Senior Parents about the First Year Multi-Sports Camp and Moontour Irish Language Adventure Centre.  It is all there on our ‘Welcome 2016/2017’ page.  Just keep scrolling down!

One More Round…

…of golf and other end-of-term Junior School News:  The annual Junior School Golf outing in Stepaside resulted in defending champion Matthew McKeown sharing the cup this year with up-and-coming 3rd Former Charlie Kennedy. Louis McGovern came second and Trevor Bolger came third.  Also receiving accolades were our Irish Board of Speech and Drama Gold Medal winners.  Louis Grinnell received a gold medal for the 3rd year running which is an incredible achievement. Turlough Dineen from 4th Form, Jody Grace and Charlie Kennedy from 3rd Form and Declan de La Cruz Moylan from 1st Form were the other winners.  Conlethians seem prone to speech and drama naturally but it does take a good bit of work to earn gold!  As competitive but ore co-operative was the Junior School Table Quiz:  The winning team had a surprisingly comfortable victory in the annual end of year brain teaser competition, remaining calm and composed all the way through even as the teachers shared puzzled looks after some of the questions. How many Premiership matches did Leicester City lose all season? These boys certainly knew.   Last but not least, there are some pics from a new avenue of endeavour for Junior Conlethians this year: a specially organised GAA module with the Ranelagh Gaels.  The boys and girls took to it as enthusiastically as they took to rugby, swimming, fencing, art, spelling, athletics, soccer, tennis, chess, choir, French, debating, sailing… and a bit of book-learning in between!  Enjoy the summer but do get some rest and come back in September, ready for some more St. Conleth’s Junior School Fun!

 

 

Première Place! DELF Honorées

You have already read here and here how St. Conleth’s was the first school in Ireland to sit the prestigious DELF exam. Both Sixth Form and Transition Year blazed the trail for Ireland undertaking the prestigious oral and written French language exam.  Well the results are in and everyone did très bien with a couple of students earning special mention: Thomas McKenna won a prize for the top exam mark (98%!) and  Sebastian Del Val was runner up. Well done to all the boys and the teachers who made it possible!

 

Civil War!

Batman vs. Superman.  Captain America vs. Iron Man.  Hunter vs. Hunter.  Once again, the two Hunter brothers fought out the final of the Junior School Tournament. A dramatic stalemate was called on the first day. Younger brother Eoin then beat Seán in a 12 minute blitz game the following day to the take the title for the first time and claim bragging rights in the Hunter household.  Considering that the Hunter boys were integral parts of the St. Conleth’s team which won Leinster and All-Ireland titles this year, those bragging rights actually extend throughout the country!  Well done boys and well done to all the Junior School Chess players for a record-setting year!

 

 

Super Spellers!

As an English teacher of some 20 years we have seen a marked decline in some traditional academic skills, coinciding with the rise of the machines, but we are happy to report that  St. Conleth’s refuses to trade all for the bitcoin and continues to insist on the mastering of basic skills such as the three Rs and the much-neglected arts of handwriting and spelling.  Earlier this year we saw Tathagat Kumar of our Second Form win First Prize in the AIJS Handwriting Competition and recently the Junior School held its annual in-house Spelling Bee.  It was one for the bookies  as Third Former ‘dark horse’ Patrick Coleman was the last man standing in a field packed with accomplished spellers (and Eason National Spelling Bee veterans). Sthitoprogyo Deb won Silver and Ruben Grace took bronze in a closely contested final.  It is great to see such spelling talent from the spellcheck generation!

The Writest Stuff!

Among the many end-of-term events and activities, one of the most eagerly awaited is the announcement of the winner of the Kevin D. Kelleher Cup for creative writing, as judged by Dr. Ann Fallon.  The Juniors, in particular, enter the competition in great numbers and we are very jealous that Dr. Fallon gets to read every one of those entries, herself!  This year the main trophy was won by Ruben Grace for a wonderfully written story entitled “An Irish Refugee.”   Ruben follows in the footsteps of such recent luminaries as Josh McCormack, Frank Knowles and Tomas Clancy, all who have gone on to further academic acclaim in the St. Conleth’s Senior School.  There were brilliant entries from all classes with special merit certificates awarded to a number of pupils and Thomas McKenna receiving a special mention (and second place) from Dr Fallon.  See all the writeous dudes below!

 

Junior School Stylish Summer Spectacular!

Maestros Howe and Hartnett once managed to create a masterpiece out of a cacophony of diverse voices and talents and Mr. Kelleher (who has seen a few) declared this Summer Spectacular the best ever!  Ms. Hartnett’s Junior School Choir were in top form, thrilling parents and guests with their spot-on vocal performances and Mr. Howe led each Form through a skit which perfectly matched the class’s particular strengths in performance.  And the school hall itself served as the perfect backdrop, with artwork from each class covering the walls and demonstrating the creativity of the kids, and the perseverance of Art Teacher Ms. Long and all the class teachers.  Check out the snaps below of both the concert and the artwork. Bravo, boys and girls!

 

Mathlete, Squared

Fifth Form Richard Sheahan kept the St. Conleth’s Maths flag flying, topping the national leaderboard for his age group for the second year running in Learnstorm (formerly Mathletes), the online school maths competition. Here he is pictured with his gold medial,  presented at the All-Ireland final event held recently in Dublin Castle.  Well done, Richard.  Be ready for some tough questions (and answers) future Maths teachers!

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The New Parents Association Newsletter Is Here!

The Parents’ Associations are pleased to publish out latest newsletter, full of all the exciting things that have been happening in the school over the past two months.  If you’re stuck for some beach reading, look no further!  We hope you enjoy it.

Parents Association Newsletter- May 2016

Paul Allen & Peter O’Neill, Chairpersons Senior and Junior School Parents’ Associations

Avoid The Summer Doldrums: Get ‘Food Active’!

An army runs on its stomach and a school runs on its canteen.   At St. Conleth’s College we are convinced that Chef Mark McColgan is the main reason why attendance rates are so high amongst both students and staff.  A common scene in the early a.m. on the southside of Dublin:   “Oh… French test today….I don’t feel very well…wait…it’s Tandoori Chicken Salad today…I’m in!”   Well, you can spend part of this summer not only enjoying those fave dishes, but making them too!  Chef Mark is returning with his popular  ‘Food Active’ Summer Camp and July at St. Conleth’s is sure to be an exciting and eclectic mix of cookery, sport and fun.  Find the contact details here or below and get onto Chef Mark.  Places are limited and Food Active is always the place to be when those long summer days roll in!

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Fourth Form Party Like It Is…1979!

Conservative American parents were terrified in the 1950’s as swing, jazz and blues morphed into rock ‘n roll and teenagers everywhere began showing up at high school gyms dancing with abandon.  If Ms. Coleman were alive back then (and she assures us that she was not), she would have donned the bobby-socks and led the youngsters in their revelry!  Last week, the Transition Years were busy preparing for their end-of-term production of Grease, which will hit the school hall stage this coming Wednesday at 7:00.  The driving beats and soaring vocals could be heard throughout the school as Ms. deBhal drove the boys through their paces, and most teachers and students simply smiled and carried on, perhaps tapping a foot in sympathy… but Ms. Coleman could not contain her inner dancing queen and she quickly slipped on a record from her own youth: ‘September’ by Earth, Wind and Fire.  And despite being a bit young to remember disco’s heyday, the Fourth Formers proved to be her worthy partners, making moves and wielding air guitars with abandon!  See below as the boys down their books (for a few minutes) and party like it is 1979!

 

 

 

Merci Beaucoup!

Recently Sixth Form joined our Transition Years in being the first students in Ireland to take on the challenging French written and oral exam, DELF.  And not only did the boys pass with flying colours, they also were the subject of this very kind note below which we received from the examination’s director:

Bonjour,

I have attached the photos of candidates and examiners who sat the recent DELF PRIM-SCOLAIRE at St Conleth’s Primary School.  I would like to thank you all once again for your very warm welcome and faultless organisation.  The pupils were charming and very well prepared thanks to their teachers.  A special thanks to the examiners who gave of their time on a voluntary basis.  I hope this partnership will continue for the coming years.
Kind regards.
Cyrielle Thimis
Gestion Centrale DELF-DALF en Irlande
Exams & Certification Officer

Free! Gratuit! Gratis! Frei!

Remember our free Easter Camp for future Conlethians?  Well, the idea is catching on…  Living Language, the premier language camp in Dublin, is offering St. Conleth’s students (and their parents) an irresistible package:  You welcome a child from France, Spain or Germany into your home and your son or daughter gets to attend a professional summer sports, arts and language camp at St. Conleth’s for free!  Don’t you just love the free market economy?  All the details are here: Brochure, Explanatory Email, Applications: French, Spanish, German.

 

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Junior Sailors Take Gold!

Brothers Trevor and Russell Bolger, along with 6th Former Kei Ando, represented the Junior School in the St. Gerard’s Regatta in Greystones on Wednesday 11th May. Racing in the Optimist Class, Trevor guided the team through strong tides as  the team claimed the gold medal in their category. Weather has also proved kinder of late and twenty Junior School boys are in the middle of their summer sailing block which is proving another great success. Well done, boys!

 

 

Digital Hands Across the Water!

Junior and Senior School pupils gathered together in the Conference Room for an exciting presentation by Ms. Anne Cunningham, a teacher and administrator from the Tech International Charter School in The Bronx, New York.   Ms. Cunningham was visiting Ireland, and St. Conleth’s in particular, to explore the possibility of setting up an ‘international partnership’ between the students of these two very diverse schools.  The most interesting aspect (amongst many) of the project is that it is to be student-directed and student-run (with a small but essential bit of teacher oversight).  So, Ms. Cunningham quickly ‘turned the tables’ after just a few minutes of presentation, and began asking the questions instead of giving the answers.  At first, our pupils were a bit flummoxed by this, but being Conlethians and well used to creative contribution, they quickly jumped onboard and responded with an onslaught of ideas and opinions which ranged from the practical to the hilarious to the inspirational.  The overall plan now is to come up with some sort of technological forum which enables the students of the two schools to work together on an issue of international importance such as mental health or  homelessness.   Next year’s First and Second Years will probably be the key groups involved, but some of the older kids seem very keen to act as mentors and leaders.  It all sounds very exciting, and we will report back when the tweets, posts and whatevers get rolling.  And Ms. Cunningham, showing that she knows the way to every youngster’s heart,  provided free ‘I Love NY’ T-shirts for all the participants!

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Fencers Finishing Strongly!

The Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock brothers have continued their lunges up the junior fencing rankings!  Once again both bands of  brothers performed extremely well last week at the Irish Fencing Federation’s Junior National Championships, hosted at Loreto Abbey in Dalkey. The older boys fenced in the Under 12 Mixed Foil with James taking 3rd place and Bronze while Luke narrowly missed a medal spot and ended the day in 5th spot. His younger brother Mathew achieved 1st Place and Gold in the Under 9 Mixed. Myles chose to compete in the Under 10 Mixed Foil, ending the tournament in 7th place and winner of the Youngest Fencer Medal.  Young Myles is coming up fast through the ranks, building upon his European Fencing debut in April,  as he was recently awarded the Silver medal for his 2015/2016 season ranking of 2nd for Irish Under 10s.  Up next is the Round 6 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil series which will mark the end of a tremendous season for all four boys!

 

 

Junior Soccer Stars!

Junior School had their annual internal soccer blitz in Herbert Park on Tuesday 10thMay.  Referee/organiser Mr Keenan and Alex O’Brien along with the teachers and pupils braved the inclement weather to participate and an enjoyable day was had by all. There was plenty of thrills and spills, shooting and shaping, tears and tantrums but all the teams, whether a medal was won or not were treated to a well deserved goodie bag afterwards. Well done to all!

St. Conleth’s in the News!

St. Conleth’s recently made the headlines for our scientific endeavour, and now seems reluctant to leave the media spotlight.  Over the weekend our SCT’s fantastic season was featured in the Leinster Rugby Programme and on their website and, just today, the Irish Times ran a feature on our own special take on co-education.  The author of this piece, Rachel Fehily, is also co-creator of our ‘Co-education: St. Conleth’s Style’ which can be seen above in our slider or on our dedicated Girls’ Page.  Stay-tuned for more ‘St. Conleth’s in the news’!

Summer Menu: Harbinger of Heat-Wave?

Senior School PA Chairman Paul Allen long ago was hoodwinked into creating lovely PDFs of Chef Mark’s canteen menus and each week you can see them under Information on this website and the meals on offer for each particular day in the Events calendar, but surely a seasonal change in the design deserves a headline… especially when the appearance of a friendly animated sun on said menu coincides with a rather pleasing upturn in our actual weather!

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S.T.E.M. Stars: Conlethians Win Coding and SciFest Competitions!

TY Corey De Jong Power and First Years Matthew Lynch and Joshua McCormack made St. Conleth’s  history these last few days by winning, respectively, the Irish Computer Society’s National Scratch Coding Competition and the ITB Horticulture Award at SciFest.  Coding guru, and head programmer of the St. Conleth’s Coding Club, Ms. NíAonghusa is justifiably proud of the ‘Corinator’ (as he is known in coding circles) taking  the top prize in his age group with his beguilingly simple Scratch game. Fellow coders such as Saul Burgess and Sammy Butler were so overcome with emotion, they momentarily ceased work on their various AI projects to emit an encomium in Bocce.  And what about the dynamic duo of Matthew Lynch and Joshua McCormack?  Not since the heady days of the Zorin Brothers have young Conlethian scientists so dominated the headlines.  Our Science teachers, Mr. Callaghan and Ms. Phelan, were particularly thrilled with the boys’ project ‘Repel the Shells’ as both teachers hail from our agricultural heartland where people ‘eat their dinner in the middle of the day’ and horticulture is a way of life.  Both awards are of national prominence and we applaud the students and teachers involved for putting St. Conleth’s in the forefront of the relentless STEM advance!

1st Yrs Matthew Lynch and Joshua McCormack win the ITB SciFest Horticulture Award with their project, 'Repel The Shells'!

 

TYs: French Fun with Fifth Form!

One of the best things about St. Conleth’s is that we have a Junior and Senior School on the same campus, and though it can be a bit scary (and very funny!) when our Sixth Year ‘loose-head’ prop turns the corner and bumps into a Junior Infant ‘conga-to-the-cafeteria’ line, there are also many plusses to the interaction of such a broad range of ages.  Take this report from our own correspondent Mr. Julien Porzadny:

What a gorgeous day outside isn’t it? Almost as gorgeous as in room 2.1 where such a positive vibe was floating in the air. After about a month of preparation, our Transition Year students were finally ready to share their knowledge (and love) of the French language.

In groups of 3/4 they were asked to create an activity sheet with vocabulary and/or grammar and fun activities. These activities were aimed at the 5th form students from the Junior school who would learn/revise some French thanks to those and to their “newly appointed young teachers”. Ms Crowley, Mr Sheridan and myself were really please to see so much interaction going on between these two groups. In the end, after a 40 minutes interactive class where each group got to experience 3 different activities, the 5th form students said farewell to the Transition Years and went back to their routine.

Feedbacks from both years were very positive. The TY students were “impressed by the level of French” of the 5th forms. They said they were “cooperative, friendly, responsive”. They also enjoyed the experience of “being a teacher” and learning the “art of improvisation”. On the other hand, the 5th forms were all very happy with this “learning experience”. They liked the “fun” factor of the activities (drawing, word search, interaction etc.). They said the TY students were “nice to you, helpful, encouraging”. They enjoyed “the different ways each group was teaching” and if they had only one regret it was that they did not get to do all the activities.

So well done to all the students who put efforts in this project. Here is another keeper for St Conleth’s!

 

Junior School AIJS Debate A Success On All Points

For years, St. Conelth’s Senior School has been simply da bomb in debating, dominating the Leinster and All-Ireland Championships and making the Irish Debating Team our personal fiefdom.  Well, judging by the talent in our Junior School, this dominance will surely continue. Current Auditor of Debates, and Irish Team Captain Daniel Gilligan, was very impressed by the in-house talents on show at the recent St. Conleth’s-hosted inaugural AIJS Debate.  Dr. Fallon organised and ran an impressive show, with very enthusiastic and competitive teams from four other schools involved.  The motions proposed were the familiar one about school uniforms and a rather timely one about Ireland leaving the EU. Past Pupils, and currents senior debating coaches,  Matthew Collins and Christopher Costigan served as adjudicators, along with two neutrals, so there were no home town decisions and sure enough, the overall team winners were Alexandra College.  There was, however, no shortage of home-grown talent with our own James and Trevor winning individual speaker awards and Morton recognised for serving up the best rebuttal.  We look forward to an even bigger and better debate next year!

St. Conleth’s Leading The Race In The AIJS

Is there a busier junior school in the country? Last week we hosted the AIJS Debate and, once we translate all that rhetorical hyperbole into regular old English, we will give you a report on that Ciceronian contest.  This week it was the AIJS Athletics meet and no better man than Mr. Kilcommons to give us a run-down on the event:

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St. Conleth’s Junior School hosted the 2016 AIJS Athletics competition on Wednesday 27th in Irishtown Stadium. Over 250 athletes from Junior Schools all over Dublin braved pebble sized hailstones to take part. The standard of running, jumping and throwing was very high throughout the afternoon. As the host school we were delighted to boast the winners of the shot putt and 4th Form 150 metres. Castlepark Boys and Teresians girls took home team awards and this year’s overall winner was Mount Anville. A big thank you to the Junior School parent volunteers and Shay Keenan as always for organising the event.

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The Gentlemen’s Game… Played By Gentlemen

We have heard the joke comparing rugby to soccer, but what about golf? The Junior School golf team took the opportunity to duck out of Friday tests and instead spend a beautiful morning in Delany GC competing in the AIJS Golf Cup hosted by St. Gerard’s JS. Judging by the photos, nine holes and a civilised lunch afterwards was not too much of a sacrifice. The boys played very well and even managed to make it back to school for their second lunch and afternoon classes. Impressive.

Young Fencers Continue March Across Europe

Fencing is as ‘St. Conleth’s’ as the Tuck Shop and Herbert Park duckpond plunges, and if you came by to our recent Junior School Open Day, you would have seen Michael Li and Luke Sherlock demonstrating their sport for our visitors.  We also have heard news that Conleth’s alumnus Benedict Chambers just missed qualifying in Prague for the Irish Fencing team going to the Rio Olympics.  And that James Moriarty-Smyth and his brother Myles have continued their steady progress across the continent, putting various continentals to the sword.  while back it was Paris and most recently, it was the Rokietnica Cup in Poland where both boys competed in the U14 category and the boys, especially Myles, performed beyond expectation.  The brothers have made a piece of sporting history by being the first fencers to represent Ireland on the European U14 circuit, earning the front page of the Irish Fencing website.  Further details of their exploits are on the Pembroke Fencing Club Facebook page.

 

 

Putting the ‘Saint’ Back Into St. Conleth’s!

With all this (justified) hullabaloo about rugby and (unavoidable) panic about the state exams, it is easy to lose one’s sense of proportion, both as an individual and a school community.  Thankfully, Mr. Lonergan has stepped in just at the right time to remind us of our ethos: to be, like St. Conleth himself, the moulders of young men (and women) in the lay Catholic tradition. Mr. Lonergan organised and led a group of TY boys and Fifth Year girls down to the RDS for a special Catholic Youth Gathering in honour of the Pope Francis-declared Year of Divine Mercy.  The event was friendly and casual but also moving and meaningful and included inspirational music, personal testaments by Meath Carlin and Richard Moore, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a Mass celebrated by the Papal Nuncio, Rev. Charles Brown.  Below you see the students involved pausing for reflection under the cherry trees in Herbert Park and then meeting Rev. Brown.  It is great to see a word religion make the news in the name of Mercy!

TYs and Fifth Years enjoy the cherry blossoms of Herbert Park en route to a Catholic Youth convention at the RDS.
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Easy Riders

Instructor Noel is delighted with the cycling skills of our 6th Formers at the CycleSafe class every Thursday. Spatial constraints in the yard mean that the obstacle course is necessarily tight which really puts a premium on skill. The pupils using their own wheels are noticeably more cautious than the boys doing wheelies on the bikes provided by Noel while his back is turned. Negotiating the rockery and garden as part of the course next week will give the boys an idea of the smoothness of the ride on the cycle lane of the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway.

PJ Lynch Keeps First Years in Their Seats!

Yes, our First Years have a reputation for being energetic and  ‘spirited,’  full of positive energy which occasionally gets out of control… but there was not a murmur or twitch from the lot when noted author, illustrator and Conlethian Dad, PJ Lynch, came in to give presentation on his impressive body of work.  PJ has illustrated the books of some of the best-known contemporary Irish authors, including Eoin Colfer and Derek Landy (both on the new Junior Cycle text list), and was co-creator of the million-copy-selling The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. He now writes as well as illustrates and his first ‘solo’ book, The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, is a masterpiece, if the slides which he showed the boys are anything by which to judge.   Perhaps he will the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for a third time!  PJ stunned the boys (and us) with his art but he also entertained us with his tales from the inside of the publishing world- including the not so equal split in labour between author and artist! Check out samples of his work below and visit his website .

 

Parent Associations’ Stylish Soirée

The luxurious setting was the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire and the Conlethian parents came with the fashion to match.  The fare was robust as well as genteel with an old-fashioned hog roast the centre-piece and an array of haute cuisine making up the surrounding buffet.  But the stunning style and gourmet gastronomy were only the appetisers to the real event: the easy, friendly mixing of St. Conleth’s parents and the accompanying conversation and craic.  It is no coincidence that the same cozy yet exciting atmosphere is the most defining attribute of the school, itself.  Well done to saints Peter and Paul and all the PA Committee members on another smashing success!

 

 

Click here for more photos from Paul Allen on the PA Facebook Page.

 

Leinster? Checkmate! …. Ireland? Checkmate! … The World?

The Junior School trophy cabinet is almost entirely reliant on our “A” chess team to be regularly replenished with silverware. They were at it again on Saturday last as they retained their crown as the premier schools chess team in the country when they won the All-Ireland ChessForAll tournament for the second year running, swatting aside 38 other schools from all over the island in the process. This remarkable team have already been crowned Leinster Primary Schools League champions for the first time in the school’s history and there is no sign that their appetite has been sated yet. Seán, Eoin, Richard and Jamie were able to show off their trophies to the many visitors at the Open Day the following day in the school. They even set up their boards in the chess room but unsurprisingly didn’t get too many challengers to take them on. They now have put camaraderie( and brotherly love!) aside temporarily as the internal school competition starts this week. It will be interesting. Well done boys!

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Calling All Writers! Let the Competitions Truly Begin!

***Deadlines extended, for both Junior and Senior Writing Competitions, till Sunday, May 8th. Get those stories in!*** 

Despite the points bonus for LC Higher Maths, and the general mania for all things scientific, calculable and reducible, it is still the arts, and particularly literature, for which Ireland is well known abroad.  When that alien race eventually does contact us and ask for representative emissaries, joining the German engineer, the American entrepreneur and the Swiss banker will be the Irish writer- and it could be you!  Dr. Fallon is masterminding two separate competitions this year for the English Department:  the Kevin D. Kelleher Writing Competition for the Junior School and the soon-to-be-eponymised Senior School Competition.  Check out the rules here  (Junior Competition, Senior Competition) and get writing!  In the meantime, we will leave you with a tantalising excerpts from last year’s winners.

From ‘The Dream’, last year’s Junior winner Joshua McCormack’s short story:  Upon entering my legs felt as heavy as lead. I immediately saw his unoccupied chair; his coat and hat hanging on an elaborate wooden stand and unfinished papers lying scattered across his desk. The brown curtains were mostly closed as a mark of respect, with a tiny chink of light filtering through illuminating his chair. The room was as silent as the grave as even the ancient oak grandfather clock had been stopped. I collapsed into a chair and recalled a dream he had told me he had of his own death… (full story)

From ‘Empty Mirrors’ by last year’s Senior winner Rían Boyle: I have spent far too long sitting on the old, cracked red leather couches in therapists’ waiting rooms. After a time, one begins to notice they share a similar musk, as if they had all been bought from the same grimy antique shop. The plastic benches that litter the hallways of hospitals have also garnered that same contempt. Far too often I have sat and waited to hear the same results, that their tests have shown nothing or that I’m a particularly difficult case… (full story, as published in the Irish Times)

 

Nothing Sheepish About Our Open Day!

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No, though there certainly was a family of rambunctious ruminants rampaging through the hallways of the school, there is absolutely nothing sheepish about our Juniors’ preparations for their upcoming Open Day (click).  Mr. Kilcommons is leading a mighty team of teachers in the herculean preparations for the event, so please do come down and see all we have to offer this Sunday, April 17th, from 2-4.  Oh yes, the sheep? Just one example of the hands-on approach we take to education (and fun) at St. Conleth’s.  Kind sheep-farmers James and John Engman brought their ewes and lambs, Salt and Pepper, in for a visit.  It is amazing how therapeutic a rub of a soft, downy fleece is, and it is amazing how useful a conversation starter it is when a sheep barrels past the door of your Leaving Cert oral! Un mouton!  ¡un cordero!


					

All Aboard! The Parents Associations’ Social Event is Tonight!

St. Conleth’s parents are tireless in their support of the school, from concerts to fundraisers to chaperoning excursions to classroom presentations, and they deserve a night of their own, where they can just enjoy each other’s company and perhaps do a wee bit of networking.  Our intrepid PA Chairmen, Paul Allen and Peter O’Neill, have arranged a Social Event for both Junior and Senior School Parents in the salubrious setting of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.  Judging by the mouth-watering details below, it seems sure to be a hit, so get in there early to assure your place!

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Co-Education: St. Conleth’s Style!

Mr. Kelleher has been at St. Conleth’s almost since its founding in 1939 and he has witnessed the school changing with the times yet remaining true to its original purpose and calling.  One change for the better began over 4o years ago when girls were first admitted into Fifth and Sixth Year in the Senior School.  At first it was just so girls could avail themselves of the Science subjects not taught in their schools, but soon the Chemistry between Conlethian boys and girls was undeniable and they were clearly here to stay.  Now, decades later we have made the next leap and opened our doors to girls in Junior Infants and, next September, to all our classes throughout the Junior and Senior Schools.  Last year we had a special evening marking 4o Years of Co-Education at St. Conleth’s and this year we commissioned a video by Rachel Fehily and Evan Flynn to highlight the strengths of co-education, especially at St. Conleth’s.  As you can see above, gender does not matter at all at St. Conleth’s and our girls and boys mix with ease and grace…. well, that is, until Mr. K moves the girls to the front of the line at the Tuck-shop!  Also check out our “Girls at St. Conleth’s” page and  if you have a younger daughter, sister or niece, bring her down to our Junior School Open Day this Sunday to see how vibrant a part girls (and boys!) play at St. Conleth’s.

Communion Class Take Next Holy Step

The front steps of 28 Clyde Road have always been a favourite spot for the photographic capture of significant moments in the lives of Conlethians but we have to admit that those arrayed in smiling ranks have not always been the purest in mind and motive, such as the Sixth Years pausing briefly after their Graduation ceremony before a raucous night of celebration.  How refreshing to have a chance then to take the snap below, of surely the most angelic little boys in Greater Dublin!

Second Form get ready for their First Holy Communion this Saturday.

Full credit to Ms. Leary, their parents and the boys themselves for preparing so well. Below you see just some of the hard work that has been put in to make this day as special as it should be.  And now, the long-awaited day is here!  Tomorrow, Fr. Michael Collins will celebrate the mass in St. Mary’s, Haddington Road at 10am. The Junior School Choir will sing at the mass, having gone from strength to strength under Ms. Hartnett in this, their maiden year. After the ceremony, all the candidates’ parents will meet to chat over a cup of tea and a slice of a very special cake (see below) back at the school where the Third Class parents are providing a tasty spread for everyone . The boys will have their photos taken by the school photographer as they arrive back at St. Conleth’s on these very steps, having taken a holy step of their own!  The stretch limos and ice sculptures of the Celtic Tiger years may be long gone, but First Holy Communion is still a very big day at St. Conleth’s.

 

 

 

Calling all Sailors!

The Senior School’s recent sailing success at the Leinster Championships was in part due to the participation of Trevor Bolger, a brave Sixth Former who competed well above his age level and enabled the St. Conleth’s team to take Fourth in their first ever competition.  Well, there is the potential for a full ship’s crew joining Trevor as  5th and 6th Form sailors are heading back out on the high seas at the end of April when the summer block of sailing starts in the RSGYC (details). The sailing course has been a tremendous success and once again places are limited, so please log on to EasyPay on the website front-page to ensure your place on a boat.

 

Serve’s Up!

After the success of our chess players and sailors recently, it is the turn of our tennis players to take centre stage as they begin their Leinster Primary School’s League this week. New age grade rules mean that we have to hold back some of our talented players from Third Form until next year but we still have a nice mix of experienced and rookie players. Players who didn’t get selected for the school team will still get a chance to show their talent later in the term in Mr. Keenan’s class tournaments. The fixtures can be viewed by clicking here.  Until we get some new season snaps, check out some of our tennis players from last year:

I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons.  ~Yannick Noah

Port Out, Starboard Home for St. Conleth’s Sail Team!

Conlethians have been sailing for generations.  It just kind of goes with the ‘sons and daughters of Catholic gentlemen’ territory.  And Conlethians have been sailing competitively just as long: one of our early alums, Archibald ‘Archie’ Winslow-Wilson, actually sailed with the famous skipper Briggs Cunningham on the Columbia when he wrenched the America’s Cup from colonial hands in ’58.  And throughout the subsequent years, individual Conlethians such as Cian Cahill have parted the winds and wave with skill and style en route to sailing glory.  But over this Easter break, St. Conleth’s and sailing were linked in a new and exciting way as a mixed-age team from the school competed in its first ever race and finished tied for third in the Leinster Schools Sailing Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.   On the ‘count-back’, we slipped into fourth but it truly was an amazing finish for a group of youngsters competing as a team for the first time.  Old salts from Sixth Year, Paddy Cahill and Richard Hogan, were joined in this maritime endeavour by the powerful Pettitt brothers, Sean and Simon, and eager youngsters Harry and Trevor.  It is perhaps no coincidence that under Head of Sport Gavin Maguire sailing has become a mainstay of both the Junior and Senior Schools’ extracurriculars (Sr, Jr).

 

*Terms and Conditions Do Not Apply!

We are used to being wary of ‘free’ offers: there always seems to be an asterisk which leads to a labyrinth of ‘terms and conditions’ that leave the consumer feeling confused and disappointed.  The St. Conleth’s Easter Camp, however, was truly free, with no terms, conditions or asterisks attached!  Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Class students, many of whom are already signed up for the senior school, were invited to a Mr. Bolger-designed cornucopia of sport, art, music and fun.  There was a great variety of activities on offer, proving that you actually can prove all of the people at least some of the time!  Gav Maguire, incredibly spry for having just returned from Oz, and Alex O’Brien from the Junior School designed a challenging but friendly mix of ballgames for the grass and astro down at Herbert Park, ably assisted by student helpers Ross, Nicolas and Jamie.  Ms. de Bhal managed to convey the art of ukulele-playing in one fun-filled session up in the Music Room.  Ms. Kelly welcomed all the happy campers into Aladdin’s Cave, also known as our Art Room, where framed paintings and Easter eggs were on the agenda.  Mr. Latvis got them moving again playing basketball in the school gym and we made sure that they all got a taste of a St. Conleth’s specialty: Past Pupil Conor White held a debating workshop up in the Conference Room.  It was a fun-filled few days and we hope the campers all skipped away, feeling a bit more Conlethian!

 

 

 

Seachtain Gaeilge: Stíl St. Conleth’s!

Combine ‘Seachtain Gailge’ with the 1916 Centenary Celebrations and even a school which lies at the top of Waterloo and Wellington Roads comes out ‘all Irish’!  Not that our Irish Department has ever been shy about celebrating our native language and heritage: for years they have been providing enough ceol agus craic to fill the school year, let alone just a double-seachtaine!  But this massive Easter break is advancing like the yeomen on Vinegar Hill, so both our Junior and Senior School teachers have had to cram i bhfad ncos  into just a few days: the páistí beaga all gathered in the sports-hall for Tráth Na gCeist , answering (sometimes hilariously) about everything Irish from the MacBride to Macklemore while the déagóirí took part in their own table quizzes on Irish themes and then got off their tóin to boogie in class-specific céilí (Fay/Kirwan productions) and take part in the traditional poc fada at Herbert Park, a noted gathering spot for dangerous Fenians.  In Sixth Year, Simon Ghose was the winner, with Michael McKay and Maryrose Counihan just behind him, in a competition that was so intense it made a Tipp-Kilkenny final look like a friendly!  And Nicolas Foreau and Sarah Spratt, two names redolent of Gaelic culture, won in Fifth Year.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Forget! Easter Basketball Camp!

Join St. Conleth’s Basketball Coach Eoin Noctor at the Easter Basketball Camp he runs through his club, UCD-Marian.  All ages are catered for, and alumni include Dublin and Conleth’s player Luke Gilleran.

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PA Associations Newsletter: Bigger and Better Than Ever!

We have our very own saints Peter and Paul at St. Conleth’s and like the originals they lead a loyal and enthusiastic group of disciples: we are talking about Paul Allen and Peter O’Neill, of course, and their band of involved, industrious parents in the St. Conleth’s Parents Associations.  Here is there latest Newsletter, and remember you can always find out more about the PAs under their very own page on this website or their own Facebook Page.

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Leinster Chess Champions!

Mr. Kilcommons, principal and ace weekend reporter, sends this back from the latest Junior School field of glory:

Saturday, the 12th of March, was a red letter day for chess in St. Conleth’s Junior School, as the school announced itself as a force to be reckoned with on the Leinster Schools Chess circuit. Our “A” and “B” teams were both leading their divisions coming in to the annual Finals Day held in St Catherine’s Donore Avenue. The “A” team got to keep their points total already accumulated but had to play three of the top four teams on the last day. The “B” team were involved in a straight knock out quarter final, semi and final if they could get that far. Their fearsome reputation may have preceded them as CUS failed to show up for the quarter final leaving the path somewhat less daunting. Our A team beat St. Andrew’s Malahide 3-1 but the top of the table was now becoming quite congested. The “B” team faced a very tough challenge from hosts St Catherine’s “B” but managed to come through a 2-2 draw after the 4th board result was discounted. The “A” team were involved in a very tough 2-2 draw with St Mary’s Junior School Rathmines which only added to the congestion at the top of the leader board. As the rest of the schools melted away from the hall, we were left with a Division 2 Final between St Conleth’s “B” and Hollypark Boys and just a few metres away our “A” team playing hosts St Catherine’s “A” in a winner takes last round fixture with St Conleths a half point ahead of their opponents. Despite the nervous energy from staff and parents, the players themselves were positively serene as we came to what Alex Ferguson famously called ‘squeaky bum time’.

 

Andrew and Daniel posted victories for the “B” team but unfortunately they were on the wrong side of the 4th board discounting rule in the event of a tie. Their disappointment was somewhat tempered by the knowledge that had already won promotion to the first division next year. All eyes now turned to the “A” team where Richard had posted a very quick victory. The second point which secured overall victory fittingly went to Sean at Board 1. St Conleth’s were now Leinster Primary Schools Chess Champions for the first time in its history. At the prize giving Lukasz Goralski, the tournament co-ordinator, made special mention of the two Hunter brothers who only dropped 2.5 points over the 9 game season. Jamie lost his only match all season in the dead rubber after the title had been sealed, while Richard came up trumps when he was needed most in the final round. A big thank you to Gillian, who took charge of the fixtures this year. With two teams in Division 1 next year, there may be room for a third team in the second division. Onwards and upwards and well done to all!

Sixth Form Almost Ready for Confirmation

Bodies and brains, but authorities no less than St. Augustine, St. Conleth and Principal Kilcommons agree that the spirit also needs appropriate guidance and development:

The St. Conleth’s 2016 candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation are almost at the end of their journey as the big day approaches. Three preparatory Masses in St. Mary’s Haddington Rd. during the course of this academic year led to parents and pupils coming together on Thursday 10th of March in the conference room for the Ceremony of Light. The room itself was transformed by Ms. Kelly, as only she can, with the candle light and stained glass lending itself to a deeply spiritual atmosphere. Ms. Hartnett had the musical and choral pieces beautifully prepared as always with the boys, while Mr Hickey who performed the ceremony had a very attentive audience from young and older alike. A big thank you to Dr. Fallon who has prepared the boys so diligently up to now. On Wednesday 16th, the candidates will be immaculate in their school blazer and rosettes.  They will be photographed on the school steps and will then walk down to the church to be met by their parents and sponsor where they will be confirm their faith.  One leg of a long journey of faith in which the school plays a vital role.

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Of Bikes and Books: ‘Whole Child’ Education in Action!

Principal Tony Kilcommons takes the holistic emphasis of St. Conleth’s education philosophy seriously and strives hard to cater to both the academic and the ‘life skills’ needs of his charges.  Here are his own reports on two contrasting, but equally important, recent events at St. Conleth’s Junior School: 

Noel from the Cycle Safe programme called in to 6th Form to begin their block of workshops to prepare the pupils for all eventualities when cycling on the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway. It was all theory on their first day, but Noel will be bring the boys around the school carpark after Easter in an effort to replicate the real thing.  It was great to see the boys’ zeal for an activity that did not involve a screen.  It is important for them to learn that when something happens when on a bike, you just can’t hit ‘replay’!

 

Thursday, the 3rd of March, was International Book Day. You would think that the Junior School pupils would not pass up this opportunity to dress up and generally let their hair down, yet the Junior School resembled a ghost town on this date as our pupils headed off singing at the Corfheile (4th-6th Form) and Fighting Words Creative Writing Workshop (2nd and 3rd Form). (See separate reports!) Not to be denied, the pupils simply dressed up as their favourite literary character the next day and so we were met by Huckleberry, Scrooge, Darth Vader and about twenty Harry Potters on Friday morning.  It was great to see that our parents and teachers are still inculcating a love of the written word in their children despite the competing temptations of this digital age. Well done to all!

 

 

 

 

Open Day! Come See What We Do in the Junior School!

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And we certainly do a lot!  Open Day is set for Sunday, April 17th (click for flyer), but we might need an ‘Open Week’ to show even a small portion of the stuff that we do in the Junior School, considering what has been happening in just the last few days:

  • Second and Third Forms attended a creative writing workshop today titled “Fighting Words.” It was a brilliant day and our pupils learned loads about story composition and, to top it all off, each student received a copy of their own very book. One of the results was ‘The UFO and His Best Friend Jacinta the Talking Pair of Pants! Ryan Boyle and Ruben Grace, two of our literary award winners, better watch out, with this talent on the rise!
  • Second Form also completed a special project (seen below) in preparation for their First Holy Communion, and still found time to learn about ‘Waves’ during an entertaining and informative, hands-on science presentation.
  • Third Form were spellbound by the visit of a special, professional Storyteller and then got to cuddle up with Clyde, a real, live guinea pig!
  • David Meredith L.I.B.S.D., Director of the Irish Board of Speech and Drama, was one of two examiners who spent the day in the Junior School as each student presented the pieces they had been rehearsing for the last number weeks with drama teacher Pat Howe. David was very impressed with the standard and especially the 5th and 6th Formers who had the confidence to act out unprepared improvisational pieces.
  • The St. Conleth’s ‘A’ Chess Team beat Star of the Sea in a local derby, the perfect warm-up for the approaching finals.

Well done to all, and please save some energy for the Open Day!

 

 

 

Junior Sport Update: Basketball and Fencing

All this hullabaloo about the SCT has led us to almost neglect the sporting prowess of the Junior Conlethians.  Well the wee Conlethians continue to muck about on the rugby pitch, splash in the pool, serve and volley over the nets and, most recently, hoop it up and fence.  Kathryn Grace reports first on the basketball adventures:

St. Conleth’s College took part in the AIJS Basketball Tournament held in Castle Park School today against teams such as St. Michaels, Terenure, St. Mary’s, St. Gerard’s and St. Andrew’s… The boys more than held their own with a super team of energetic and optimistic athletes but sadly they were defeated at the end of the day (not that you’d have known by their smiles while having an impromptu rugby session in the car park afterwards!) Thank you to Mr Keenan for coaching this group of potential NBA stars who were entirely delighted to have been a part of the afternoon fun. Thanks also to Castle Park for hosting the event and providing refreshments afterwards. Some photos of the boys and their warm up with Mr Keenan… before the games get serious! ( Ed.: Perhaps some of these boys would be interested in the Easter Basketball Camp, detailed below?)

 

And the latest from Robert Andrew Smyth on our fencers:

The Conleth’s boys performed exceptionally once again in Round 4 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. James and Luke reached the Semi Final stage and both achieved Bronze; James was especially pleased as this means he keeps his medals per round at 100%. Myles battled exceptionally well through 11 Pool matches in the Mixed Under 10s, and only went out by the narrow margin 6 /9 in the Direct Eliminator. 

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You Can be Like Luke and Play for Dublin!

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First Year Luke Gilleran has been chosen for a prestigious team of Dublin All-Stars, due to play in an international tournament in Belgium this May.  All the players come from top clubs in the greater Dublin area and Luke is no different: he plays for UCD-Marian, as well as being the anchor of St. Conleth’s First Year Team.  And there is no coincidence that his coach for both school and club is Eoin Noctor.  When Eoin was a student himself at St. Conleth’s he was known to be conscientious, polite and hard-working and he has channelled these qualities into coaching, with obvious success:  We recently watched this U16s snatch the SDBL title and his First and Second Years are re-establishing St. Conleth’s on the basketball scene.  Luke and his fellow First Years have beaten Colaiste Eoin, Holy Child and the High School, and lost to the formidable Pres-Bray at the buzzer.  Colin Bolger has been to the forefront in the front-court with Luke but Mark Connor and Ted O’Kelly are rising stars.  Second Years, led by Jamie MacMahon and Michael Cook, have beaten Marian, Benildus’s, Killian’s and the High School, with Suyash Patidar and Jack Doyle providing the stylish guard play.  So, how do you be like Mike….or Luke?  Come down to training at the school and over Easter attend the camp which Eoin runs for UCD-Marian.  Check out the flyer here, and contact him directly at eoin.noctor@gmail.com or 0857313992.  Get ballin’!

TYs Make Their Mark: Here, Abroad and On-Line

More details soon to follow on our Transition Year Information Night on April 7th, but in the meantime we shall update you on what has been keeping the boys busy: Our Build-a-Bank team, ‘Bank to the Future’ proudly finished in the top eight at the AIB competition’s regional final. Well done to all those involved, especially David Loftus, Garret Ivers, Hugh Etchingham-Coll and Conor Power, whom we see making their presentation below.  And one of our hardest working TYs, Michael Li, ha just returned from China, having travelled there to celebrate the New Year with his extended family.  A blizzard complicate the festivities, but Michael did get to attend the world premier of the new Kung Fu Panda movie.  He is back now and ready to resume his duties as Official School Photographer.  Also back are the rest of our TYs who have returned from various Work Experience postings around Dublin and beyond.  Check out their stories, and all TY news by visiting the TY page under Senior School Curriculum and the students own Transition Year Blog.  And keep the evening of April 7th free!

Champions! SCT Win the McMullen Cup, 41-0, with Style and Substance

Tweet it. Snapchat it. Instagram it.  Go ahead.  But it really isn’t necessary.  This day, this match was not one of those all too common moments of interest which are instantly captured, ridiculously magnified and granted a spectacular but ephemeral glory- forgotten when someone posts an animal doing something cute or a person doing something stupid.  This day, for Gav Maguire and his SCT, and for the whole St. Conleth’s community, past and present, will take a proud and pre-eminent place in the memory, impervious to the vagaries of our contemporary, attention deficit culture.

We will do our best, but there were just too many memorable moments to capture or mention:  The calm but determined visages of the boys as they prepared for the biggest battle of their lives….  Gav and Michael Hassett, hovering on the sidelines like Mercedes engineers at the assembly plant, fine-tuning their rugby-playing machines…  Brendan Connor, Sean Bortolozzo, Finn Mulcahy and Colin Duffy scoring scintillating tries… The incredible support of students, staff, parents and alumni- taking Donnybrook Stadium away from the big boys of rugby, for at least one day… Ben Doggett kicking conversions from angles which even Paddy and Simon could not measure with their ever-present Maths Sets… And perhaps most tellingly in regards to the care and concern with which Gav has moulded both the skills and the morals of these young men, Captain Kevin Dolan repeatedly and flawlessly leading his team like a mobile colossus up and down the pitch, but straying several yards offside in the waning moments to to help up a fallen opponent, overcome by the enormity of his defeat.  We will let the pictures tell a bit more of the story, but if you were there you don’t really need them to remember one of the proudest days in St. Conleth’s history.

St. Conleth’s: From the Inside and Out

Godsil Education, No 44 Lower Leeson St, Dublin 2

All future (and potential) Senior School parents are invited to the school tonight for a special talk by Arthur Godsil on the unique experience that is a St. Conleth’s education.  Mr. Godsil is the power behind Godsil Education (link), Ireland’s premier educational consultancy.  A frequent media commentator, keynote presenter and consultant on international and domestic educational matters, Mr. Godsil is committed to a strengths-based educational philosophy and in St. Conleth’s he has found the perfect manifestation of his beliefs.  Our Senior School Principal, Mr. Donal ODulaing, will join Arthur in presenting the St. Conleth’s model within this broader context and in answering specific questions which current Junior parents may have about the school years ahead.  And if you want to see the happy results of a strength-based educational philosophy at the secondary level, just scroll down the Senior School news page!

About us- pic of Principal

Junior Chess Teams’ Last Tune-Up Before Finals

Junior School Chess Team A

Chess has a proud history at St. Conleth’s and our current Junior School teams are certainly worthy of that tradition.  We have two teams at the top of the standings heading into Finals Day on March 12th, and both have one more tune-up before the big day.  The Chess B team are playing St. Catherine’s B team this Wednesday at 1.30 in St. Conleths.  (To be fair to the so-called ‘B’ Team, being a B chess player at St. Conleth’s is making to being a bench player at Barcelona!)  And the Chess A team are playing Star of the Sea at 1.30 on Thursday, also in St. Conleth’s.  On a separate but related note, Sean Hunter has been selected for the U-14 Irish Chess panel, and his brother Eoin has been selected for the U-12 panel!  Well done to both and to Richard Sheahan and his father, Mike, who came in second at an Alex Baburin-run parent & child competition during the midterm break.  Enjoy the rugby tomorrow but remember that we have warriors of all kinds at St. Conleth’s!
Junior School Chess Team B

Time To Get Your Green (and Black) On!

The rugby world has taken notice: Gav Maguire’s  SCT are a force with which to be reckoned as the pitches of Leinster are littered with the spent hulks of supposed rugby powers which have been left by the wayside on this glorious and historic march to the McMullen Cup Final.  The Leinster Illuminati will be there (Read their preview official preview here).  Mr. Kelleher will be there, taking attendance.  You need to be there, too!  3:00 kick-off at Donnybrook Stadium, this Tuesday, the 23rd.  All the current Conlethians will be out in force, and we are calling on parents and alumni to join us.

 

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It was 1986 when St. Conleeth’s last won this cup.  It was not a great year for music, with Chris de Burgh ruling the Irish charts and ‘Mr. Mister’ placing three songs in the year-end American top ten.  But there was some inspiration deeper in the charts that year, as St. Conleth’s SCT hit their opponents like a ‘sledgehammer’ and the team’s movement on the pitch was ‘like a chain reaction’, leaving their fans on ‘the edge of heaven’ and ‘taking their breath away’.   The 2016 version will have their own chosen tunes pumping through their Beats as they get psyched for the biggest match of their lives.  Do not be mistaken.  This is it.  ‘The Final Countdown’ starts now!

You’ve Got A Friend in We!

We have perused the calendar and figured out that there is not a single week left in the year that has not been co-opted for some higher purpose.  We had our eye on the second week in November but it turns out that it is Amphibian Awareness Week.  The search goes on…  However, there is one designated ‘week’ which would warm the heart of even the most crotchety old cynic: Friendship Week, and you are currently right in the middle of it!  So, if you getting some unusual smiles from strangers while waiting for the 46A, do not worry, it is just because it is Friendship Week!  And Ms. Leary and Second Form want to make sure Conlethians take notice and perhaps even make a positive difference amongst their ever-widening circle of friends and the wider world.  They are selling Friendship braces to one-and-all to raise awareness of how little it takes to bring a smile to someone’s face and all profits are going to Amnesty International, the NGO which works tirelessly for the release of political prisoners and other victims of unjust persecution around the world.  The students are running the tax-exempt business all by themselves!

 

 

In Dogs We Trust!

The Egyptians may have worshipped cats but too many of us subscribe to the Edith Wharton description of ‘snakes in fur’ and frankly, if we did invite a cat to meet 150 excited, poky, drooling children, do you think it would show up? Now, dogs are different… loyal, warm, licky, incredibly easy to please: what more could you want?   Just ask Fiona, the engaging representative of Dogs’ Trust, who came by yesterday with Ollie the Boxer to teach the Junior School students about proper pet stewardship.  The Q & A session was very informative and we all learned lots about the responsible care of dogs (and the sometimes strange workings of the six-year-old-mind).  Both Fiona and Ollie were big hits with the kids and the staff and we hope to have them back again!

 

Second Formers Blitz the Big Boys of Rugby!

As you can see from the pictures, Mr. Maguire’s tough and uncompromising Second Formers were more than a match for the traditional rugby powerhouses at the annual St. Mary’s JS blitz held in Rathmines last Saturday morning. The signs for next year were very encouraging as they followed Mr. Maguire’s “Total Rugby” doctrine throughout the morning with only isolated instances of mud balls being made midmatch and players being very upset because their hands were cold.  Well done to Gav, all the parents who came out to support and the boys themselves!

 

 

Junior Schoolers Star in Blanch and Paris!

Yes, our Junior Schoolers choose the most elegant of locales for their athletic endeavour!  Jude Moes from Fourth Form gained a Personal Best in the All-Ireland Minor Schools Swim on Sunday in the National Aquatic Centre, dropping his entry time by 1.6 seconds. He was understandably thrilled with his swim.  Jude was modelling our new, bespoke St Conleth’s swim hat which is sure to be a “to die for” fashion item around the pools of South Dublin for the foreseeable future. The caps are on sale from each classroom for 10 euro per cap.

And James Moriarity-Smyth had a ball at the Paris Fencing Academy. He was the youngest by quite a margin so he was fencing 15 to 17 year old opponents for the last few days. All-in-all a splendid experience – pas mal!

 

 

 

Sorry… I’m out of film.

Do you remember the family occasions of old, when the whole clan had to be cajoled, threatened and manhandled into some semblance of apparent joy on the sofa in the good room, and the paterfamilias would threaten terrible things with his eyebrows until he decided there were enough opened eyes and unturned faces to commit the moment to celluloid history?  Ms. Coleman and her Fourth Formers are too young to remember such pre-digital holiday horrors themselves, but last week they completed a remarkable project in which they explored the history of cameras and photography, getting at least a taste of what it was like before every waking moment was effortlessly recorded by the flick of a phone.  Of course, we are no longer counting film exposures or film cubes so we have plenty of pics of the boys poking around with the Polaroids, as well as joining Third Form for more Maths fun with IZAK-9:

 

Sixth Form Share a Common GOAL with Syria

Sixth Form were delighted to welcome Louise and Alia from Goal today who presented a workshop on the charity’s work in Syria and the migrant crisis associated with the war currently being waged there. The workshop was a follow on from  Ruben Grace’s recent winning of the GOAL Write the Future creative writing competition which was a national competition and a great achievement for Ruben and the school. Ruben was presented with a beautiful statue to mark his achievement. Local community newspaper News Four were there to record the event with the clearly impressed journalist conducting an interview with Ruben.

After initial project work in groups in the classroom, Sixth Form then settled in to the computer room for a live Skype call from Syrian National Alia to her compatriot Mohammed who is currently helping GOAL in the border region between Turkey and Syria, having had to flee the conflict and leave his family behind. A clearly emotional Mohammed explained to the boys the pain of having to leave both his family and his Master’s studies in Chemical Engineering behind and the great hardships that ordinary Syrians have had to endure. It hopefully will leave a lasting impression on the boys. The pupils then presented their Powerpoint projects on Syria to the GOAL workers and at the end of the day expressed their sincere thanks to the GOAL representatives for an eye-opening workshop that will be very beneficial to the boys.

Senior Infants Have Been Very Busy…

…but we have been neglecting them!  Apologies to Ms. Murphy and the boys but we had outsourced certain of our heavier journalistic duties to foreign lands with more pliable labour laws and though we knew ‘Senior Infants’ had gone to a bidder in one of the -stan countries, we could not remember which one!  But, at long last, we recently received a package to our door with as many stamps on it as the passport of Paddington Bear.  And inside was this treasure-trove of photographs, some of which may be a bit dated but surely there is no expiration date on the smiles of happy children!

Junior and Senior Infants at Dublin Zoo:

 

Senior Infants Enjoying Aistear through Lego

 

Next Stop: The Maths Station 

 

At the English Station and in the Library

 

On an Autumn Walk

 

 

 

Juniors Have Fun With Air, Snow and….Maths?

Ms. Leary’s Second Formers saw how cool the Sixth Year Math Team looks and decided to do some quantitative analysis themselves.  Enter the IZAK9…and exit the boring, old Maths ‘Magic’!  Ms. Dillon’s Third Formers took it to the Physics-al side: Their air pressure experiment used string, balloons and tape to create rockets which they had great fun racing and had great fun experimenting with Insta-Snow,  the first and original instant snow polymer that actually erupts, creating some impressive snowmen.  All that brain-freeze necessitated a PE class spent running an obstacle course at Herbert Park.  Third Form also said their fond (temporary) farewells to Ricky, who returns to Italy till next September.  Ciao!

Second Form Revving Up For First Rugby Match!

Inspired by the SCT’s astounding success this season, the Junior School rugby teams are also making their marks.  Here we see Second Form gearing up for their first ever official match, to be played this Saturday against St. Mary’s College.

Conlethians Support The Caroline Foundation

There is not a family in the country that has not been affected by cancer, and the St. Conleth’s family is no exception.  Many students and staff  have had to confront the disease in support of their loved ones and some have even battled it themselves.  In recognition of this, all of St. Conleth’s will band together this Wednesday, February 3rd, in support of the Caroline Foundation which funds research into a cure for cancer.  Please send your child to school with 2€ on that day so that he or she can take part in Ribbon Day and help St. Conleth’s do its part in the fight against cancer.

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Link to PDF of Poster

Junior Fencers Knighted in Dalkey

Two sets of brothers from St Conleth’s fencing fraternity performed extremely well on Saturday at the Excalibur Cup in Dalkey. Luke Sherlock took Gold in the Under 11 Mixed Foil while younger brother Mathew along with Myles Moriarty-Smyth achieved Bronze in the Under 9 Mixed Foil.  Myles’ older brother James took Bronze in the Under 13 Mixed Foil so maintaining his enviable record of a medal place at every competition this season.

 

Children of Destiny!

The Defence Forces Flag team which consisted of Lt. Áine McDonagh and Corp. Dermot O’Leary visited the school this morning to present the Irish Flag to one of our students on behalf of the school and to read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic to both the Junior and Senior School student body and staff in attendance in the school Hall. James O’Neill, a pupil in 4th Form read out paragraph four of the proclamation. There was a brief explanation of the history and meaning of our flag and the protocol for flying, displaying and the placing of the flag which our pupils found fascinating. After a brief Q&A session Ámhran na bhFiann was sung by the assembled pupils and staff and Mr. Kelleher took possession of the flag for safekeeping until it is to be raised (correctly, with our new found knowledge) outside the school in in a ceremony on the 15th of March.

 

 

Weekend Warriors II!

Choir, golf, rugby… what happened to watching Scooby Doo for four hours on a  Saturday morning?  Well, add fencing to the list of Junior Conlethian weekend activities.  James and Myles Moriarity-Smyth and Luke Sherlock were at it again, crossing swords with the best in Ireland and we are delighted to report that the St. Conleth’s contingent once again acquitted themselves with aplomb during Round 3 of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. James and Luke each took Bronze in the Boys’ Under 12s and Myles reached 5th in the Mixed Under 10s; this was no mean feat as it transpired he was incubating acute tonsillitis!  A true warrior! Here we see the boys, a bit peaked after their considerable pointing!

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TY Umbrellas: The Perfect Accompaniment to your Perambulation!

The boulevards and laneways of D4 are certainly nothing like that dreaded LUAS Red Line but they are known for a certain type of public altercation: the duelling golf umbrellas!  Picture this:  You stroll out of Roly’s with your Chai latte in one hand and your demure Leinster umbrella in the other (and perhaps a sourdough loaf under one arm) and, lo and behold, some complete gangster, surely NAMA-ed to the hilt, barges in, hollering for six macchiatos, all soy, with a fat tie and a ridiculously robust beach-sized umbrella and almost knocks you for six!  Well, it is clearly an arms race and we have the solution:

St. Conleth’s Golf Umbrellas!

  • Transition Year Mini – Company is taking pre-orders for our specially designed, superb quality, automatic opening golfing umbrellas.
  • These umbrellas are a one off limited edition item, and only a small number will be available to purchase.
  • The cost will be €35 per umbrella.
  • If you wish to place an order, please email tyminicompany@gmail.com with your name and contact details clearly displayed.
  • If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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Junior School: 24/7!

Remember when your parents would scare you with tales of foreign school systems where the poor kids went to school on Saturday and stayed in class till 5:00 everyday so they could top the Unicef Maths Tables?  Well, forget about the Japanese!  Our Junior Conlethians are busy seven days a week!  Let us just take this past weekend as an example:   On Saturday morning, Third through Sixth Forms (and their parents and coaches) were up a the crack of dawn to play rugby matches against Willow, with Third and Fifth Form winning handsomely against clearly shocked opposition!  Rugby a bit too touchy-feely for you?  Well then maybe you were busy with our golfers playing a nine hole competition in Leopardstown to finish their current coaching block on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday the Junior School Choir sang beautifully at the Commitment Mass for Confirmation in St. Mary’s Church on Haddington Rd at the main 11am Mass.  Well done to all the kids and their bleary-eyed adult attendants!

 

 

Junior Swimmers Make a Splash in the Leinster Pool

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Four of our Junior School boys posted times this year which qualified them to represent the school in the Leinster Primary Schools Swimming Gala last Saturday in Tallaght. Riccardo Rasini (5th) swam in the U-11 50 m Frontcrawl and Backstroke, Louis McGovern (4th) in the U-11 50m Breast and Backstroke and Luke Timlin(4th) in the U-10 Breast and Back.  Jude Moes swam U-11 Butterfly and Breaststroke and he qualified through to represent the school in the All- Irelands to be held in the National Aquatic Centre next month,  a great achievement.  Hopefully he will be able to show of the bespoke Conleths swim caps (see above) which have been designed and ordered and of which we are currently awaiting delivery!  Well done to all!

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Some of our Junior swimmers, en route to a gala earlier this year.

Worth Another Look II!

Our Juniors refuse to let their elders grab all the glory.  Mr. Sheridan has sent us some more photos of his Fifth Form Young Scientists, which you see below, as well as some of the comments made by the judges when they evaluated their project on dental hygiene:

‘It was a really well-researched and presented project.’
‘The children were enthusiastic, knowledgeable and interested in their project.’
‘The children explained the project very well.’

 

Juniors Get Their Teeth into the Young Scientist Competition!

Everyone loves the Young Scientist Competition: The very ‘useful’ freebies, the stroll through the culturally vibrant ‘hood of Ballsbridge, the missed classes…. and, of course, the science!  St. Conleth’s has a proud record at the competition with several entrants earning plaudits over the years, including the Zorin brothers winning the Senior Technology Section outright.  This year a group of Fifth Formers are flying the Conleth’s flag with a very interesting yet practical project on dental hygiene, inspired no doubt by the recent visit of the Dental Den to our school.  Here we see Mr. Sheridan and his Fifth Form team as well as some pics of  Ms. Dillon’s Third Form enjoying the scientific and vehicular delights of the exhibition.

SCT Hold Heads High as Castleknock Score Heart-breaking Last Minute Try

I write it out in a verse—Dolan and Doggett and Cripwell and Pogatchnick, now and in time to be,
wherever green (and black) are worn, are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.

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Those lucky enough to be counted as current Conlethians will be talking about this match for years to come: Past Pupils’ Dinners will be enlivened with first-person accounts of the day when the boys in green and black from Clyde Road and Section A rose up and very nearly beat rugby royalty, and Section C frequenters, Castleknock in the Vinnie Murray Cup.  We will leave the game report to the professionals from Leinster Rugby (see below), suffice it to say that it was a privilege to witness the way a team of well-coached and dedicated young men can galvanise the spirit of the school to such an extent that even the bitterness of sudden loss can taste like the sweetest of victories.

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From the Leinster Rugby official website:

Andrew Hobson’s injury-time try put Castleknock through to the second round of the Bank of Ireland Vinnie Murray Cup at Donnybrook on Friday.  The occasion, as much as anything, led to nerves from both sides as Castleknock’s Josh Connolly’s excellent penalty kick to touch put them inside the 22.   St Conleth’s exit strategy was all about applying pressure from fly-half Ben Doggett’s clearance. It worked. The ball was spilled and centre Nicolas Foreau’s arcing break tested ‘Knock’s defence.   Their ambition to play got the better of them when the ball hit the floor for ‘Knock lock Conor Stinson to dish out punishment on the counter carry.  Then, hooker Michael Corcoran found Jack Horgan at a lineout and the subsequent maul generated momentum and problems for St Conleth’s.   When that was ultimately fruitless, flanker Cathal Bermingham pulled his penalty slightly left of the posts in the 13th minute.  Conleth’s number eight Kevin Dolan was solid off the back of the scrum and Foreau was keen to take it up again.  Blindside Brendan Connor’s take at the front of a lineout got Conleth’s going well enough to force a penalty which Doggett whacked short of the target.

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Full-back Michael McKay turned a difficult grubber from Patrick Murtagh to profit with a sizzling break. The penalty came. Doggett went for touch in what was a better decision.Conleth’s took care of the lineout and moved the ball with confidence left-to-right and back for openside David Pogatchnik to break a tackle on his way into the right corner.  Fly-half Doggett’s conversion made it 7-0 in the 23rd minute.  The underdogs had a lead to defend. Their centre Ross Murphy wrapped Sean Gibbons up in the tackle.  They looked secure enough in defence until wing Hobson let rip down the right, cutting inside the last defender for Bermingham to square it from the conversion just short of the half-hour. Conleth’s flanker Connor hot-footed forward for Bermingham to see yellow for conceding a penalty and the lead to Doggett in the 33rd minute. It wasn’t long before Dolan was binned for his work at a ruck as the half came to a close.

Castleknock came out scolded. Bermingham’s simple penalty leveled it at 10-all from their first attack.  The northsiders were beginning to turn the territory screw until Foreau broke from deep to remind them of the danger lurking from the boys from Ballsbridge.  Captain Dolan tore through the middle. Connor was the link man. And Foreau finished with real intent. Better again, Doggett made the touchline conversion for 17-10 in the 48th minute.

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The response was swift. The ‘Knock went more direct for Bermingham to drive over from a mini-maul in the 52nd minute.  A high tackle incurred the wrath of Doggett’s right boot as the fly-half nailed another difficult penalty. This was wiped out by an immediate surge from Castleknock’s big men, replacement Liam Salmon having a snipe before James Gibney touched down for Bermingham’s extras to make it 22-20 in the 60th minute.  The back and forth continued with Pogatchnik pumping his legs and prop Robert Cripwell punching in the five points for 25-22 in the 65th minute.  Instead of kicking long, St Conleth’s wound down the clock through ball in hand rugby, the right option, until Castleknock wrestled away possession.  It triggered a series of attacks that ended with wing Hobson claiming a glorious, match-winning try.  CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE 27 ST CONLETH’S COLLEGE 25

At Donnybrook – Castleknock College 27 (A Hobson 2 tries; J Gibney try; C Bermingham try, pen, 2 cons); St Conleth’s College 25 (D Pogatchnik, N Foreau, R Cripwell try each; B Doggett 2 pens, 2 cons).

Castleknock: Cathal Lacey; Andrew Hobson, Sean Gibbons, Jamie McGaley, Nico Eastmond; Patrick Murtagh, Josh Connolly; Carl Keogh, Michael Corcoran, Gavin Murray, Jack Horgan, Conor Stinson, Darragh McNally, Cathal Bermingham (capt), Cian Clancy.

St Conleth’s: Michael McKay; Sean Bortolozzo, Ross Murphy, Nicolas Foreau, Finn Mulcahy; Ben Doggett, David McKeown; Robert Cripwell, Colin Duffy, Mati Remi, Cameron Ross-O’Reilly, Patrick Cahill, Brendan Connor, David Pogatchnik, Kevin Dolan (capt).   Replacement: Luke McKay for McKeown 60 mins.

 

SCT in Vinnie Murray Showdown with Castleknock College

You know you are approaching rugby royalty when your next opponent is the school which inspired half of the amalgamated alma mater of none other than Ross O’Carroll-Kelly himself!  Yes, Castleknock College, one of Leinster’s traditional rugby powers, is crossing the river to meet Gav Maguire’s SCT in Donnybrook at 2:00 tomorrow (Friday).  It is a big step up for St. Conleth’s but it is clear that Captain Kevin Dolan and the other boys are ready, having efficiently steam-rolled all of their Section A opposition this season.  The whole school is heading down for the match, so we encourage all our parents to come and join us: it is sure to be a historical Conlethian occasion. Admission is 2€ for children and 5€ for adults.  But don’t fret the cost: Gav has promised to stand all eligible alumni a victory pint afterwards in Kiely’s!

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Other sports news:

See below (link) details about Sailing and Karate.  Sailing starts Feb. 27th and Karate, next week, so do sign up on Easypayments (link), now!

Basketball has started up again. There will be no Basketball for 1st years tomorrow due to the SCT game.  1st and 2nd year start their league games this term. We will notify you as soon as fixtures are confirmed.

Athletics starts up on Monday, we are hoping to start the students in Irishtown Stadium. We will let you know once this is confirmed. If it is not in Irishtown it will take place in Wanderers FC.  There will be athletics meets on this term and we will let you know about these in advance.  Anyone who is interested in Athletics please come down and try it out!

Maths Magic! Cigire Refuses to Leave Rivetting Trigonometry Class!

Nevermind all that blather below about music, art, debating, chess and rugby!  We have recently received official confirmation that we are in fact is a ‘Maths School’!  Of course, we teachers of less computational subjects long suspected it: the number and size of classes, the seemingly endless supply of little pencils and plastic geometric shapes, the Maths Department company car (BMW, of course!), the banning of all but binary communication on the first floor, the slightly larger area of the Maths teachers’ lunch plates and the fact that even our pizza pies ‘r’ squared!   The problem was it would take a Maths teacher to actually add it all up: we lethargic ‘arts’ types are too busy reading and arguing about freewill and the use of the semicolon!   Well, now the almighty Department of Education and Skills has spoken and it is now quite clear that the Gentleman and Ladies of Arithmetic deserved their perks and many more!  Click here to see the full report or just look at their main findings, verbatim:

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Notice the use of the word ‘excellent’?  Inspectors avoid such words of enthusiastic endorsement like the plague, but they felt compelled to bestow them on our Maths teachers liberally.  And our inspector personally vouchsafed that she had never before seen such enthusiasm and sheer Mathematical knowledge amongst students at any other school!  Well done to the Maths Department: the solid gold, engraved compasses are on the way!

 

Christmas Spectacular 2 ! The Junior School Strikes Back!

We collectively just shelled out over $500 million to watch Episode 7 of the Star Wars saga, so why shouldn’t we expect a sequel to be just as good as the original?  The Senior School had put on quite a Yuletide show last Friday so the stakes were high,  but of course Howe and Hartnett (our Gilbert and Sullivan) were more than up to the task!  Beautiful melodies, smoothly cadenced choirs, cleverly choreographed skits and show-topping solos, with the usual bit of cross-dressing humour (a Howe trademark!) thrown in… there really was no competition.  Yes, the heart does lift when two teenagers coquettishly croon to each other on stage (Thank-you, Finn and Maryrose) but can anyone really beat a five-year old in an animal costume?  To be fair, there was a lot more work done on this production than just coaxing children into cutesy, flouncy bits and this was a team effort, as Mr. Howe and Ms. Hartnett were ably assisted by all the classroom teachers.  And Mr. Kilcommons played a blinder in his first Christmas show from the producer’s chair with Ms. Kelly once again directing the wee folk with her usual uncanny mix of efficiency and kindness.  Below you see a few snaps from the day and we may even post some video (once we painlessly remove some parents’ heads).  Well done to all involved, especially the students themselves, who proved the old maxim true, that even the average Conlethian kid needs only a small part of the stage, a few bars on the piano and a bit of a nudge… to become a star!

 

 

Grandmaster Baburin Welcomes New Year Protégés

Grandmaster and teacher Alexander Baburin, the No. 1 ranked player in Ireland.

Grandmaster Alexander Baburin is, and has been for some time, the number one ranked chess player in Ireland. We are lucky to have him in charge of after-school chess lessons in the Junior School.  His protégés dominate the amateur and professional rankings and it is no coincidence that our Junior School teams have become a dominant force in their own right.  Well, don’t stalemate and get on board! Details on how to sign up for Thursday afternoon lessons for the new Jan.-May term are here.

Minister of State Kevin Humphreys Wowed by Ruben and St. Conleth’s

As he promised, Kevin Humphreys TD, took time to stop by St. Conleth’s to meet Ruben Grace, the Sixth Former who had recently won the GOAL ‘Write the Future’ Competition.  The TD and the young epistolary star were mutually impressed and Ruben received a lovingly framed copy of his letter to go along with his trophy from GOAL. All the older Junior Forms were on hand to witness and applaud and we feel they will surely be inspired to enter (and win!) more such competitions. Click here to see more on Ruben’s impressive contribution to the ‘refugees’ debate.

 

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The Christmas Force Awakens!

In years gone by the Parents’ Association kindly treated the Junior School students to a pre-Christmas movie trip, but this year we came up with even a better idea: why not enjoy a movie in-house, thereby saving a bit of cash for other projects and yet still having a jolly old time! And we combined the event with Christmas Jumper Day which may stretch the sartorial sensitivities of some, but raises money for charity and always provides a good few laughs.  The Junior and Senior Infants watched The Flight Before Christmas on Cinemamultiomniplex Screen 1 (aka the Library). First through Fourth saw The Nativity 3 in the Conference Room and Fifth and Sixth proudly displayed our multiculturalism and tolerance of other faiths, joining the seasonal Jedi celebrations on Tatooine for Star Wars IV.  The Parents Association kindly footed the bill for refreshments, and the only way we can pay them back is through barnstorming performances next Tuesday during our annual Preparatory and Junior School Christmas Concerts!

Sixth Former Achieves Impressive GOAL! TD Takes Notice!

Dr. Fallon encouraged her Sixth Form English Class to enter a national competition, Write the Future (link), run by the world-renowned Irish development charity GOAL.   Write the Future is open to students across the country and is designed to involve young people in humanitarian issues and the work that GOAL does in the field.  This year’s theme was ‘Refugees’ and competition entrants had to write letters on the topic.  Several of Dr. Fallon’s students entered and Ruben Grace actually won the Junior Competition!  He is to receive a trophy engraved with his name and a goody bag.  Ruben’s letter emphasised the Syrian refugee crisis and was inspired by a debate which Dr. Fallon ran with the class about the topic.  In accordance with the competition, the letter was addressed (but just nominally!)  to local TD Kevin Humphreys.   The kicker is that Mr. Humphreys heard about Ruben’s victory, actually read the letter and is now coming into St. Conleth’s to meet him and the whole Junior School!  Mr. Humphreys will be here along with representatives from GOAL to honour Ruben at 2:00 this coming Monday at 2:00.  Now, that’s a Christmas-time goodwill story!  You can read Ruben’s letter and some of his classmates’ here.

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Crazy for Christmas!

It is just about at fever pitch right now at St. Conleth’s: The Senior School has wrapped up exams and attention has turned to our Christmas Jumper Day, Annual Carol Service, Kris Kindle and Year Outings.  And the whole  Junior School is just about bursting at the seems with preparations for their Christmas Concerts and the decking of the halls (and walls and hallways and doorways)  with all sorts of yuletide decorations. Below you see Ms. Hartnett rehearsing a carol with the boys, a sampling of what our Infants classes created and the other forms in the actual artistic moment with Ms. Halpin and Mr. Gleeson.  Now, who is going to take all this stuff down in the new year?

Don’t Worry, Parents! The FutureKids Are All Right!

At some point over these Christmas holidays you will find yourself looking worriedly through eggnog-addled eyes at your six-year-old child’s eyes lit up with digital joy as he is hunched over his screen-of-the-moment, inputting your Visa number and ordering a drone from Hong Kong.  But don’t worry! He probably already knows about PayPal’s no-fault returns policy and is just testing his piloting skills for a later, more significant purchase… So, who do we blame for that sinking ‘I have become a dinosaur‘ feeling in the pit of the stomach?  Mr. Travers! Yes, under his tutelage, our Junior Schoolers are quickly becoming the Jobs and Zuckermans of the next generation.  You may have to keep an eye on your current account (unless junior has already blocked you) but you can’t but be impressed by the ways in which Mr. Travers is preparing our FutureKids.   In particular, our Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Forms have been creating brilliant technology newsletter over the last few weeks in Computer Class. They both informative and eye-catching.  Below you see some sample snapshots, but you can view your son’s full masterpiece by clicking on the GoogleDrive link, Here!  Well done to all!  And remember to double-check that digital shopping basket!

Première en Irlande! St. Conleth’s Signs Contract to Host the DELF Scolaire

What exactly is happening in our French Department? They are supposed to represent a nation which proudly invented the 35-hour work week, the two hour/two bottle déjeuner and battle-tanks with only reverse gears, but here are Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley again trumping the other Conlethian academic departments, as well as all the other French teachers in Ireland! Insouciance? Non… chutzpah!  Our colleagues have somehow managed to find time to mark their exams, conduct their aurals and orals, carve some new oak wine casks for Mr. K’s extensive cellars and earn the right to be named as the first school in Ireland to host the DELF Scolaire,  the most prestigious International French programme and exam for secondary students.  Our two teachers have been sneaking away for ‘in-services’ since September and we thought they were just hunting for unpasteurised cheese but lo-and-behold they return with such an unprecedented honour for the school!  Now, Transition Years, you must brush up on that vocabulaire et grammaire, because when you get back in January, the eyes of two nations will be on you!

 

Ann Sheppard with Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley signing the DELF contract with Nathalie-Zoé Fabert (Attachée de coopération pour le français: Ambassade de France en Irlande)
Ann Sheppard with Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley signing the DELF contract with Nathalie-Zoé Fabert (Attachée de coopération pour le français: Ambassade de France en Irlande).

Click to see how Mme. Fabert announced it on Twitter:

Here in English!  Here en français!

And here is all the info on the DELP programme!

 

 

 

Junior Chess Teams Will Have a Happy New Year!

This just in, an update on our Junior Chess Teams from Gillian O’Leary:

The Conleth’s teams are having a great run in the Primary Schools Chess League so far this season.  The A team are leading Division 1, but have some tough matches to come!  The B Team are out on their own at the top of Division 2!  Fantastic results!  As both teams will be playing in the finals, please book Saturday, March 5th in your diaries. (from ~10am to 4pm!)  The A team have a couple of matches in January, but the B team’s next match isn’t until February.  Well done to all the players!  And a big thanks to all the Mums for the support, transport and supervision!

And here are the Leinster League Tables to prove it!

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“And How Marketable is that Degree in Ancient Greek?”

To be fair to Alastair Daly, one of the most dedicated and honest intellectuals ever to grace these halls, he is also studying English at Trinity, which does make that position of venture capitalist/vampire a bit more attainable.  So, why was Alastair willing to answer such tough, probing questions? Because he was invited back by Captain Hannah Collins to speak to current Fifth and Sixth Years as part of the Alumni Redux Programme in which recent graduates return to spill the beans on their university courses, helping to guide the current Conlethians with their CAO decisions.  The questions ranged from the practical to the esoteric:  What is the Maths like in Engineering?  Are Nursing students really like that?  How practical are the BESS classes?  Is it true that you undergo a procedure to remove your soul in First Year Law? ….   Vice Captains Noah Brabazon and Josh Harvey-Graham were on hand for security, just in case the girls went crazy when they heard legendary heart-throb alumnus Ross McHugh was dropping in to speak about his Business Degree and his newly started career at LinkedIn.  The more binary-oriented students flocked to Computer Scientists Owen Mooney and Matt Donnelly who gave the low-down on the high-tech and are living proof that a dedication to the Jedi Code does not preclude gainful employment.  Conan Quinn denied the Sith rumours but did admit that Law at Trinity is a challenging but ultimately rewarding arena.  James Lardner used a hypothetical model to finally put to bed the ‘Engineering at Trinity is not applied enough’ argument.  Holly Davage stressed the opportunities available in General Science and Matthew Collins, for once, let the oligarchy, patriarchy and other -archies rest, instead giving sound, practical advice about pursuing a degree in Politics.  It was an enjoyable and useful evening for all involved and plans are afoot to run something similar for Transition Years.

Weekly Canteen Menu, Holiday Style!

Each week, Senior School Parents Association Chairman (and Master of All Media) Paul Allen (amongst his many other duties) creates a lovely PDF Weekly Canteen Menu from the raw ingredients provided by Chef Mark. It always looks great, but this week’s one is bursting with Christmas cheer, so we thought it deserved pride of place! (Click here for a PDF!)

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The Madchester Trip: Conlethians Party (and spend) Like Sheikh Mansour!

Many moons ago, when on the ‘red’ side of Manchester a certain ginger midfielder was passing with aplomb and tackling with fury, and a young winger was running like the wind and exposing his chest hair with glee, a then-cub reporter of ours accompanied Mr. Shay Keenan on a Junior School trip to Paris.  Said cub reporter was an American and thought soccer was for ‘girls, sissies and foreigners’.  Said Mr. Keenan set him straight, lecturing him on the glorious history of United and its demigods.  Then they both tuned in to some footie that happened to be on the television in the eh … museum: It was the 1999 Champions League Final.  QED by Mr. Keenan and Gunnar Solskjaer.  This time around, the journey was a bit harder to stomach, for both the lads, who settled quickly settled into a ‘sweets-spew-sweets’ routine on board, and Mr. Keenan, who had to endure both a triumphant night for the nouveau riche of Maine Road and a rather ignominious drop into the Europa League for his beloved Red Devils.  Thankfully, Mr. Sheridan was also there, and his twelves hours of consistent snoring somehow soothed the soul.  Of course, Mr. Keenan was man enough to forget about the current plight of the plodding Huns and PSV-cast-offs who are desecrating Old Trafford and joined in the fun: the boat-trip of giddiness and nausea (but fun nausea!), the mall invasion where the Conleth’s kids adopted the spending habits (and lack of savvy) of the City director and the match itself, which honestly was a classic with goals galore and some memorable (but not to be repeated in a family publication) chants.  And Mr. Kilcommons took it all in, as he always does, with a well-earned sense of bemused satisfaction.

 

 

The Write Stuff!

Congratulations to Tathagat Kumar of our Second Form, who was presented with his certificate and prize for Overall Winner in the Dublin schools AIJS Handwriting Competition at assembly yesterday.  Now, if only Tathagat could influence some of the scrawlers and scribblers we have elsewhere in the school!

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It is Beyond Debate: St. Conleth’s is the Home of School-Age Rhetoric

We just recently hosted the annual St. Conleth’s College Junior Mace Debating Competition which was another smashing success, with over 100 students taking part in a debating competition which is now a firm fixture of the Matheson Junior Mace National Competition.  Moderator of Debates Mr.  Carvill was assisted by Auditor of Debates, Daniel Gilligan, and Ms. Justice Caroline Costello chaired the Grand Final after four initial rounds, with 14 debates running simultaneously throughout the school. The young students all dextrously debated diverse topics, such the ethics of eating animals, to the payment of housewives and househusbands, and the topical issue of blasphemy in the media.  So, does the St. Conleth’s Debating Machine take a break after such herculean efforts?  That would be a rhetorical question: of course we don’t!  Conleth’s Debating ‘old boys’ (and Irish team-mates) Matthew Collins and Christopher Costigan were back in over the weekend to run the second of our Junior Debating and Public Speaking Workshops this year!  The workshop was open to students from Fifth and Sixth Class from any school, and focused on areas such as speaking confidence, critical thinking and introducing students to a broad range of topics in current affairs and beyond.  And, of course, our two old pros were able to impart some very helpful hints regarding competitive debating to the stars of tomorrow’s inter-school rostra!

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Christopher and Matthew flank a horde of eager, young debaters.

 

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

…because the TY Christmas Tree Sale is coming!  Yes, indeed, the wind has picked up, the falling leaves are halting nearly all movement in the city, Switzer’s has a vaguely yuletide theme to its window display, and if we just lost a few degrees, we would be neck deep in snow! And, of course, the Transition Years are once again readying themselves for another Christmas Tree Sale  extravaganza.  (Click for poster!)  They have been like busy little woodland elves: planting, cultivating and cutting the finest of firs and poinsettia and etching and whittling the most exquisite of Christmas cards and crafts.  And Mr. Trenier has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa: not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of his predecessor, Mr. Bolger, he has opted rather for the rounder middle and the rosy red cheeks!  Make them even rosier with joy by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY boys and come by this Saturday, December 5th, from 9-5, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee.  All proceeds go to supporting the India 2016 Expedition.  Here we see some of the artwork of the TY boys which deservedly came so close to being selected for the poster above:

 

Third Form Fun!

It is hard to keep up with our Junior School form classes, as they are all up to so much, all of the time! Every so often, however, we like to spotlight the activities of one particular Form, and the boys of Third Form have recently grabbed our attention… because we literally stumbled over them as they were lying prone on the hallway floor!  We soon found out that Ms. Dillon was leading them in a measurement activity, as well as various other maths and science experiments.  And after all that heavy-thinking, what better way to relax than engage in a mass fencing brawl, of course under the watchful eye of Maître David Couper (Click)!

 

Check-mates: Chess Teams Make Friends With Vanquished Opponents

After years of following and reporting on different St. Conleth’s sports teams on a variety of courts, pitches and tracks, we can honestly say that our most intensely competitive and ambitious athletes are those who play their game on the smallest of fields: 64 black and white squares, to be exact!  Yes, the boys and girls apply their checks, captures and threats with a measured aggression which is a wonder to behold.  Our Junior chess players are threatening to make their chosen pursuit rival debating as the quintessential Conlethian activity:  Our current Junior School “A” team (reigning Chess-For-All All-Ireland champions) are a just half point off top spot in the Premier League after taking an impressive 10 points out of a possible 12 after 3 fixtures. The “B” team have been much busier, and are absolutely flying it!  They are out on their own at the top of the table with only 2 points dropped out of their first five fixtures. We may well have two teams in the Premier Division next year. There is also a healthy supply of younger up and coming chess players in the Junior School. Twenty of our pupils played friendly matches against St. Lawrence’s from Crookstown recently with the visiting coach clearly very impressed with the ability of our players, with a First Former managing 5 wins out of 6 games! And après match?  Everyone celebrates together as friends, thanks in part to Mr. K and the Tuck Shoppe!

 

No-one is more thrilled by this news than Ms. NiAonghusa and Leni Adanov, our Senior School Chess Moderator and Coach.  Leni famously won the St. Conleth’s Senior Chess Trophy while still in First Year and now is helping to guide Ms. NiAonghusa’s teams to glory.  They have campaigned well in the toughest section of the Leinster League, even taking 1 1/2 points from Gonzaga.  It is no wonder, considering that our team members have emerged from the intense selection competition of  the cauldron-like Tuesday Lunchtime Chess Club!

 

Michael Li: Fencer on the Rise!

Within St. Conleth’s, Transition Year Michael Li has an impeccable reputation for manners, behaviour and school spirit.  However, if you place an épée, foil or sabre in his hands, you all of a sudden have a veritable beast on your hands! Fencing has a long tradition at St. Conleth’s with our weekly classes under Maître David Couper of  Salle Dublin as strong as ever. We have several Olympians amongst our alumni and recent alumnus Phillip Cripwell is ranked first in the National Junior Foil Rankings and third in the Senior.  Well, Philip had better watch out, because the sabre-rattling Michael is on his way, and he is not easily foiled!  Last weekend, at the 2015 Irish Open Championships at the Loughlinstown Leisure, Michael came in 23rd out of 50 fencers, in the Senior competition.  He was one of the youngest competitors there and he impressed the judges with his attacks, balestras, beats and binds. Considering Michael’s rapid development, Phillip’s continuing reign and the recent successes of our Juniors (click), we can proudly say that St. Conleth’s Fencing is entering a new golden age!

 

Art on the Double!

Ms. Halpin does double duty at St. Conleth’s, teaching Art to both the Junior and Senior Schools, and though it takes immense amounts of both creativity and organisation on her part, she says it is all worth it when the students respond with some very impressive efforts of their own.  Our walls are quickly getting covered in student art, from the youngest forms to Leaving Cert portfolio-worthy pieces and St. Conleth’s is quickly becoming known as an artsy school, in the best sense of the word.  One of Ms. Halpin’s prize pupils, Mati Remi, is the creator of several of those worthy works hanging here and there at 28 Clyde Road, and his latest venture takes it to a new level and new medium. Look below to see his latest masterpiece in double-time on YouTube and some of the the other creative goings-on in the most popular room in the school, the Art Room.

The Parents Associations’ Combined Newsletter is Here!

This just in from Paul Allen, Chair of the SSPA:

Dear Parents – we’re delighted to provide you with a copy of our November newsletter.  This is the first time that a joint newsletter has been produced by both the Senior and Junior School Parents’ Associations.  I hope you enjoy the read, it’s our biggest newsletter ever!  Click here!

 

Dig It! Doggett Conversion Goes Viral!

St. Conleth’s SCT have gone viral!  From Australia to Georgia, the rugby nations of the world are all clicking on the video of Ben Doggett’s miraculous conversion.  Post, post, post, crossbar and over! Click here to see what everyone is talking about?

Dig it, Dag it, Doggett!

SCT Marches On: Tullow Gets Tanked

Not since Cromwell’s time, have the young men of the hinterland been mowed down so mercilessly.  First it was Navan…then Ardee…now Tullow.   St. Conleth’s SCT is now the nightmare that haunts the dreams of wannabe ruggers from Wicklow to Louth.  They may grow ’em big down on the farm, but we now have our own monsters to match them, and the beasts of Clyde Road have a skill set which belies their power.   The dirty work, as usual, was done by Dolan, Duffy and Cripwell at the breakdown, enabling Paddy Cahill and Pogie to flaunt their own strength and speed, scoring a brace of tries each.  Simon Ghose came storming out of the backfield to touch down for five and Michael McCay stretched those lanky limbs for one of his own.  Gav was even able to bring on the bench at halftime and Ozzie Carvill, in particular, made the most of it, with a scintillating run which left the Tullow Tanks spinning their treads in the muck and mire.  There were many highlights but the best moment of the game had to be Ben ‘Dag it’ Doggett’s conversion which hit the uprights three times, and the cross bar, and then went over! Sometimes you just make your own luck.  On to the semis in two weeks time!  And Mr. Bolger’s JCT also deserve credit for a narrow 14-7 loss to perennial powers Columba’s in their second round replay.  One unlucky bounce was all the difference as stalwarts such as Joe Hyland and Rory Smyth made heroic runs and new stars such as Josh Mullen laid on some memorable hits.  Bolger’s boys have already exceeded expectations and now they look forward to lengthy shield and league runs.

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The 2015 SCT
The 2015 JCT
The 2015 JCT

Talkin’ Turkey: St. Conleth’s Celebrates Thanksgiving

Somewhere Squanto must be smiling… as he sees the celebration of  the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to new shores.  Mr. Kilcommons, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Dillon and the other Junior School teachers invited the American members of our community in to mark one of their most important national holidays.  Some of the boys themselves did some careful research and presented reports on Squanto, the Mayflower and the meaning of Thanksgiving.  Mr. Latvis delivered a few personal anecdotes and engaged a few volunteers in the impersonation of the famous ‘Three Sisters’ of Native American agriculture which enabled the survival of the Pilgrims: maize, beans and squash.  Absorbing all this information spurred the appetites of all, so there were muffins, pumpkin pie and caramel apples to share.  And Mr. Kilcommons has promised a proper turkey feast for next year.  At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is no longer just the day before Black Friday!

Conlethians Honoured at Trinity and UCD

Pierce Cambay of the Class of 2015 has been awarded an Entrance Exhibition Award at Trinity College for his excellent results in his Leaving Certificate.  Ms. Hopkins was there to celebrate with Pierce, as he begins his studies in Medicine at Trinity. And later in the week, and a bit down the N11, UCD honoured the winners of their Entrance Scholarships, including three Conlethians: Sean Allen, Gavin Sheridan and Conor White.  Well done!

Books Galore! Junior Parents Raise Literacy and Funds with Fair

It is a win-win situation: the JSPA’s Scholastic Book Fair raises money for special projects at the school and the boys and girls themselves get new, old-fashioned paper-bound books to spark their imaginations and free them from the screens for a while.  It is refreshing to see how excited a child can still get over the sight of the latest book from his or her favourite author!  The Fair is on in the School Hall from Monday the 16th through Wednesday the 18th, so there is still time to find the perfect match for your youngster’s literary appetite.  A big thank-you to all the parents involved!

Conlethian Debaters Maintain Grip on UCD Mace!

As proved just last Wednesday, Conlethians are famously tough on the rugby pitch, but off the field we are notoriously reluctant to engage in juvenile fisticuffs when local toughs accost us at the DART station or ambush us in the darker recesses of Herbert Park.  Many a time, primary schoolers from the other side of the tracks have been able to bully even our hulking back rows from the preferred perches along the duckpond. We are just too well bred to sink to that level of carry-on! Now, draw your epee and let us settle us this like gentlemen.  Or, even better, wield your mace… I am sorry, you do not have one?  No wonder, as nearly every debating mace awarded these last few years in Ireland is lying in our trophy case, which now resembles a veritable medieval armoury!  Phillip O’Hanrahan and Daniel Gilligan continued a proud St. Conleth’s this past weekend, winning the UCD Mace over hordes of competitors.  They follow in the footsteps of legends such as Christopher Costigan, Matthe Collins, Conan Quinn, Paul O’Dwyer, Michael O’Dwyer….  A few years back, Michael even got his gloves on the venerable Cambridge Mace, after vanquishing competition from across the British Isles.  With weaponry like that, we will surely win any donnybooks in Ballsbridge!

Until the Mace itself arrives, selection boxes will do!
Until the Mace itself arrives, selection boxes will do!

Applied Sciences

Science at St. Conleth’s is not of the Professor Frink, hilariously impractical type: in our classrooms and laboratory we practise practical science.  There are no better examples of this than the two special guests who wound up a scintillating Science Week for us:

Maria Santos Madeira from Trinity College was back in with more spectacular science experiments, a follow-on from Monday’s Sports Hall spectacular, just this time in the more intimate surrounds of the Science Lab with the individual classes.  And in the Conference Room we had the Dental Den with dentists and dental hygienists giving Fifth Form advice for their upcoming Young Scientists project based on dental hygiene. Every class got a chance to call in and receive a new toothbrush as well as advice on how to brush correctly. The students were amazed at  how much sugar is packed in to one bottle of Coke or one pack of Haribo. Is this the end of the tuck shop as we know it?  Mr. Kelleher was pictured unpacking crates of carrot and celery sticks, and the usual enthusiasm shown by his student helpers when a shipment arrives from Musgrave’s was noticeably lacking!

 

Twelve Man SCT Runs Over St. Pat’s in Cup First Round

We knew Gav Maguire’s SCT were going to be good this year, but maybe not this good!  Boy, it felt great watching a St. Conleth’s team ‘boss it’ over real quality competition.   Gav’s boys have won at every age level and he has them gelling at the right moment, beating old nemesis, St. Pat’s of Navan, 20-8 at Wanderers’.  Captain Kevin Dolan led a spirited group to a comprehensive victory, with Sean Bortolozzo and Ben Doggett scoring exhilarating tries and Ben also kicking them over the bar from every angle and distance, and through a swirling wind!  Even the sin-binning of three Conlethians did not slow them down, with Poguie chewing up the yards and their ball-carriers, Robert Cripwell gleefully bulldozing their pack and Cameron Ross-O’Reilly going on some mad, scintillating kick-and-runs.  Too many times, Conlethian teams have won the style and sportsmanship points, but lost the match.  Now, we may still run and pass with aplomb, but we will also run you over!

Junior Fencers Medal in Belfast

This just in: James and Myles Moriarity-Smyth and Luke Sherlock traveled to Hunterhouse College in Belfast last Sunday to compete in the 1st Round of the 2015 -2016 Northern Ireland Junior Fencing Series.  All three boys performed superbly, each reaching the Direct Elimination Round after intense Pool matches. James and Myles each went on to take Bronze at the Semi Final Stages of the Boys Under-12 and Mixed Under-10 respectively.

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Sixth Form Rugby Team Bend and Break Willow

It was a heroic scoreline for any St. Conleth’s team visiting the rugby lair of that notorious neighbourhood in the hamlet of Blackrock: 2 draws, 1 win and 1 loss.  As you can see from our photos, the boys kicked, ran and bulldozed their way to very respectable results.  Some of the youngsters they were lining up against will someday play for their big brother schools, and perhaps Leinster and beyond, but they will always remember the day that the plucky fellows from Clyde Road more than held their own.  And not satisfied with an even scoreline, Coach Kilcommons has them yearning for more, so beware the green and black!

Science Week Explodes on the Scene!

How do you the dizzying heights (and widths and perimeters) of Maths Week?  Well, follow it up with mathematics’ more exciting, slightly mad half-brother: Science!  Drop those protractors and compasses (but not on your toes), grab some chemicals and safety glasses and let’s have some fun in Chemistry, Physics and Biology!  Second Form parent Maria Santos-Martinez and her colleagues from Trinity College Science Department helped to kick off Science week by giving the entire Junior School a spectacular demonstration of the wonders of chemical and physical reactions.  The science on show was quite technical, and you will have to ask one of the kids for the details, but we do know the compound of one universal reaction: F-U-N!

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Hi my name is Ailbhe Murphy. I am originally from Wexford but love living in Dublin and working at St. Conleth’s. I received a Bachelor of Education degree from St. Patrick’s college, Drumcondra and spent the past two years teaching in an international school in the UAE before starting teaching here in September 2015.
  I look forward to a great year teaching your children. I love to integrate drama, art, and music into all curriculum areas. I see great academic growth by meeting student needs through small group instruction in the classroom. I consider myself a hard-working and self-motivated teacher who puts a great effort into preparing lessons which incorporate a range of teaching strategies to keep all students focused and interested. I am a caring, patient, and sensitive teacher and I am dedicated to helping your child learn!

Ailbhe Murphy – Senior Infants

 

Halloween Happenings!

You may decry many of the imports from across the big water, but surely the upgrade for Halloween is one to be welcomed and celebrated.  As little as fifteen years ago, ‘Samhain’ may have been reverentially referred to in Irish class, but Halloween night itself was a haze of burning rubber, wailing sirens and small but potentially dangerous explosions.  Now, thanks to Hallmark and Hollywood, everyone from the cradle to the friendly, illuminated, plastic grave can enjoy dressing up as characters as charming as Kristoff or as chilling as Hans and then swarm through the neighbourhood, tricking and treating the heart’s and belly’s content!  At St. Conleth’s we, of course, take it a step further. We have costume parties and school for the little ones, including a much-anticipated ‘Spook Parade’ invasion of the Senior School.  Our middle forms get to go off campus, visiting Lullymore Heritage Park and enjoying a ‘Halloween Spooktacular’.  Check out our pics and see that everyone, including our brave teachers, had a spine-tingling good time!

SCT Leading the Way for St. Conleth’s Rugby

Somewhere back in the mists of time, Mr. Kelleher hopped on his bike in Drumcondra and, dodging trams, trollies and traps, crossed the Liffey in record time.  He arrived at 28 Clyde Road with quite a sporting pedigree in his back pocket, with both the oblong and the round ball, and he quickly set about transforming the rugby fortunes of St. Coneth’s. The cricket and rather polite tug-of-war (it was more of a firm pull than a tug) in the garden stayed around for a while, but Mr. K charted and supervised a course of progress which mirrored his own meteoric ascent in both playing and administering for Lansdowne RFC.  Some 70 years later, Mr. K can now look on proudly as Head of Sport Gavin Maguire takes the field with his SCT, and teams from Glendalough to Skerries know that the team to beat in Leinster A (and even B!) is St. Conleth’s.  There have been both bright and dark days in between, with Coach Emeritus Shay Keenan somehow keeping the programme rucking forward, and now Conlethians routinely take the pitch with silverware on the line.  Gav’s boys made it to the League Final last year in Donnybrook, and though they lost, a young SCT was battle-hardened by the experience and their unbeaten start to this season reflects a both a maturity which is both physical and mental and bodes well for the more meaningful matches ahead.  Our JCT  and First and Second year teams have had a tougher time of late, but coaches Bolger and Lonergan can point to Dolan, Doggett, Ghose et al and the youngsters can take heart, knowing they, too, will soon be playing for plates, shields and cups!

 

En Garde! Junior Fencers Make their Points

Fencing has a long tradition at St. Conleth’s with several Olympians amongst our alumni and recent grad Philip Cripwell near the top of the national senior rankings.  Well, judging by the talent in our Junior School, this tradition is only getting stronger.  Our weekly classes under the  Maître Fionbarr Farrell  and Maître David Couper of  Salle Dublin are as strong as ever, and recently the Moriarity-Smith brothers parried and thrust their way to medals at the Killanin Cup. James took bronze in the under 13s and Myles took Silver in the under 9s.  Incidentally, they can be identified in the action pics as J is in the coloured socks and Myles in the black ones!

…And the Last Shall be First!

First Form were not about to let all the other classes grab the Maths glory!  This just in from Mr. Barry Gleeson about his boys’ hijinks during that week of numeracy madness!   As last week was Maths week, an emphasis was placed on our problem solving and Maths exploration skills. First Form split into groups and went to Herbert Park to try and find as many different shapes as they could. It was very successful and the children did a great job working together to explore the area. They found triangular leaves, oval feathers, spherical conkers, cylindrical trees, rectangular stones, the square area of the field and the all-important circular sun in the sky (though explained to be a sphere later on!). A great day and lesson for all the class. 

Swimming with Sharks!

Swimming has long been an enthusiastic tradition at St. Conleth’s and that is not just the occasional dip in the duck pond in Herbert Park.  We have been shipping our Junior pupils down to the ESB pool since Mr. Kelleher qualified as a lifeguard at some point in the middle of the last century.  Rumours abound that the architects are coming in to talk about the next phase of the school’s development so perhaps a rooftop pool is in the plans, but in the meantime we will continue to make a splash (except when diving) elsewhere, including in the Shark-infested waters at the Willow Swimming Gala. Fourteen of our boys from Third to Sixth Form did themselves and their school proud with several qualifying for the Leinster’s with their ‘personal best’ times.  Here you see some of our swimmers, before and after hitting the water.

Case Closed: It was Fifth Form in the Library with a Stapler

It was certainly a bit like CSI: St. Conleth’s as Det. Sergeant Pat O’Brien of the Gardai Technical Bureau paid a visit to Fifth and Sixth Form in the Library and  brought with him all sorts of amazing technical gear and the lowdown on how to use it.  The boys were spellbound as he regaled them with both the intricate details of the job and tales of crimes past, all off the record- of course.  There was even some hands-on experience with fingerprint dusting and other tools of the trade and some of the boys were even allowed to try on those fabled white jumpsuits- usually glimpsed only briefly before some adult changes the channel to less disturbing, and interesting, news!

CSI: St. Conleth’s and Icon Photography

It will be a busy Monday in the Junior School as all the forms are scheduled for their Icon school photos and Fifth and Sixth expect a visit from the Gardai.  We assume the events are unrelated but you never know where this photos will turn up (Crimewatch?) so look your best!  Yes,  we have yet to secure rights to a classic Who song, but we are opening a CSI franchise at St. Conleth’s anyways. Fifth and Sixth Form will be doing a crime scene investigation workshop with Det. Sergeant Pat O’Brien (father of Ben in Fifth Form) and one of his colleagues on Monday, October 19th,  in the library from 9:00am. There will be dusting for fingerprints, hair analysis, brain autopsies etc… but the boys will be well cleaned up for photographs in the afternoon.  We feel incidents of stolen chips on Burger Thursdays will soon drop away once we have the detective know-how.  (NB from Principal TK: Any boys doing lunchtime tennis can come to school in their tracksuits but must bring their uniform to change into, after lunch.)

 

Maths Week Wonderings and Wanderings

Nothing unites our Junior and Senior Schools more than a shared love of all things mathematical.  Our Senior Math Department just had a subject inspection and the inspector was quoted as saying she had ‘never before experienced a school with such a high level of Maths understanding.’  Well, it is no wonder when you consider what the Maths teachers, junior and senior, get up to during this special Maths Week and all the year long.  Our Juniors are engaging with challenging Maths problems both in class, and on the road, as you can see below.  And Ms. NiAonghusa is challenging the Senior School students with separate daily mathematical challenges for both JC and LC students.  Click here to see Mondays through Wednesdays and come back tomorrow and Friday for fresh challenges.

Junior School Rugby Teams Tamed by Terenure

The moral victory went to the Conlethians as they manfully took the field against a stacked deck:  St. Conleth’s has 120 multi-talented scholar-athletes; the opponent, 12,000 specifically recruited rugby-playing machines, with a hint of genetic manipulation about them.  Mr. Kilcommons, however, had the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Forms well-drilled and ‘psyched’ for the encounter and there were plenty of pinpoint passes, crunching tackles and scintillating runs on our side, as the boys did their school, their parents and themselves very proud.  We predict a better reflection of this spirit and drive on the scoreboard in the near future.  Here are some highlights from Terence to keep you busy in the meantime!

Off to the Library!

Put away those phones, tablets, e-readers and various other screens!  We are off to a real library to smell, touch and maybe even read some real books.   Ms. Coleman’s Fourth Form have been invited to visit  Pembroke Library in Ballsbridge this Wednesday morning (14/10). They are to meeting author Dave Rudden who is about to have his first book published by Puffin Books:  The Borrowed Dark, the first of a trilogy.  This promises to be an exciting visit as Rudden, who is just 26, has had international publishers frantically bidding to buy the rights to the series.  Get in early on this guy!  Do you remember how much first editions of Harry Potter are worth?

An enthusiastic Ms. Coleman on an earlier trip to the Library.

 

 

 

Reminder: Parents Associations’ Gala AGMs on Tuesday and Thursday!

Next week will be a busy one if you have children in both the Junior and Senior Schools as both Parents’ Associations are holding their AGMs, and both have very attractive agendas!  We will let the youngsters have their say first:

St. Conleth’s College Junior School Parents’ Association are pleased to announce details of the 2015 AGM on Thursday October 15th.  The theme of the evening will be ‘Good Nutrition for your School Going Child’ with a Guest Speaker from the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute Louise Reynolds, MSc. MINDI.  The AGM will begin at 7pm followed by a Cheese and Wine reception. Our Guest Speaker commences at 8pm.  We invite all parents to attend and we look forward to seeing you there for a social and informative evening.  (See our lovely flyer.)

All parents and guardians are warmly invited to the St. Conleth’s College Senior School Parents’ Association Annual General Meeting on Tuesday October 13th starting at 7:30pm.  The meeting will be held in the school conference room at the top of the building.  We will begin the meeting with a brief update on the Parents’ Association activities and the election of the committee members for this coming year – we now have nominations for each class representative position.  In addition we will be looking to change our constitution for (1) introduce the officer role of PRO (Public Relations Officer) and (2) allow a committee member’s term (currently a maximum of 3 years) to be extended to 4 years, if approved by the committee.  This year we are delighted to have an excellent speaker, Dr. Fergus Heffernan PhD, who is a renowned psychologist and psychotherapist and a leading educator in the area of stress management and how it relates to our mental health.   We know that this will be a very interesting and informative talk and we hope that you will be able to join us on the night.  Afterwards we will be serving light refreshments and hope you can stay around for a chat.  (See our lovely flyer!)

Junior Sailing Fun!

Thanks to David Bolger for this eye-witness report on the boys sailing in Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire:
“Hi All,
St Conleth’s junior school continued their sailing courses in 2015 with the last session this afternoon on Dublin Bay in glorious sunshine and a gentle northerly breeze. At the end of the session, the boys cooled down by jumping off the pontoon. School Principal, Tony Kilcommons joined the boys onboard one of the boats and they gave him a lesson in sailing. By chance, the instructor onboard was a past pupil of St Conleth’s junior school and Mr Kilcommons. The photos below capture the spirit of the day. Regards, David”

Learn from the Maestros!

Individual lessons on the piano and the guitar are available to both Junior and Senior School students, immediately, from two highly accomplished professional teachers.

So-Young is an accomplished pianist, arranger and composer from South Korea. Winning multiple competitions in her native country as a classical pianist, So-Young has written for and led three successful jazz concerts at the National Concert Hall John Field Room and has been teaching in Walton’s New School of Music since 2008. Lessons include preparation for the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Grade Exams.

Darragh O’Neill brings a wealth of experience to guitar lessons, having been inspiring young musicians for years. Students may determine their own curriculum based on personal interest and taste and/or work up the ranks of the ABRSM grade exams.

Please contact Rachel at lennonr@stconleths.ie to arrange individual lessons. Payments may be made through EasyPayment Plus.

Darragh O'Neill with one of his star pupils

 

What’s Cooking at Conleth’s?

Weekly Menu and Porridge!  Yes, porridge.  With the cold winter mornings fast approaching, the canteen will be offering hot porridge with fresh fruit, seeds and honey, from October 5th between 8am and 8.30am. Porridge is not only nutritious but also delicious! Menu starting Oct 12th.

Food - canteen

Come On, Speak Up! Inaugural St. Conleth’s Junior School Debating Workshop

Below you see the 2014 All-Ireland Schools Debating Team, with three of five being Conlethians!  They finished third in the world and Daniel Gilligan, current Auditor of Debates, went on to captain the 2015 team.  Now that is a level of success which is unmatched in the history of Irish school debating, and there is a clear link with the early encouragement debaters get in the Junior School.  Ms. Fallon, our English specialist, and all the classroom teachers have been pushing their charges to the rostrum for years, and now we are taking it to the next level!

St. Conleth’s College invites your child to attend the St. Conleth’s Junior Debating and Public Speaking Workshop on Saturday 17th October 2015 from 12:00-2:00pm. The workshop is open to students from 5th and 6th Class from any school, who may have an interest in public speaking. The workshop will be given by past-pupils of St. Conleth’s College who have gone on to achieve phenomenal success in the world of competitive debating and public speaking (see below!).

The workshop will focus on areas such as speaking confidence, critical thinking and introduce students to a broad range of topics in current affairs and beyond. Please email conlethsdebate@gmail.com to book a place for your child. Please include parent/guardian contact details, the school your child is currently attending and your child’s name. St. Conleth’s will cover the cost of running the workshop.

We look forward to seeing you on the 17th October.  Principal Tony Kilcommons.

2014 Irish Debating Team, including Matthew Collins, Christopher Costigan and Daniel Gilligan

A Magical Yet Informative Evening

Our Senior School Information Evening was a smashing success, as hundreds  of interested boys and girls and their parents visited the school and received a real taste of what it is to be a Conlethian,  literally a ‘taste’ as some of Chef Mark’s specialties were served up as finger food following the presentations and speeches by the Principal, Donal ODulaing, Mr. Carvill and select pupils.  This was be followed by tours of the school by both the youngsters and their parents, with some delightful stops along the way, including:  the interactive ICT language activities organised by the dynamic duo of the French department, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley; dangerously fun experiments cooked up by Ms. Phelan in the lab; Roman Numeral Bingo and Latin Vocabulary Chariot Racing in the Classics room; a diverse yet deep display of student musical talent orchestrated by maestros Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal; Mr. Trenier’s muscular yet sensitive display of the new TY Programme; Head of Sport Gavin Maguire’s rugby line-out drills with man-mountain and Leinster-selected Kevin Dolan the star attraction; craic and cupla focal in the Irish Room with Mr. Ahern and an awesome display of student work in the art room, ocurated by Ms. Halpin and, last but not least, Ms. NiAonghusa, Sammy Butler and the Whiz Kids indulging in some co-operative coding in the ICT Room .  We pride ourselves on being the school which is ‘small enough to care, yet large enough to challenge’.  Judging from the size of the crowd, we may be about to become a bit larger, but you can be sure the care and the challenges will grow hand-in-hand!

School Captain Hannah Collins with Vice-Captains Noah Brabazon and Josh Harvey-Graham

Second Form: Non-stop Action!

We aim to send all our children home tired and happy, but judging from the photos we have received, Ms. Leary has been going into overdrive with the hands-on, co-operative learning schtick!  From science experiments to healthy food day to Craft Fairs to allotment adventures, she  has been stimulating their minds and exhausting their limbs (and jaws).  And the result, for parents home after their own tiring day of work, surely is the best possible: a bit of home work, dinner, a dozy recall of the day’s events… and then off to bed!

 

Junior Rugby Off and Running!

It is early days, but as you can see in our slider below, the older Junior Forms have taken to the rugby pitch with considerable gusto.  Mr. Kilcommons may have a few more things on his mind these days, but coaching the lads is still a priority and he gets the best out of the team while still managing to get everyone in for at least a run.  Playing CUS, the boys not only enjoyed themselves, but won three of four matches! Thanks to all the parents who supported, and we promise more creative passes, accurate kicks and politely delivered hard hits to come! Check our Events calendar for upcoming blitzes and matches.

Syria Solidarity Day at St. Conleth’s

Everyone has been shocked by the images of Syrian families suffering incredible hardships as they flee the twin terrors of oppressive dictatorship and fanatical Islam, and the Junior and Senior Schools of St. Conleth’s decided to get together to do something about it. We may not have much influence on world affairs, but students, parents and teachers pooled their efforts to raise awareness, funds and supplies for the Syrian refugees.  It all started with a coffee morning fundraiser, followed by a day-long gathering of suitable clothing and goods for the afflicted families and having a Jersey Day raised a further 2€ from each student.  The Parents’ Associations, especially Angela Jermyn, and Meagher’s Pharmacies were instrumental in organisation, while the brawny Transition Years and Junior School mighty minions provided the muscle.  Stay tuned for the final tally!

A Cuppa’ for a Good Cause: Coffee Morning for Syria

The Junior School Parents’ Association, led by new chairman Peter O’Neill, has hit the ground running this term. Already there have been get-togethers over tea to welcome the new parents to the wider St. Conleth’s family and just last Friday, the association organised a Coffee Morning for the Syrian refugees.  Many parents sent in the home-made goodies and the kids themselves helped organise and run the event, as everyone had a nice chat and snack while also doing a good deed for those less fortunate.

Bring on the Girls!

Mr. Kelleher has been at St. Conleth’s almost since its founding in 1939 and he has witnessed the school changing with the times yet remaining true to its original purpose and calling.  One change for the better began over 4o years ago when girls were first admitted into Fifth and Sixth Year in the Senior School.  At first it was just so girls could avail themselves of the Science subjects not taught in their schools, but soon the Chemistry between Conlethian boys and girls was undeniable and they were clearly here to stay.  Now, decades later we have made the next leap and opened our doors to girls in Junior Infants and, next September, in First and Transition Years as well.  As you can see below, gender does not matter at all at St. Conleth’s and our girls and boys mixed with ease and grace….well, that is, until Mr. K moved them to the front of the line at the Tuck-shop!

caf girls cut

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In Second Form we are excited to have just graduated from the Preparatory School to join the older boys in the Junior School. We look forward building on what we have learned before by continuing our school’s focus on Literacy and Numeracy. We have many talents and we will explore our skills and interests to the best of our abilities. As we prepare for our First Holy Communion we will also embrace the many cultures and beliefs which our students bring to our school.

The very best of luck to all in Second Class, their teachers and their families as they go through what will undoubtedly be a very busy and fulfilling year. We look forward to their many great moments, the joy of which will be shared by our whole school community, their parents and guardians and families.

Elaine Leary – Second Form

 

 

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As an alumnus of St. Conleth’s, I know full well the benefits of being part of such a warm and close-knit community.  In our classroom we have the opportunity to do all of the traditional subjects coupled with some exciting additions such as Chess, Drama and Debating. This year there will be a focus on languages especially English, Irish and French, so I hope the boys know their ‘múinteoir’ from their ‘prof’! Of course sport, in the form of P.E. and rugby, will also be a priority for the growing boys. So I hope that together we will have a very fruitful year!

Eoin Sheridan – Fifth Form

 

 

 

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All classes receive tuition in French. 5th and 6th Form will follow the DELF Junior French Language Programme in association with the French Ministry of Education. This diploma is recognised throughout the world.

Time timetabled
Class Junior Infants – 6th Form
Venue classroom
Term term time only
Teachers Alice Galea
Eoin Sheridan
Richeal Dillon

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Welcome to St. Conleth’s, my name is Richeal Dillon and I have been teaching here for 14 years. I have recently completed my MA in Teaching and Learning and I am delighted to bring all these new skills in to the school and especially in to my classroom.

In Third Form, the uniqueness of each individual child is celebrated and each student is encouraged and motivated to reach their full potential by striving for the highest achievements possible. Several different teaching styles and methods are employed on any given day to motivate, encourage and challenge the children. We love to use our interactive board to further explore areas we come across in the curriculum.

I believe I have a very welcoming classroom and thrive on watching my students walk in to our classroom each morning with a smile on their face. I have a picture in my room which states “Teaching is a work of heart” and I believe this is my motto as I really love teaching and hope that my love of teaching helps to create and foster a love of learning in your child.

Richeal Dillon – Third Form

 

 

What our current Third Formers got up to last year:

Second Formers Blitz the Big Boys of Rugby!

Juniors Have Fun With Air, Snow and….Maths?

Second Form Revving Up For First Rugby Match!

Children of Destiny!

Junior Fencers Knighted in Dalkey

Weekend Warriors II!

Junior School: 24/7!

Christmas Spectacular 2 !  The Junior School Strikes Back!

Grandmaster Baburin Welcomes New Year Protégés

The Christmas Force Awakens!

Crazy for Christmas!

Talkin’ Turkey: St. Conleth’s Celebrates Thanksgiving

Books Galore! Junior Parents Raise Literacy and Funds with Fair

Applied Sciences

Science Week Explodes on the Scene!

Halloween Happenings!

Swimming with Sharks!

Maths Week Wonderings and Wanderings

Junior Sailing Fun!

Second Form: Non-stop Action!

The Write Stuff!

Junior Fencers Medal in Belfast

Syria Solidarity Day at St. Conleth’s

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Welcome to First Form! The boys and girls of First Form love coming to school at St. Conleth’s each day.  They do work hard at all their subjects but also have a lot of fun, taking part in interactive lessons and working on innovative reports and projects.  Our classroom walls are just full of them! In addition to the traditional subjects, music, drama, French, ICT and art are all on the agenda, as well as a variety of sports and class outings, both during the school day and as part of the after-school programme.  Every day our goal is to send my pupils home a little bit more tired than when they came in, but also a little bit smarter and a little bit happier!   Lesley McGuinness and Alex O’Brien

 

 

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A big welcome to Our Junior Infants class of 2016!  In this our eighth year as a Preparatory School, I am delighted to welcome both girls and boys into our class and look forward to many more co-educational years in St. Conleth’s College.
In Junior Infants we follow the standard primary school curriculum as set by the DES, in addition to enjoying music, drama, art, languages, IT and swimming. Junior Infants can also choose from our varied after school activities such as mini-tennis, play ball, karate  cookery and crafts.  I am looking forward to guiding the class in their learning, discovery and exploration and to encouraging their active learning, within a fun atmosphere and safe environment, celebrating their uniqueness, and preparing them for lifelong learning.
Remember the importance of our 3L’s: Learning to Learn, Learning to Live  and Learning to Love!

Dolores Kelly – Junior Infants teacher and Preparatory School Principal

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In Sixth Form this year, I will be concentrating on teaching literacy and numeracy to my pupils. I see my role as a teacher but also as a classroom co-ordinator for a team of specialised teachers who put the boys through their paces in everything from debating and choir to art and French. I feel it is important that all the diverse elements of the Sixth Form curriculum in St. Conleth’s Junior School are integrated smoothly into the timetable. My main aim is for the students of Sixth Form to be happy coming to school and to provide an exciting atmosphere where the boys are challenged and motivated. I will, as always, undertake the training of rugby for Sixth Form and look forward to taking their PE classes.
Docendo discimus.

Tony Kilcommons – Sixth Form

 

What our current Sixth Formers got up to last year:

Children of Destiny!

Junior Swimmers Make a Splash in the Leinster Pool

Junior School: 24/7!

Christmas Spectacular 2 !  The Junior School Strikes Back!

Grandmaster Baburin Welcomes New Year Protégés

The Christmas Force Awakens!

Don’t Worry, Parents! The FutureKids Are All Right!

Junior Chess Teams Will Have a Happy New Year!

The Madchester Trip: Conlethians Party (and spend) Like Sheikh Mansour!

It is Beyond Debate: St. Conleth’s is the Home of School-Age Rhetoric

Check-mates: Chess Teams Make Friends With Vanquished Opponents

Talkin’ Turkey: St. Conleth’s Celebrates Thanksgiving

Books Galore! Junior Parents Raise Literacy and Funds with Fair

Science Week Explodes on the Scene!

Halloween Happenings!

Swimming with Sharks!

Case Closed: It was Fifth Form in the Library with a Stapler

Maths Week Wonderings and Wanderings

Junior School Rugby Teams Tamed by Terenure

Junior Sailing Fun!

Come On, Speak Up!  Inaugural St. Conleth’s Junior School Debating Workshop

Junior Rugby Off and Running!

Syria Solidarity Day at St. Conleth’s

 

 

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I am looking forward to an exciting year with Fourth Form. I began teaching in St. Conleth’s last year and have enjoyed every minute of it. I love teaching and having the opportunity to be in the company of enthusiastic children each day. This is a big year for the boys and girls in Fourth Form: they reach double digits and begin to discover what they are passionate about. My goal is to provide a happy environment in which the students can expand their minds, enjoy a strong sense of community and take ownership of their learning.

Barry Gleeson – Fourth Form