Lockdown Louvre!

Ms. Orla Mellon is a famous artist in her own right (website) but the things she inspires our Junior School pupils to create are equally amazing. Just like during the last lockdown, Ms. Mellon has kept her art students very busy with various projects which have been valuable in keeping the children’s creative juices flowing and, perhaps more importantly, keeping them out of their parents hair for sustained periods! Ms. Mellon’s latest project was ‘Junk Art’ which creatively combined two important human impulses: imagination and environmentalism. Notice how the trash bins are filling more quickly when everyone is home? Well, Ms. Mellon and her charges decided to make use of some of that excess stuff, and the results are amazing. Here are the project’s instructions and below are the incredible creations themselves, class-by-class and with preceding credits. Enjoy and stay tuned for more amazing student art!

First Class: Details in photos

Second Class: Lauren – Rocket; Gregorio- Pineapple Pen Holder; Harrison – Animals; Federico – Created a Skyscraper together in a brother & sister duo!; Holt – Dachshund dog x 3; Sam – Dragon; Beatrice – Submarines & Boat x 2.

Third Class: Hugo- Castle; James- Flamboyant Bird X 2; Andrew – Penguins in bottles; Clodagh & Ronan – The twins team effort! A car & house; Jack – Tower x2; Noah Wallace – Funny Man; Edouard- an Egyptian Saracophagus with mummy inside!

Fourth Class: Sophia – Marble Game; Christian – Car x 3; Harry – White Cat; Marty Davitt – Ostrich x 2; Michael – Fencer x 2; Rohan – Golf Course x3; Eli-John- Pig x 3.  

Fifth Class: Christopher – Turtle; Elodie- sheep & ostrich egg ; Emilia – Turtle; Carlo- Hat (so you can transform into an ‘Among Us character’); Conor – Jet Pack; Vladimir – Samurai double sword.

Sixth Class: Ronit – Spaceship; India – Light Bulb Bird; Harrison – Robot; Lydia- Hamster .

And Elodie and Milo of Fifth Class’s Videos of hand-crafted sheep and windmill!

One Woman Covid Crusher!

Cecilia Franken just does not ‘do Covid’: yes, while school was in session, her Morning and Afterschool Clubs did indeed follow all the safety protocols but she and her staff still managed to give their charges all the fun-filled features for which her programmes are famous. See some of the highlights in her November/December Newsletter. And now, with another lockdown, Cecilia has shifted on-line and is picking up where she left off last June: clobbering the Covid-blues with a mix of challenging artistic and scientific activities. Have a look below and try, just try, to keep up with Cecilia!

Science: Paper Overcraft

Challenge: House of Pegs

Art Juniors: Glove Monster

Art Seniors: Mitten Buddy

It’s a Dog’s Life!

We were never actually certain whether this old saying was positive or negative in its connotations. Having had the opportunity over the last ten months or so to view a dog’s life up close and personally, we have decided that it is a decidedly positive proverb. Eat, sleep, eat, wag tail, eat, bark, eat, drool, eat, walk… not bad at all, especially now when there are plenty of humans around to apply rubs, walks and snacks… sometimes, too many! Well, Ms. Loomes and Sixth Class decided to make dogs (and other pets) the stars of their Zoom class on ‘Bring Your Pet to the Screen’ day and both teacher and pupils (and pets) had a ball. And then everyone (except Ms. Loomes) got to curl up in their beds for an afternoon nap!

From a Distance…

One of the unexpected effects of this series of lockdowns is a tendency to be more tolerant of schmaltz. Easy listening ‘gems’ of the 70s and 80s, which previously would have prompted a quick skip or turn of the dial, are now listened to in their entirety, prompting wistful, melancholic smiles and maybe even a tear… Well, Bette Midler was referencing a more celestial watcher but her time-tested sappy chestnut of a tune can serve as the theme song of our new way of learning: from a distance, indeed. Both St. Conleth’s Junior and Senior teachers have hit the ground running (literally, in Mr. Lonergan’s case) as they have shifted education on-line but carried on with same professionalism, enthusiasm and care and concern for their pupils as always.

And to be fair to the students themselves (and the accommodating and ‘nudging’ parents), it has been a continuation of the partnership that has made the in-the-flesh version of St. Conleth’s such a great place to learn over the years. Attendance has been near 100% and the variety of teaching methods and adventures has been impressive, from PE activity diaries to ‘Zoom Pet/Cactus Day’ in Classics and as gaeilge to spontaneous dress-up English classes to traditional classroom note-taking and discussions. Yes, we would prefer to be in the same classroom, but until that is possible, St. Conleth’s stays together… from a distance!

Leo, Leonis: 3rd Dec. Masc.

Quick! Someone go and get Mr. Carvill (The Younger) and his nunchucks… there’s a lion loose in Transition Year! Oh, wait, it is just Leo Nolan, once again showing the swagger and chutzpah of his namesake. A few weeks back, we published the various projects of our Cool Classics Kids which were entered (and won laurels) in the Classics Now competition, but we neglected to include Leo’s: not very nice, especially considering that Leo is the widely acknowledged Dear Leader/Beloved Mascot of that quirky gang of kids known as TY-A. Well, we make amends here, and see and hear Leo reading, in fine Classical Latin, the opening of Virgil’s Aeneid Book I.

Last Christmas?

With Wham finally claiming their Christmas No. 1, we though it fitting to have one last look at Christmas at St. Conleth’s. While the rest of us were fighting it out for the last Bounties in the Celebrations container, intrepid TY (and BAND member) Rían McGonigle tightened his mask and set off with the school camera and several rolls of film to capture the fleeting moments of a celebration we enjoyed, but dearly hope will not have to experience, in quite the same way, again. On the Junior side, we see Ms. Mellon demonstrating her face-painting skills and the various student-created yuletide decorations which helped us forget you-know-what for at least a little while. And, of course, we have the latest edition of a now world-famous installation: the student art on the fence railings of No. 28 Clyde Road.

And on the Senior side, we have our Student Officers- Ted, Daniel and Emily- who spearheaded a ‘Christmas Jumper’ day which raise dover €600 for charity and photos of various class parties, including the TYs who had their very own COD Tournament, crowning Ralph and Mark as champs. A great way to end a tough term! We were all impressed by the students’ resiliency under the toughest of circumstances and look forward to at least some semblance of a return to normalcy. Happy New Year!

Another H&H Holiday Hit!

Hartnett & Howe are St. Conleth’s Gilbert & Sullivan, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lennon & McCartney rolled up in one dynamic partnership. These seasoned (but still incredibly fresh-faced) veterans of song and stage, Emer Hartnett and Pat Howe, were not going to let you-know-what ruin a proud St. Conleth’s tradition: the Junior School Christmas Extravaganza! Yes, the big how-down with all the kids, the parents and the postman in the hall was out, but where there is a will, there is a way. H&H (trademark pending) simply found new stages for their creation collaborations: they commandeered St. Mary’s Home, the parish church, the front garden… and our hearts! Each class performed a Christmas-themed play, a candle-lit carol service and a raucous, rockin’ wrap-up in the playground. The end result was incredible, thanks to our two titans of song-and dance, but also the incredible efforts of House Manager Simon Rowe and his team of Transition Year tech gremlins: Charlotte McClaren, Eddie Farr, Jennifer Roche, Caoimhe Moore and The Sherlock. These kids, fuelled only by virgin eggnog and enthusiasm, enabled the shows to be brought to you in Technicolour and THX, as you can see and hear below!

Second Class

Third Class

Fourth Class

Fifth Class

Sixth Class

Christmas Carollers Crush Covid!

Ms. deBhal was not going to let a tiny, little virus completely wreck our Christmas: she was determined to somehow produce our usual term-ending, spirits-lifting Senior School Christmas Carol Concert, despite all the Covid restrictions. And, somehow, she and Ms. McGuinness, and a supporting cast of dozens of eager music students, did! Ms. deBhal grabbed the ancient skeleton keys of St. Mary’s and led a two week occupation of the recently acquired stately old home. During that time, our Darth Vader-like breathing was periodically quickened by the hearing of stray notes, angelic whispers and occasional sharp shouts wafting over the gardens. Yes, we would have preferred a performance in the flesh, but the video below (edited on short notice by our saviour, Second Year Michael ‘T’ Horan) shows what is possible in even the toughest circumstances when there is the will… and plenty of talent!

A Great Sport!

While everyone else was well into their second flagon of eggnog, Director of Junior Sport and PE Louis Magee was busy putting the finishing touches on his St. Conleth’s Junior School Sports and PE Newsletter! The whole shebang can be accessed here. Remember to also check out Louis on Twitter at @StConlethsSport!

Too Cool for School!

St. Conleth’s has always been known as a bit of an ‘artsy’ school, and Ms. Halpin’s current crew of LC students have done their best to keep up that reputation, creating some stunning pieces and impersonating the edgier members of the Breakfast Club when they gather for their twilight meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays. They are also one of the few groups of kids who are still showing some moxie and chutzpah in the face of the Covid panic.

Cancel all school trips and outings? ‘Uh-uh’ said Ms. Halpin and off they went last Friday to the National Gallery for the Mondrian Exhibition. The 5th and 6th Years thoroughly enjoyed this unique showing of the masterpieces of the renowned Dutch neoplasticist, with all the Covid-compliant safety measures in place. And an added bonus was the ‘fresh air’ tour of the Science Gallery. Two for the price of one, and a much needed and appreciated escape from the desk-wiping and hand-wringing!

Bon Appetit!

First of all, we need to get a few things straight: macaron- a confectionary made from a batter of ground almond flour, egg whites, and confectioners’ sugar that puffs up to form a smooth-surfaced cookie with a hollow center; macaroons– cookies made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and granulated sugar. They have a craggy surface and chewy interior; macron–  a populist, centrist politician and the current French president; macroom– a market town in County Cork.

Well, one person who knows her meringue from her coconut is Caoimhe Moore, who stunned Ms. Crowley’s French Class with the quality of her macarons. And then Charlotte McClaren’s pains au chocolat took there classmates’s breath, and tastebuds, away! Saoirse Corry was also a chef pâtissier for the day, and her delicate creations just finished everybody off; and the whole 4A Class, like true Frenchmen, just napped through break, dozing contentedly with full bellies and satisfied smiles behind their masks!

Who Has the Fastest Fingers?

Jeremy Clarkson may soon be overwhelmed by young Conlethians if the results of the Eight Finger Ninja Typing Challenge are anything to judge by! For the last few weeks, our ICT Teacher and Director, Mr. Travers, has set a keyboard typing challenge for First through Sixth Classes to see who could improve the most and be consistent with those all-important-in-this-digital-world skills.  They were using eight fingers on the home row (the core basic requirement  for touch typing).  And the prizes were well worth getting carpal tunnel syndrome for: three games keyboards with mouse for three winners.

The competition was fierce, and everyone who took part improved considerably, but in the end the winners were: 1st / 2nd Classes prize was won by Gregory of 1st Form;  3rd / 4th won by Rohan of 4th ; and the 5th / 6th was won by Tadgh of 6th Form.  There were also 27 certificates presented to the achievers of the maximum of 2000 points over the six classes, and there were really no losers! As one student pointed out: with Covid driving us to our screens, we can all now type faster than we could before… Hopefully that will be more of a choice than a necessity, soon!

What Does He See in your Future?

Our new Guidance Counsellor, Mr. Gordon Weldon, has hit the ground running at St. Conleth’s, and he has not let any of the Covid restrictions inhibit the various services which he provides for our students, of both the personal and the academic/career-related kind.   Mr. Weldon has an uncanny talent for connecting with the students and it is due not to any smoke-filled crystal ball but a wealth of experience and hours of hard work sifting through, organising and deploying the vast array of guidance tools, both digital and physical, which are out there. At the centre of Mr. Weldon’s work is the St. Conleths College Guidance Counselling Website, which keeps the students and their parents up-to-date with everything from the latest CAO news to the availability of free revision courses to tips on maintaining wellbeing during a stressful exam period.

But there is also a lot going on in person. Mr. Weldon meets all the Fifth and Sixth Years for course and career advice and is always available for the more personal kind of counselling. And he also knows when to bring in the outside special forces: just in the last few weeks, Fifth and Sixth Years have had separate inspirational and practical seminars on study skills; TYs have gauged their career aptitudes and interests with the Cambridge Profile Tests and enjoyed a careers seminar; and First Years have taken their first steps off the standardised testing process with the CAT-4s. Mr. Weldon is keeping busy so that St. Conleth’s students will stay busy themselves, in their chosen courses and careers, when they leave the doors of No. 28 Clyde Road!

The Big Reveal!

Ms. Halpin’s Second Year Art Class really pushed the artistic and philosophical boundaries with their last project: Charcoal Reduction Drawings. It is a simple but startling idea: work backwards to create art. Hey, they have been doing it in the Civil Service for years! In this process, students ‘backdraw’: they don’t draw a figure, they ‘uncover’ it with erasers, like Michelangelo carving his Pieta from the block of marble. It is a thrilling process and creates some startling pieces, as you can see below. We are wondering if we can take the method to other mediums. Instead of writing a story in English from scratch, we can take a dictionary and just cross out most of the words. And, instead of students simply writing the solution ’42’ to a Maths test we can hand out a list of all real numbers. We will get back to you on those two!

Use Your Noggin!

Did that gust of wind almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Yes, It-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named loves the cold… but we do not! Below you see this desired piece of fashion and utility which is already showing up on the streets of Milan, New York, Paris and Ringsend. So, hurry up and be the first on your block to own an Official St. Conleth’s Noggin Hat! A perfect stocking stuffer!

On sale for €17 through Easypayments on this website. Noggin is a Community Interest Company: the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness. Noggin is a Community Interest Company, where the profits they make go straight into supporting mental health awareness projects across the UK & Ireland.

Adveniet!

An unintended positive outcome, even blessing, of this Covid year has been the opportunity provided to stop and take stock of what really matters in one’s life: with life aired down to its bare essentials, we have learned what we have lost that really matters… and what we probably did not need in the first place.

Perhaps, this Christmas will also be seen and experienced in a new light: yes, we will suffer from the restrictions on the meeting of families and even those placed on the religious celebrations of the holy day, but we may also have found a new appreciation for the significance and the importance of Christmas, with some of the trappings shorn away.

Our Religion teachers, Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Lonergan, certainly have done their best to make sure that St. Conleth’s stays true to its Catholic ethos, and the true meaning of Christmas, as they arranged for the Student Council to represent the St. Conleth’s community and attend the Mass for the Feast of the immaculate Conception at St. Mary’s Church and for students and teachers share in the symbolic lighting of Advent Candles. Yes, despite Covid, the man in the red suit is coming, but so is He, whose arrival was never in doubt!

Classics Kids Cash In!

Get a life, Westlife! Step off, Steps! Back off, Backstreet Boys! There are some ‘new kids on the block’ when it comes to boppy beats and illuminating lyrics: Yes, the Temple Bards (formerly known as ‘James and the Sirens’) are here and they have just won Second Place in the Classics Now student competition. They have €100 worth of drachma in their pockets and record companies clambering for their signatures on contracts. Stay tuned for more heroic, homeric hits!

The CAI-T, the Irish Association of Classics, Latin and Greek Teachers, may not number in the thousands like the hordes associated with Maths, Irish and English, but, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, we make up in enthusiasm and chutzpah what we lack in numbers. Every year there are numerous events run by the group for our enthusiastic students: from Latin Day to the Classics Speech Competitions to the Young Classicists Symposium and, famously, the Ides of March Table Quiz. And Conlethians have made a habit of winning laurels and medals at all these events. This year, the CAI-T learned from the fate of Pericles, dead from a plague in 430 BC, and ran a student competition completely on-line in association with the Classics Now Festival. And, yes, once again Conlethians were to the fore!

Charlie Plant’s painstakingly built Minoan Labyrinth (the child labour by baby brother and sister was completely voluntary) won an Honourable Mention and the sassy lyrics and snazzy looks of the aforementioned ‘TheTemple Bards’ absolutely blew the staid judiciary of Classics Professors away. Apparently, several of the judges are interested in purchasing the single on vinyl! And behind this melodious vanguard of James, Eliza, Eva and Julia, there were plenty of other laurel-worthy projects which you can see above: a tour of Charlie’s labyrinth is followed by Patrick Devlin’s exquisite animation of the fall of Icarus; Marcus Far’s digitised Labours of Heracles; Senann Corry and Jacob Alexander’s delightful maritime and arboreal creations; Fergus O’Reilly and Michael Sweeney’s ‘first person shooter’ version of the Labours; and Oisín Power’s Latin versions of the finest moments of Presidents Clinton and Nixon. We also have Harry Collins’s innovative reconstruction of Troy, here. And with over forty First Years taking Classics right now, there is plenty more to come in the years ahead!

The Debate Goes On!

We are spoiled at St. Conleth’s when it comes to debating: the All-Ireland and Leinster rolls of champions are filled with Conlethians, and the Irish International team is practically our fiefdom. And, recently, the usual gang of garrulous guys, including Oisín and Evan and Turlough and Coleman and Leo and Daragh and such, have proudly carried on that winning tradition. But, lo and behold, a new star is rising in the Conlethian debating firmament: TY Saoirse Corry who made the Finals of the covid-delayed 2019/20 UCD Leinster Junior Debating Competition, one of only four individuals so honoured, from over 300 participants. Yes, it was about time that this boys’ club was broken up, and recalling the sparkling rhetorical achievements of Cathy McShane (2009), Ebhan Rowe (2013) and Eavan O’Riada (2016), Saoirse has stated her claim to full membership, and even leadership, of the Conlethian debating house!

Help Jamie Nail the Covid Blues!

First Year Jamie MacNicholas still needs your help! If you are a student and have not filled out his BTYS project survey on the psychological effects of covid measures, please do! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VYXQ5XP

Art Matters!

Ms. Halpin’s First Year Art class decided to stop the moaning and think about something other than the Covid Blues. News that the global shutdown helped but did not reverse the perceived effects of human activity upon climate change spurred them to take on a new project: creating visually engaging posters with a positive environmental message.

The results speak for themselves, and do so loudly and clearly! Ms. Halpin’s Fifth and Sixth Year classes took on a more traditional challenge: the still life. As we have been doing a lot of ‘still living’ lately, the students were well prepared. We were particularly impressed with the way a few of the students transformed their lunch detritus into beautiful pieces of art!

Feeling TYred?

Well, you would be, too, after the week of full-on activities and adventures which the Transition Years enjoyed and endured while the rest of the Senior School were involved with their Christmas exams. Due to obvious reasons, the traditional ‘Work Experience’ was difficult to arrange for most so TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire put together an alternative schedule which stretched the bodies, minds and spirits of his charges. With the eager assistance of Scout Masters Morris and Speller and resident raconteur Simon, Gavin kept the TYs busy, as they: hiked in the Dublin Mountains; completed a TEFL course; worked on a Christmas TY newsletter; researched career possibilities; learned about cancer research; started various min-companies… .and examined the material culture of canal-side Dublin. So much for the TY ‘doss’!

Peter the Great’s Library!

In these touch-less times, there are many things of which we miss the ‘feel’: from the simple, friendly handshake to the warm, affectionate hug to the satisfyingly thumping tighthead’s tackle… we have realised that ‘touch’ is, in some ways, our most important sense. And how about the touch, ‘feel’ of a real book? Maybe a brand new one, with lovely crisp dust jacket and a smell that trumps that of a new car? Or an old classic, whose yellowed pages and weathered spine, worn by time and use, radiate the memories and pleasures of generations of readers? Well, perform your covid ritual cleansing and get ready for the return of a rare delight: real books!

A generous, and humbly anonymous, Past Parent has honoured the legacy of the greatest History teacher in history (Mr. Peter Gallagher, Principal Emeritus) by donating a bodleian bevy of books to St. Conleth’s. We miss Peter dearly at St. Conleth’s but probably no teacher would have felt the weight of the restrictions on movement and interaction more: Past Pupils will fondly remember his stalking the aisles of the classroom with volcanic energy and regular eruptions of rhetorical brilliance and his famous ‘Empty your pockets!’ archeological surveys. Yes, sadly, covid-era classes are indeed no ‘Butlin’s By the Sea’ and a far cry from the life and learning symposiums of a Peter Gallagher History class, but the vaccines are on the way, and until we can return to emulating Peter the Great, grab a book (a real one) and dream of past and future adventures. Above, we see Peter in his prime (with his last ‘Mastermind’: Simon ‘4 T’s’ Pettitt (2018)) and the Junior School enjoying their recent shipment. The Seniors’ are on the way!

Chess Champion… At Last!

The last of the Covid-delayed competitions? Well, certainly one of the most important: the St. Conleth’s Junior School Chess Cup Competition is one of our most prestigious events every year in our chess-mad school. After tough and exciting competition, Eli-John emerged as the 2020 champion!

Each class held their own tournament from 2nd-6th class with over sixty participants and the winners battled it out in until only Eli-John was left standing! Our individual class winners: 2nd Form winner – Harry Dooley; 3rd Form winner – Jamie Dunne; 4th Form winner – Eli-John Kiernan; 5th Form winner – Vladimir Bessanov; 6th Form winner – David MacNicholas. Semi-Finals: Jamie beat Harry; Eli-John beat Vlad; David beat Jamie.
And Eli-John beat David in the final!

The End is Not Nigh!

Now that the vaccine is just around the corner, we can take a lighter look at the crazy things that Covid, and the resultant panic, brought to our world. Case in point, our very own Prophet/Artist Jacq Herbots (Class of 2019). Yes, we all knew Jacq had a world class and stunning artistic talent, but we did not expect him to also follow in the footsteps of Nostradamus and Tiresias! One of Jacq Herbots’s most impressive (and interesting) creations is this interesting portrait of his brother Scott (Class of 2025)….completed a year before Covid! On behalf of the poet/prophet, Scott presented it as a timely keepsake to Ms. Halpin. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will all be laughing at the coincidence when we pass it in the hallway. But, in the meantime, if you see Jacq wearing a sandwich board on Henry Street, you had better pay attention to his message!

An Evening of Warmth and Light

Perhaps we say this every year, but the evenings do seem to be rushing down upon us faster than ever, and the coldness, dankness and darkness seem to be enjoying the doubt which hangs over our saviour Christmas. We all needed a pick-me-up and that is exactly what the former President of Ireland Mary McAleese provided during her specially arranged Zoom meeting with the St. Conleth’s community. The Parents Association should be proud of itself for arranging and organising the evening: it is not every school that gets a personal insight into the thoughts and feelings of such a national treasure and such a cultural and intellectual leader.

President McAleese managed to be all things over the course of the meeting: warm, engaging, knowledgeable, challenging, encouraging… as she amazed us with stories and insights powered by a lifetime of challenges, difficulties and success. And the session was truly a conversation, as Conlethian parents and students were encouraged to ask questions of their own, prompting the most rewarding responses from a woman who has seen, and almost done, it all. (Attached is the PA’s promotional invitation and biography.)

Christams Exams… A Reminder!

Yes, Santa is struggling in his fight with Covid, but not so Exam Commodore Ms. NiAonghusa. It stats as early as tomorrow (Friday) for some, so here is all the info again: Exam Timetable and Exam Information. The latter has never been so important as we will be running the exams in full compliance with the covid strictures. Parents and students should peruse carefully but not worry unduly. Plenty of teachers will be on hand to make sure things run smoothly and, as we all know, staying healthy and happy is always our priority, especially these days! Best of luck!

Every Cloud…

Yes, even the calamitous cloud of Covid has provided a silver lining for some: Netflix, knitting supply shops, the dog-pound, the producers of Tesco purple box ‘Indian for two’… and any south-side school girls hockey team! Why? Well a few years ago, a new girl moved onto the block, and, boy, is she a bully! The traditional powers of hockey were probably laughing through their gum shields when they heard St. Conleth’s was fielding girls hockey teams for the first time. They are not laughing now!

Ms. Speller, Ms. Leary and dearly decamped Ms. Stanley forged a formidable force in a few short years, winning trophies, shields and the respect, even the fear, of the hockey powers-that-be. So, with restricted circumstances, everyone is just training this year and while our girls are champing at the bit, others may be sighing relief! Until they allowed to take a slap-shot in anger, enjoy some pics of past glories and the training which will bring us even more!

Escaping the Void!

Of all the tall tales about our intrepid expedition leader, Gav Maguire, which have drifted back to leafy Clyde Road from the far-flung corners of our world, one of our favourites is how he inspired a particularly lacklustre group of students dawdling on the flanks of Kilimanjaro into action by stripping to the waist and scaling the Barranco Wall in his flip-flops- without a rope (or a shirt). Well, approaching middle age has mellowed Old Grizzly Gavin a bit and now he sends out younger minions to accompany the Transition Years on their various adventures. The last couple of weeks, Ms. Speller and Mr. Morris were on call, as the TYs broke Covid claustrophobia and journeyed to Sandyford to conquer The Wall.

Ms. Speller’s scout leader skills are well-known to us all by now, and, as expected, she marshalled the gangly teenagers expertly, marching them in unison from the bus while singing socially conscious campfire tunes, and somehow managing to earn two new badges for herself in the process. But who knew that within Mr. Morris’s left-side-of-the-brained, NPHET-devoted, man-of-science persona there slept an auteur? Surely, judging by the elegance of the short film above, this budding young cinematographer is destined for Cannes!

To Boldy Go…

…where no First Class Teacher has gone before! First Class performed an important experiment in rocket propulsion in preparation for the recent SpaceX launch (and as part of Science Week). The boys and girls were thrilled with the reaction of Mentos to Pepsi but quite sad (for the most part) when it was announced that Ms. Leary was to be Elon Musk’s next astronaut!

What Am I Going To Do Today?

What do you do with your lockdown leisure-time? Sean Keane of Fifth Class does not just watch Clone Wars reruns. He is writing projects on interesting countries and contacted local embassies for information. The Egyptian ambassador to Ireland, Khaled Sarwat, very kindly met with Sean and even invited him for Tea! Here is Sean receiving a flag & gift from the Egyptian Ambassador. The trip to Egypt next year is being planned already!

Sweet Tweet!

Things can happen very quickly in the world of social media! Case in point: A fan (with no name but obviously with an affection for proper football, a bottomless reservoir of hope and an eye for heartwarming artwork) is watching Arsenal TV and sees an interview with Gunner star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and during the interview, said nameless Ballsbridge-wandering fan Tweets about a certain school where the art teachers asked the students to draw what happiness meant to them and one particular kid simply said (and drew) ‘Aubameyang’.

In the video, said Aubameyang responds with a grin for the ages and we get a rare glimpse of the warm human being behind the professional footballer. Oh, and what school was that? St. Conleth’s College. Teachers? Ms. Mellon and Ms. Halpin (and Mr. O’Brien, a slowing but still effective wing player on the staff team). And which kid started this whole pleasant cacophony of birdsong? Jack Doyle, of Second Class, who proved that one word and one picture can bring a whole lot of sunshine to an otherwise gloomy autumn week!

Surfin’ Safari!

Mr. Smith and Mr. Coleman were like the Wilson Brothers last Friday on the Killiney Strand (they can fight over who gets to be Brian). Yes, the temperature was a bit nippier than in SoCo, and the beverages were only topped up with extra shots of espresso, but the dynamic duo of St. Conleth’s Geography Department did their best to make the annual Geography Fieldwork Trip feel like a real day at the beach. Yes, there was work to be done: longshore drift to be measured; groynes to be stretched; and tombolos to be touted… but there was also fresh air and freedom and fun: three things we have been keeping ourselves from, lately. Edwin even brought his fishing gear… you should have seen the one that got away!

The Holiday That Just Will Not Die!

Yes, like a zombie (or a zombie movie) St. Conleth’s Halloween celebrations keep coming back to haunt us! Here are some chalk skulls from Ms. Halpin’s First and Second Year Art Classes. And what makes them even more interesting is that the students made use of a new ‘app’ which allowed them to base their drawings on their own, actual skulls. So what do you think, all ye amateur phrenologists?

Christmas Exam Schedule! Yum!

Well, you have all been asking for it, so don’t complain! Here is your Christmas (or ‘Thanksgiving’, if you like!) Exam Schedule. Get your cutlery together for the feast!

Christmas Exam Schedule MMXX pdf

Halloweenest!

Okay, we thought we had had our last scare, but we should have known that Dr. Cecilia Franken(stein) would have a few more jolts for us! As usual, she and her mad Afterschool Laboratory assistants, Diego and Mara, cooked up enough tricks and treats to thrill their eager charges and scare away that cloying virus fear! Pumpkin-carving, costume-wearing, model car-bashing and plenty of sweet treats were all on the agenda at the Afterschool Halloween Party. Enjoy the photos below and hang on for Christmas: Cecilia just does not cancelled!

Halloween’s Last Scare!

Nothing is scarier than facing into a half-term of rain, wind, sagging masks, sodden leaves and closed pubs… emm… closed gyms and libraries, but Senior School Art Teacher Ms. Halpin and the TYs did their best to frighten and distract us on the eve of this November to disremember!

Same Old Samhain!

Of course, Halloween blossomed as it always does, as surely as the coloured leaves fall in swirling eddies along Clyde Road and fill the garden of No. 28 with fun-filled droves. The sweets had to be individually wrapped, of course, but aside from that, the glucose-loaded treats were as energising, the tricks were trickier, and the costumes were as stunning as ever… if anything, Junior School Halloween borrowed something from Nigel Tufnel, and turned it ‘up to 11’ this year!

Hallo-winners!

All this Covid paranoia floating through the air, or lying in wait on unsuspecting surfaces, has had some positive side effects, such as rendering relatively benign what would normally seem to be a dangerous activity: for example, allowing your youngster to use a 12 inch butcher knife to carve a rounded, slippery pumpkin! I mean, if the world is ending anyways, what the heck, just go for it! And we are glad they did, as the Junior School pupils turned these bloated, orangey New World gourds into some amazing creations.

Above, you see Afterschool Director/ Crazy Banana Cecilia Franken presenting the winners of the competition with their prizes. We also cleared our awards accounts by presenting prizes for best participation in the last lockdown’s Virtual Sports Week. At least, the kids are staying in school this time! And last but not least, legendary Speech and Drama Teacher Pat Howe awards his two Gold Medals for the Covid Eve exams. Pat has been our Louis Walsh/Simon Cowell/Gilbert/Sullivan for years, and one of the best things about the post-Covid world will be a return of his and Eimear Hartnett’s fantabulous stage productions!

Halloween MMXX

The Halloween franchise of horror movies headed south after II but MMXX threatens to be the scariest of them all! For our young, healthy students it is not the virus itself, but the cancellation of many of the fun-filled traditions of the holiday such as ‘Trick or Treat’-ing. We guess it is all ‘trick’, this year! Nevertheless, the spirit(s) of Halloween stayed strong St. Conleth’s this year. We will start you with the Senior School, where the restrictions flipped the tables…and the teachers were encouraged to do the dress-up and the antics. Some of us did not need much of a push!

And in the Junior School, things were the right way around… First up: a video produced by noted cinema verité auteur, and the darling of the Roscommon avant garde, Mr. Kilcommons, and a host of Junior School actors and assistants!

Soccer Stars!

Our legendary Headmaster Kevin Kelleher famously preferred the oblong ball to the round but his comments about soccer and its fanbase were usually just good-natured jokes and Mr. K. always welcomed and encouraged any attempt by our staff to foster healthy athletic competition. Indeed, Shay Keenan was right there by Mr. K’s side for most of those years. Well, Shay is still there, surrounded by enthusiastic youngsters, running PE classes and events like last week’s covid-postponed 2020 Junior School Soccer Tournament. Of course, new Junior Sport Czar Louis Magee was there too, somehow corralling the can’t-stand-still-for-a-second-because-they-are-so-excited kids into teams and a knock-out format.

The thrills and spills were as dramatic as ever, with the physics-defying, post-phantom foul agony roll a highlight, and the goal celebrations were as stylish, albeit socially distanced. There were some surprise results due to a levelling of standard with the lack of preparation time across the board. In our geographically imaginative matches, Athlone Town beat Boca Juniors (substance over style); Cabinteely beating Arsenal (ditto);  UCD beating PSG (poor students over galacticos); and Salford beating Bayern (What’s ‘Salford’?). As you can see from the beaming faces, including Louis, a great time was had by all!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The Life in a Day

One of the few places where there is any life these days is in our schools, and we are not talking the viral, microscopic kind! Yes, there are masks and restrictions, but the ability to ‘get on with it’ seems to be a skill common to nearly all our students and they are an inspiration to us bemoaning boomers! Here we see a selection of activities and attitudes which prove that resilience is never in remission at St. Conleth’s!

Young Masters

Thankfully, the latest lockdown does not include the closing of schools, but even if the Covid czars deemed it necessary, our students are well prepared to carry on learning and creating. Case in point: Junior School Art. Below you see some of the masterpieces created by two of our young masters, Christian Boyle and Vladimir Bessonov, during the last lockdown as part of a virtual art camp run by Ms. Mellon. Christian won the special prize of a signed piece of Ms. Mellon’s own artwork for his Dandelion Seed painting and Collage Contemporary Art Piece and Vladimir the same for his Craft & Design- Make a Picture Frame Cherry Blossom Painting. Well done to the two boys, Ms. Mellon and all those who took part.

Covid Blues?

Yes, we are all singing that sad little song, but one way to change the tune is to understand the virus better, and to investigate the psychological costs of the various restrictions put in place to combat it. Could the cure actually be worse than the illness? First Year Jamie MacNicholas has taken on the challenge to find out, and in the process gained entry to the main Young Scientist competition, following the guidance of his Science teacher, Mr. Callaghan, and in the footsteps of last year’s winner Cuan Moore and a long litany of BTYS Conlethian stars such as the famous Zorin Brothers. Here. Jamie explains his project himself, and how you can help him with the research:

I have entered the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition which will take place virtually in January. The title of my project is COVID-19: A statistical investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 social restrictions during the lockdown on the well-being of 10 to 18 year olds.

A report from UNICEF in May of this year stated “Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims. While they have thankfully been largely spared from the direct health effects of Covid-19 at least to date – the crisis is having a profound effect on their wellbeing.”

In my project, I want to investigate (i) the impact that COVID-19 social restrictions have had on the well-being of 10 to 18 year olds during the lockdown (ii) the amount of daily physical activity undertaken by young people during the lockdown and (iii) the amount of time spent by young people playing video games and watching TV during the lockdown.  

I hope to get over 200 volunteers between the age of 10 and 18 in St. Conleth’s College to complete a voluntary, anonymous, online questionnaire using SurveyMonkey. The survey will ask questions about their experience during the lockdown. I have prepared a questionnaire similar to the questionnaire used by the CSO in April this year when they measured the impact that COVID-19 has had on personal well-being in Ireland. 

If you are a St. Conleth’s student and aged between 10 and 18, please click on this link and complete the survey. Thank you. Jamie MacNicholas

Hightower Transmissions!

Louis Magee, a friendly giant but tough training taskmaster, has added to his already formidable duties as Head of Junior Rugby in the Senior School and Director of Junior School Sports and PE (we are still looking for a suitable acronym!) by taking on Twitter duties (@StConlethsSport) for all things sporty at St. Conleth’s. As committed free marketeers, we welcome the competition and the camaraderie! Here we see Louis’s first tweets and a pre-covid example of his ability to foster team spirit and unity.

Old Boy Brings The Skills!

At a special SCT training session, Junior School Past Pupil Callum Dowling joined Coaches Louis and Mr. Morris to pass on some of the skills he learned playing at the highest of schoolboy and Leinster youth levels. Callum was the Senior Cup captain of Clongowes Wood, who reached the final of the Senior Cup this past year, only for Covid to stop the match being played. Callum has also been involved with the Leinster U20’s.  The coaches and the team were delighted to have a player of his calibre join them. Of course, every week, all our rugby teams benefit from the expertise of Past Pupils Luke McCay and Gavin Nugent. Below you see our coaches and players at that training session, as well as a snap of one of Callum’s past days of glory. Notic the name on the trophy!

The O Dulaing Visits The O Rahilly

Sing of the O Rahilly!

Do not deny his right;
Sing a ‘the’ before his name;
Allow that he, despite
All those learned historians,
Established it for good;
He wrote out that word himself,
He christened himself with blood. WB Yeats

Also, sing of The O Dulaing, who sprang his Sixth Year Irish class from the mind-forged manacles of Covid restrictions and bravely led them on a solemn pilgrimage to the outskirts of Herbert Park, a notorious loyalist den, to stand witness to The O Rahilly, first slain by the British in 1916’s Sackville Lane and now desecrated by developer’s greed (or council incompetence) with the destruction of his family home. The O Dulaing duly informed his class of this important footnote of Irish history, proving that even on confluence of Waterloo and Wellington, green shoots do grow!

Junior Art Offensive!

All our teachers are struggling a bit with covid regulations which restrict the movements and the materials which are so important to their craft, but no more so than our art teachers whose discipline is all about contact and collaboration. So, it is even more amazing that our Junior and Senior School Art teachers, Ms. Mellon and Ms. Halpin, have already been consistently churning out stunning pieces with their classes, covid be darned! In fact, the students seem to be relishing the freedom that art grants, a freedom undaunted by masks and frequent hand-washing. We have seen below some Senior School art: now, here is what the Juniors have been up to.

Making a virtue out of necessity, Ms. Mellon took the covid ban on interior displays as an opportunity for even bolder exhibition, lining the fence railings of the school with the art of our Junior Students. Many a passing pedestrian and car slows down to admire the creativity and late last Thursday evening we personally saw the power of art: a young girl was biking by with her father when she insisted he stop and wait as she slowly walked along, admiring each and every piece. Not one of our students, just someone who appreciated the extra colour and life we have brought to Clyde Road!

TYs Paint their Brains!

St. Conleth’s Senior School Art Teacher Ms. Halpin is always pushing the boundaries, especially in her Transition Year art class, where there is no looming state exam or curricular straight-jacket. And the TYs are happy to try new methods and new materials: neurographic art, for example. Neurography was discovered and developed by Pavel Piskarev, a Russian psychologist and creativity entrepreneur who said something like this about the craze he started: ‘Creative method of transforming the world. Author’s method. Interdisciplinary practice that allows you to make the necessary personal changes, reliably remove restrictions and successfully simulate a new, desired reality.” (It sounds more impressive if you hear it in a Russian accent.) The process involves challenging inner thoughts and worries into the drawing of abstract shapes and then creatively colouring. So, art and therapy in a one go: a perfect tonic for our times!

Rockett Men!

Like twin Apollos (or Sputniks, if you are more that way inclined) the Rockett brothers have blazed across the artistic firmament of St. Conleth’s. The elder model, Matthew (Class of 2019), was a permanent highlight of our various school concerts, culminating in his virtuoso piano performances of his own avant garde compositions in Sixth Year. And younger brother Stephen, Apollo (Class of) 21, is no mean fiddler himself, but has chosen mainly the artistic realm of paper, pencil and brush for his explosive talents. Case in point: over the lockdown, some of us used the extra leisure time to catch up on South Korean detective series or the rapscallion antics of quirky American zoo keepers, but Stephen took a nobler path. He decided to take one one idea, one theme- really just one word, and explore it artistically in a journal. The word was ‘apple’ and as you can see below, the results are incredible. And, if we get shut down again, the only good news is that Stephen is looking for a suitable ‘B’ word to do it all over again! ‘Banana’ is expected but we are hoping for ‘Beatle’!

Gaeilge agus Clasaiceach agus Baseball sa pháirc!

Some Covid restrictions are more fun than others… like the encouragement for learning al fresco! Right now, we hear the rains of Storm Alex hammering down on our tin roof rusted, but last week the weather was intermittently divine and we did not need much encouragement to follow the government diktat to get the children out where the the zephyrs roam.

Above and below we see some Wellbeing, Irish, Classics… and baseball learning going on in the friendly expanses of Herbert Park. Yes, we will all be happy to see the tail end of this virus but we can make the most of the special opportunities which have arisen because of it in the meantime. Someone has to help Gav Maguire keep Lolly and Cook’s in business!

I Have Two Points, Sir!

Only two, are you sure, Oisín? It is with great ambivalence that teachers face the prospect of having a schools debater in their class or, heaven forbid, two or more. On the one hand, we are guaranteed continuous, enthusiastic, irrepressible, hubristic contributions to class discussions, but, on the other hand, we are guaranteed continuous, enthusiastic, irrepressible, hubristic… Joking aside, Schools Debating is the one sure thing at which we know we are the absolute best in the land. The roll calls of Leinster, All Ireland and World Champions are replete with Conlethians. And the tradition which feeds that success: that of open and lively debate within our classrooms is a core component of our distinctive learning culture. Conlethians simply discuss stuff. Anything and everything. And we do it all the time.

News of our latest debating success came through last week. Evan Power, Leo Nolan, Coleman Hegarty and Oisín Power took part (via Zoom) in a multi-province debate to determine the make-up of Ireland’s Senior International Schools Debating Team. It was open to all school debaters from Leinster and Ulster, attempting to get a place on the five person team. There were two preliminary debates with the motions that ‘This house would abolish Juries in all Criminal Trials’ and this ‘This house supports the radical redistribution of wealth’ (but not the debaters’ families’). Our team of Fourth and Fifth Years did very well against mostly Sixth Year competition and Oisín was chosen to be one of eight debaters to make it to the Leinster+Ulster Final. There he debated ‘That this house regrets the the prevalence of good against evil in children’s literature’ (that includes the New York Times). Oisín spoke with his customary tenderness and compassion, finishing just outside the top five. Well done to all four participants. By incredible coincidence three of them can be seen above, sitting next (-ish) to each other in LC Latin class!

2020: A Fine Vintage!*

  • Updated with more photos and destinations!

Aside from seeing graduating students achieving their desired university places, one of the chief joys of teaching is receiving the heartfelt thanks of these departing pupils. Last May, these Thank Yous were especially welcome, as they were inexplicably accompanied by brown envelopes stuffed with cash! In all seriousness, the whole Leaving Certificate calculated grades situation was a stressful time for all involved, especially for the students themselves. Yet, when the smoke from algorithmic machines and the social engineering devices finally cleared, nearly all our graduating class received the third level offers of their choice. Yes, a difficult and delayed harvest, but in the end, a fine vintage.

One thing was never in doubt: the Class of 2020 were leaving St. Conleth’s as young men and women who had matured and developed to the best of all their abilities, not just academic, and they left St. Conleth’s a better place for having been there. Our past pupils have a habit of dropping by, and though they may have to wait till this darn covid thing is done, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 back to No. 28 Clyde Road.

Juniors: Learn, Paint, Eat, Play!

Everything has been compartmentalised in this covid era: the co-operative learning and cross-curricular cross-pollination have been put on hold. We live according to tight schedules and clear boundaries. We hesitate. We proceed slowly. We have no fun. Well…. someone clearly forgot to tell all this to our Junior School students! Yes, they religiously keep within their class ‘pods’ and the older ones have plexiglass shields, but aside from that and a bit of over-tiredness in their teachers, life and learning goes on as normally in St. Conleth’s Junior School!

Above we see the classroom shields in action, with not a bother for the inhabitants of the individual cells; in fact, the boys and girls are enjoying their futuristic ‘my spaces’! We also witness the unveiling and initiation of their art packs: an essential item when one is a tethered to one spot for a while. Junior Art Teacher Ms. Mellon is already working wonders with them. Of course, after all that learning, lunch is on the agenda and Chef Mark and his team have pulled out all the stops in continuing the canteen’s tradition of tasty nd nutritious food- but now in covid-proof, individual containers. And it is all served up by the best wait-staff in Dublin: the Junior School classroom teachers. Afterwards, it is pod-play outside in the garden. As you can see, break-time is as fun and raucous as ever!

Sportacus Redux!

Yes, afterschool sport is back at St. Conleth’s Senior School! Only rugby and hockey for now, but it a welcome start to a return to normality for our school community. We have noticed that for all the success and many positives of our ‘coping with covid’ existence, many students noticeably missed the exercise, competition and camaraderie of organised school sport. Mr. Smyth, our Head of Sport, gives all the details:

We are delighted to announce that After-School Sports Rugby and Hockey are returning this week. At the minute we can only have training sessions in small groups but all the coaches have plans in place to make sure we are following the guidelines set out by the Government. Students will remain in the same groups that are set out their coaches for the coming weeks so mixing between students will be at a minimum. 
With regard to Covid and training, it is imperative that all students who attend training follow the instructions set out by the coaches. There will be a very strict policy in place with regard to behaviour and if a student is in breach of any instructions regarding behaviour or Covid guidelines, they will not be allowed to train for the rest of the School year. 

Hockey 
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year girls will be training in Pembroke Hockey Club on Tuesdays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:30-2:30pm) and Thursdays (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train.

Rugby
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th year boys will be training in Wanderers Rugby Club on Mondays (4-5pm), Wednesdays (1:20-2:20pm) and Friday’s (4-5pm). Please make sure students are collected on time unless they are travelling home by foot, bicycle, bus or train. 

If students are unable to attend training, it is up to them to inform the coaches. Students may NOT attend training if they have not in school on that day. 

Hopefully we can get back to some sort of normality in the coming weeks but for now, we are delighted to able to get the students training with their classmates, even if it is in small groups. 

With regard to other sports, we are monitoring the guidelines set out for each level but for now, all we can allow is Rugby and Hockey. Hopefully we can change that in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,
Ciarán Smith
Head of Sports,
St. Conleth’s College

Prized Poetry!

Transition Year Siobhán Fitzgerald did not spend her lockdown gorging on the latest dark Danish Netflix sci-fi series. Okay… maybe she did a bit of that, but she somehow also found time to finely hone her already impressive creative writing skills, to the point where earned two separate, national commendations! One of her poems, ‘Much Too Young’ has been accepted for publication in an anthology on climate crisis edited by poet Alice Kinsella which is forthcoming from Doire Press in Spring 2021. Her poem will sit alongside works by such established poets as Claire Hennessy, Jan Carson, Rick O’Shea, and Paula Meehan.

Siobhán was also chosen as a Runner Up in the Post-Primary Junior Category  of the Trocaire / Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2020 for the same poem, ‘No More’. She read her poem at the awards ceremony during Culture Night on the 18th of September. Here is her award letter and below you can see a recording of her reading. (Skip to 20:12 if you just want to hear Siobhán!).

As part of the award Poetry Ireland will also organise an author visit to St. Conleth’s: another reason to look forward to the ending of the covid conditions. Well done to Siobhán, a great example of what students can achieve under their own initiative. We encourage all our students, especially TYs, to take on similar challenges!

Juniors Get Down and Dirty!

St. Conleth’s resident fitness guru Adam Swan keeps an immaculately clean Fitness Suite, especially these days, but that does not mean he is afraid to get his charges a bit mucky when Mr. Keenan, Mr. O’Brien and he lead a contingent of eager Junior School pupils down to Herbert Park for some PE and rugby training. Sure, everyone loves the astro and its pristine surface but nothing beats a ruck and a roll on real grass, especially if there a few leaves, earthworms and pod-mates to smush into the ground. There is nothing like a bit of fresh air and action after obeying covid restrictions since the morning bell!

Jolly Hockey Sticks?

Ms. Leary, St. Conleth’s Junior Hockey Coach, makes Chuck Norris look like a wimp. The most notorious basic training regimen in all the U.S. armed forces is the Marines’, which takes place on Parris Island, South Carolina. Apparently, Ms. Leary goes there for holidays. When Siberia is all booked up. But our Junior Hockey Girls love her, because the intense training sessions are always accompanied by personal care, unbridled enthusiasm and good humour. Here we see an early season workout at the Herbert Park Astro. Soon our Seniors will be back in action. Remember, St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational and the girls are bringing home more than their fair share of trophies!

Covid Coping!

Covid Coping in the Senior School: breaktime buddying, a class captain election dance and education al fresco in Herbert Park!

Claudio’s Triple Triumph!

A new fencing season kicked off earlier this month; however, due to Covid-19 – the rewards announcement acknowledging the 2019-2020 season was delayed until recently. Our very own Claudio Sosa Smatralova won a rare triple: the Best Cadet, Junior and Senior Fencer in Ireland. A proud, longstanding Conlethian tradition lives on!

PE, not PPE!

It is time to get back to abbreviations that mean something fun… like PE! Ms. Coleman’s Fourth Class enjoyed a full Physical Education class down at the astro-pitch in Herbert Park and, under PE Teacher Louis Magee’s careful guidance, the same old run-and-kick and rough-and-tumble fun was had by all. With fresh air wafting all around, the fear of the ‘cooties’ was quickly banished and the kids were back to being kids again!

Splendour on the Grass

Poets such as Poe feared the invasive reach of personified Science, ‘who alterest all things with (its) peering eyes’ and ‘has torn the Elfin from the green grass’ but Edgar Allan must have been thinking about ye olde Junior Certificate Science, because clearly the spanking new, right-on and hands-on Junior Cycle Science frolics along hand-in-hand with poetry, imagination and the nobler arts. Case in point: Ms. Phelan’s First Year Science class. A few years back, Ms. Phelan would have attached electrodes or gas tubing to any student who suggested taking a walk in the park to engage in scientific observation. Now, it is part of the curriculum! Below we see our youngsters in action, examining the grass but leaving the elves be… including the sprites of a Second Year English class who were enjoying a bit of poetry and ceremonial dipping of footwear in the pond.

The Summer Wind…

…came blowing’ in from across the sea, and blew away all concerns, of Covid 19. At least, for First Class kids, it did! Yes, our proud older statesmen of the Preparatory School were back to work in Ms. Leary’s classroom and, well-protected by their cocooning (and their youth), even group work was on the agenda. After all that hard academic work, a carefree break-time was in order- as it always is, and should be. If the masks and the endearingly scented hand cleanser ever get you down, just have a peak through the wrought-iron fence railings of 28 Clyde Road: it will banish the biohazard blues!

On Raglan Road of an autumn day…

…and on Wellington Road…and Waterloo…and the Grand Canal! Principal Dónal ODúlaing took a short stroll with 2a to visit some local cultural touchstones. The weather was warm and the conversation was scintillating: music was on the agenda and everyone from Luke Kelly to the Villagers to Conlethian alumni Versatile came up. And then a bit of a rest on the banks of the canal. Patrick Kavanagh was glad for the company- and he did not insist on social distancing!

Juniors Roll With It!

At break-time, sometimes, the Juniors are literally rolling with it, as they, safely within their class ‘pods’, enjoy the fun-and-games and rough-and-tumble, as they always have. But academic work must also be done, and here we see Ms. Dillon’s Third Class pupils working away, without a second thought about the perspex shields between them. And for a bit of fresh air, the students can enjoy a class outside, as Second Class recently did with Mr. O’Brien. Yes, the students are just ‘getting on with it’ during these challenging times!

Junior School Menu!

Yes, the Senior School kids must wait a few more days (lovely sandwiches, in the meantime, for them!) but we are officially opening our full canteen service for our Junior School pupils from Monday, September 7th. Covid restrictions necessitate pre-ordering, so Junior Parents must follow the following steps to assure a plateful of Chef Mark’s delicacies for their child: 1) Read the menu below 2) Ask your child what he/she wants for Monday’s lunch (or tell them!) 3) Click on the green button in the upper right corner of our website homepage labelled ‘Cashless Canteen Account’ 4) Log in. 5) Scroll down to ‘Pre-Orders’ and hit the blue ‘View Menu’ button 5) Make your selection (with an eye on the allergens as noted on the menu)

Don’t worry, it is an easier process than it sounds. And it assures your child gets both nutrition and taste…. while you know for what you are paying!

This week’s menu:

Menu PDF

Sailing Takes Me Away…

If one man could defeat Covid-19 all by himself, and we know that is impossible, but if one man could vanquish this pandemic…. it would undoubtedly be the unflappable Mr. Gavin ‘Gav’ Maguire (Class of 1990). Our intrepid explorer and expedition leader has faced down some mighty challenges on all seven continents and across seven seas, and he has acquired many a herbal remedy in his journeys, which he keeps lodged in his ever-present, trusty and fashionable man bag.

Given enough time, we think Gav could cook up some kind of elixir for the current plague but the problem is just that: Gav simply does not have the time! For, Gav and the TYs were already in action on Thursday, starting off the year with a sailing session at the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire (with none other than John Melia, of the Class of 2020, there to show them the ropes… and the knots). And today, Friday, they are off again: who knows where, but we are sure more news and pics of Transition Year derring-do will soon be zinging in over the wireless!

Hi-Yo, Students! Away!

Yes, we are off with a shot at St. Conleth’s; however, not as lonesome rangers but as a unified community ready to face this unprecedented challenge, together.

Each class and year that has arrived this week has come in quietly and a bit in awe of the situation. But with the careful guidance of our Junior and Senior Form Teachers, and leadership from Principals Kilcommons and ÓDulaing, fears were allayed and spirts were emboldened and, by week’s end, we were back to being St. Conleth’s: the best possible place to learn and have some fun, often at the same time. Of course, some things need to be ironed out: for example, our first real break-time on Friday may well resemble the migration of the wildebeest, but we will learn, make changes and move on. Stay tuned as we fine-tune learning in the covid era!

Welcome Back!

Yes, it is finally happening! Turn off the Netflix, try on the uniform and leave the dog in peace for once…. it is almost time to return to school! We have adjusted our return to school schedule for the Senior School from what is on the Calendar pdf but the changes are reflected below and in Upcoming Events:

Return to School
Monday August 31 – Staff Day

Tuesday September 1–  1st Year: 10.00-12.00                  2nd Year: 1.00-3.00
Wednesday September 2– 3rd Year:  9.00 -11.00             TY: 11.30-1.30
Thursday September 3–  5th Year: 10.00-12.00                6th Year: 1.00-3.00
Friday September  4–  All Classes Return for an 8.20 start and 12:45 finish

The induction sessions are just for the students but parents will have Zoom Meetings with Mr. ODulaing. All parents have been contacted via email by Principals ODulaing and Kilcommons, with this and other vital information regarding the return to school in these challenging times, but rest assured that St. Conleth’s is still St. Conleth’s and though there may be a few difficulties in the first few days, the learning and the fun will soon be back up to speed!

DES Video for the Return to School

St Conleth’s Return to School Protocols for Pupils and Parents

Information from HSE for Parents

Citizen Sweeney

During the lockdown, the rest of us may have been lost in South Korean detective series or faithfully following the adventures of Oklahoman zoo-keepers, but Rory Sweeney (Class of 2018) was too busy putting the finishing touches on his second year film, a significant step in his progress towards earning his National Film School BA in Film + TV Production at IADT. Rory was always active in cinematic matters while at St. Conleth’s, reviving the Film Club and spending his breaks (and some school time!) working as an extra and as an assistant with such movie business notables as Brendan Gleeson.

His second year film, ‘Rhythm’, can be viewed above, and it is accompanied by a text which was to introduce it at an art gallery premier but, alas, Covid intervened. We have also included an earlier short of Rory’s, entitled ‘Coast’, below. Enjoy, and do stay tuned, as we are sure to see Rory Sweeney behind the camera of bigger productions in the coming years!

Beware the Ides of… July?

If Ceasar had survived into the month named for him, he would have enjoyed this corona-delayed news. On one of the last, hectic, mad days of school before the shutdown in March, over forty of our Classics students attended the Second Annual Young Classicist Symposium in UCD. Yes, in retrospect, crowding a couple hundred eager, restless adolescents into a lecture hall may not have been the best covid strategy but they were more innocent times and all our legionnaires came through in good, marching order. It was a day full of fun and learning as we enjoyed viewing hundreds of projects on various Classics-related subjects, from Charlie Plant’s edible exploration of Roman cuisine to Lochlan Quinn’s theories on the ‘lost years’ of the Trojan War.

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All our First Year Classics kids entered, as did several Second Years and our Fifth Years came along for moral and security support. The judges, including the gregarious Professor Philip De Souza, were impressed by all our entries, but in the end, after much deliberation, they chose to award a Bronze to Harry Collins, James Power and Cúan Moore’s hilarious but informative exposé of the plebeian diet and Silver to James O’Neill’s authoritative history of Roman aqueducts (click for full projects). Mid-March, when all this happened, seems like 44 BC now in retrospect, but we hope to all be back to more educational hijinks, especially in Classics, soon!

Update! Birds of Paradise!

Before we shuffle off to Butlin’s by the Sea for our staycation we will provide some last shots of what our students were up to this year, before and after the latently loosening lockdown. And just in case you are not quite brave (or, maybe, crazy) enough yet to board the garishly yellow upholstered shuttles to Mediterranea, we are bringing you some much-needed exoticism colour in the form of Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin’s First Year Clay Tiles Project. Each bird was sculpted and painted by an individual student, and they stand alone as lovely works of art, but when Ms. Halpin was able to put them all together, I am sure you will agree, something very special was created!

See You on the Thames!

Lockdown loosens… random alumni encounters begin again! We ran into Daniel Gilligan (Class of 2016) and his lovely girlfriend, Aishling, in the old Herbo and aside from trading snide comments about STEM guys (to the bemusement of Aishling, a Physics major) we also learned that Daniel is about to begin a Master’s in Law at Oxford University. Daniel, a graduating Trinity Schol in History and Politics, is clearly destined for great things… including an impending show-down with Conor White (Captain, Class of 2015), who is completing his own Master’s in Law at Cambridge University. Both Daniel and Aishling would have crossed pontifical swords with Conor at the Irish Times Debate last year, the winning of which provided our photogenic couple with a grand tour of America, warts and all, red states and blue.

Now, with both Daniel and Conor temporarily ensconced in the Home Counties, the two former Irish schools debating champions will surely meet again on some rostrum or another, or maybe at a shadowy Bullingdon Club Oxbridge mixer….. but we also fancy a face-off between Conlethian greats on the Thames at The Boat Race. (If you have to ask ‘Which boat race?’, don’t bother…) Conor and Daniel showed some athletic prowess while playing basketball at their alma mater, and we think the former, as a strong and steady type, is a natural for a stern rowing position and the latter would be the most rhetorical of coxswains!

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Backyardigans! (With Collage!)

The lockdown is lifting just in time for our Junior School’s summer break and we can just imagine the delight with which our parents will be releasing their children into the wild… but we are not quite there yet, with some lingering limitations still in effect, such as the time-honoured fixture of school Sports Day being forced into a digitally distanced version.

Ms. Leary’s Virtual Sports Day Collage

Not that these limitations dampened the enthusiasm or performances of our Preparatory School children as they enjoyed competing in the special day from the safe distance of their backyard or local park. I am sure everyone qualified for some kind of medal!

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Get Active! Be Thematic!

It was the penultimate week of the Junior School’s lockdown season, and the Junior School teaching staff pulled out all the stops, setting up challenges for their students which involved a variety of physical skills. Of course, being a very ‘hands-on’ staff, the teachers demonstrated the particular skill, themselves, and each drew on their particular area of expertise: Mr. Kilcommon showed that the skills learned in his youth as a midlands carny have not all rusted away and he can still juggle with the best of them; Ms. Coleman displayed the tough, no-nonsense Munstery side of rugby in her skills display; Mr. O’Brien brought his characteristic zany touch (and a sweet one it is!) to keepy-ups; and Mr. Sheridan showed some Gallic flair for his roundball version of the same.

And the students rose to the challenge! Below are just a few examples of their effort, dexterity and discipline. And stay tuned, as this current week is ‘Theme Week’ and there is sure to be some great pics and news as we go along. Here is the Theme Week Booklet pdf, so you don’t miss a minute of it!

The Long Good-Bye!

We were getting a bit ahead of ourselves when we dramatically announced the end of Afterschool and Morning Club Programme Director Cecilia Franken’s last Lockdown ‘Take-Away’ treat last week: we should have know that Cecilia always works overtime! So, here is the real last broadcast of the series that has kept us going these last few months. Cecilia animates ‘The Little Flyer’ story in her own special way and gives us the solution to that Paper Bridge Challenge. Arrivederci!

TYs Zoom Outta Here!

For a man who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in flip-flops and has swum the mighty Ganges River in those French campground type of tight bathing shorts, you would not think walking into one’s usual place-of-work would be such a great accomplishment… but these are strange times indeed, and Transition Year Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire’s decision to heroically host the TY Graduation Ceremony from old No. 28 Clyde Road is proof that when the times get tough, the tough get going. And, no, the fact that Tolteca, down the road, has recently opened up for take-out had nothing to do with Gav’s decision to ‘make it real’ for his beloved TYs. And what a ceremony it was!

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Gav reacquainted us all with the dearly missed St. Conleth’s campus, Adam hosted a video retrospective of the year and Gav gave out some eagerly contested awards. Among the winners were Emile Boostrom Ogawa for Best Portfolio Website, Eva Stylianides for Best Actor, Leah Crimmins and James Moriarty Smyth for Musician of the Year and Louis Cullen for TY Linguist. Of course, the two most prestigious TY awards are those named in honour of two past pupils, JP McGilligan and Neil Quinlan. James Moriarty Smyth deservedly won the McGilligan for best overall TY student and Adam Rafter and Matthew McKeown shared the Quinlan award for class spirit, as voted on by their peers. In reality, everyone who stuck with Gav’s programme during these trying times deserves an award and we hope the graduating TYs enjoy a richly deserved summer break and that the current Third Years are ready to hit the TY ground running in September. Gav is going to be well-rested and ready!

Art from the Vaults!

Judging from the pieces below, Ms. Halpin’s Senior School Art students have been, if anything, even more creative during the corona lockdown. Last week we saw some amazing First Year works, created in homage of particular masterpieces. This week, it is the Third Years’ turn and we can enjoy a range of work from their Junior Certificate portfolios including snapshots of the development process that underlies every great work of art. More to come!

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Now, It Is Up To You!

Our After-School and Morning Club Programme Director, Cecilia Franken, has kept us all busy during the lockdown with her entertaining stories and plays, interesting scientific experiments and inspiring challenges. But now, boys, girls and parents, it is up to you to continue the learning fun on your own through the summer, and come back to Cecilia with tales of your adventures in September. So here they are, our last weekly Experiment and Challenge!

Sports Day… Redux!

The exodus from one side of Dublin 4 to the other began at break-time, and though we lost a few stragglers in the meandering back allies and cowpaths of the ‘Ringer’ and Irishtown, most of the students eventually arrived at he splendid sporting facilities of Irishtown Stadium, ready to enthusiastically take part in one of our most eagerly anticipated yearly rituals: St. Conleth’s Senior School Sportsday.  All the usual suspects were there… ah yes, our habitual style of reporting one of St. Conleth’s most beloved annual rituals: Sports Day! Sadly, not this year. Rían Lawlor is eagerly trying to organise a Wii Sports version but until that happens we will enjoy a trip through the years. Keep scrolling!

2019

Yes, we said running

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running a bit further…

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jumping upwards…

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jumping outwards…

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throwing…

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or just hanging out!

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2018

winning or cheering (and laughing) as others took their turns.  Yes, we said running

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jumping…

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throwing…

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winning…

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or just hanging out!

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2017

running

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jumping…

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throwing…

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winning…

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or just hanging out!

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2016

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It was GINORMOUS!

Do you remember when everything bigger than us was ‘enormous’ or, even, ‘ginormous‘? When anything numbering more than ten was calculated as ‘millions’? Well, thankfully, this covid thing has not diminished our youngsters’ love of hyperbole. Kids still like to learn about stuff and do stuff… and the bigger, the better! Case in point: one of Ms. Redmond’s Senior Infant class’s projects.

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The lockdown has been hard on all of us but imagine being five or six and having to comprehend this crisis… yes, it would just seem absolutely ginormous! Yet, unlike some of us, St. Conleth’s Preparatory School just seem to ‘get on with it’. Part of ‘it’ for the Senior Infants was reading and enjoying Roald Dahl’s classic ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ and then coming up with suitable gigantic projects at home in response. Enjoy the pics above and below and mind those canal waters on your next walk or run!

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Horrible Harriet but Perfect Pastries!

Cecilia give you a popular story this week… and something to munch on while you watch and listen. The story is Horrible Harriet by Leigh Hobbs, an old favourite of many, and Ceilia gives it a virtuoso performance. As for the croissants, Cecilia provides her own recipe (with a noticeable Italian flair) but you have to make them yourself!

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: EASY CROISSANT (PDF)

There Are 86 Attendees in the Waiting Room…

The first ever St. Conleth’s ‘Zoomed’ Graduation Ceremony was a smash hit! Yes, we will have a more formal affair in the Fall, but this student-produced, standing-room-only variety show was chock full of nostalgic humour and poignancy, from heartfelt advice from management and teachers through honest expressions of appreciation from the graduates to some very imaginative personal ‘bios’ of select students. The Class of 2020 even received some helpful dating advice from Mr. Carvill! The whole class and all their current teachers attended, as well as several student and staff ‘alumni’ who returned to share in the experience. Yes, we look forward to another, more ‘physical’ ceremony in the school in the autumn, but really this will be hard to beat. Well done to Emily, James, John, Oisín, Joe and all the others who organised and took part in this perfectly pitched celebration in imperfect times. Enjoy the pics: full video on the way!

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Captains Consensus!

If there is one thing that we take seriously at St. Conleth’s, it is the election of our School Captain. The UN Election Observers are brought in, identifications are carefully checked and we make sure that no votes of members of the Class of 1939 have somehow mysteriously made it into the ballot box. And Covid-19 did not alter this scrupulousness: Mr. Carvill arranged arranged long-distance versions of all the usual steps; from a call for nominees, through Zoom speeches by the candidates to their class and an initial student vote and, eventually, the same for the digitally assembled staff by the semi-finalists. The fact that there were fifteen initial nominees says a lot about the class and the school: so many students want to take a leading part in the life of St. Conleth’s. After the student vote, the field was narrowed to a high quality six: Matthew Lynch, Colin Bolger, Ciara MacNally, Ted O’Kelly, Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye. All these sincere and enthusiastic youngsters then presented their cases to the staff via Zoom, and though there was a variety of styles and emphases, we were left knowing that we were in good student leadership hands for 2020-2021, regardless of the outcome. In the end, Ted O’Kelly was elected School Captain with Daniel Duarte-Borraz and Emily Joye being selected as Vice Captains. With these three at the helm, we will really hit the ground running in September!

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Second Form Bridge Builders!

Mr. O’Brien has been catering to both sides of his pupils’ brains during this period of distance learning. On the STEM side, he and his eager Second Formers explored different types of bridges around the world and then designed and built their own- with Lego, cardboard and whatever was available during the lockdown scarcity! On the more literary side, they enjoyed a troll through Irish myths and legends over the last few weeks. And Noah and his sister Elodie (Fourth Form) made a stop motion version of ‘The Children of Lir’ which was very impressive, indeed, and can be seen below.

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Francophonic Finale!

Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:

Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!

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One More Chukka!

We will miss dearly all our Sixth Years, but one young man in particular has left a legacy of good humour, easygoing charm and warm friendliness, which we will find hard to replace. And, typical of Alex Reynolds, we did not even know that he had a hidden talent and has been a competitive polo player these last few years. Here he brings us up to date, just before he rides off into the sunset!

Even though I have long been interested horses, I had very little experience of polo until about five years ago. I had played a few chukkas here and there, but not too many. But, now, I could not imagine not playing polo and being on a horse hitting a ball with the mallet. I truly have found a passion for polo and horses, and it is when I am on my horse charging down the field that I feel most alive. I have been looking after polo ponies at home for a few years now and I love the joy that comes with it and the bond that can be created with the horses. It is hard work but the rewards make it more than worth all the effort. Polo is a very small sport in Ireland compared to abroad, in places like the UK and Spain, and it has a much smaller community than other polo scenes, but I hope to be part of the growing effort to make it more popular. I think others would enjoy the rare combination of building bonds with both an intelligent, emotional animal and friendly competitors.

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Tattoos and Slime…Together at Last!

Cecilia, our Afterschool and Morning Club programme director, has a knack for coming up with novels ways of making learning fun and today we have a ‘combo’ worthy of being placed along side Homer Simpson’s paragon of ‘Gum and Nuts: Together at Last!’. Cecilia mixes science, art and fun as she shows us how to make homemade slime and tattoos. It is enough to make a mad scientist/pirate cry with joy! And better yet, Cecilia says she will pop around to students’ homes to help clean-up after these learning adventures…. just as soon as the lockdown is lifted.

Science Experiment: Tattoo Magic!      

         

Challenge: Biggest Slime Bubble!                   

Bell Bottom Blues!

Actually, judging by the fervour with which our Junior School students are tackling their projects, the Covid lockdown is not really getting them down at all! We do imagine, however, that when the projects involve fashions of the 1970’s, parent and staff who were around back then probably do succumb to some nostalgic melancholy when they view them. We are too young to remember ‘the decade that taste forgot’ but Mr. Kilcommons was just talking the other day how he missed his old bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye T-shirt and lambchop sideburns! Though, if this lasts much longer, certainly the hairstyles will start looking 1970s-ish. Ms. Loomes’s Sixth Forms did more than a troll through the history of fashion. See some highlights below and click on the titles further below to see the full projects on a variety of subjects.

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Fashion Throughout the Ages: The 1970’s ( by Colmán O’Flynn)

Book Report (by Niamh Hennelly-Bridges)

Fashion through the Ages: (by Jamie MacNicholas)

My Time Capsule of Covid-19 (by Milo Campbell)

The Invention of Paper (by Paul Jackson)

Art Avalanche!

You really should be careful of what you ask… as we learned when we innocently contacted Senior School Art teacher Ms. Halpin for an update on what has been going on in Art classes this year, pre- and post-corona. We expected a few snaps of pleasant watercolours: what we received was an absolute avalanche of creative, boundary-busting masterpieces! As none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, we are going to drip feed you a steady stream of these stunning student installations, starting with one assignment for First and Second Years which will have you gasping in admiration and rolling around with laughter! Ms. Halpin asked them to interpret and recreate famous paintings in any way they wanted: and, boy, did they respond with gusto!

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To Infinity…and Beyond!

Junior School learning adventures continue despite the corona lockdown and, if anything, teachers and students are pushing the boundaries because of the special circumstances and boldly going where no primary pupils have gone before! We have the evidence here with Ms. Leary’s exported ‘Astronaut Adventure’, more magnificent mandalas and artwork from Harry and Eloise and others, and the simple joy of scoots with the baby sister!

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The Midas Touch!

If anyone has the ‘Midas touch’ it is Cecilia Franken, who runs our Afterschool and Morning Club programmes during normal times, and has been keeping us sane with her ‘Take-Away’ stories and challenges during these corona daze. Here she is with personally illustrated version of the timeless moral tale, as well as an art/science project to delight youngsters and terrify any entomophobes. Though, that said, they are probably currently preoccupied with a certain other bug!

Art Activity: Crawl Inn Bug Hotel                

Story Time: Midas and his Donkey Ears    

Move Over, George…

Yes, the mysterious and secretive ‘Uncrowned Emperor of Europe’ George Soros may have a whiff of the Sith about him but the Rise of Oisín McGinley, his acolyte and heir apparent, is a much warmer and good-humoured tale than that told of Skywalker. Fresh from chairing the first ever digital conference of European Youth Parliament, Oisín tells us of his EYP adventure in his own words.

Having now participated in every format of EYP event in each academic year, I believe it is high time for me to reveal what this mysterious organisation is. The European Youth Parliament is a peer-to-peer educational programme that empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, tolerant and active citizens. International, regional and national sessions are at the core of EYP, and consist of events that bring together over 30,000 young people every year.

That’s well and good, it is also  what any of you could find online with a simple google search, so I am here to offer a more personal account of what EYP is to me. I began my EYP journey in 2017 heading to Loreto Foxrock for the Dublin Regional Session of EYP with the help of TY co-ordinator Mr.Trenier who was more than happy to pay for this bizarre event… not. It was there where I realised I hadn’t completely lost my brain during TY. More importantly, this is when the curtain of EYP was drawn back for me and showed me that as a young person I had the means and the capability to shape the issues of young Europe which were important to me.

Following that event, I was selected to go to Cork for the Irish National Session and finally to Rotterdam for the 88th International Session of EYP as an Irish representative, at this stage Mr.Trenier began to realise that maybe it was money well spent even being quoted as being “almost proud of me”. 
Rotterdam was without doubt one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the first night of being forced to share a table with the UK delegation I believe I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Furthermore, it is one of the main reasons why I feel so confident in studying abroad in Amsterdam now. I am still in contact with many of my friends from that session and there are many after hours memories that I still hold dear.

The reasons why I am passionate about EYP are in-quantifiable but chief among them are the opportunities it offered me and the connection it has brought about in my life. I have participated in 15 different events of EYP now and I have come to have a great appreciation for the network. EYP has given me practical skills in terms of delivering modules, managing group dynamics, academic research and so much more, not to mention some well needed weeks off of school. I am able to document my self development directly with the events I have attended and I believe it has gifted me a unique lens to view the world from. Especially in times like these, knowing that I can pick up my phone and catch up with friends from all over Europe is very supportive and also very humbling.

Another amazing thing about these events is the wide variety of roles they offer. Whether you have a knack for organising, a creative flair or a desire to lead committees there is a role for you. Moreover, the principle that EYP is a youth organisation that is led by the youth is very powerful.  Testament to that is that as a 17 year old I was given the honor of presiding over the Slovakian national session. The roles of real responsibility that are given to young people as well as the lack of taboo surrounding age is something which makes EYP attractive to the youth. The idea that I as a 17 year old was in a position of leadership over a 23 year old may raise some eyebrows initially but it is what allows for the organisation to thrive and facilitate better events.

Every EYP event I go to I always head in thinking about why gathering a random bunch of teenagers and introducing them to a random organisation shouldn’t always result in a magical experience yet every time without fail it does. In my opinion EYP is above all else a platform, a platform which connects like minded people across Europe and offers them a well-needed way to direct their passion both towards fixing world issues and connecting with each other. It is hence my greatest pleasure to see the network continue to develop and transition to a digital format. I was astounded to see the high level of participation as a chairperson at EYP’s first Digital Session and it makes me very confident about the future of the organisation. 

I still carry the same awe and passion that was lit inside me at my very first EYP event and if the same TY student that was reluctant to head to Foxrock saw where I had gone now I honestly have no idea what he would think. I think that’s why I delayed writing this article, there is so much about EYP that is so intimate and personal, much of which can’t be expressed in words. With that said I hope to have enlightened you as to what actually happens at an EYP event and why you may want to get involved. As we say in EYP “See you somewhere in Europe”


Students: Get 10% Off if You Complete This On-Line Survey!

Sorry… a bit of false advertising. We cannot give you a reduction in your tuition bill but what we can give you is a chance to tell us (management and teachers) what you think about St. Conleth’s: what we are doing right and what you think we could do better. It is all a part of our School Self Evaluation. Parents and staff are also taking part through their own surveys (check your email!), but the student voice is equally important to us. So, take about 10-15 minutes, click on the link below and fill it out, carefully and honestly. We will take the results very seriously in our forward planning but, as it is anonymous, we will not be able to respond with any individual rewards… or retributions!

St. Conleth’s Student Survey

Community Clobbers Covid!

St. Conleth’s is not letting this lockdown get in the way of our habit of working together and sharing our creativity and insights. Principal Tony Kilcommons led a special Junior School Assembly and his reassuring words and the poetic and prayerful contributions by Sixth Form students made this lockdown a good bit more bearable. The Junior School community continues to thrive, albeit digitally!

Covert Covid Learning!

The novel corona virus has forced into novel and covert styles of learning but, believe us, the work goes on! Conlethian teachers and students are keeping busy with remote classes and assignments and despite difficulties with bandwidth, the sibling seizure of screens and the dreaded Virtual Learning Vulture Neck Syndrome, we are all keeping pace with our various syllabi and the hallowed STATEMENTS OF LEARNING! Some wags think we are even ahead of normal schedule: less time spent waiting in line for chicken wings and Fortnite dancing in the courtyard at break-time… but we do miss both activities dearly! Here we see just a sampling of our students’ long distance learning: Maths memes and graphs, corona advice en français and some Classical Greek architectural drawings and descriptions. All in a day’s work!

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Take-Away Trifecta!

Can you handle a triple-shot of Afterschool/Morning Club Take-Away Hi-Jinks? There are three new postings below from Cecilia! 1) Dinosaur Garden in a pot 2) Science Experiment: The Rising Star 3) Challenge: Water Skiing Ball. Enjoy!

Dinosaur Garden in a Pot!

Science Experiment: The rising star!

Challenge: Water Skiing Ball!      



Remote Rostra Rhetoricians!

Congratulations to Coleman Hegarty and Leo Nolan on their impressive top ten finish (of the best 59 in the world!) at the Oxford Union’s International Competition for Young Debaters competition. The debate was conducted remotely but our boys adjusted and mastered the digital rostra! Here, Coleman gives his personal account!

For the ICYD competition, we used a newly developed software called MixIdea, made in Japan. We qualified at Coláiste na hInse with eight other Irish teams for ICYD-Oxford. Of course, because of that darned virus, we couldn’t make the trip over to Oxford but they were quite quick to email us about using online platforms. Leo and I did a few practice rounds before hand and were ready to compete on the 2nd. Sadly, because the organisers are in college and prone to college brain, they forgot to tell many of us that they were using a different domain name for the site. Then, due to overflow we had to wait from 1:30 to 4:00 and finally got a start after three and a half hours with the motion ‘THW have all elected politicians on the average wage and use public services‘ (Against). We placed 2nd in this round, coming up against Canadians (the eventual winners), Hungarians and Scots. 

In the second round we had a very Thurnberg-esque motion, supporting Eco-conscription. What sounds like an Eco-Fascist’s dream is really just manual climate change labour. Up against more familiar faces in Belvedere, we also placed second in this round. Round Three was cancelled due to major delays and the next day we arose for one more round before the semi-final break, the motion this time being ‘THW implement equal airtime for both sides of a topic/arguement on national television‘ (Proposing). We won this motion, coming up against Shanghai International school. After a while, we got the tab back, revealing we were 1 speaker point (443-442!) off the semi-finals. Still, Leo and I triumphed as the best speakers in Ireland. Not too bad for a corona lockdown!

Poetry in Numbers

In a cross-curricular Corona-coping coup, Mr. Kilcommons has combined Maths with… poetry? Yes, over the centuries various highfalutin’ mathematical types have extolled the essential beauty of numbers, but usually they were doing this amidst the flames at the stake of the Inquisitors or in padded rooms with their arms tightly jacketed or… even worse… in movies starring John Travolta in his Blue Period. But Mr. Kilcommons has yoked together the previously unreconclable and somehow combined creativity with calculus for his latest ‘Learning at Home’ digital lesson. Indeed, these Sixth Formers’ poems would bring tears to the eyes of both Einstein and Frost. Enjoy them and then watch the video to see how you can make your own!

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Summer Exams 3.0!

**Slightly adjusted: small changes to the Fifth Year schedule, only**

The times they are, indeed, a-changing, but here at St. Conleth’s we have still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission… to provide fair but rigorous assessment! Students and parents will be contacted formally via email, but here is a sneak preview (courtesy of Exam Co-Ordinator Ms. NiAonghusa) of the Summer Exam Schedule.

All Years Exam Schedule

All Years Exam Schedule PDF

First Years Exam Schedule PDF

Second Years Exam Schedule PDF

Third Years Exam Schedule PDF

Fifth Years Exam Schedule PDF

Junior Artists’ Summer Celebration!

The start of summer has almost been lost all the corona coverage, but not by St. Conleth’s Junior School students! With Art Teacher Ms. Mellon’s encouragement, Junior Schoolers (such as Christian, Gregory and Andrew, whose work you see below) are keeping their artistic talents sharp and celebrating the lengthening of days… and sending in photos of their work so we can enjoy them, too! Keep them coming to latvisc@stconleths.ie!

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Remember When….?

It’s Throwback Thursday on stconleths.ie! Since sport is currently reduced to pilates apps and Wii Sports, we will recall the golden days with a weekly virtual visit to the archives. This week: the legendary 2016 SCT’s earlier but just as inspirational incarnation: the 2013 JCT! Yes, we were younger and lighter (except on top) back then and the world was our oyster. And Gav was our god. Enjoy!

Staying Active!

With guidance from their remote but attentive teachers, our Junior and Preparatory School students are keeping their learning and imaginations alive. Below you see pics of Jamie Fanning and Sean Keane’s ‘plant and food’ mandalas, as well as some of our younger students enjoying the home learning and adventures. We also have another crafty video from Cecilia and a very special one made by Nathan Keough, click!, all by his own self!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30oFOa6U_Xc&feature=youtu.be

Masters of the Mandala!

Conlethians are keeping busy at home… especially Ms. Mellon’s Junior School Art Class. Over Easter they worked on mandalas using food, plants and flowers. Look what Christian and Gregory Boyle and Joseph Finnegan came up with! But what have you been up to? Send activity snaps to latvisc@stconleths.ie and we will share on this website and Twitter!

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Just in Time for the Rain…

As we write, at least in our far flung Corona hideaway, the weather has just taken a turn for the worse so it is the perfect time to release Cecilia’s latest Afterschool Take-Away mix of thrilling stories and brainteasing challenges. Enjoy!

Just Press Play!

Afterschool and Morning Club Director Cecilia Franken usually spends her Easter ‘break’ assisting the Easter Bunny make his deliveries in her native Italy, but with Corona restrictions, she stayed here in Ireland, and we are all going to benefit big-time! For Cecilia did not just sit back and watch the immortal Series 5 of the Simpsons: no, she was as busy as ever and made all the following ‘Take Home’ Afterschool videos. So, just press play and enjoy!

Crazy Chicken Bird Feeder

Don’t touch! Challenge

Don’t touch challenge solution


Warm and cold water experiment

Storiygami, the unkind prince

Sock baby


Story time: city mouse and country mouse

Super Power Experiment

Rock bug painting

Start Hoppin’!

Thankfully, the Easter Bunny has evaded the lockdown and is on his way. operating out of his summer home in Courtown. And after you enjoy that well-earned bounty of chocolate eggs have a go at this: the St. Conleth’s PE Department At-Home Fitness Challenge, special Easter Edition!

Below we see our winning challengers from last week, Gregorio and Viola, ring their thing in double-time!

The Last B-Ball Game in Ireland?

In our efforts to keep some Conlethian good vibes flowing, we bring you more BC (Before Corona) News: Our U19 team were involved in perhaps the last basketball game played before the shutdown, a narrow loss to old friendly foes St. Andrew’s in the SDBL Final. Our name has been etched on this particular plaque many times, and will be so again, but this time we settled for an honourable second place, nipped by a strong, international Andrew’s team. Big man Luke Gilleran and fireplug Keane Acosta were again forces for us, as were graduating Sixth Years Suyash Patidar and Josh Bergin and rising youngsters Ralph Garing, Luke ‘C3P0’ Sherlock and Oisín Thornton, but it was Colin Bolger who really shot out the lights and earned a share of the MVP award.

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And Sixth Year Jack Doyle had the honour of captaining the side in his last appearance in a St. Conleth’s basketball jersey. Jack has been part of St. Conleth’s since Junior School days and his devotion to basketball and the school as a whole has been steadfast and strong. Like his ancestors from the middle of America, Jack has always been the epitomé of hard work, team spirit and impeccable manners.

Hurry! Last Seats Selling Quickly!

Enjoy this last edition of the Afterschool Puppet Theatre before Easter. Cecilia and friends bring you ‘Thomas, Mat and the Hungry Doggy’!

Fitness Challenge #2!

A ‘towering’ member of the PE Department just enjoyed a milestone birthday, but since this GDPR-protected person has such a ‘high’ level of fitness, he is not worried that he is now on the wrong side of Basil! Well he, and relative whippersnapper colleagues Mr. Smyth, Adam and Sean, feel this week’s challenges will really boost your energy levels.  Students and/or parents have the choice of two workouts.  Try each one at least twice for maximum benefit. Remember to send any photos or videos to mageel@stconleths.ie. And further below you see our winning participants from last week’s challenge, led by the Bertomeu Boyz!

Junior School

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Senior School

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Conlethians Keeping Busy!

Maria Rainer sang of ‘raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens’ but ‘marshmallows and bubbles’ might very well be in the list of anyone’s ‘favourite things’. And these cheery items feature in Cecilia’s Science Experiment and Challenge videos this week. See them below as well as some feedback from Cecilia’s Afterschool friends!

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Blog Through the ‘Blah’!

OK boomers, let’s face it, this COVID-19 thing is getting us down. Dog walks, Netflix and unusual dinner combinations can entertain us for only so long. But the youngsters are a bit more adept with using technology for fun and socialising, and there can be an educational dimension to these hyperspace activities, too: see below for the Afterschool Take-Out videos and the PE Department’s Fitness Challenges. Well, St. Conleth’s Junior School pupils are also doing it for themselves, with a bit of help from ICT Czar Mike Travers: below you see snippets from the Junior School Student Blog, which Sixth Form have been using for years and now has also been opened up to Fourth and Fifth. Quite an impressive range of topics and some quality writing, too. Check it out now, add it to your favourites and revisit from time-to-time: a welcome break from the you-know-what-news!

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Sir Toby and The 3 L’il Pigs!

Cecilia is back with more Afterschool/Morning Club kind of zany fun! This time she has help in her Shadow Theatre from the the famous Three Little Pigs and withe her Art Activity from the loyal, and eminently patient, Sir Toby!

Our First Weekly Fitness Challenge!

Wake up! The St. Conleth’s PE Dept. is talking to you! Below is our first weekly, long-distance learning Fitness Challenge. We (Mr. Magee, Mr. Ingle and Mr. Swan) will be posting various challenges to this website and Twitter each and every Friday, so make sure to keep an eye for the next challenge. For the first challenge, “Alphabet Workout”, simply spell out your name and match the letters of your name to start your fitness challenge. Try each one twice on rotation and if you’re feeling very energetic, try it three times. You know Gav Maguire will! Remember (if you like) to send a photo of you or your family taking part to mageel@stconleths.ie and we will post as many photos as possible on this page or Twitter. Have some fun and stay safe!

And, remember: the St. Conleth’s PE Dept. will be watching!

Remember When?

American baseball philosopher Yogi Berra once complained that ‘Nostalgia is not what it used to be.’ Well, it certainly isn’t these days, when we all are forced by circumstances to look backwards in time for some sense of solace. Well, Past Pupil and musical maestro Joe Gallagher (Class of 2019) has just premiered his first EP, ‘Nostalgia’, on Soundcloud and it will take you back to the good, old days: it is the single best spring of hope that we have heard, sweetly bubbling, in all our searches of various music streams.

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These five lo-fi but hi-impact instrumental tracks have already made quite a splash in the world of music with an online musical promotion group eager to include them in their monthly Spotify playlist. So turn off the Netflix and have a listen!

Science Fun With Cecilia!

Wednesday is Science and Challenges day in the Afterschool Programme, so Cecilia and her canine co-stars have decided to keep up the tradition despite the arrival of the corona virus. Enjoy both videos below and send on your attempts at the ‘Equilibrium Challenge’ to Cecilia at afterschool@stconleths.ie and she will select a winner. Grand prize is a ski trip to the Italian Alps… just kidding! How about a nice selection from the Tuck Shop when we return to school? I hope the Burger Bites are still in date!

                          

Ms. Cecilia’s Neighbourhood!

Fred Rogers is an absolute legend of American culture: a kindly avuncular personality who managed to be provide extra-parental love and care through the tubes and black-and-white screens of 1960’s televisions. Cecilia Franken has done the same for a generation of St. Conleth’s Preparatory and Junior School pupils. Her latest Newsletter (click) captures just a flavour of the variety of the activities to be enjoyed in her programmes. And now we have the ‘Home School’ crown to present to the ‘Afterschool’ and Morning Club monarch! Anyone who knows Cecilia, realises that a mere pandemic is no match for her enthusiasm and innovation. To combat the Corona Cabin fever, she has promised to periodically present videos replicating the fun that was had by all at St. Conleth’s, especially before 8:45 and after 2:45. Here is the first batch. Won’t you be her neighbor?

Drums Along The Dodder!

To prompt pleasant memories of when your younger family members were not always just standing there listlessly in front of an open refrigerator door, we will periodically bring you news from a bygone era: B. C. (Before Corona). Yes, it is only in retrospect that we realise how full our lives were… especially St. Conleth’s Transition Years!

A couple of weeks B.C., ace TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire arranged to have Patrick Naughton and his African Drumming Ireland programme pay a visit. Patrick was brilliant. He has the skills and knowledge, the authentic drums and, most importantly the ability to keep a group of sometimes grumpy adolescents enthusiastic and involved… and even rhythmic! Enjoy the video above and the pics below. More B.C. News to come!

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Seachtain na Gaeilge… ar ball!

Before the shutdown… we had just enough time to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, in a rather abbreviated but spirited fashion! With the senior member of the Irish Department, Mr. ODulaing, busy piloting the school through the troubled corona waters, it was left to his younger colleagues, Ms. Fay and Ms. Dorman, to drive the buachaillí agus cailíní through Tráth Na gCeist, the Poc Fada and class-specific céilí… and in record time! The hard work done in preparation meant plenty of craic for the students in the enjoyment of the various activities.  Certainly more fun then those pesky CBAs! And, of course, we do not just get all Irishy for a fortnight in March: St. Conleth’s Gang Gaeilge is active throughout the year. Below you see Sixth Years enjoying some Tae agues Plé, earlier in the term, with Ms. Dorman as they prepare for their Leaving Certificate Irish Oral, as well as some pictures and video from our shortened but still inspiring Seachtain na Gaeilge!

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Corona News Squashed!

Yes, our school is temporarily closed… but we will try to lighten the mood by delving into the overflowing ‘In Box’ on our desk and keeping up the St. Conleth’s newsfeed. Plenty of good news to report, such as First Year Ismail Abdelwahed following in the footsteps of big brother Omar, has made the U13 Irish Squash team and will represent Ireland in the Five Nations Championship… when sport returns to these islands! Well done, Ismail!

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School Closed

In compliance with government directive, St. Conleth’s College will remain completely closed until Monday, March 30th. The Principals of the Preparatory, Junior and Senior Schools will update parents on all developments via email and text message. Individual teachers will be in touch with their students via Google Classroom and other ICT applications.

Knee-Bumps Galore!

Juliet Donnelly has lit up St. Conleth’s since she first walked through the door, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as her older brother Michael and almost as winsome! But don’t let that sweetness fool you: once Juliet takes to the hockey pitch, a cold-hearted executioner emerges: case in point, her four goal demolishment of Sion Hill in the Dublin South Minor B Girls League Final! Yes, Coaches Speller and Stanley have another trophy for the shelf and the pressure is on the B-Ball boys to follow suit. Juliet was no doubt the star of this one, but it was also a whole team performance, as it has been all season, with Captain Meabh Joy and all the girls playing their hearts (and lungs) out for each other and the school. Such has been the hockey success these past two seasons that rumours abound that one of the seven science labs planned for our next extension may well be converted to a Hockey Trophy Room!

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Bring the Noise!

There was a poignant moment at the recent Past Pupils Dinner when select members of the Class of 2010 got together to recall their shared glory days of St. Conleth’s basketball: when Herron and Purcell and McCormack and McCoy and Carr and Co. shocked the world of Irish Schools Basketball, winning the All-Ireland double in 2008. And, now, current St. Conleth’s coaches, Sean Ingle and Peter Gahan are establishing quite a record of ‘glory days’, themselves. The First Year boys team have been on a rampage since the season tipped off, rivalling last year’s First Year rugby team for consistency and promise. Below you see pix (Thanks, Scott!) from a romp over St. Benildus and just last Friday they won a thriller over St. Paul’s, 31-30, with the Twin Powers (Fionán and James) and Cormac Hayden leading the way. That dramatic win has put the boys into an Ireland East Basketball Ireland Final, which will be played on Thursday at the Oblates Hall in Inchicore at 11:10. But, hang on, we have another final to support before then: the U19s will play today (Wednesday) at 4:15 at St. Andrew’s for the SDBL crown. Luke Gilleran, Colin Bolger, Keane Acosta and the the boys have a great chance to add another ‘St. Conleth’s’ to the engraver’s to-do list!

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STEMsters!

With plans afoot for a big, new STEM facility for St. Conleth’s, it is fitting that we have a whole bunch of young STEMsters raring to go and get their hands on all those circuits, tubes, switches and burners! Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has been meeting faithfully every Friday and last week they celebrated national Engineers Week holding a tower-building competition using marshmallows and spaghetti. And though it may be early days for these young engineers, who knows where their ideas and measurements will take them? Judging by the speed with which our civil engineering projects take shape, these boys and girls may well be the ones with hardhats, yellow vests and rolled plans when our bus corridors finally get laid in the asphalt!

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A Crown for Fencing!

There is at least one international jet-setter whom the Corona has not grounded! TY Claudio Sosa is seen here fencing in Warsaw and Porec, where he recently represented Ireland. Claudio’s international career continues to bring success, as builds up his skills and experience on ever bigger stages. His most recent senior scalp was winning a Bronze in Senior Foil at the Belfast Open. Remember: Claudio is only fifteen years old and is fencing against full-fledged adults!

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Spring Tide!

No sooner do we do our rugby ’round-up’ for the season and the boys send a clear message: it ain’t over, yet! Coaches Louis Magee, Mr. Smyth and Mr. Morris had a particularly good match day yesterday as both First years and the JCT emerged as victors over some quality competition. The youngsters earned a hard fought victory yesterday over De la Salle, 31-21. Below you see John Engmann going high for a line-out, Cillian Cooke delivering a massive hit and Andrew Gore-Grimes about to! Patrick Devlin and Fionán were amongst the try-scorers. And the JCT had a great league win against Belvedere College, 36-15. Richard ‘Killah’ Caldwell touched down for a superb try amidst a superb team performance and all the boys were in fine voice and mood afterwards in the locker-room.

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A-macing Debaters!

Rather serendipitous that Michael O’Dwyer (Class of 2010) was our special guest speaker at the PPU Dinner on the Friday Night, he the holder of both a All-Ireland Debating Title as well as a Cambridge University International Debating Mace (a weighty weapon, that!), and the next day brings news that the current crop of Conlethian debaters are also bringing home the bling! On Saturday, Third Year Coleman Hegarty won outright the Leinster Junior Debating Mace. And he, Leo Nolan and Turlough Dineen have all qualified for the National Mace Final. Actually, ‘serendipity’ or chance had nothing to do with it: St. Conleth’s consistently dominates the rostra of the land in schools debating. The secret to our success lies in another fact: also present at Friday night’s PPU Dinner were Conor Power and Oisín Dowling (Class of 2018), our returned Past Pupil debating coaches who showed the way for Coleman and company. The Carvillian system continues to work!

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PPU… phew!

The good burghers of Greater Ballsbridge and Donnybrook hold their collective breaths every year on the last Friday of February because that is when the carnival comes to town: the Past Pupils Union Annual Dinner is always the liveliest gig in town on that night, and the 2020 version did not disappoint. The members of our PPU, like our current student body, reflects our diversity, spirit and downright quirkiness… and we seem to just get better with age!

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PPU Presidents John Carvill and Peter O’Neill and PPU Benign Despot Ronan O’Kelly must have been tired from organising the previous PPU engagement in NYC but it did not show, as they orchestrated an evening that managed to combine proper, sober acknowledgements of milestones with the frantic fun with which we all associate the night. Despite a rather flat sound system and the habitual rowdiness, Ronan and John compèred with both gravitas and wit, with guest speaker Michael O’Dwyer (2010) and honouree Ger Cummiskey also rising to the occasion. Enjoy the semiformal pics of each class above, as well as the more free-form ones, below.

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St. Conleth’s Strikes Again!

The Hockey Girls are really setting some high standards for the years and teams to come! With the first St. Conleth’s Hockey team only taking the field a few short years ago, it is amazing that we already have a trophy case shelf groaning under the weight of hockey cups and plates! The latest was won this past Saturday. While the rest of us were sleeping off the lingering effects of the PPU festivities of the night before, Ms. Speller, Ms. Stanley and and Georgia Weir McErlean were up, putting the girls through their paces. And when the last shot was taken and the last net had rippled, St. Conleth’s Juniors team had beaten Sion Hill – 1-0 and St. Raphaela’s 2-0, bringing home the Plate of the Dublin South Girls League Junior A Division! So much for a lag after being promoted after last year’s championship season!. Well done to all the girls and their coaches.

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Just Say ‘No!’ to COVID-19!

St. Conleth’s is well prepared for COVID-19! Considering the ‘jet-setty’ nature of our clientele, we were especially worried when we heard about the news (and germs) emanating from Alpen Italy, but the school has been very pro-active in response, and not just in the hallway banter. The hand sanitisers are everywhere and our students have been enthusiastically disinfecting, especially as it delays arrival in class for a few minutes. And though we are known for our sense of closeness, cushiness and coziness, we have dialled back a bit on the hugs and handshakes, at least for the time being. Below are some helpful posters and videos and links to advice from the departments of Education and Health, as well as a Powerpoint made up by our very own Corona Czarina, Ms. Dillon!

Click for the rest of Ms. Dillon’s PDF/PPT!

Link to the Department of Education’s recommendations for parents

A Classy Reunion

St. Conleth’s PPU Dinners are always memorable affairs: well-attended, well-catered and well-lubricated… more raucous than retiring, a fact any residents left on our particular stretch of Clyde Road can attest to. Our recent New York City PPU Dinner was a decidedly more refined affair, with the humour as good and the sentiments as warm as every Conlethian come-together but with just the volume turned down, as befitting the august setting of the New York Athletic Club. (Apparently, the good folks of the TSA did their job and stopped certain members of certain graduation years at the borders. You know of whom we speak.)

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That is not to say that the alumni who attended the fully booked dinner did not ‘take Manhattan’ afterwards, but for news of those shenanigans, you will have to check the tabloids. We would prefer to concentrate on the dinner itself, quite an elegant and dignified gathering of old friends and colleagues. PPU President John Carvill, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and Special Guest Speaker Michael Moloney hit all the right notes, recalling poignant and hilarious moments of recent, middling and ancient St. Conleth’s history, as well as reaffirming that special ethos which has us confidently heading into the future. Of course, that ‘future’ includes tomorrow night’s Annual PPU Dinner, of the regular, old ‘domestic’ variety. Stay tuned for the fireworks!

1,2,3, Safe Cross…

Do you still know the Safe Cross Code? Your children do! The Road Safety Authority has been in for a visit and is doing educational workshops with the Junior School pupils… and telling you parents where to park! In tandem with all the instructional fun and games in solving the wee model village, new signs are now visible outside of the school giving clear advice on parking rules. Mr. Kilcommons asks that the message be respected for the safety of all pupils- Preparatory, Junior and Senior. Please see the photo below with parking zones clearly marked and remember: ‘…one, look for a safe place; two, don’t hurry: stop and wait…’!

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Rugby Round-Up!

As you can see in the news items below, St. Conleth’s sports is thriving on the basketball courts, running tracks and in our fencing arenas… but we shall never forget our sporting bread and butter: rugby. And though we have been faithfully tweeting away about our accomplishments with the oblong ball, we thought we would bring it altogether as the teams enter their stretch run.

The SCT have had a tough year regarding numbers but Coach Gav Maguire, Captain Rían Lawlor and his loyal teammates have weathered the tough times with heart and style, doing particularly well in the 7s competitions. Earlier in the year, Gav’s club, Wanderers FC, marked their 150th season with a friendly at the Aviva and two Past Pupils, Mark 0’Reilly and Kevin Dolan, lined up against Trinity for the first team, showing of what quality Conlethian ruggers are capable.

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The JCT, led by Head of Junior Rugby Louis Magee, have had plenty regarding numbers and even though they are quite a young team, the success this year bodes well for even greater things ahead. The JCT suffered a tough loss in Wicklow early in the season but showed plenty of spirit, camaraderie and promise as the boys mounted a second half comeback. Better results soon arrived such as a thrilling 24-21 win over St. Gerard’s in the league with a last gasp try from Michael O’Donnell, who scored three tries on the day and was backed by a great team performance. Team workouts in the Fitness Suite with Adam have certainly helped. The competition for places is fierce and Coach Magee is confident of finishing strongly.

The JCT members will certainly not get to comfortable, with some very impressive First Year players nipping at their heels. Coaches Smyth and Morris have built up quite an impressive resume already with the boys, including an early tight but exciting win over Marian College, 59-51; two wins out of three in a blitz kindly hosted by Sandford in Monkstown RC with St. Paul’s and Marian taking part; winning narrowly, 21-14, over local rivals St. Michael’s, in an entertaining match; and convincingly, 42-7, against Sandford Park. And above you see action from a recent, stunning 24-19 win over St. Paul’s. The boys have now adopted a new team nickname, “The Crazy Gang”, and we look forward to more fun as well as success from them in the weeks and seasons to come!

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New York, New York!

The greatest city in the world is now going to host Ireland’s greatest Past Pupils Union! Following on our successful inaugural international PPU reunion in London a few years back, St. Conleth’s CEO Ann Sheppard and PPU President John Carvill decided to hit the Big Apple for the next one. And when the New York Athletic Club offered an ‘open bar’ as part of the dinner package, the deal was sealed! We know Manhattan has seen some heavy duty partiers over the years, but we are sure the Conlethian crowd will leave its marks. All the tickets have been sold for Saturday night’s gala but any Past Pupils or friends in the five borough vicinity can join the crowd for pre-drinks on Friday from 8:00 at ‘My Friend Duke’ at 383 Third Ave. or post-drinks from 10:30 on Saturday at Blue Haven East at 493 Third Ave. And if you re stuck on this side of the pond, you can still come to No. 28, Clyde Road for the regular, old Annual PPU Dinner on Friday, Feb. 28th! Tickets available through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Stay tuned for tales from both these festivities!

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STEM Story

St. Conleth’s next extension is going to be a STEAM Centre (more on that later!) so it is only fitting that our Science teachers are ramping up their game in preparation for their move into their sparkling new digs. Mr. Morris has been up to all sorts of hands-on learning stuff in Physics and our student reporter, Robert O’Connor, reports back from the nexus of man, machine and scientific humour.

It was a typical afternoon in the Science Lab. We looked out the window. It was not raining, but it had been and soon would be again. The banter was mighty. Our Fifth Year Physics class demonstrated their superior intelligence by creating, with the assistance of Mr Morris, a machine that both demonstrated wave motion and tasted delicious: simple contraption, using two retort stands, some tape, skewers and Fruit Pastilles attached to the skewers. The experiment is simple but beautiful: spanning several benches, motion from the skewers at one end passes along to the other end and back again. It was really cool to look at, almost as cool as watching our resident studly scientists/ macho mathematicians, Ted and Dylan (collectively known as The AlgeBros), passing the wave back and forth between each other. They were in a world of their own for a few seconds. Like Olympian gods. With calculators.

While watching the whole class do the experiment, if you listen carefully you can also hear Stephen Rockett (resident child actor, international internet influencer and quirky tennis player) auditioning for the part of the Kool-Aid Man as seen in Family Guy.

Poetry in Motion!

Conlethian fencing parents, Robert Smyth and Cahir Davitt, make quite a pair of ‘adjunct’ sports reporters: Robert with his faithful reporting and journalistic flair, such as the headline above, and Cahir with his stunning photography. Their latest missives:

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Last Saturday in Dublin, James Moriarty-Smyth ended just outside the last sixteen in Men’s Senior Sabre, after a very narrow 13/15 defeat to the Captain of Trinity University Fencing Club at the Direct Elimination stage. This is an incredible result considering James just switched his choice of fencing blade and is competing against seasoned adults.

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And on Sunday in Belfast, Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14 Foil and Michael Davitt won Bronze in the U10 Foil, as well as Luke Sherlock taking Bronze in the U16 Boy’s Foil. Keep tuned for more news in this Conlethian sporting tradition!

Fusion Feasts!

As usual, Chef Mark is not hesitant to mix it up and get all fusiony in devising the weekly menu. The Hiberno-Mexican connection lives on this week in chilli con carne on a potato!

Indoor Army!

Fresh off their Cross Country success of a few weeks ago, Mr. Keenan and his ever-growing Athletics Army was on the road again.  This time, Mr. Keenan, Fitness Coach Adam and a gang of First and Second Years stormed a Leinster Schools Indoors meet at the National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown, where running and a variety of jumping was on the agenda.

We do pride ourselves on ‘participation’ in sport at St. Conleth’s: everyone gets a go and we never make ‘cuts’.  But that does not mean that we do not have quality athletes and real winners amongst our student body.  You read below how we won three medals at the Cross Country Championships and this time we had individual glory.  Second Year Luke Timlin made a record-setting run to the All-Ireland’s last year and he is on that same track again as he double-medalled in Abbotstown, winning a Gold and a Silver in the Long Jump and 60 M Sprint. It seems like we are getting ‘sportier’ every year, as anyone who has tried to supervise the yard at lunchtime, can attest!

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Build Up for Mocks! Now!

Yes, Third and Sixth Years, it is time to drop tilted on our Mock Examinations! Some of you may have earned more skins than others these last few years, but everyone is default going in to the exam hall for these tests and the even bigger battles in June. And that default is a Full St. Conleth’s Uniform! Exam Secretary Ms. NiAonghusa (Contender II ranked) has already delivered you the exam schedule and rules but here are the dates and times in a handy pdf. As always, you can also find them under ‘Events’ as well as under ‘Calendar + Information’. Let’s W Key these Mocks!

Of Brigid and Conleth

With the usual ubiquitous and undulating showers of rain and a belated arrival of a minor polar vortex, this year in particular we needed Mr. O’Dulaing’s and Mr. Seamus Gallagher’s warming incantations of the coming of Spring with St. Brigid’s Day.

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 And with the help of these two gentlemen’s words of wisdom and delight in both our national languages, our  annual Catholic Schools Week Assembly was off and running, and the patter of sleet drops on our Performance Hall roof was rendered pleasant accompaniment to tales of St. Conleth and St. Brigid frolicking through fields of clover. Platonically, of course.   And this being St. Conleth’s Fame Academy, there had to be student musicians to join the ensemble:

Russell Boger, Lochlann Hannon and Cúan Moore captured the mood of regeneration perfectly on piano and trumpet and we all headed off to an especially extended morning break with music in our ears and joy in our hearts!

Mark the Magnificent!

This week, Chef Mark braves the steppes of Eurasia and the tenements of NYC to bring us Tartar Sauce and TriBeCa Wings… but not necessarily to be eaten together!

Full-On Offensive!

Conlethian Dad Robert Smyth has recently been rehired as our specialist fencing correspondent. Here he fills us in on another weekend of our youngsters foiling any attempts to remove the from the podia!

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Saturday saw the usual suspects fence foil and epee at this year’s 
Excalibur Cup, hosted by Pembroke FC. A significant number of entries 
from Clongowes dramatically increased the overall number of competitors, 
resulting in plenty of fencing and competition across all age ranges, to 
say nothing of the volume of refereeing for James Moriarty-Smyth, who as a Sabreur was not competing,  and Luke Sherlock, who officiated at least 50+ matches between them.

Results on the day were once again excellent:

Under 10s Men’s Foil: Michael Davitt finished just shy of the medals, having performed strongly in the Poules.

Under 12 Men’s Foil: Matthew Sherlock – Gold and Trophy

Under 14 Men’s Foil: Myles Moriarty-Smyth  – Gold and Trophy

Under 17 Men’s Epee: Luke Sherlock – Gold and Trophy

Matthew’s First place was made all-the-more special by the fact that he 
will be the fouth Sherlock to have their name engraved on the Trophy, so 
creating a piece of Irish Fencing history and continuing the high 
standard set by his uncle, mother, and older brother.

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Next Saturday is the East of Ireland leg of the Senior Circuit, where 
James will be fencing Men’s Sabre and be looking to improve his current 
Senior Ranking of 17th, while Sunday sees Michael, Matthew and Myles (the 3 M’s of the ‘Conleth’s Contingent’) head to Belfast for Round 4 of the
Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series. Stay tuned!

B-Ballers Show Mamba Mentality

Basketball fans worldwide recently mourned the loss of one of the all-time greats, but Kobe Bryant’s emphasis on mental attitude and preparedness lives on in young players across the globe, including those at St. Conleth’s. Led by Coaches Ingle and Gahan, and the elder statesmen U19 Boys, Conlethian teams from First Year up had a great January, posting (and posterising) such fabled adversaries as Benildus, Blackrock, Mt. Anville and St. Michael’s. Luke Gilleran and Colin Bolger are no strangers to headlines, leading their Conlethian team to glory at each stage of development over the years, as well as playing for nationally prominent clubs and recently being named to the Irish team for their respective age groups.

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Old, friendly foes Colaiste Eoin knew they were up against it when they drew St. Conleth’s in the SDBL U19 Boys Semifinal. These plucky Gaeilgeoirs, from the poshest Gaeltach in Ireland, have faced us many times over the years, and they have (almost) had their share of the spoils, but when you are lining up crosscourt from two Irish players such as Luke and Colin, even the famous 10% Irish bonus points are not going help much! And our boys politely but firmly put our southside neighbours to the sword, with Luke pouring in buckets from the paint, including an in-game thunderous dunk, and Colin ducking and chucking from the perimeter. As usual, the supporting cast did their part: Keane cleaning the parquet with his hustle; Jolly Jack D, Jack T. and Josh doing their devil-may-care Sixth Year thing; youngsters Sherlock and Ralph learning on the go (and the give); and Suyash Patidar snapping the ropes with a NBA trey!

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Our U19 squad have given us many thrills over the years, but our younger teams seem eager to follow on the same path to success. Our First and Second Year teams have started their league campaigns with spirited performances and some impressive wins against such powerhouses as St. Benildus’s, Blackrock and St. Michael’s. First Years Fionan, James, John, Steph and Yubo have shown particular swagger… and a good bit of skill to back it up!

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And how could we forget the girls! St. Conleth’s is now fully co-educational, and, if anything, our boys have had a hard time keeping up with the girls when it comes to sport! Our First and Second Years have combined into one superteam, and with wins over Mt. Anville, Woodbrook and the ‘girls school that have a purple kit’, it is clear that it is not just in hockey and athletics where our newest Conlethians are going to competitively shine!

Juniors Get Enabled!

Our After-School and Morning Club director Cecilia Franken has done it again! We have enjoyed the visiting chicks, butterflies, Gardaí and firemen over recent years, and last week Cecilia organised an official visit from Enable Ireland. RTE came along for the ride, too! Here, Cecilia runs through the day’s events herself:

St Conleth’s welcomed Enable Ireland to our school on Tuesday the 28th of January. The event was held in the morning in our Sports Hall, which was set up for the purpose and consisted of many deeply enriching interactive activities between our pupils and Enable Ireland team, some of whom had physical disabilities.
The kids were welcome by Keith, Disability Co-ordinator, with a short presentation in which they watched videos showing Padraig jumping from an airplane for the fouth time, Brian practicing Jujitsu, Keith playing power soccer and Brian pulling himself to the top of a tall ship in the middle of the ocean!

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The pupils then took part in a series of fun and educational activities such as playing power soccer with Linda Castle and Keith Hayes , who plays for the Power Soccer Irish team, learning to play bocce from Padhraic Dormer and Jason Kearney, who won a Bronze medal in the World Championships, trying to maneuver and drive manual and power wheelchair with Grainne Magee and Jason O’Reilly and playing educational games with Suzanne Daly and Brian Murphy such as helping a blindfolded pal to drink water and recognize objects by touching them as they were blindfolded. It was a pleasure to watch the kids interacting with the Enable Ireland team and being so enthusiastic and engrossed in all the activities. We were all very much so engrossed in what we were doing and we were all left amazed by all the skills the Enable Ireland team were able to teach us. 


It was a morning of fun and at the same time a deeply educational experience for all of us: teachers, pupils and the Enable Ireland team. St Conleth’s is very grateful to Keith and his team for coming over to our school and show us “how we can play together and have fun regardless our disabilities”. Thank you Enable Ireland!

Enable Ireland’s visit to St. Conleth’s Junior School made the news on RTE! It was featured on their ‘News2Day’ show on Tuesday, January 20th. Click here for a link to the RTE Player.

You Need a Noggin!

Did that gust of wing almost blow you back to Ballybrack? Are you freezing when you step outside in Firhouse? Shivering in Shankill? What you need is a Noggin! Turns out Greta was a bit premature with her doomsaying and it is still mighty cold outside. Protect yourself (and help a good cause) with an Official St. Conleth’s @nogginsport Hat! On sale for €17 at the Tuckshop and through Easypayments on https://stconleths.ie. Hurry! They are going quickly!

Dreamspace!

Mr. Kilcommons and his Sixth Form enjoyed an exciting visit to the Microsoft Dreamspace where they imagined (and experienced) the world of the future: thirty years, to be precise. Yes, Mr. Gates’s largesse has created a thrilling, educational experience which is a very hot ticket on the schools’ outings scene- and our kids were lucky to get a slot! The boys and girls benefitted from both the technology on hand and the necessary professional expertise.

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As the good folks at Microsoft say themselves about the Dreamspace experience:

In the DreamSpace Primary School Experience, students will explore 30 Years into The Future. They’ll be faced with a world that’s very different one from the one we live in now. Cars can drive themselves. Drones deliver the shopping. Robots do the jobs now considered too dangerous for humans. Students will have to solve the problems of an imaginary country where transport is non-existent and translation of skills doesn’t exist. They’ll have to work together to find the solutions. If something doesn’t work first time, they can explore another way. They might fail but they’ll fail fast and succeed even quicker. The possibilities are endless.

New Heights!

Those PE classes and after-school trainings sessions seem to be paying off regarding Junior School basketball as, for the first time, we were AIJS Basketball Tournament Finalists! Our Junior School team had their best performance ever: finishing runners-up to megalithic St. Michael’s, and beating perennial powers Castlepark, both their A and B teams, en route to the final. We did notice the familiar names of Moriarty-Smyth and Sherlock on the team-sheet, proving that their athletic prowess is not limited to the noble art of fencing. Of course, it takes a full team, and then some, to compete in an intensely paced blitz-like tournament, so well done to all the boys and their coaches!

Maths Night Out!

Last Friday night, all the coolest clubs and hippest bars around the city were strangely silent for the start of the weekend; yes, even the bouncers up and down Leeson St. were checking their watches in confusion as the usual hard-partying crowd failed to materialise…  Where was everybody???

Well, the rowdiest element of their regular crowd, the Maths whizzes, had to reorganise their usually hectic Friday night social schedules to attend the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association’s annual Sixth Year Maths Quiz at Rathdown School and Ms. Hopkins had the St. Conleth’s Maths teams ready to rock and Rolle!   We have a proud tradition of excellence in Maths at St. Conleth’s.  Just look at the departmental inspection report.!  And we also take these competitions very seriously, as we witnessed once again Friday night, with the the team of Ciaran, Joe, Suyash, and Edward; and that of Tadgh, Adam, Michael and Oisín, earning very respectable finishes in a field of over fifty teams.  Ms. Hopkins attested to the particularly high level of difficulty of this year’s quiz.

The problem for our reporting staff is that the Maths team members are usually not as loquacious as… let’s say… the school’s debaters, who will continue explaining, correcting and pontificating long after we have run out of room in our notebook, put down our pen and silently walked away.  The Maths Team kids of the past tended to give monosyllabic responses, often in binary, or answer with emissions of short electronic sounds, sort of like R2D2 but not as polyphonic.  So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that this year’s line-up are not only are they geniuses at the old adding and carrying over but they also are able and willing to enthusiastically and animatedly describe these numerical adventures…. with words!  More C3PO than R2, indeed, and we look forward to hearing all about it!

Lift-Off!

Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.

Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!

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Motion Carried: St. Conleth’s is The Home of School Debating!

Every St. Conleth’s teacher knows that our students are usually not shy about speaking up for themselves. In particular: the debaters. Their opening ‘point’ when called upon in class (by an unwary teacher) is inevitably, ‘I have two points….’ We usually respond with ‘No, you now actually have one (left)’ but this does little to quell the rising tide of rhetorical effusion and vehemence. And if there happen to be two (or more) debaters in your class… fuhgettaboutit.

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But all this rhetorical confidence and sheer verbosity does have its positive side: St. Conleth’s simply dominates Irish school debating. We have for years. We will for years to come. (Especially in the purpose-built debating chamber coming with our next extension…more on this, later!). Corroborative point of information: this past week, no fewer than seven of our debaters advanced through the Leinster Schools Octofinals. Third Years Coleman Hegarty, Daragh Sweeney and Leo Nolan, TYs Oisín and Evan (The ‘Twin Powers’) and Sixth Year vets Joe Downey and Frank Knowles all charged through this latest round of the premier debating competition in the country, with all ‘winning their rooms’, debating such motions as the relative merits of ‘voluntourism’, whatever that may be. Such an accomplishment, in some burgs, would be cause for parades, keys to the city and front page headlines on the Midlands People… at Conleth’s, we politely acknowledge and wait for the bling that is sure to come a few more rounds.

Cross Country Army!

Mr. Keenan and Mr. Smith do not do things by halves: when we say that sport at St. Conleth’s is all about participation, they practise what we preach and issue an open invite to all students to join them on their Track and Field outings.  As you can see from the photos below, this year’s call for Cross Country runners did not fall on many deaf years.  Over fifty student athletes made the time-honoured trek through the wooded hills of Wicklow to the little love-nest of Charles Stuart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea that is now Avondale Forest Park. And we do not just do quantity, we do quality: First Year Lucy McGoldrick won an individual Bronze and, incredibly, we also won three team medals. First Year Girls placed Second; First Year Boys, Third; and Second Year Boys won their race! For a small school to pack the podium like that, it is some achievement and a credit to the team spirit amongst the boys and girls and the encouragement of their teachers. Check out some of the action below, as well as a list of the many medal winners!

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STEM Erratum

Young Scientist double award winner Cúan Moore does not make mistakes but apparently we do: Cúan did indeed win the RSA Special Category Award for his project entitled (quite efficiently) ‘The effectiveness of colour on a bike light’ but his other award, for First Place in Category, was actually in ‘Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences’, not for ‘Technology’. In our defence, we have to say that it seemed pretty technological to us! Anyways, to cover our blushes we are going to distract you with some more photos from our First Years’s visit to Cúan’s stand and the rest of the Young Scientist Exhibition. Enjoy!

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Get Ronan to the Paralympics!

We remember a young Ronan Roche Griffin lighting up his First Year Form Class with his wicked wit and a glint in his eye. Whether it was sending notes in binary to a like-minded stemmy classmate or politely wriggling out of some minor kind of trouble, Ronan always did everything with considerable panache. Now, he has transferred that swashbuckling style to Canmore, deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Yes, this proud member of St. Conleth’s Class of 2013 is currently training on those sun and snow-basked slopes, striving to become the first winter Paralympian to ever represent Ireland. Don’t be jealous… the beautiful scenery does make soggy old Clyde Road pale in comparison, but Ronan is putting on some hard runs, upping his skills and stamina in pursuit of qualification. Find out more (and lend a hand if you can) on his GoFundMe page. Let’s help get Ronan to Beijing 2022!

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Rugby is Back with a Bang!

All that fencing, debating and chess is great, but let us not forget that we still play rugby at St. Conleth’s…. and we do it darned well! A parent reports back on the latest Junior School Rugby adventure, complete with some great photos:

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Continuing the Junior School’s strong performance in rugby this year, Mr. O’Brien led Third Form to claim victory over Willow Park last Saturday, despite the biting strong winds.  Well done to all the team in their first year of representing St. Conleths in Junior School Rugby!

STEM Star!

Continuing a Conlethian tradition started by the Zorin brothers years ago, First Year Cúan Moore has won an award, in fact- two awards- at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Yes, Mr. Callaghan- our science exhibition specialist teacher, has done it again, guiding one of his charges to the podium. And like the Zorins, it is the ‘T’ in STEM which signifies young Cúan’s incredible accomplishment as it was in the category of Technology where his project ‘The Effectiveness of Colour on a Bike Light’ topped some very impressive competition. Cúan also won the Road Safety Authority’s Special Award. And in an era where so many ‘advances’ seem to involve the ephemeral, digital world, Cúan’s project has some good, old-fashioned tangible technology at its heart: an adapted bike light which illuminates the rider’s reflective clothing. This little device brings a much needed extra level of safety for cyclists attempting to negotiate the habitual gloom of our eternal twilight and it opens up whole new possibilities for flash advertising. We may soon see Cúan safely cycling down Clyde Road- and illuminated like a giant, reflective Coke can. But before you get any ideas, Cúan already holds the patent!

No Holiday For Fencer!

Yes, we enjoyed two weeks of relatively low key lesson planning and curriculum development over the Christmas break, but not all our students were engaged in such relaxing activities: Transition Year Claudio Sosa, for one, was busy fencing against men twice his age… but no longer in size!

He represented Ireland at the Five Nations where the Irish team took Third place overall in all categories. He also participated in the 2019 Northern Irish Open in early December, where he won a Bronze medal in the Senior Male category. Claudio, at the ripe old age of fifteen, currently holds the No. 1ranking in the Senior Male Category in all of Ireland! He also qualified and was selected by the Irish Fencing Federation to represent the country at the European Championships and World Championships in Porec (Croatia) and Salt Late City (USA), respectively. Claudio is clearly committed to represent the community, his school and the country. Not many Christmas lie-ins for him!

The Pea and Mint Soup is Particularly Good!

No, we may not have ‘salted pork’ on the menu this week (pdf) but Chef Mark has included several specialties that would rival the best from Saruman’s famous storehouse in Isengard. Even a hobbit would be satisfied!

Two for the Price of One!

We are having our own January Sale here at stconleths.ie and, really, it is a deal you just cannot beat! For the price of absolutely zero (unless you monetise your smiles and chuckles) click on the links below and enjoy both the St. Conleth’s College Junior & Prep School and the Morning Club/After-School Newsletters. The Parents Association, After-School Director Cecilia Franken and the boys and girls themselves have put a lot of work into these newsletters… after putting a lot of work (and fun) into the carefully documented activities themselves!

St. Conleth’s College Junior & Prep School Newsletter

Morning Club/After-School Newsletter

Morning Club/After-School Photo Selection

All in the Mind!

Julien Porzadny does double duty at St. Conleth’s: he is half of our dynamic duo of French teachers (along with the equally energetic Ms. Crowley) and he also serves as our Mindfulness guru. Here, he fills us in on how St. Conleth’s attention to our minds is gathering international attention!

Three years ago, Mindfulness classes were introduced to St Conleth’s college. Since then, weekly mindful sits have happened, it has become part of our Health Awareness Week and it seems that students are enjoying learning about the art of “being”. Before the Christmas break, I received an email from the “Mindfulness in Schools projects” (the UK charity from whom I received my training) who were looking for stories about the experience of implementing Mindfulness in schools. I therefore decided to write back to them. They later on got back to me and asked for permission to release our story on their website. So, if you are curious to learn a little more about Mindfulness and how it has grown in St Conleth’s College, I invite you to have a read of “The evidence base, a primary & secondary case study – St Conleth’s College, Dublin“.

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Simple but Spectacular!

After the highfalutin drama, dance and comedy of Aladdin, it was back to basics with the Preparatory School’s version of the Nativity story, 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, Ms. Leary’s and Ms. Redmond’s charges were all suited up in exquisite costumes (thanks, parents!) and the assorted kings, angels, shepherds and members of the Holy Family all performed with spirit and grace, bringing smiles and laughter to those assembled in our beautifully decorated Performance Hall.  It was a fitting, perfectly pitched close to the term and our Christmas celebrations. See the full video above and some snaps below, including some of the Juniors’ Christmas class parties and the students’ artwork that lined the walls of the hall.

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Christmas Geniuses!

The Preparatory School took care of the original Christmas story but the older Junior School classes got a bit ‘edgy’ for their Christmas Show, all the while without leaving the general setting of the Middle East. Our song, drama and dance dynamic duo of geniuses, Pat Howe and Emer Hartnett, the veritable Rodgers and Hammerstein of St. Conleth’s these many years, with the support of all the class teachers and the Junior Parents’ Association, put on a spectacular, specially adapted version of Aladdin, and everyone in the audience went home for the holidays with a bit of ‘wow’. The mumps, the flu and the vomiting bug did their best to derail this show but Howe and Hartnett would not let that happen, and the student stars themselves shook off their various illnesses and left it all out there on the stage in the Performance Hall! We managed to capture most of it on film (thanks, Scott!) so enjoy!

Christmas Crooners!

The baton has been passed from Ms. Fay and Ms. deBhal to Ms. McGuinness, but judging by the talent and spirit on display at our annual Christmas Concert, music will continue to be at the heart of everything we do at St. Conleth’s.

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The Senior School Choir, in particular, plays an essential role in our annual school masses and various seasonal celebrations.  But we have plenty of individual talent, too, and sometimes those talents band together in small groupings to delightful effect- as can be seen (and heard) below.

Judging by the number of First and Second Year performers at this year’s Christmas Concert, there is clearly a new generation of musical talent ready to take the stage and Ms. McGuinness’s toughest job is to narrow down the playlist (click)- who knows which of the performers on it is destined to join Alex Sheehan, Conor O’Brien and Cassia O’Reilly on the professional stage?  In the meantime we will just enjoy the beautiful sounds and, even more importantly, the heartwarming sight of young talent working together.

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Our students also enjoyed their individual class parties, including Kris Kindle, yuletide movies, plenty of sweets and shenanigans in their charity-aiding Christmas jumpers.

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Faith and Fun!

In less than a week, St. Conleth’s took part in two school-wide events, each of which conveyed a different but essential aspect of our community. Last Wednesday, we gathered at St. Mary’s-Haddington Road for our Annual School Mass, and remembered and celebrated the staff and family members who have gone before us and who helped to make our school all that it is today. The Senior School Choir provided the beautiful hymns, students of all ages led the prayers and readings and Fr. Michael, as always, found the right message and pitched it in his own unique way.

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And yesterday, we went on another annual pilgrimage. We did, indeed, ‘Let Them Go!’ and released all our Senior School students for a well-deserved Christmas treat at the Swan Cinema after a good term’s work. Everyone enjoyed ‘Frozen II’ or ‘Jumanji II’ and the residents of Rathmines and Ranelagh were incredibly hospitable to our flying columns!

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TYs Show Flair Français!

The TYs are just about to close out a very busy first term, with outings galore, a monumental Christmas Fair and special courses in First Aid and Photography, but they also were pushed in their ‘regular’ classes, completing creative and innovative products both in groups and individually. Here, Mr. Porzadny, updates us on what went on in the TY French class this past term.

Let the students be the teachers!
What do Dungeons and Dragons, the Beatles and kitchen utensils have in common? Not much would you answer. You would pretty much be right. Except that as of today you can learn how to talk about elves, yellow submarines and whisks all in the language de l’amour! Learning French in a fun and easy way is made possible thanks to the home made flashcard made by the students of Transition year.

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As part of the TY French curriculum, a “Quizlet” competition was organised. Students would have to create a set of 20 words or expressions from a theme of their choosing. Mr Porzadny would then pick the 10 best sets based on originality, variety and quality of the French language. Students would then vote for their top 3 set. The final sets would then be shared here on the St Conleth’s website for the enjoyment of the whole School community! So without further a due, here are the results:
Tied for 3rd place with 11 votes:Ava with “Les jeux olympiques and Keelan with “Le rugby en français
In 2nd place with 16 votes:Cael with “Les films en français
And in 1st place with 18 votes:Luca with “Le football en français
Get ready, set and “allez”!

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

Manchester must be a bit like Las Vegas, as in what happens there seems to ‘stay’ there: it took us weeks to squeeze this news out of the intrepid travellers!

Many moons ago, when on the ‘red’ side of Manchester a certain ginger midfielder was passing with aplomb and tackling with a hellacious fury, and a young winger was running like the wind and exposing his chest hair with glee (and, apparently, sneaking into his brother’s house), 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/or 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.  Sadly, this time around, for the first time in decades, Mr. Keenan missed the boat but Mr. Kilcommons did his best to fill Captain Keenan’s boots and soon the Annual Junior School Trip to Manchester settled into a familiar ‘sweets-spew-sweets’ pattern on the overnight ferry.

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Mr. Kilcommons, being an Arsenal fan, is not too familiar with the Champions League, but he seemed to learn quickly . Thankfully, Mr. Sheridan was also there, and his twelves hours of consistent snoring somehow soothed the troubled stomachs and, he occasionally even joined in on 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 action galore and some memorable (but not to be repeated in a family publication) chants!  

Fencing: Ins and Outs!

You know that fencing has always been an integral part of St. Conleth’s. In recent weeks there was ample evidence both outside and within our walls. First, the extramural: Conlethians continue to excel in national (and international) fencing competitions.

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Claudio Sosa won Bronze in the Senior Men’s Foil in the Northern Irish Open; Myles Moriarty-Smyth won gold in the U14 Foil in the Christmas Cup and Michael Davitt won bronze in the same competition’s U10 Mixed Foil. It is great to see Myles showing Michael the ropes… and the points!

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And within the hallowed walls of 28 Clyde Road, we have recently witnessed fencing become part of the regular PE programme. Here we see First Years enjoying their foils… and foibles as they come to grips with the noble sport (and their classmates).

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Thumbs Up for the TY Fair!

The Annual Transition Year Christmas Fair and Tree Sale was once again a spectacular success, with trees, wreaths and various home-made crafts and goodies flying out the doors of the school hall this past Saturday morning and afternoon. The various student-run ‘mini-companies’ got a taste of real world business and the profits off of the trees and wreaths themselves will all go to St. Conleth’s partnership with the Bridge Light School in Uganda. A great big ‘thank -you’ to TY Co-Ordinator Gav Maguire, all the participating parents (especially TY reps Caroline O’Dea and Ray McDonnell) and, of course, the TY students themselves for continuing this great St. Conleth’s tradition in style.

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The Rooks’ Return!

We have been neglecting a recent mainstay in St. Conleth’s sporting news: Chess. Yes, we compete and win in many different arenas, but certainly in the Junior School, Chess has proven particularly to be our forté. AIJS, Leinster and even All-Ireland trophies line our cases. The Junior School ‘B’ Team recently hosted a tournament for four teams and our team finished a close second to Lios na nÓg. Nathan Keogh won all his matches but there were some high quality games all over the Performance Hall. They are keeping that “A” team on its toes!

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Hearty Bucks!

When the wind whips away that umbrella with gusto, the sleety rain ‘falls’ sideways into your face and the cyclists splash you on the only bits that escaped the car ‘wash’… it is time for a hot and hearty meal! Core-firing Beef and Carrot Stew is on the menu this week as well as some less traditional but just as stamina-stocking favourites:

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

…the Annual Transition Year Christmas Tree Sale and Fair!  Yes, indeed: the wind has picked up, the sun was last seen September 14th, 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 Fair and 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 Gav Maguire has been doing his best trying to fill in as Santa but is not quite able to grow the wintry whiskers of one of his predecessors, Mr. Bolger, nor the rounder middle and rosy red cheeks of another!  Well, make this Santa smile by ordering a Christmas tree from the TY girls and boys and come by this Saturday, December 7th, from 10-4, for them and all the extras, including holly wreaths, poinsettia, tree stands and tea and coffee.  All proceeds go to supporting the Bride Light School in Uganda.   To order a tree, call (087) 799-8702.

Salad Days?

After last week’s Thanksgiving Feast, and in preparation for the yuletide excesses to come, we recommend (especially to the older staff members) that the impressive array of sales on offer this week on Chef Mark’s menu may be the way to go!

Happy Black Friday Eve!

The pilgrim fathers (despite their rabid anti-catholicism) would be thrilled to sees the celebration of  the anniversary of his extraordinary act of goodwill and friendship spread to these shores.  Of course, if the Mayflower had  brought along a galley staff like Mark, Emerson and Anna, the colonists would not even have needed the largesse of the native population!  Be that as it may, the turkey, the roasted potatoes, the sage stuffing, the creamed corn and the cranberry sauce were served on that first Thanksgiving day over 400 years ago, and we have been recreating that harvest feast ever since.  We personally have enjoyed Thanksgivings in many parts of the USA, and the local variations never ceased to amaze:  galumpkis  on the side in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; hominy grits in the backwoods of the Carolinas; stuffed chipotle on the edges of the Arizona desert; and cod cakes on the furthest toe of Cape Cod….  Well, Chef Mark’s ‘last-Thursday-of-November-unless-it-is-not-followed-by-a-Saturday-within-the-month-then-it-is-the-third’ extravaganza beats them all!  Juniors and Seniors and staff all joined together for a musket-bustin’  Thanksgiving feast for the ages. See the pics below to get a taste.  At St. Conleth’s, Thanksgiving is not just the day before Black Friday!

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Off the Fence!

As with Jose Mourinho, we knew Luke Sherlock would not stay on the sidelines for too long! Luke has ended his temporary retirement and is back in fencing action! His exploits, this time, took him to Germany to the 18th International Open City Championships in Marburg. Luke fenced in both the U15 epee and foil, two weapons over two days. Final podium positions were 6th in epee and 3rd in foil. Well done, Luke, and good to see you back!

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Top of their Class!

We know we punch above our weight in rugby and hockey and the recent runs 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.  Recently there was tangible evidence of St. Conleth’s academic prowess on show at Ireland’s two most prestigious universities:  Mr. ODulaing had the pleasure of enjoying a few hors d’oeuvres with Ian O’Neill (Engineering), Rory Smyth (Finance and Spanish), Stephen Allen (Science) and Joe Hyland (Engineering) at UCD, where they were awarded Entrance Scholarships for their stellar LC results.  Stephen also added a Choral Scholarship: no surprise to those of us who enjoyed his school concert performances over the years. And Seamus Gallagher joined the toast to Hugh Downes, a ‘winner at Trinners’ and who is now studying Theoretical Physics. A high mark has certainly been set for the Class of 2020!

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Turkey Time!

Of all the cultural imports from America, surely Thanksgiving is the most welcome. A holiday that celebrates diversity and community? Surely, even the most anti-American of European elites can accept that- then again, there is the accompanying traditional dish of ‘creamed corn’ which probably sends the devotees of Michelin chefs into apoplexy. However, our chef, Mark McColgan, always goes ‘whole turkey’ and happily serves up all the traditional fixings. Somewhere Squanto is smiling, even though there probably is a mall where his tee-pee used to be. Check out the special Thanksgiving Week Menu.

SS PA AGM…

No, that is not a secret code but the shortest way to announce that the Senior School Parents’ Association is having its Annual General Meeting tomorrow evening (Monday the 25th) at 7.00pm. Come along and find out how parents make up such an important part of the St. Conleth’s community. And we don’t just think locally. There is also a talk by renowned climate activist Dr. Lorna Gold at 7.30 pm entitled “Climate Generation – Awakening to our Children’s Future”. See you there!

Will Your Exam be a Kobayashi Maru?

The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. Thankfully, most of the St. Conleth’s Senior School teachers have decided to give their students slightly more passable exams.

Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them.  Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page.  We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! Live long and prosper!

Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:

First Year Christmas Exam Schedule 

Second Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Third Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Fifth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Sixth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Still Movin’ and Groovin’!

Health Week may be over but Conlethians have not stopped moving… and groovin’! Here, the Prepsters enjoy their Dance Class and work off some of that excess energy, rendering them perfectly calm and docile little darlings for the rest of the day, and well able to sit still and enjoy ‘Storytime’ with Ms. Kelly.

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To the Rostra!

‘St. Conleth’s and Debating’ go together like ‘Germany and efficiency’, ‘Brazil and soccer’ and ‘America and freedom’… and our sprightly orators were recently at it again, rushing the rostra at the UCD Literary & Historical Society Schools Junior Competition. Coleman Hegarty and Daragh Sweeney finished First in their group, debating the motion that ‘Doctors, rather than parents, should make all medical decisions for children until they reach the age of consent’, topping teams from Blackrock, Gonzaga, Belvedere et alii. Talk about the creeping influence of big government! All our teams wowed them rhetorically, continuing St. Conleth’s pre-eminent position in Irish schools debating.

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The Write Stuff!

Our Juniors have The Write Stuff! Jamie Fanning was ‘Highly Commended’ in a recent AIJS handwriting competition… continuing our traditional fine showing in this annual competition. Well done to Jamie and his teacher, Ms. Dillon, for insisting on old-fashioned legibility!

Fun in the Foliage!

Let’s just admit it: the unrelenting rain, gloom and puddle-splashing cyclists of the last few weeks have brought us to our knees and a Ryan Air flight to some soulless but sunny spot on the Costa is the only thing that is keeping us from following our windswept umbrella into the Dodder… but cheer up! Junior Art Teacher Ms. Orla Mellon and her talented students have defied the elements and brought some colour and cheer to St. Conleth’s in this darkest, wettest November with their school-wide ‘Autumnal Leaves’ art project. See the process, the producers and the product, below!

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Juniors Jump for Joy!

The Junior School also celebrated Health Week with both style and substance as Mr. Kilcommons and the other teachers planned a whole slate of activities which emphasised a natural and rejuvenating attention to both body and mind. In conjunction with their Senior colleagues, Juniors turned off their screens and picked up crayons, playing cards, a healthy lunch, tug-of-war ropes, parachutes and other implements of good, old-fashioned fun!

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What is healthier than playing with a parachute?

On Thursday, the screens were dropped and skipping ropes were picked up as the Junior School staged a Skip-A-Thon. Mr. Kilcommons led the chants and rhymes but everyone had a go.

All those Health Week activities must have given our First Form super speed! Here they play a bit of dodgeball with Mr. Magee.

Of course, we don’t just get healthy during Health Week, especially when Sensei Ed Charmont is calling the shots at Karate Class!

Are Friends Electric?

Not necessarily, but the boys and girls in the St. Conleth’s STEM Club certainly create a buzz when they get into the school laboratory on a Friday morning and start bouncing ideas off each other like free electrons.

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Our STEM Club’s second official meeting capped off a Science Week of all sorts of left-side-of-the-brain type of fun, including Mr. Callaghan leading a Fifth and Sixth Year group to a special Chemistry lecture at Trinity College; Elí Strahan’s science-themed cupcakes creating a rabid feeding frenzy in First Year; daily quiz questions posed by Mr. Morris and Mr. Carvill (The Younger); and a lunchtime recitation of Pi to a soundtrack of Thomas Dolby and Gary Numan!

We’ re Just Wrecked!

Health Week is finally over… and we are just wrecked! But it is a healthy ‘wreckedfulness’ as we pushed the limits this week in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There was a ‘Screen Free’ day when students and (some) teachers abandoned their life-support screens- and realised they could live and even thrive with out them! What did we do then with Netflix and Kahoot and examinations.ie momentarily out of commission? We went on walks, we went to talks (Spun Out for mental health and Sticks & Stones for anti-bullying), we danced and we just sat there and thought of… sweet nothing. Hopefully, each of us will bring something with us from a great week of getting back in touch with our minds and bodies… but, thank goodness, the Tuck Shop opens again on Monday!

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Health Week peaks with a shake of the hips, a twirl and a jump as First Years join TYs for some exercise and a dance-a-thon in the Sports Hall!

…and a Sticks & Stones anti-bullying seminar.

Health Year!

Health Week may be over but that does not mean that healthy eating stops at St. Conleth’s. See Chef Mark’s latest menu to see how the dishes served up in our canteen are good for both palate and person!

Ismail Squashes Munster!

St. Conleth’s First Year Ismail Abdelwahed reached the final of the Munster Junior Open held in Waterford over the weekend and took home the Silver trophy. Ismail won all his matches, including two consecutive five setters to reach the final. Unfortunately he was not able to continue the winning streak and lost a hard fought match 3-1, with the games’ scores really tight. This is a good step forward after winning Bronze in the Connacht and the Ulster Open competitions earlier this year. This form is guaranteed to see him represent Ireland in the European championship to be held in England in April 2020.

An Early Christmas Present!

At St. Conleth’s College, we do not believe in ‘last minute shopping’ when it comes to providing our students with their Christmas ‘presents’: in fact, all our academic gift-giving should be wrapped up by the first of December!  And Ms. NiAonghusa, our exam czar, has handed the schedules out to each year personally, but she has also kindly provided us with them.  Get them below or under the Senior School Calendar on our ‘Information’ page.  We will also enter each day’s exams under ‘Events’ so there will be no surprises… at least until you open your exam booklet! So, Happy Christmas and good luck!

Click on each year to see a PDF of their respective Exam Schedule:

First Year Christmas Exam Schedule 

Second Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Third Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Fifth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

Sixth Year Christmas Exam Schedule

On the Offensive!

On the offensive! Conlethian swordsman continue to win plaudits and trophies! Claudio Sosa took Bronze in the Irish Open at the Senior level: yes, fencing against full-grown (and bearded) men! And in the the opening round of the Northern Ireland Junior Foil Series, Luke Sherlock took Gold in the U16s and Myles Moriarty-Smyth took Silver in the U14s (fencing above his age level)!

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What’s Going On?

We try hard to keerp you up-to-date with our ‘Events’ listings (to the right) but it is also useful to have one place where all the really big events are listed. Below (and, as always, under ‘Calendar +Information’) is an updated calendar (pdf) for the Junior School (Seniors’ is on the way!):

What a Load of Falafel!

and pak choi, and couscous, and lentils, and mac & cheese… this week’s menu (pdf):

Sound Bodies and Minds

Get ready for Health Awareness Week! Both Junior and Senior Schools are getting ‘psyched’ for a week in which we pay special attention to the mental and physical health of both ourselves and those around us. Activities will include: free porridge in the canteen, mental health talks, Sticks and Stones Anti-Bullying workshops, a Screen Free Day, a skip-a-thon, Zumba dance, a healthy Tuckshop, a 5000 step walk, Mindfulness sessions, a surprise film showing… amongst other events. And our Principals, Mr. ODulaing and Mr. Kilcommons, have asked that all students also deliver at least one random act of kindness each day- preferably to your teachers, but friends and family are also eligible. This week will certainly focus our minds and bodies on health but we believe we have already made a good start: see below for some pics from various Wellness trips to Herbert Park (before and after the recent monsoon season). This little green oasis is literally our Happy Hunting Ground!

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STEM Club’s Stunning Start!

Over twenty First Years (and a few Fifth Year helpers) showed up for the first meeting of the All-New St. Conleth’s STEM Club! And it sure was a stunning start as one of our more over eager participants decided to lick a plasma globe that had the tiniest crack in it… all’s good though, as there was enough electricity hanging around the lab for the reviving shock, and a bit of gas to settle any lingering nerves. The kids got to learn about physics and biology in one quick experiment! In all seriousness, this was just the first meeting of what we hope will become a Conlethian tradition. Stay tuned for news of dissections, reanimations, multiverse portals and other cool stuff as Mr. Morris leads his charges into the exciting world of Science!

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A Different Shade of Green!

He shoots, he dribbles, he passes, he scores… and now he plays for Ireland! Luke Gilleran has made the ‘final 22’ of the Ireland Under-18’s Mens Basketball Team, joining past Conlethian hardcourt luminaries such as Peter Herron and Mark Ryan, who also represented their country. Here we see Luke demolishing the competition but we will be showing you him in that other green jersey, soon!

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STEM Stars!

Will a new STEM Star arise at St. Conleth’s? Will we finally have an R-12 series droid? Well, grab your imagination and your pocket protector and come along to the lab and find out! Mr. Morris is starting a First Year STEM Club today at 7:45 and it will run every Friday in the lab going forward. Come along and do your part to bring on the android apocalypse!

Gotta Love a… TYer!

In the old country, ‘Gotta Love a Trier’ is one of those ambivalent sayings: a double-edged sword, a backhanded compliment… You say it with a sardonic, Southern drawl when you are standing on second base, chewing a plug of tobacco, and watching a teammate give three almighty swings at the baseball…. and come up empty, all three times. You admire his effort, but you also almost pity his irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude… in the face of overwhelming genetic evidence to the contrary. Well, here, in our brave new Land of the Celtic Tyger 2.0, everything is possible and all efforts are worthwhile… especially in Transition Year. The whole programme, as implemented by Co-ordinator Gav Maguire, is about trying as many new things and skills as possible, and just a half term in, the boys and girls have already stretched their reach, as well as their CVs.

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Above you see them working at First Aid certification and here they are in a mix of activities from earlier in the year: The Law Module, an Auto Safety seminar, Build-A-Bank interviews and out catching a professional performance of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.

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And that little trip to the theatre was a hint at what is surely to be the biggest TY ‘try’ of all: a big budget, professionally produced rendition of the play at the end of May. (Thank you, Emer Hartnett and Seamus Gallagher!) The rehearsals and the try-outs have already started and so has the fun. Stay tuned for more highlights of the musical machinations and the TY experience overall!

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News to Warm and Cheer

After an all-too-short midterm break, it is hard to come back to the daily grind… especially when it seems to be usually dark and always raining. Luckily we have Chef Mark and Co.’s culinary arts to warm and cheer us up! This Week’s Menu